Franck Leroux – Founder & Director
Franck Leroux, or Kefranc has he is universally known, was born in Nices, France. He started playing tennis at the age of 12 at the Nice Lawn Tennis Club, then integrated the very 1st French Tennis-Study program with Yannick Noah and all players born in in late 50’s. “We were training after-school from 3pm. There weren’t many good trainers around at that time, so when the coach was saying something, we were working hard on it, in autonomy”.
Strong of 2 decades of training experience and competition at a professional level, Franck launched one of the biggest French tennis academy in 1981, at the Tennis Club of Arcachon. Today, the academy gathers a team of 15 certified coaches, welcome 80% of ranked players and is present in Barcelone, Bristol and now Hanoi, Vietnam.
Describe the evolution of tennis?
“It is important to differentiate between leisure activity and tennis competition. Before, in France, there were many amateur players, simply because there weren’t so many leisure activities. Nowadays, all the young ones have 50 000 activities so they have other things to do.
In competition, the level dramatically increased. Players of my generation, that were top-ranked in the world, cannot be compared to today’s players, except maybe Björn Borg, who was a true physical athlete. But now they all are athletes with high technical level. Guys are hitting much harder, they train much more as well. Material also played a very important part. When I was 12, I had a 340g wooden racket, balls were very hard, we weren’t taught to train physically, nor stretch.”
Most important qualities of a good tennis player?
“Amateur: technique. Professional: fitness and mental.”
Most important qualities of a good tennis coach?
“To be an excellent pedagogue, combined with passion. To be interested and to show envy and strictness. The job is not always easy and pleasant, but motivation comes from seeing young players succeed.”
Tennis in one word?
“Fascinating. So psychological, physical, points are never the same. Tennis relies on your form, your game, your tactic. You play with someone, he won’t be the same the next day, this is what is good about the game. Sometimes, it’s a little tough nervously speaking, but it is an incredible sport, incredible.”