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JRstriker12
04-09-2009, 06:24 AM
NY Times article on the state of US Tennis developing pro players.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/sports/tennis/05tennis.html?scp=4&sq=tennis&st=cse

I think with PMac at the helm and a new focus on including clay in player development, USTA is probably on the right track... or at least a better track then they were on, but we have to give them some time.

Interesting to see comments from Fisher and Lansdorp-

Honestly, I don't know so I have to ask - but who was the last great U.S. player that Fisher or Lansdorp developed or is currently developing. I know Fisher worked with Pete and Lansdorp has worked with a lot of pro players - but I can't think of big US stars currently out there. I'm thinking no body in the US seems to have the magic formula right now.

IMHO - Segura's comments seemed a little out there too. Is an extreme grip really that limiting? Doesn't Nadal use a pretty extreme, grip? Seems like he can slice, volley and handle low balls. As for the low balls - seems like most the shots I see on the ATP bounce up around waist to shoulder hieght.

RE: Segura - So US players don't know how to win? Okay - so just come up with the solution and we'll be all good. Must be easy right?

Just my 2 cents - for what it's worth.

What do others think? I'm interested in hearing different views.

drakulie
04-09-2009, 06:36 AM
Blame it on the USTA.

coloskier
04-09-2009, 09:15 AM
No racist comment meant here, but the USTA need to stop spending all it's money for inner city kids, and instead take the "Best" kids, no matter where they come from. Most of the top rated kids that are ranked high got there despite not getting any money from the USTA. So, either you have to be from a rich family, or get money from the USTA because you live in the inner city. The kids between these two groups don't get squat. Also, they need to stop taking the kids that are ranked highly in the 14's, but have a game that does not translate to high level tennis in upper age groups. Instead they need to look at the kids who have the type of game that will be successful later on, instead of taking kids that win by hitting/pushing high deep floaters, that eventually get killed once they reach the 16's and 18's. Take the kids that play an aggressive game, that just need a little tweaking to their games, instead of the higher ranked kids that would have to totally remake their games to handle the power in the upper age groups.

Nadalfan89
04-09-2009, 09:19 AM
Think USTA is doing a bad job? When was the last time you saw a Canadian in the top 20?

drakulie
04-09-2009, 09:25 AM
^^^ One of the problems with the USTA IS the USTA. Like you said, they spend money where they shouldn't be spending money.

Secondly, contrary to what they say>> they don't develop anyone. Development is done by individual coaches such Macci, Solomon, Diego, etc, and other individual coaches throughou the US without any assistance from the USTA. However, they always step in at some point and take over the "development of these youth", and the kid falls apart. They need to put more money into scholarships so kids with potential could attend some of the above mentioned places, and many more like them throughout the US, and step aside until they themsleves get thier own house in order and put together a good development program.

One of the things that Bolleteri had over nearly everyone else was that he had the brains to put together a great group of kids ( courier, agassi, etc, etc, etc) and have them compete with one another every day. By doing this, they all became better players. Bolleteri himself didn't necessarily do anything to develop them (they already came into his academy with the tools/technique), but by making them compete with one another hours on end, they all transcended the game.

JRstriker12
04-09-2009, 10:28 AM
^^^ One of the problems with the USTA IS the USTA. Like you said, they spend money where they shouldn't be spending money.

Secondly, contrary to what they say>> they don't develop anyone. Development is done by individual coaches such Macci, Solomon, Diego, etc, and other individual coaches throughou the US without any assistance from the USTA. However, they always step in at some point and take over the "development of these youth", and the kid falls apart. They need to put more money into scholarships so kids with potential could attend some of the above mentioned places, and many more like them throughout the US, and step aside until they themsleves get thier own house in order and put together a good development program.

One of the things that Bolleteri had over nearly everyone else was that he had the brains to put together a great group of kids ( courier, agassi, etc, etc, etc) and have them compete with one another every day. By doing this, they all became better players. Bolleteri himself didn't necessarily do anything to develop them (they already came into his academy with the tools/technique), but by making them compete with one another hours on end, they all transcended the game.

Agreed that the USTA has been doing a crappy job. Results don't lie. But at the same time - seems like no one else has had the magic formula.

Where are the next great group of USA players from the IMG academy (Bolleteri) and any of the other coaches that you named?

As for development - isn't that what they are trying to do at Evert's Academy?

drakulie
04-09-2009, 10:33 AM
^^^Problem lies with money.

tennis, as I'm sure you know costs a lot of money, and most of the talented kids out their don't have it. Only ones that are really able to afford the academies I mention are richer kids, and they aren't always necessarily the hungriest>>> if you know what I mean.

The USTA puts money into many of these kids that are already "developed", and often aren't the very best talent out there.

As for Belleteri, not sure if you understood what I meant, but he got lucky. He found Jimmy Arias (by chance), who was already developed, gave him a scholarhsip, and then began providing scholarships to a bunch of other kids who were extremely talented (agassi, courier, and so forth). He made them compete with one another every day for years, and as a result they all made the other ones better. Again, he got lucky.

The last great American player (Roddick), was developed by Macci, as were the Williams sister. Later, the Williams sisters went to Bolleteri and he got the credit, along with richard williams.

heninfan99
04-09-2009, 10:48 AM
Obviously, our best athletes play football and some choose basketball, track & field and X Games. After reading Sampras' book two things stood out. 1. No one forced him to play. His Dad wasn't a
"tennis Dad". 2. He talks about having "the gift". Basically, the US has many athletes who are touched by God they just play other sports. We got lucky with Pete in that he loved tennis. IMHO, in singles tennis you also have to have gifted mind, the pressure is HUGE. You can choke at every turn.

If you have a child that naturally likes tennis then you have to come up with the money for 9-10 years of lessons & etc.

I often like to think how Allen Iverson or Lebron would play if they had chosen tennis. SCARY.
I guess we can do a better job of exposing kids to our wonderful sport. I went from baseball to X Games and discovered tennis later.

CCNM
04-09-2009, 10:52 AM
I've heard that a lot of US kids are turning to golf-possibly because of Tiger Woods.

heninfan99
04-09-2009, 10:58 AM
NICE! I do hope Dancevic gets there though.
Think USTA is doing a bad job? When was the last time you saw a Canadian in the top 20?

adidasman
04-09-2009, 11:04 AM
The bottom line is that US kids aren't hungry enough - they expect to be handed everything. It's probably worse in tennis, where many of the best players are already pretty wealthy and priviledged - so they just don't need it the way so many European and South American kids do. Those players want a good life, and tennis is a great way for them to get it; American kids just don't seem to have that same motivation. And I agree 100% about Nick - he got lucky and caught a wave. Who was the last great player he developed? He's worked with Jankovic some, I know, but that's about it as far as I can recall.

drakulie
04-09-2009, 11:16 AM
^^^Amen. Agree whole-heartedly with your comments about south american / european kids.

Even the russians, who were never known as a power house in tennis are kicking the bejeezus out of everyone.

As for Nick and jankovic>>> again, she was developed in Serbia.

Rabbit
04-09-2009, 11:16 AM
Agreed that the USTA has been doing a crappy job. Results don't lie. But at the same time - seems like no one else has had the magic formula.

At first read, I was going to take issue with this statement and point out that the Spanish and Argentines seem to have found the "magic formula". But the more I considered it, the more I saw I agreed with you.

Back in the 60s, two countries dominated the international tennis scene, Australia and the States. For whatever reason, interest in tennis has waned in the US since the 70s and other countries have filled in the spaces, most notably Sweden, Spain, Argentina, and lately Russia. Today, there is a totally different landsape in the professional ranks.

The one thing that has been consistent though is feet of clay. Every Wimbledon Champion in the Open era grew up on clay until Andre Agassi. Yes, that meant such great S/V players as McEnroe, Edberg, Becker and even Pat Cash. Those guys built their foundation on clay and then developed into attacking players. Roger Federer grew up on clay. Tennis Australia recently commited to converting its junior program to clay. The USTA has missed the boat. The USTA converted to parking lot courts long ago and I think now we are reaping what they sowed.

Ash_Smith
04-09-2009, 11:19 AM
Welcome to my world!!! (well, if you substitute LTA for USTA!) The problem as I see it from a coaches point of view is that the Associations (LTA, USTA etc) think they should be producing the players, starting programmes and initiatives etc. What they should be doing is promoting the game and helping the clubs, tennis facilities, park courts etc. In the UK the LTA has it's own High Performance Centres (Acadamies if you like) where the best kids can go to play and study and live...so they take a kid who is doing really well, getting results and working hard and move them miles away from their family and friends, take them out of the environment in which they have been successful and away from the coach who got them there in the first place. Make sense?

I do a fair bit out in Spain and the system there is totally different, all the acadamies are private (no funding from RFET) and the players work with the coaching team for as long as they see fit, not when RFET (or whoever) tells them they should change.

In fairness, top 10 players are born not made. You need to look at players between 500 - 10 to see the measure of a "system" of producing players and currently France, Spain, Argentina etc lead they way. How, they have excellent coach education systems which give the coaches the tools to do their jobs and they trust them to get on with it and the Associations don't interfere with the players

Just my thoughts...

Casey10s
04-09-2009, 01:34 PM
Here are my thoughts on US tennis.

1. Unfortunately, the USTA is a big organization and it needs money to keep it going. I have some friends who children are highly ranked. From their comments, the USTA is looking how to make money first. Therefore their decisions are first - money-based. They fund certain group of players (e.g., inner city) because the return on investment (donations, government funds, goodwill, etc.) in high. Taking a middle class kid with talent and investing in him does not provide a good return even though the kid may be a good pro with the right involvement. USTA has to decide to develop top players and not be a money machine.

2. Get the parents out of tennis. From talking to my friends and juniors through the years, the junior game from the parents view is to get a high ranking to get noticed. The parents are hoping to get a scholarship to offset the costs of all the tennis lessons. There are a good number of parents that will have their children enter certain tournaments and avoid others so that their child does not have to face certain competition where they may lose and lose badly. You do not see the Agassi, Sampras, Courier, and Chang mentality where they would all go to the same tournament to see how they stood up against other top players. You have to have the top players playing each other to see where the talent lies. Good results by avoiding players may hide deficiencies that show up when they have to play the best.

3. The rewards for being a top player in tennis is nowhere what is is in other sports. The player ranked around 33rd on the PGA Tour (does not include money made at tournaments outside of the PGA) made more money that all but the top 3 on the men's tour last year. Journeyman pro baseball and basketball players are making more than all but a few of the men's tennis players. Getting the top athletes to play tennis in the US is tough because the payback in tennis is nowhere near as great as in other sports (Look at the money that A-Rod, MJ, Lebron, Kobe, Clemens, Tiger, and other top athletes made/make as compared to Federer, Sampras, Nadal, McEnroe, etc.). A top athlete is not going into tennis in the US until they can make a lot more money at it. The minimum salaries in pro sports in the US is more than all but the top 75 or 90 in pro tennis for the men's. Need to get more money in tennis before the better athletes start to play it over other sports. A top tennis teacher who regularly sends kids to college told me that he just doesn't get the top athletes because they play other sports. He still puts out very good players but just think what he could if got a whole other level of athletes.

To sum up my ramblings.
1. USTA has money first and player development second.
2. Need to get the top juniors playing each other consistently and reduce parent involvement in the career management.
3. Need more money to get the better athletes.

egn
04-09-2009, 02:16 PM
Well when a majority of America does not watch or care about tennis how do you expect people to start playing it and if nobody is playing it and kids would rather be playing baseball and basketball and get good at said sport why would they switch to a new sport. Tennis also is not as easy to pick up as basketball and baseball, there are more rules, it requires more practice and you need to find someone to play with. Basketball and baseball when it is the right time of year you can just waltz into any park and play..tennis needs a following before it can get people playing and interested enough to pursue it.

Caloi
04-09-2009, 02:32 PM
Well when a majority of America does not watch or care about tennis how do you expect people to start playing it and if nobody is playing it and kids would rather be playing baseball and basketball and get good at said sport why would they switch to a new sport. Tennis also is not as easy to pick up as basketball and baseball, there are more rules, it requires more practice and you need to find someone to play with. Basketball and baseball when it is the right time of year you can just waltz into any park and play..tennis needs a following before it can get people playing and interested enough to pursue it.

Right...it's easier to find 17 other people to get a pickup game of baseball than it is to find 1 other person to go hit a tennis ball. :|

egn
04-09-2009, 02:35 PM
Right...it's easier to find 17 other people to get a pickup game of baseball than it is to find 1 other person to go hit a tennis ball. :|

Who plays pick up baseball with 18 people? And in most parks in America from spring-fall there are people playing baseball out there. Forget it you have a better chance in America playing soccer somedays then tennis you need to know someone who plays tennis, very few times can you walk on a court and find someone just there like hey play with me. At least in urban areas.

JRstriker12
04-09-2009, 05:39 PM
All around good comments guys. Good to see a good discussion going on.


The bottom line is that US kids aren't hungry enough - they expect to be handed everything. It's probably worse in tennis, where many of the best players are already pretty wealthy and priviledged - so they just don't need it the way so many European and South American kids do. Those players want a good life, and tennis is a great way for them to get it; American kids just don't seem to have that same motivation. And I agree 100% about Nick - he got lucky and caught a wave. Who was the last great player he developed? He's worked with Jankovic some, I know, but that's about it as far as I can recall.

Hunger is a factor, but I wonder how big a factor?

Nadal seems to come from a fairly well off family - maybe not rich, but maybe upper middle class. His uncle does well enough that he doesn't take money from Nadal for coaching (according to tennis.com). How about Fed? Maybe not so well off, but I doubt he was playing to get his family out of poverty.

True - the Russians and Eastren Europeans are probably more aligned with the hunger-rags-to-riches story.

But, hunger can come from other sources. Sometimes I think he rags to riches factor can be over-rated.

JRstriker12
04-09-2009, 05:44 PM
At first read, I was going to take issue with this statement and point out that the Spanish and Argentines seem to have found the "magic formula". But the more I considered it, the more I saw I agreed with you.

Back in the 60s, two countries dominated the international tennis scene, Australia and the States. For whatever reason, interest in tennis has waned in the US since the 70s and other countries have filled in the spaces, most notably Sweden, Spain, Argentina, and lately Russia. Today, there is a totally different landsape in the professional ranks.

The one thing that has been consistent though is feet of clay. Every Wimbledon Champion in the Open era grew up on clay until Andre Agassi. Yes, that meant such great S/V players as McEnroe, Edberg, Becker and even Pat Cash. Those guys built their foundation on clay and then developed into attacking players. Roger Federer grew up on clay. Tennis Australia recently commited to converting its junior program to clay. The USTA has missed the boat. The USTA converted to parking lot courts long ago and I think now we are reaping what they sowed.

Good comments rabbit.

When I meant the Magic formula - I was talking more about these coaches in the US. In the article, they talk to Fisher, Lansdorp, and Segura - my point is while these guys have harsh words for the USTA, I haven't seen them produce any recent, extremely promising US tennis talent (maybe except Lansdorp who seems to work with a lot of current pros - but no one new that I can think of).

Moving to clay is a good idea, and it looks like USTA is moving more towards that route.

JRstriker12
04-09-2009, 05:48 PM
Right...it's easier to find 17 other people to get a pickup game of baseball than it is to find 1 other person to go hit a tennis ball. :|

Sandlot baseball only requires 2 or more people. As a little kid, I spent a lot of time just throwing and catching baseball with one or two friends. We used to play tennis-baseball - using a tennis ball and a tennis racket as a bat - in the streets with only 3-5 people using modified rules. - Used a tennis ball since we were less likely to break anything (windows-cars-etc.)

Mansewerz
04-09-2009, 05:52 PM
^^^ One of the problems with the USTA IS the USTA. Like you said, they spend money where they shouldn't be spending money.

Secondly, contrary to what they say>> they don't develop anyone. Development is done by individual coaches such Macci, Solomon, Diego, etc, and other individual coaches throughou the US without any assistance from the USTA. However, they always step in at some point and take over the "development of these youth", and the kid falls apart. They need to put more money into scholarships so kids with potential could attend some of the above mentioned places, and many more like them throughout the US, and step aside until they themsleves get thier own house in order and put together a good development program.

One of the things that Bolleteri had over nearly everyone else was that he had the brains to put together a great group of kids ( courier, agassi, etc, etc, etc) and have them compete with one another every day. By doing this, they all became better players. Bolleteri himself didn't necessarily do anything to develop them (they already came into his academy with the tools/technique), but by making them compete with one another hours on end, they all transcended the game.

And Bolleteri isn't a tennis genius. He hires many coaches and trainers. He is the discipline and leader.

Also, the USTA needs to try different things. Too many US players are cookie cutter players.

Mansewerz
04-09-2009, 05:58 PM
^^^ One of the problems with the USTA IS the USTA. Like you said, they spend money where they shouldn't be spending money.

Secondly, contrary to what they say>> they don't develop anyone. Development is done by individual coaches such Macci, Solomon, Diego, etc, and other individual coaches throughou the US without any assistance from the USTA. However, they always step in at some point and take over the "development of these youth", and the kid falls apart. They need to put more money into scholarships so kids with potential could attend some of the above mentioned places, and many more like them throughout the US, and step aside until they themsleves get thier own house in order and put together a good development program.

One of the things that Bolleteri had over nearly everyone else was that he had the brains to put together a great group of kids ( courier, agassi, etc, etc, etc) and have them compete with one another every day. By doing this, they all became better players. Bolleteri himself didn't necessarily do anything to develop them (they already came into his academy with the tools/technique), but by making them compete with one another hours on end, they all transcended the game.

At first read, I was going to take issue with this statement and point out that the Spanish and Argentines seem to have found the "magic formula". But the more I considered it, the more I saw I agreed with you.

Back in the 60s, two countries dominated the international tennis scene, Australia and the States. For whatever reason, interest in tennis has waned in the US since the 70s and other countries have filled in the spaces, most notably Sweden, Spain, Argentina, and lately Russia. Today, there is a totally different landsape in the professional ranks.

The one thing that has been consistent though is feet of clay. Every Wimbledon Champion in the Open era grew up on clay until Andre Agassi. Yes, that meant such great S/V players as McEnroe, Edberg, Becker and even Pat Cash. Those guys built their foundation on clay and then developed into attacking players. Roger Federer grew up on clay. Tennis Australia recently commited to converting its junior program to clay. The USTA has missed the boat. The USTA converted to parking lot courts long ago and I think now we are reaping what they sowed.

You may have a very, very good point here. I recall another poster mentioning that clay should be the teaching ground. I had a rebuttal saying an ideal teaching ground would be grass, clay, and hard.

I think the reason clay is so good at developing players is it works the second most important part of tennis: footwork!

lilycolefan
04-09-2009, 06:01 PM
The bottom line is that US kids aren't hungry enough - they expect to be handed everything. It's probably worse in tennis, where many of the best players are already pretty wealthy and priviledged - so they just don't need it the way so many European and South American kids do. Those players want a good life, and tennis is a great way for them to get it; American kids just don't seem to have that same motivation. And I agree 100% about Nick - he got lucky and caught a wave. Who was the last great player he developed? He's worked with Jankovic some, I know, but that's about it as far as I can recall.
The kids that are successful in juniors from Europe are also rich. I've been to several countries in Europe. I remember going to a tennis club in Serbia and most of the kids that were any good there had rich parents. And most of the Russian juniors that are playing in academies come from very wealthy families as well. The problem is the structure in US tennis. In Eastern European countries they have clubs where people grow up playing w/e sport for there club. Thet get cheap coaching and get to grow up and develop along with the other kids from that club. Yes, the coaching is not world class, but it is good enough for kids to begin competing nationally. Plus the kids get to constantly compete with other kids at their level. This way it is easy for kids to become decent and be discovered by scouts at national tournaments or ITF tournaments. It's almost impossible to become decent in the U.S. unless you're rich. Especially if you live in the northern half of the U.S. It would cost $20,000 a year just to be able to get coaching, play inside regularly during the winter, and travel to tournaments.

Challenger
04-09-2009, 06:28 PM
The bottom line is that US kids aren't hungry enough - they expect to be handed everything. It's probably worse in tennis, where many of the best players are already pretty wealthy and priviledged - so they just don't need it the way so many European and South American kids do. Those players want a good life, and tennis is a great way for them to get it; American kids just don't seem to have that same motivation. And I agree 100% about Nick - he got lucky and caught a wave. Who was the last great player he developed? He's worked with Jankovic some, I know, but that's about it as far as I can recall.

Well, then how do you explain American players in the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc? If U.S. kids aren't "hungry" enough, how is it that the lack of developing talent is apparent in tennis but not in the other sports?

I think it's like a previous poster said...there's just better options here in the States when it comes to sports. If you're an athletically gifted youth, chances are you'll probably be more inclined to play in one of the more glamorous and lucrative sports rather than a minor one such as tennis.

deltox
04-09-2009, 06:41 PM
You may have a very, very good point here. I recall another poster mentioning that clay should be the teaching ground. I had a rebuttal saying an ideal teaching ground would be grass, clay, and hard.

I think the reason clay is so good at developing players is it works the second most important part of tennis: footwork!

all of our local country clubs have both clay and hard courts in this area, but all the free city parks are strictly hardcourts.

maverick66
04-09-2009, 06:42 PM
its financial. if you play football or basketball in school all you have to do is sign up and most schools will provide you with equipment. if you play tennis its 100% on you and your family to pay for everything. you have to pay for equipment, coaching, travel, and fitness trainer at a high level. that adds up very fast. on top of that the usta highers the dumbest people they can find becuase they come cheap. no established top coach will work with them because they know what they are.

deltox
04-09-2009, 06:43 PM
[QUOTE=Challenger;3304928]Well, then how do you explain American players in the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc?

2 of those 3 sports listed have literal size requirments in most cases.

Toxicmilk
04-09-2009, 06:46 PM
just wondering, how many ITF tournies are in the US compared to elsewhere?

lilycolefan
04-09-2009, 06:54 PM
just wondering, how many ITF tournies are in the US compared to elsewhere?

It's not how many that's the problem, it's just that they're difficult to travel to. In Europe, everything is closer together so it's easier and cheaper to travel to other places.

BreakPoint
04-09-2009, 07:25 PM
Think USTA is doing a bad job? When was the last time you saw a Canadian in the top 20?
What's the population of Canada compared to the U.S.? And the weather is not exactly conducive to playing tennis, is it?

Toxicmilk
04-09-2009, 07:31 PM
It's not how many that's the problem, it's just that they're difficult to travel to. In Europe, everything is closer together so it's easier and cheaper to travel to other places.

Alright, good point...but again, I was just wondering.

Rabbit
04-10-2009, 06:39 AM
Good comments rabbit.

When I meant the Magic formula - I was talking more about these coaches in the US. In the article, they talk to Fisher, Lansdorp, and Segura - my point is while these guys have harsh words for the USTA, I haven't seen them produce any recent, extremely promising US tennis talent (maybe except Lansdorp who seems to work with a lot of current pros - but no one new that I can think of).

Moving to clay is a good idea, and it looks like USTA is moving more towards that route.

My bad! You're right there as well. The only magic formula NBollitieri has had is the competition at his academy. Recruit the best players you can find and let them play each other daily. It can only help them.

Rabbit
04-10-2009, 06:49 AM
You may have a very, very good point here. I recall another poster mentioning that clay should be the teaching ground. I had a rebuttal saying an ideal teaching ground would be grass, clay, and hard.

I think the reason clay is so good at developing players is it works the second most important part of tennis: footwork!

I would disagree with you slightly. The reason clay is such a good training ground (pun intended) is that it develops groundstrokes and consistency. Younger players really aren't ready to come to the net as they lack the physical size necessary to volley and cover the net effectively.

Playing on clay then gives a youngster a great foundation for their game. As they attain both size and strength then they have a game built on keeping the ball deep and to the corners and they understand how to construct a point on clay. The natural progression then is for them to learn the transition game, when again they are big/strong enough, and being serve and volley.

This was illustrated in Joel Drucker's book Jimmy Connors Saved My Life. In the book, Drucker broke down from a career standpoint the famous/infamous match between Connors and Krickstein at the US Open. Drucker explained that while Connors had two years in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Pancho Segura and hit the tour when he was 19 - 20, Krickstein was on tour at 15 - 16. The two years Connors spent working with Segura, and I think some with Gonzalez, did several things. It gave him the final touches on his game, transition and net, it allowed him to grow into his game and define it, and it gave him more of an outsider feel to the game. By contrast, Krickstein was taught how to run around his backhand and blast forehands.

Drucker goes on to say, and I wholeheartedly agree, that in the match when things got tough, Krickstein's game broke down. When that happened, Krickstein had no plan "B" and even if he did wasn't capable of executing. Krickstein, along with Arias, was a 1st generation hardcourt grown NB Academy style player. And in my view, the definition of 1 dimensional tennis. Please note that I don't mean the term in a derraugatory way, but for the professional game, it means that the player can be exploited if his one big strength is broken down.

sureshs
04-10-2009, 09:41 AM
I guess we need to force American kids to drop out of school, like Fed or Nadal, and give up education and everything else for a probabilistically negligible chance of making it to a pro level where the earnings are actually more than the expenses.

canuckfan
04-10-2009, 12:55 PM
Think USTA is doing a bad job? When was the last time you saw a Canadian in the top 20?

What's the population of Canada compared to the U.S.? And the weather is not exactly conducive to playing tennis, is it?

Why must you be so logical Breakpoint? Since Canada borders the US then we can ignore all other factors, no? Thanks for coming out Nadalfan89, better luck next time.

egn
04-10-2009, 01:09 PM
I guess we need to force American kids to drop out of school, like Fed or Nadal, and give up education and everything else for a probabilistically negligible chance of making it to a pro level where the earnings are actually more than the expenses.

Neither dropped out of school. Nadal actually was forced to choose between tennis and soccer so he could finish school. In Europe a lot of secondary schools finish by age 16 at least that is how it works in UK and Germany from what I know, so really maybe it is a disadvantage for our athletes to be in school until 18. Also a lot of our better high school tennis players never get involved in anything outside of high school tennis and then go straight into college tennis and by the time they come out they can't really make a huge dent on the professional circuit. Those four years in college are the years where most players rise to the top and show progress (see Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, Agassi, Sampras for example.) If guys like Isner and a handful of other tried to go pro instead of college first we might have seen different stories. Joining the circuit at 22 is harder than at 17 or 18 you have a lot more work to do and have to climb the rankings still. Which means a lot of work, and little motivation to stay on the tour. Very few new American pros are young..unless of course you point to Donald Young.

Sam Querrey might be the next hope for American making the top 10. He is showing success and according to that non existant race is the 24th best player this year..though we will see where he finishes, but I think he can push his way up the rankings and get close or hang around the low top 10.

Leublu tennis
04-10-2009, 01:15 PM
^^^Even the russians, who were never known as a power house in tennis are kicking the bejeezus out of everyone.

I was in Russia 20 years ago and stopped at one of the big tennis academies in Moscow. You should have seen those 8 and 10 year olds, girls and boys, hitting the bejeasus out of the ball.

sureshs
04-10-2009, 01:29 PM
Neither dropped out of school. Nadal actually was forced to choose between tennis and soccer so he could finish school. In Europe a lot of secondary schools finish by age 16 at least that is how it works in UK and Germany from what I know, so really maybe it is a disadvantage for our athletes to be in school until 18.

Correct, they studied till the age of 16 or 10th grade. Federer was in a special tennis school the last 2 years, which I suspect meant more tennis than school.

But from the point of view of high schools in US, they are dropouts. In countries which have a secondary system (like Europe and India), you will find a sharp decline in those continuing after the 10th grade. The system was meant to help those who wanted to get into the workforce early to support their parents with a vocational or trade job. But even in those countries, the push is to make it a 12 year straight system like the US.

So, at least for Fed, his regular education sort of stopped at 14, and formally ended at 16. That is a high school dropout when compared to US students, which was my point.

Leublu tennis
04-10-2009, 01:40 PM
Well, then how do you explain American players in the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc? If U.S. kids aren't "hungry" enough, how is it that the lack of developing talent is apparent in tennis but not in the other sports?

Aren't those sports dominated by blacks? NBA and NFL sure are.

sureshs
04-10-2009, 01:45 PM
Well, then how do you explain American players in the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc? If U.S. kids aren't "hungry" enough, how is it that the lack of developing talent is apparent in tennis but not in the other sports?


Those leagues are primarily domestic with a few foreign recruits, aren't they? How can you compare them with the ATP or WTA which are truly global?

egn
04-10-2009, 01:45 PM
Aren't those sports dominated by blacks? NBA and NFL sure are.

Ehh I want to attempt do avoid using racism in this thread but the NBA yes but the NFL actually is probably mixed. You have african-americans at positions like running back and wide reciever and whites playing quaterback usually more and the rest are a split it is whoever is huge enough to play it.

NBA...ehh you have Steve Nash, Derrick Lee, Dirk Nowitziki, that guy on the bulls who is from eastern europe whose name i can't spell for the life of me...and a handful more who are really good..you have Yao Ming. lol.

egn
04-10-2009, 01:57 PM
Those leagues are primarily domestic with a few foreign recruits, aren't they? How can you compare them with the ATP or WTA which are truly global?

Good point the mlb, nba and nfl are america with the random candian team thrown in for kicks. The NFL is actually probably laughed at globally as nobody plays american football really anywhere else. They tried a EUFL or something like that once I remember and I am pretty sure it tanked. Baseball is big in the western hemisphere but the mlb is the hotspot, the latin american leauges are poor etc and the asian leauges are not as good, although the world baseball classic would lead you to differ (World baseball classic shows different results because players play for teams they are born in, a lot of players do not participate in it and prefer to go to spring training to warm up and it is seen as exhibition and not that important in America.) but when asian players come to america the trend is usually most of them fail. Sure Matzusaka had a good season last year, but only Suzuki has had overwhelming success. Hideki Matsui is decent, he gets his attention because he is a yankee but he is a slightly above average outfielder and let us not forget how we have all forgotten about Hideki Arabu who was supposed to be the greatest thing ever..but he failed.. Basketball is picking up in parts of europe now but it has ways to go before it is international level and the Americans still are the biggest nation where it is played and it shows

Gold medal winners in basketball in it's existance in olympics
36- USA
48- USA
52- USA
56- USA
60- USA
64- USA
68- USA
72- Soviet Union (USA got 2nd)
76- USA
80- Yugoslavia (USA did not participate)
84- USA
88- Soviet Union (USA got 3rd)
92- USA
96- USA
00- USA
04- Argentina (USA got 3rd)
08- USA

So really it is an American sport and the 04 loss was a fluke stupid American team got way too cocky, but the American's outside of the year they did not participate have been a medalist in every single basketball at the olympics

Rabbit
04-10-2009, 05:28 PM
I guess we need to force American kids to drop out of school, like Fed or Nadal, and give up education and everything else for a probabilistically negligible chance of making it to a pro level where the earnings are actually more than the expenses.

I don't know how playing on clay equates to dropping out of school, but ok...

And, do you really think that all the players of various sports in the NCAA Div I - Div III finish their four years of eligibility with degrees that mean anything? If I remember correctly, in all the years that Nolan Richardson was the head basketball coach at Arkansas, he graduated exactly zero (0) players that he awarded scholarships to.

sureshs
04-10-2009, 05:36 PM
I don't know how playing on clay equates to dropping out of school, but ok...

And, do you really think that all the players of various sports in the NCAA Div I - Div III finish their four years of eligibility with degrees that mean anything? If I remember correctly, in all the years that Nolan Richardson was the head basketball coach at Arkansas, he graduated exactly zero (0) players that he awarded scholarships to.

I didn't say anything about clay. Maybe you are confusing with someone else.

US universities are much stricter now. They are spending a lot of money paying for tutoring their star athletes outside regular classes to make sure they get the minimal GPA. They actually budget the money for this and it is a big chunk!

egn
04-10-2009, 05:45 PM
I didn't say anything about clay. Maybe you are confusing with someone else.

US universities are much stricter now. They are spending a lot of money paying for tutoring their star athletes outside regular classes to make sure they get the minimal GPA. They actually budget the money for this and it is a big chunk!

I think he was trying to say american tennis players struggle on clay and that maybe it is not the school that is the issue that america needs to work on developing players that can perform on more than just hard courts and on clay as well.

Patrick_St
04-10-2009, 05:57 PM
I don't know how playing on clay equates to dropping out of school, but ok...

And, do you really think that all the players of various sports in the NCAA Div I - Div III finish their four years of eligibility with degrees that mean anything? If I remember correctly, in all the years that Nolan Richardson was the head basketball coach at Arkansas, he graduated exactly zero (0) players that he awarded scholarships to.

What an uninformed statement. Only 3% of student athletes go on to play professional level sports after college. The vast majority do indeed graduate with a degree and go into a different career field. The main reason why there aren't as many U.S. kids making it into elite ranks of tennis at this point in time is because the most athletic kids are more than likely either encouraged by parents/peers to play basketball/football/baseball instead, or they are more likely to play basketball, or football, or baseball themselves as they are the most popular sports in the U.S. and get the most media attention.

To those who say that the MLB, NBA, and NFL are domestic leagues, that is simply wrong. The leagues are simply in the U.S., but since the opportunity to make the most money is in those leagues, they attract players from all over the globe. Baseball is dominated by the Dominican Republic, and other central american countries, the NBA has players from all over the globe from every continent except Antarctica, the NHL has almost no U.S. players even though it is mainly based in the U.S. Hockey isn't quite as popular as basketball, or football, or baseball though. As for the NFL, I would say that it is probably the professional sports league based in the U.S. with the highest percentage of U.S. born players.

Leublu tennis
04-10-2009, 11:18 PM
Ehh I want to attempt do avoid using racism in this thread but the NBA yes but the NFL actually is probably mixed.
Racism? Hardly. No player is admitted into a pro sport based on some kind of minority advantage. Blacks have, not only dominated the NBA, they have changed the game completely. I don't follow it any more but do look at a game once in a while. And the most glaring difference is that stuffing the ball in the basket is the height of achievement. Rebounds is the most important number and I don't think they even keep track of assists any more.

Wasn't there a movie something like White Men Can't Jump?

JRstriker12
04-11-2009, 05:37 AM
Racism? Hardly. No player is admitted into a pro sport based on some kind of minority advantage. Blacks have, not only dominated the NBA, they have changed the game completely. I don't follow it any more but do look at a game once in a while. And the most glaring difference is that stuffing the ball in the basket is the height of achievement. Rebounds is the most important number and I don't think they even keep track of assists any more.

Wasn't there a movie something like White Men Can't Jump?

1. Yes the game has evolved. Your point? Besides players, there are coaches in the mix too. Yes, it has been dominated by African-American players, but that is quickly changing as the sport is growing world-wide.
2. Getting the ball into the basket has always been the goal. Dunking is a high percentage shot if you can do it.
3. Rebounds are very important.... most important? Probably not.
4. Jason Kidd just passed Magic Johnson for third on the all-time assist list - so yes they do keep track of assists and they still do pass the ball.
5. Yes- it was a comedy.
6. This seems to have very little to do with my original post about US tennis.

Rabbit
04-11-2009, 06:16 AM
What an uninformed statement. Only 3% of student athletes go on to play professional level sports after college. The vast majority do indeed graduate with a degree and go into a different career field.

And where exactly is my statement "uninformed"?

And, do you really think that all the players of various sports in the NCAA Div I - Div III finish their four years of eligibility with degrees that mean anything?

Are you saying that any and all who compete in college athletics graduate with degrees that are meaningful and provide them employment? I said nothing about making the jump from college to professional sports. My statement clearly indicated that just going to college or getting a degree and competing in athletics is no guarantee of competence. The statement to which I responded indicated that we should encourage kids to drop out of school to play tennis. My response was that playing sports and going to college is no guarantee or indication of competence in your educational discilpline even if the student/athlete "graduates".

sureshs
04-11-2009, 06:57 AM
I think he was trying to say american tennis players struggle on clay and that maybe it is not the school that is the issue that america needs to work on developing players that can perform on more than just hard courts and on clay as well.

That is why the USTA is now focusing on clay in its high performance centers, sending juniors to Spain, etc. It is a high priority for Higueras, the high perf director.

But all said and done, a 17 or 18 year old who is draining his energy in school, homework and exams is never going to match the intensity of someone who just plays tennis, during these 2 critical years, unless they have exceptional physical attributes, like Kobe or Michael Phelps. For two average physique boys playing a not-so-demanding game like tennis, the one who works harder wins.

snowpuppy
04-11-2009, 09:44 AM
Tennis, compare to basketball, baseball, and football is like day and night. As a kid, interests in these sports were raised by media (TV and ad's) and on the playground. In school, gym 9 out of 10 as either basketball, baseball and football and after school or weekends a child that stops by the park will most likely join a pick up game of baseball and basketball.

Availability of places for tennis or the more main stream sport isn't even as important as the culture on these grounds. Public basketball courts, baseball fields are flooded with youth while what I get to see in NYC public tennis courts are more college grads and adults. To play basketball as an adult in the city you would have to go indoors to avoid battling with kids while tennis the public courts are dominated by adults glaring at kids that are mis-hitting balls to their courts and driving them away if they don't have paid tennis permits (I think this is only a NYC thing, but it is also a block in welcoming people for tennis). Parents who want tennis for their children end up bringing them to private clubs.

The path to professional big sport is through schools but for tennis oddly enough it is away from school. Kids brought up playing the private clubs that want to turn pro usually end up quitting school to join academies while in other sports they are gunning to get that scholarship to join the NCAA.

What I don't get is why don't the USTA try to support tennis by supporting schools to have tennis programs. I mean sponsor teams, give them access to equipment and facilities and organize school competitions. Especially with the current economy funding is getting cut from "extras" such as phys-ed the USTA can come in, be the savior, and expanding youth tennis at the same time. It seems to me in all the fanaticism in getting top ranking American tennis players in the world, the USTA is now more content in breeding tennis players rather than spreading the community.

egn
04-11-2009, 09:52 AM
What I don't get is why don't the USTA try to support tennis by supporting schools to have tennis programs. I mean sponsor teams, give them access to equipment and facilities and organize school competitions. Especially with the current economy funding is getting cut from "extras" such as phys-ed the USTA can come in, be the savior, and expanding youth tennis at the same time. It seems to me in all the fanaticism in getting top ranking American tennis players in the world, the USTA is now more content in breeding tennis players rather than spreading the community.

Yea I second that if the USTA took over managing maybe the high school tennis programs maybe more people would be interested. The fact is youth tennis in school and outside of school is seperate. Most school tennis players are not interested in tennis because they do it offseason for another support, do it as excerise or frankly don't know how to get into the tennis system. The few schools that have the good tennis programs in America have coaches who know a bit about the USTA but a majority of high schools in America the kids play tennis there and then they are done. The USTA needs to get more involved with the high school tennis instead of just praying the prodigy kid walks through the door in one of their many youth tournaments.

sureshs
04-11-2009, 11:38 AM
Yea I second that if the USTA took over managing maybe the high school tennis programs maybe more people would be interested. The fact is youth tennis in school and outside of school is seperate. Most school tennis players are not interested in tennis because they do it offseason for another support, do it as excerise or frankly don't know how to get into the tennis system. The few schools that have the good tennis programs in America have coaches who know a bit about the USTA but a majority of high schools in America the kids play tennis there and then they are done. The USTA needs to get more involved with the high school tennis instead of just praying the prodigy kid walks through the door in one of their many youth tournaments.

They are involved in promoting no cut teams and so on. What you are asking for is financial involvement. Do the NBA/NFL/MLB pay for high school sports?

egn
04-11-2009, 11:44 AM
They are involved in promoting no cut teams and so on. What you are asking for is financial involvement. Do the NBA/NFL/MLB pay for high school sports?

Not saying pay but the NBA,NFL and MLB have all sponsored various events for high school students, or at least in my area they have. The point is why should the USTA try to be the NBA, NFL and MLB, organizations which have huge following, the USTA obviously needs to try a little harder as tennis does not have the huge following the other three sports have in america.

tangerine
04-11-2009, 11:52 AM
The bottom line is that US kids aren't hungry enough - they expect to be handed everything. It's probably worse in tennis, where many of the best players are already pretty wealthy and priviledged - so they just don't need it the way so many European and South American kids do. Those players want a good life, and tennis is a great way for them to get it; American kids just don't seem to have that same motivation.
I love the American-kids-don't-have-motivation argument. It completely flies in the face of America's high productivity and success in sports in general. If American kids are lazy and unmotivated then why do they keep winning all these Olympic medals? Just because tennis is losing ground in the US (and has been for years) doesn't mean an entire generation of kids are lazy losers. Nice logic.

so they just don't need it the way so many European and South American kids do.
LOL. Europeans are dirt poor now. I wonder where Rafael Nadal got his hunger from, since it didn't come from his rich family obviously.

Rabbit
04-11-2009, 12:54 PM
I love the American-kids-don't-have-motivation argument.

Didn't Justine Henin open an academy in the US for just that reason? American kids have motivation?

lilycolefan
04-11-2009, 01:09 PM
I love the American-kids-don't-have-motivation argument. It completely flies in the face of America's high productivity and success in sports in general. If American kids are lazy and unmotivated then why do they keep winning all these Olympic medals? Just because tennis is losing ground in the US (and has been for years) doesn't mean an entire generation of kids are lazy losers. Nice logic.


LOL. Europeans are dirt poor now. I wonder where Rafael Nadal got his hunger from, since it didn't come from his rich family obviously.

Agreed. Look at Djokovic, his parents owned several restaurants and they built him a freaking tennis court to play on at one of their ski resorts. Yeah, they sound dirt poor to me. There are some exceptions like Sharapova and Kuznetsova but look at the Williams Sisters, they were poor as well and they're American.

egn
04-11-2009, 01:28 PM
Racism? Hardly. No player is admitted into a pro sport based on some kind of minority advantage. Blacks have, not only dominated the NBA, they have changed the game completely. I don't follow it any more but do look at a game once in a while. And the most glaring difference is that stuffing the ball in the basket is the height of achievement. Rebounds is the most important number and I don't think they even keep track of assists any more.

Wasn't there a movie something like White Men Can't Jump?

They keep track of assists. Soley because of Steve Nash and Jason Kidd.

tomas9848
04-11-2009, 02:02 PM
What happen to Young?

Patrick_St
04-11-2009, 05:53 PM
Actually, after looking at the amount of U.S. born players in the top 100 of the ATP (10) I have come to the conclusion that the U.S. really isn't even at a loss in developing strong young tennis players. The most players in the top 100 from any one country is Spain with 14, so having 10 players in the top 100 really isn't bad. Sure a U.S. born player has not been considered dominaant or a great player for about a decade now, but you can't expect to always have the world number one in a sport that is as global as tennis is.

RFtennis
04-11-2009, 06:07 PM
If the kids a very good player he can get a scholarship into any academy even if they are very poor.

sureshs
04-11-2009, 07:06 PM
Didn't Justine Henin open an academy in the US for just that reason? American kids have motivation?

I agree that American kids have motivation. And the right kind of balanced motivation, not the one-dimensional academic motivation so prevalent in Asian countries.

I don't agree that this is the only reason that Justine opened Sixth Sense. The main reason is that America has rich kids and attracts rich kids from other countries and Florida is an established tennis magnet.

maverick66
04-11-2009, 08:59 PM
If the kids a very good player he can get a scholarship into any academy even if they are very poor.

not true.

on top of that how are they supposed to get good without paying for coaching and travel. they would have to have some kind of results in tournaments to get a scholarship. most players on scholarship that i met were from a middle class family. they were not poor but couldnt pay the thousands of dollars academies demand.

coloskier
04-12-2009, 03:07 PM
not true.

on top of that how are they supposed to get good without paying for coaching and travel. they would have to have some kind of results in tournaments to get a scholarship. most players on scholarship that i met were from a middle class family. they were not poor but couldn't pay the thousands of dollars academies demand.

Agreed. As an assistant coach of a top 30 girls 18 player I can guarantee you that you have to have money. Yes, you can get a full ride to an academy, but what costs more than anything is travel, entry fees, etc. Only a very limited amount of juniors get their travel paid for, if there are any at all, unlike Europe and Russia.

sondraj
04-12-2009, 03:27 PM
The bottom line is that US kids aren't hungry enough - they expect to be handed everything. It's probably worse in tennis, where many of the best players are already pretty wealthy and priviledged - so they just don't need it the way so many European and South American kids do. Those players want a good life, and tennis is a great way for them to get it; American kids just don't seem to have that same motivation. And I agree 100% about Nick - he got lucky and caught a wave. Who was the last great player he developed? He's worked with Jankovic some, I know, but that's about it as far as I can recall.

That's the biggest BS i've heard in a long time. I'm american and I work and go to school with no help from anyone but me. The problem is that tennis isnt that huge of a popular sport when it comes to children thinking in terms of making a career out of it. Most of our sports here you can play in school and get noticed you don't have to pay out s**t loads of money to play it and maybe make it in the pro arena. So you see if we american kids we're so damn rich more of them would actually be turning pro. But because tennis is a sport where you only get noticed if you have money to get noticed a lot of kids don't because their parents can't pay for it. And as far as those Russian and Serbians that made it big I think people fall to remember in the midst of all their struggles their parents still managed to find the dime to afford their tennis habits

devila
04-14-2009, 12:11 PM
Of course, the US stinks. Rich families don't know that junior tennis exists or that great coaches even develop their kids' talents. I heard Roddick's family saying they had no clue about children's tennis tournaments. It's ironic that they nagged and used him to lessen their fake guilt (poor and disease-strickened people supposedly are cured and made over by the Roddicks) when he brought them huge money and chuckles.

tangerine
04-15-2009, 09:11 AM
More US-tennis-is-dying hysteria from the media. Old. http://i41.tinypic.com/2u73e5w.jpg

OmniscientTennis
04-15-2009, 07:20 PM
When the USA starts televising tennis properly so that kids can see it and become fans and want to play, then the USA will create great players. The kids today don't want to play tennis and ESPN, Tennis Channel, Fox Sports, NBC, CBS, are partly to blame because they dont cover the matches live and do crappy tape delays, not even showing the best matches. They even block out good matches that are taking place live to show them later after they televise women's college basketball or high school basketball and sometimes even old classic sports games.

But, the real problem is the USTA and the ATP that allows these networks to do this. The USTA and ATP should mandate that if a network buys the rights to a match, they have to show it live and in its entirety ... if the network chooses not to air it, another network should be allowed to buy it at a discount and show it.

When the USTA starts taking televising tennis in USA more seriously there will be more good USA players.

JRstriker12
04-15-2009, 08:32 PM
When the USA starts televising tennis properly so that kids can see it and become fans and want to play, then the USA will create great players. The kids today don't want to play tennis and ESPN, Tennis Channel, Fox Sports, NBC, CBS, are partly to blame because they dont cover the matches live and do crappy tape delays, not even showing the best matches. They even block out good matches that are taking place live to show them later after they televise women's college basketball or high school basketball and sometimes even old classic sports games.

But, the real problem is the USTA and the ATP that allows these networks to do this. The USTA and ATP should mandate that if a network buys the rights to a match, they have to show it live and in its entirety ... if the network chooses not to air it, another network should be allowed to buy it at a discount and show it.

When the USTA starts taking televising tennis in USA more seriously there will be more good USA players.

LOL!!!! You over estimate the power of the ATP and USTA. If they put Espn, fox, etc. in a take it or leave it type position, the channels will leave it and take their money with them. FWIW- I think the USTA only plays a role in negotiating time for the USA open

On top of that, ESPN will show whatever draws the most viewers and thus advertising dollars. So if you are wondering why poker, women's b-ball. etc. is on instead of Tennis, it's because they draw more views.

dugger5688
04-16-2009, 01:52 PM
Agree, USTA has issues. It's great to bring more people in to play recreationally, it makes the sport more popular but I haven't seen anything from them in the last 2 years that isn't making the court smaller and using those foam balls.

NickC
04-16-2009, 04:15 PM
IMO, what we really need for tennis to start becoming more popular (more popular for the masses leads to more people playing, and the more people playing the better chance we have of having a athletic kid take up tennis instead of football or baseball) is for the next batches of American kids (Buchanen, the Harrison brothers, etc...) to simply kick the crap out of the tour and win majors. For me, the thought of having an American-dominated Top 10 sounds more appealing than a NBA which is dominated by Serbs, Croats, Spaniards and Argentines. If the American public saw a bunch of American stars consistantly winning majors, I think they'd gravitate towards them as idols and the like rather than look up to some basketball player from Eastern Europe. Tennis is so popular in Spain because they've got a great bunch of players that the youngsters look up to; Nadal, Verdasco, Ferrer, etc... who are consistant Top 10'ers and all go deep in majors. Luering kids from baseball is getting easier by the day, the game is played in increasing numbers by Central Americans and Carribean players, pretty soon the young Americans won't have any American players to look up to. The time is now for the USTA to get their acts together and make the most out of it. As they say "if you build it, they will come".


As for developing the players, that's the easy part. I can think of a really practical way of developing them to be all-around players and not just hard-court specialists. Build a place that has got the fastest courts around (like basketball court - like hardwood courts. I'm talking about courts that force you to S&V), medium paced courts, and the slowest clay courts you've ever seen, where you are forced to grind it out and learn patience. Hire the best coaches from all over the world to gain different perspectives and the like. Make everything all-expenses-paid. Racquets, shoes, strings, coaching, clothes, room&board, EVERYTHING. Next, you invite all the top juniors from around the country. Finally, you give all these kids one rule: win or go home. You win, you stay. You loose, you're out. This will root out the kids that want to acheive something from the talented brats that expect everything be given to them on a silver platter.


Finally, the USTA's job is to stop trying to sell the game as entertainment. That's where they failed with Cantarian, that's all he cared about. Get someone in there who wants nothing more than to see American kids atop the ATP and ITF rankings, just doing nothing more than kicking the living sh*t out of the rest of the world in the biggest tournaments in the world. Not a guy who wants to turn the USO into a family-friendly happy-go-lucky money maker. Sure, if that's a byproduct, or a side-job, great; so be it. The USTA's top priority should be producing talented juniors and slam winners. End of story.

GameSampras
04-16-2009, 04:19 PM
Most americans prefer the team sports as opposed to the individual ones. Baseball, Football, Basketball will always be the most popular. along with Nascar I suppose.

Tennis at least where I grew up was always frowned upon really as a sport, for old retirees, or wimps. The "cool kids" played football, baseball etc and thats where the following was. People jam packed for football games at my high school. Hell barely any people went to the tennis matches except for the families of the players.

coloskier
04-17-2009, 05:35 AM
Surprisingly, according to a recent article from a major recreation sports group, tennis is the fastest growing sport in America right now. But it remains to be seen how that will equate to wins by USA players in the majors.

f1 tech
04-17-2009, 08:15 AM
Surprisingly, according to a recent article from a major recreation sports group, tennis is the fastest growing sport in America right now. But it remains to be seen how that will equate to wins by USA players in the majors.

But that's recreation for adults, right?

sureshs
04-17-2009, 10:50 AM
Finally, the USTA's job is to stop trying to sell the game as entertainment. That's where they failed with Cantarian, that's all he cared about. Get someone in there who wants nothing more than to see American kids atop the ATP and ITF rankings, just doing nothing more than kicking the living sh*t out of the rest of the world in the biggest tournaments in the world. Not a guy who wants to turn the USO into a family-friendly happy-go-lucky money maker. Sure, if that's a byproduct, or a side-job, great; so be it. The USTA's top priority should be producing talented juniors and slam winners. End of story.

But where would they get their money from? The USO is marketed as a total entertainment experience and the profits from there go a long way in funding the USTA projects. The USTA also needs to have ties with the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) which wants more racquets, balls and apparel to be sold, and that happens with recreational players.

Julieta
04-17-2009, 01:27 PM
Agreed. As an assistant coach of a top 30 girls 18 player I can guarantee you that you have to have money. Yes, you can get a full ride to an academy, but what costs more than anything is travel, entry fees, etc. Only a very limited amount of juniors get their travel paid for, if there are any at all, unlike Europe and Russia.

+1. Without a certain amount of money you never get to the point of even getting noticed. But most important the parents have to be supportive. If they dont have a lot of resouces they have to be willing to go out there and fight for what is available.

I'm also sick of this concept that all of the players from Serbia etc. are poor. Many of those kids come from upper class familes, parents are lawyers or whatever. It's also a lot cheaper to travel all over Europe and there is a lot more federation support.

Julieta
04-17-2009, 01:30 PM
I don't agree that this is the only reason that Justine opened Sixth Sense. The main reason is that America has rich kids and attracts rich kids from other countries and Florida is an established tennis magnet.

It doesn't hurt that it is in the middle of nowhere either. They can pretty much do what they want without a lot of people poking their noses in and seeing what they are doing.

coloskier
04-17-2009, 02:42 PM
But that's recreation for adults, right?

The article was talking about all sports, all ages. I'll see if I can find the link.