Playmakers Tennis Academy is a training school which utilizes high performance teaching and instructional methods in helping junior tennis players reach their maximum potential. During its 10-year history, the academy has successfully helped players attain their tennis goals from playing on their high school team, becoming a college player or reaching national prominence.   

Jimmy Mendieta began the Playmakers Academy at the Wachesaw Plantation Tennis Club in 2006 when he was their director of player development. He received his training at the Ace Tennis Academy in Atlanta in 1997 and incorporated these revolutionary techniques and training methods into his own academy to achieve faster results in developing players. 

Mendieta began his Playmakers Academy at Wachesaw with five juniors utilizing the same atmosphere and instruction you would receive at one of the larger tennis academies such as Smith Stearns on Hilton Head Island or Nick Bollettieri’s in Florida. 

“We created a similar environment and culture just like the bigger academy’s but ours is on a smaller scale,” Mendieta said. “We offer everything they offer but our setting is not as big as theirs.”

Playmakers students have attended institutions on tennis scholarships such as the University of Virginia, University of Georgia, University of Texas, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Furman University, College of Charleston, Wofford College, Kennesaw State University and the U.S. Naval Academy-Annapolis.

After teaching tennis from 2013 to 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz., and Charleston, Mendieta has returned to the Grand Strand and began his Playmakers Academy at Prestwick Tennis Club. Prestwick closed for about a week at the beginning of the year and then Mendieta leased the facility on Jan. 8 from the homeowners. His Playmakers Tennis Academy again started with five players and has grown to over 40 juniors in the last three months.             

Playmakers Academy offers a variety of tennis programs for juniors 6 to 18 and at any skill level. Classes are small with an average of 20 to 24 kids in a class taught by four instructors. Their program is Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9-11 p.m. Plus, most kids take at least one to two private lessons a week to enhance their newly learned skills.

The first 20 minutes of every lesson is reserved for conditioning where they utilize a variety of workouts from stretching, running, strength training and speed work. Each lesson is specifically designed to help these juniors attain winning results in a short period.  

Mendieta carefully creates these lesson plans for which each student is to follow and he shares this instructive process with each of his teaching pros. Normally, the students practice and drill on several different aspects in the game of tennis but there is always one skill they dwell on until the juniors are competent in performing.

“We feel if we hammer a technique or skill for a whole week the kids will be able to execute it better during match-play situations,” Mendieta said.

At Playmakers Tennis Academy, the parents are heavily involved in deciding what they want their kids to accomplish. Mendieta and his staff along with the parents decide what is best for each kid, their training procedures and what tournaments they should play to reach their goals. These pros actually become the kids’ mentors.

Costs to attend the academy are figured on a monthly basis and how many days per week each junior wants to attend. Prices range from two days a week to six days a week of training. The average cost is about $15 per hour. Please see Jimmy Mendieta to create a monthly tuition plan that fits your budget.             

 Juniors who have attended Playmakers Tennis Academy not only excel at winning in tennis but are taught respect through discipline and learn the value of hard work in attaining their goals. Learning to play a sport at a high level of efficiency will improve their attitude and character as they go through life.   

 For more information on Playmakers Tennis Academy go to   or call the new Prestwick Tennis Club number 843-831-0117.

Prestwick Tennis Club will hold a Member/Guest 3.5 Mixer this Friday, April 10 from 6-8 p.m.

A lucky guest will win a six month membership. 

 Icy Hot Baton Rouge     

The Icy Hot USTA Southern Level 2 Championships BG 16 & 18 were completed April 1-4 at Highland Road Park with JW-total tennis in Baton Rouge, La. This Southern Level 2 sanctioned tournament had 183 players including two from the Grand Strand.

Their results were:

— Paul Hendrix, seeded No. 2, won his first match 6-0, 6-0 over a player from Baton Rouge and then won 6-2, 6-2 over the No. 9 seed from Daphne, Ala. But in the quarterfinals, Hendrick lost 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 to the No. 5 seed from Concord, N.C. In the playoffs, Hendrix won 7-5, 6-3 over a player from Suwanee, Ga., and then lost in the finals 3-6, 6-2, (1-0) to the No. 1 seed from Calhoun, Ga.   

In the Boy’s 18 Doubles, No. 1 seeds Paul Hendrix and his Suwanee partner won their first match 8-0 over a team from Baton Rouge and then lost in the quarterfinals 8-4 to a team from Alpharetta, Ga./ Suwannee.

— Elizabeth Truluck lost her first match 6-4, 6-4 to the No. 1 seed from Birmingham, Ala. In the consolation, Truluck won 6-0, 6-0 over a player from Broussard, La., and then won 6-0, 6-0 over a player from Hot Springs, Ark. Next, she won 6-3, 6-1 over the No. 5 seed from Lexington, Ky., and won again 6-3, 6-2 over a player from Atlanta. R

eaching the finals, Truluck won 6-3, 7-5 over a player from Mandeville, La., to finish in fifth place in the tournament.

In the Girl’s 18 Doubles, Elizabeth Truluck and her Augusta, Ga., partner won their first round 8-0 over a team from Broussard/Lafayette, La., and then won 8-4 over a team from Atlanta/Mandeville, La.  Reaching the semifinals, Truluck and partner won 9-7 over the No. 1 seeds from Atlanta/ Birmingham but lost in the finals 8-4 to a team from New Orleans/Shreveport, La.        

Upcoming local tournaments

— Dunes Junior Open - The Dunes Sparks Toyota Junior Open will be held April 15-17 at the Dunes Tennis Club in Myrtle Beach. This Level 3 sanctioned event offers singles for juniors 18 and under. For entry fees check their Tournament ID: 700041516.

Deadline is April 10.

For more information check out their Tournament ID: 700041516 or call 843-449-0185.

 — Dual Surface tourney - A Dual Surface Junior Surface Tournament will be held in late April for juniors 18 and under in Myrtle Beach. This non-sanctioned singles only tournament will be played on one hybrid court, which is half hard court and half clay court.

The Boy’s event will be April 22-24 with an entry deadline of April 19 and the girl’s event will be April 29 – May 1 with an entry deadline of April 26.

The dual surface tennis court is located at 3833 Socastee Blvd (inside RH Acres) in the south-end of Myrtle Beach.    

For more information, contact Renata Marcinkowska, tournament director t or call 843-455-8364 or 803-524-3308. 

Neal Peterson, a former college tennis player, has been writing about the local tennis scene for more than a decade. He can be reached at 650-5505 or email


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.