The IMG Model
The IMG model incorporates the mental development, video work and principles espoused by tennis teacher Nick Bollettieri, the impetus behind the sprawling IMG campus here who has cultivated teenage tennis sensations such as Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Anna Kournikova. Steven Ungerleider, a psychologist who has worked with U.S. Olympic athletes for more than 20 years in the Eugene, Ore., area, studied Bollettieri's work with Sampras when he was young in which he used a camera fixed on certain body parts to reveal how he reacted to a bad shot or blown point. Bollettieri could point out a particular muscle that remained tightened, indicating the youngster had not really gotten over the mistake, then revealed how much more poorly Sampras played when in that condition. "I think it really is a terrific approach," Ungerleider said. "I was down there four or five years ago and I went through some of the same exercises myself [while playing tennis] and it was very educational, because you are getting visual feedback, but usually the mental coach will also ask you to do some breathing and check in on how intense you are with verbal or feedback as well."