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TennisCoachFLA
06-10-2009, 07:37 AM
Not sure if anyone saw this article. Amusing take on American junior tennis.

http://www.slate.com/id/2219229/pagenum/all/

jrod
06-10-2009, 07:51 AM
Amusing yes, but precisely correct.

TennisCoachFLA
06-10-2009, 08:01 AM
Amusing yes, but precisely correct.

Sure, driven/obsessed parent is one way that has worked in the past. I understand that a parent leads the charge in these cases.

But lets not forget that Sampras, Federer, Henin, Davenport, Clijsters, and other champions did not have those types of parents.

So there is more than one way to get the end results.

sureshs
06-10-2009, 08:42 AM
"Tennis consists of only a handful of basic strokes and strategies. As such, parents who wouldn't dare try to teach, say, golf can read a book, watch a few videos, and give capable instruction."

LOL. I liked everything else in the article but this one got me. Yes, golf is more difficult than tennis, but this is too much.

TennisCoachFLA
06-10-2009, 08:47 AM
"Tennis consists of only a handful of basic strokes and strategies. As such, parents who wouldn't dare try to teach, say, golf can read a book, watch a few videos, and give capable instruction."

LOL. I liked everything else in the article but this one got me. Yes, golf is more difficult than tennis, but this is too much.

Yeah, that jumped out at me also. The patterns and shot variations and angles and spins of today's game is more complicate than he gives it credit for.

sureshs
06-10-2009, 08:59 AM
Yeah, that jumped out at me also. The patterns and shot variations and angles and spins of today's game is more complicate than he gives it credit for.

Also, the article implies that the parents coached the children. That is not entirely true. Nick has said that Yuri would not interfere with his teaching. The parents might have provided the motivation and money, but the technical skills were taught by coaches.

TennisCoachFLA
06-10-2009, 09:06 AM
Also, the article implies that the parents coached the children. That is not entirely true. Nick has said that Yuri would not interfere with his teaching. The parents might have provided the motivation and money, but the technical skills were taught by coaches.

True...Lansdorp also worked with Maria. Macci had the Williams sisters for 3 years. Nick B. and his coaches had Agassi in his teens.

BradBaughman
06-10-2009, 01:49 PM
Also, the article implies that the parents coached the children. That is not entirely true. Nick has said that Yuri would not interfere with his teaching. The parents might have provided the motivation and money, but the technical skills were taught by coaches.

not allways but the best combo with the most potetial for doing great is a parent / child combination. coaches can be a great help though

SoCal10s
06-10-2009, 01:52 PM
not allways but the best combo with the most potetial for doing great is a parent / child combination. coaches can be a great help though

Brad how come this article didn't mention you by name? something's missing in the world.. just kidding bro... take care...

BradBaughman
06-10-2009, 08:20 PM
Brad how come this article didn't mention you by name? something's missing in the world.. just kidding bro... take care...

got to read the whole article and its true the parents have the best results , most coaches will read this see the truth of it and become insecure hoping the rest of the tennis parents don't read this article and decide with a lot of discipline and commitment they can do it on their own and probably a lot better.

Great read

SoCal10s
06-10-2009, 08:54 PM
got to read the whole article and its true the parents have the best results , most coaches will read this see the truth of it and become insecure hoping the rest of the tennis parents don't read this article and decide with a lot of discipline and commitment they can do it on their own and probably a lot better.

Great read

hey Brad: I've always have known this to be true,most of the time.. yeah there are the exceptions ,like Sampras and Davenport ,but most tennis champions are a product of a zealous parent ,I've always tell the parents to get totally involve,it only make common sense.. who else is going to be the kid 24/7.. not the hourly wage earning coach... most of the parents I know can give direct feedback on how their kid played and how they played like in those matches they watch.. this is valuable info for constant progress..

sureshs
06-11-2009, 09:38 AM
Well, one parent should be commited. If both are, who is going to earn a living? It is a matter of time.

eeytennis
06-11-2009, 09:43 AM
Not sure if anyone saw this article. Amusing take on American junior tennis.

http://www.slate.com/id/2219229/pagenum/all/

Interesting article, but there are so many crazy tennis parents already...and Americans are STILL not producing in Grand Slams...I think it's something else...maybe lack of motivation to succeed...most American tennis player are too spoiled...they have it good already opposed to Jankovic or Ivanovic who grew up in war torn countries and practiced in freezing cold gyms and I think I read someone that one of them trained in an empty swimming pool!

TennisCoachFLA
06-11-2009, 10:20 AM
got to read the whole article and its true the parents have the best results , most coaches will read this see the truth of it and become insecure hoping the rest of the tennis parents don't read this article and decide with a lot of discipline and commitment they can do it on their own and probably a lot better.

Great read

I am not sure how you came to your conclusions about that story. Every example in the article was produced by a great coach at some point.

Williams sisters, Capriati, Roddick all spent at least 3 years with Macci. Agassi spent years with Nick B. Sharapova worked with IMG and later Lansdorp.

Please give me examples of recent Grand Slam champs produced solely by a parent who acted as the technical coach? Seems like the only champs were produced by devoted parents AND great coaches. Others were produced by just great coaches and disinterested parents. But who was produced by JUST the parent with no coach??

The parent pushes the player, the coach teaches the techniques. What examples did you get from that story where coaches were not involved?

In fact it seems the conclusion from that story was that the "crazy" parent made sure their kids got in front of the best coaches....they certainly did not exclude the coaches. Parents can instill the best work ethics and discipline in the world, but unless the player gets great coaching, they certainly have never won any Grand Slams. There are no examples in recent times that support your conclusion.

MIGHTY MANFRED THE WONDER
06-11-2009, 11:45 AM
Wasn't it Oracine that really coached the Williams' all along?

She is listed and advertised as their coach now, and I'm sure all their recent success can be directly attributed to her.

sureshs
06-11-2009, 11:58 AM
Don't forget the hitting partners. Most top women have male hitting partners. In addition, Fed/Davis cup players have team coaches. Of late, Vania King has a coach, and so does Alexa Glatch. And also Querrey. Isner had a college coach.

Watch out for my next post. I found the letter Vania sent to Inside Tennis. She was pretty upset that the writer had basically said US players don't cut it any more. I couldn't find her letter on the IT site but I see it in her blog now.

sureshs
06-11-2009, 12:00 PM
Hey everyone!

A friend of mine, Shenay Perry, recently told me about an article in Inside Tennis magazine about the decline of American tennis. I had seen the article and just glanced through it quickly. However, when she told me that they had mentioned names, including mine and hers, I took another look at it, and I felt that while it is fine to mention names and state opinions, there were some statements that were unfairly broad and assuming. So I wanted to go over these and state what I thought.

First, about what renowned sports psychologist Jim Loehr (who I went to personally), said, "...Roddick is an exception (to the other American players) because he had the proper parenting and didn’t receive free emotional handouts." I think that is a very specific statement, one that may be true in Roddick's case. However, Loehr doesn't know the backgrounds of the other Americans. How should he assume that we weren't brought up with the same values, that we received "emotional handouts?" I'm not just speaking for myself but for the other players because I don't even know their upbringings.

As I read further, I noted what Jose Higueras said about the American style. I understand and wholly support the new USTA system, and think they are doing a great job of bringing up the next generation of players. One thing I admire is that they are starting to train the players on clay, and it's really paying off. I think there are a lot of really good young Americans coming up.

I go back to what Loehr writes,"You can still make it if you’re affluent or middle class, if you have parents who are connected and understand hard work and don’t try to buy their way into the finals… Not enough parents understand how to create the right conditions at home.”

I consider myself in a "middle class" home. However, we were not always that way. I was the only child in my family fortunate enough to grow up in a "middle class" environment. My mother and father emigrated to the United States almost 30 years ago with no money -- my mom had to sell the house her parents gave her as a wedding gift to pay for them to come here. My mom had to leave my brother, who was 1 1/2 years old, in Taiwan because they could not afford to bring him. She cried every day without him -- how great is the pain of being separated from your child! Nothing is black and white, and it is unfair to categorize everyone in a broad spectrum.

I want to point out that I believe that even if you do everything "right" or work as hard as you can, have the best coaches, never get injured, you still have a very slim chance of "making it." You definitely need a bit of luck, and sometimes it's just luck.

The last point I want to make is that the writer of the article (or Loehr) states that even with talent, sometimes the player can't financially afford to pay for expenses, and that's where the USTA or outside sources come in. I have to say that, again, it is only a few who "make it" and a few who really get all the help they need. Most get nothing, and some get something. It is hard to determine whether players who are 13 to 17 years old are going to "make it," and there are a lot of talented kids out there.

Anyways, I just wanted to express my feelings on these points because some of the statements were unfair -- not just to me but to all the players mentioned and not mentioned.

Vania

10isDad
06-11-2009, 02:42 PM
Wasn't it Oracine that really coached the Williams' all along?

She is listed and advertised as their coach now, and I'm sure all their recent success can be directly attributed to her.

For those that don't know MMTW, that's sarcasm...

amtennis
06-11-2009, 02:50 PM
Hey everyone!

A friend of mine, Shenay Perry, recently told me about an article in Inside Tennis magazine about the decline of American tennis. I had seen the article and just glanced through it quickly. However, when she told me that they had mentioned names, including mine and hers, I took another look at it, and I felt that while it is fine to mention names and state opinions, there were some statements that were unfairly broad and assuming. So I wanted to go over these and state what I thought.

First, about what renowned sports psychologist Jim Loehr (who I went to personally), said, "...Roddick is an exception (to the other American players) because he had the proper parenting and didn’t receive free emotional handouts." I think that is a very specific statement, one that may be true in Roddick's case. However, Loehr doesn't know the backgrounds of the other Americans. How should he assume that we weren't brought up with the same values, that we received "emotional handouts?" I'm not just speaking for myself but for the other players because I don't even know their upbringings.

As I read further, I noted what Jose Higueras said about the American style. I understand and wholly support the new USTA system, and think they are doing a great job of bringing up the next generation of players. One thing I admire is that they are starting to train the players on clay, and it's really paying off. I think there are a lot of really good young Americans coming up.

I go back to what Loehr writes,"You can still make it if you’re affluent or middle class, if you have parents who are connected and understand hard work and don’t try to buy their way into the finals… Not enough parents understand how to create the right conditions at home.”

I consider myself in a "middle class" home. However, we were not always that way. I was the only child in my family fortunate enough to grow up in a "middle class" environment. My mother and father emigrated to the United States almost 30 years ago with no money -- my mom had to sell the house her parents gave her as a wedding gift to pay for them to come here. My mom had to leave my brother, who was 1 1/2 years old, in Taiwan because they could not afford to bring him. She cried every day without him -- how great is the pain of being separated from your child! Nothing is black and white, and it is unfair to categorize everyone in a broad spectrum.

I want to point out that I believe that even if you do everything "right" or work as hard as you can, have the best coaches, never get injured, you still have a very slim chance of "making it." You definitely need a bit of luck, and sometimes it's just luck.

The last point I want to make is that the writer of the article (or Loehr) states that even with talent, sometimes the player can't financially afford to pay for expenses, and that's where the USTA or outside sources come in. I have to say that, again, it is only a few who "make it" and a few who really get all the help they need. Most get nothing, and some get something. It is hard to determine whether players who are 13 to 17 years old are going to "make it," and there are a lot of talented kids out there.

Anyways, I just wanted to express my feelings on these points because some of the statements were unfair -- not just to me but to all the players mentioned and not mentioned.

Vania


Does any have the original article?

amtennis
06-11-2009, 02:51 PM
Sorry about quoting the entire article. I wanted to edit that out but for some reason my account won't let me edit.

10isDad
06-11-2009, 04:18 PM
Does any have the original article?

Google, dude...

The article is actually called "Has American Tennis Become Too Soft?"

http://www.insidetennis.com/2009/03/american-tennis-soft/

BradBaughman
06-11-2009, 04:49 PM
Google, dude...

The article is actually called "Has American Tennis Become Too Soft?"

http://www.insidetennis.com/2009/03/american-tennis-soft/

the answer is yes ! it was caused by all this self-esteem, self-love ,positive reinforcement don't say anything negative thinking , hands down has ruined our country not only in tennis but many areas of our country, and rather then demand a higher standard we have allowed ourselves to lower the bar over and over.

amtennis
06-11-2009, 05:00 PM
Google, dude...

The article is actually called "Has American Tennis Become Too Soft?"

http://www.insidetennis.com/2009/03/american-tennis-soft/

How was I suppose to search something that I didn't even know the name of?

Hope you didn't strain yourself too much helping me.

But - looking past your sarcasm - I really do appreciate the link.

And btw - I'm not a dude.

TennisCoachFLA
06-11-2009, 06:15 PM
the answer is yes ! it was caused by all this self-esteem, self-love ,positive reinforcement don't say anything negative thinking , hands down has ruined our country not only in tennis but many areas of our country, and rather then demand a higher standard we have allowed ourselves to lower the bar over and over.

I am not sure this is the answer in tennis Brad. How come we produce the best point guards, best shooting guards, quaterbacks, some great shortstops, 2nd basemen, center fielders, wide receivers, volleyball players? Why can us lazy American be just as good in almost every other sport as anyone in the world in all these other games and in tennis we are way behind Spain, France, Russia, Serbia, etc.?

Our basketball point guards can crush most of the very best from Spain and France. Yet they have way more top 100 tennis players than we do. How come only in tennis we fall so short?? Our cushy lifestyle only hurt us in tennis and no other sports???

The real reason is because our very best athletes play all those other sports and do not play tennis. Their best athletes play tennis or soccer.

A basic fact that rankles the USTA and many tennis parents.

amtennis
06-11-2009, 06:32 PM
:)I am not sure this is the answer in tennis Brad. How come we produce the best point guards, best shooting guards, quaterbacks, some great shortstops, 2nd basemen, center fielders, wide receivers, volleyball players? Why can us lazy American be just as good in almost every other sport as anyone in the world in all these other games and in tennis we are way behind Spain, France, Russia, Serbia, etc.?

Our basketball point guards can crush most of the very best from Spain and France. Yet they have way more top 100 tennis players than we do. How come only in tennis we fall so short?? We only have low self esteme and negative thinking in tennis??

Because our very best athletes play all those other sports and do not play tennis. Their best athletes play tennis or soccer.

A basic fact that rankles the USTA and many tennis parents.



Well, don't you think that it is simply that tennis is not one of the top chosen sports or professions. I'm sure you and I and many others just LOVE tennis and think it's the best sport and past time available. I just don't think that enough agree with us. Just look at the opportunities to our kids -
music, acting, singing, modeling, baseball, basketball, softball. Its just as simple as - we aren't getting the cream of the crop to even start with.
I mean haven't you noticed when you go to sports authority or any sports merchandise website that they offer t-shirts or other merchandise in every other sport except tennis. My son and I were just laughing about this today.
I went to a "sports apparel" website and they offered items in every sport under the sun except tennis. Even lacrosse. This happens to us all the time

Of course we'll keep trying but our kids have a world of choices in front of them. Why would they spend 5 hours a day in 90 degree heat when they could record songs in the air conditioning. ( sarcasm of course ). With all of the choices in the good ol' USA, not sure tennis will rise to the top for a good long while.

Your absolutely correct - our best athletes are playing other sports.
Should we jump ship and endear basketall???
:)

Pro_Tour_630
06-11-2009, 07:26 PM
the answer is yes ! it was caused by all this self-esteem, self-love ,positive reinforcement don't say anything negative thinking , hands down has ruined our country not only in tennis but many areas of our country, and rather then demand a higher standard we have allowed ourselves to lower the bar over and over.
you forgot

they do not have BS minimalist frugal coaches like we have here in the US especially down in FL who are on an agenda.

BradBaughman
06-11-2009, 07:50 PM
I am not sure this is the answer in tennis Brad. How come we produce the best point guards, best shooting guards, quaterbacks, some great shortstops, 2nd basemen, center fielders, wide receivers, volleyball players? Why can us lazy American be just as good in almost every other sport as anyone in the world in all these other games and in tennis we are way behind Spain, France, Russia, Serbia, etc.?

Our basketball point guards can crush most of the very best from Spain and France. Yet they have way more top 100 tennis players than we do. How come only in tennis we fall so short?? Our cushy lifestyle only hurt us in tennis and no other sports???

The real reason is because our very best athletes play all those other sports and do not play tennis. Their best athletes play tennis or soccer.

A basic fact that rankles the USTA and many tennis parents.

i will answer by each statement!

Why do we have the best in all these other sports, simple cause these other sports are not as big in other countries, but in the 2004 olympics in Athens Greese ,our "dream team"of NBA stars lost to Argentina,Lithuania and Puerto Rico. Do you remember this the coach was Larry Brown and he had just won the finals over LA LAKERS so he knew what he was doing (coaching wise)

So the above kinda contradicts your (point gaurds crushing theory)if were to face the facts, the gold medal doesn't lie LOL ,,When the other countries get a chance at us every 4 years the gold medals up for grabs ,DOESNT SHOW ME DOMINATION.

TENNIS IS A SUPERIOR SPORT it takes a intelligent, discipline, athletic, person to do well unlike other sports. Maybe thats why Obama took one look out the back door and decided to turn the tennis courts into a basketball court at the White House , this sport is one on one and it takes problem solving,

so we see we are not the best even at the other sports ask Larry Brown

SoCal10s
06-11-2009, 07:53 PM
I am not sure this is the answer in tennis Brad. How come we produce the best point guards, best shooting guards, quaterbacks, some great shortstops, 2nd basemen, center fielders, wide receivers, volleyball players? Why can us lazy American be just as good in almost every other sport as anyone in the world in all these other games and in tennis we are way behind Spain, France, Russia, Serbia, etc.?

Our basketball point guards can crush most of the very best from Spain and France. Yet they have way more top 100 tennis players than we do. How come only in tennis we fall so short?? Our cushy lifestyle only hurt us in tennis and no other sports???

The real reason is because our very best athletes play all those other sports and do not play tennis. Their best athletes play tennis or soccer.

A basic fact that rankles the USTA and many tennis parents.

I don't know about the best athletes,I alway think that if given the right set of circumstances one can produce a sport champion .. it doesn't need to be the best athlete or height or strength ,ect.. yes it sure helps but to be a great sports champion ,it comes from having great desires,.. early maybe a real dedication from the parents and then later the kid following the strict discipline installed by the upbringing ,.. great desires from the parents and the kid to follow up on what there ..

TennisCoachFLA
06-12-2009, 08:20 AM
i will answer by each statement!

Why do we have the best in all these other sports, simple cause these other sports are not as big in other countries, but in the 2004 olympics in Athens Greese ,our "dream team"of NBA stars lost to Argentina,Lithuania and Puerto Rico. Do you remember this the coach was Larry Brown and he had just won the finals over LA LAKERS so he knew what he was doing (coaching wise)

So the above kinda contradicts your (point gaurds crushing theory)if were to face the facts, the gold medal doesn't lie LOL ,,When the other countries get a chance at us every 4 years the gold medals up for grabs ,DOESNT SHOW ME DOMINATION.

TENNIS IS A SUPERIOR SPORT it takes a intelligent, discipline, athletic, person to do well unlike other sports. Maybe thats why Obama took one look out the back door and decided to turn the tennis courts into a basketball court at the White House , this sport is one on one and it takes problem solving,

so we see we are not the best even at the other sports ask Larry Brown

Yes Brad , Kobe and Brian Westbrook and Larry Fitzgerald and Tom Brady and Chris Paul and Chase Utley are all too stupid, lazy, unathletic, and undisciplined to have play tennis!

sureshs
06-12-2009, 08:35 AM
the answer is yes ! it was caused by all this self-esteem, self-love ,positive reinforcement don't say anything negative thinking , hands down has ruined our country not only in tennis but many areas of our country, and rather then demand a higher standard we have allowed ourselves to lower the bar over and over.

Part of that may be true, but the real truth is that the middle class has been steadily screwed by wealth transfer to fewer and fewer people, leaving them to scramble for temporary jobs and whatever health benefits they can find. They have assumed that no job is going to last and they could be unable to see a doctor tomorrow. To divert attention from the real problems, they are also lectured to by politicians about how the country has become soft, which appeals to the ego, because everyone thinks he is Mr. Tough. One way to produce champions is to come from poor countries in war zones, but the better, normal way would be to grow up in a financially secure home where a child can pursue his dreams, tennis or not. But the shift of wealth away from the middle class has resulted in families surviving day to day. People who glorify the few players who grew up in a war zone in Bosnia playing in a dried up swimming pool should not forget about the other tens of thousands of people who died. Is that really something to aspire for?

tenniscrazed
06-12-2009, 08:57 AM
Yes Brad , Kobe and Brian Westbrook and Larry Fitzgerald and Tom Brady and Chris Paul and Chase Utley are all too stupid, lazy, unathletic, and undisciplined to have play tennis!

Tennis is not our cultural sport, it is really that simple. Once we accept that then everything moves ahead.

IMHO, the answer lies in finding children that have a passion for individual sports. I think that finding children that have a passion for other sports and hope because they're good athletes that passion will transfer to tennis is very unreasonable. Personally, I think it's like a dog chasing his tail. USTA, etc will keep looking for those prized athletes and try to make them into tennis players. WRONG, one needs to find kids with PASSION for the sport first, then turn them into tennis players. Not the otherway around.

Also, look Yannick Noah and what he did with his son as a great example. Here is a guy that was clearly a gifted tennis player in his day. What path did he take with his 6' 7" son. I'm sure Yannick did not wake up one day in Florida and said " I got it my son is going to become a pro basketball player". No, he saw that his son had a passion for something and they went for it. Clearly going with the passion paid off for them. I think they are a great example of an athlete that went into the direction of passion.

BradBaughman
06-12-2009, 10:06 AM
Yes Brad , Kobe and Brian Westbrook and Larry Fitzgerald and Tom Brady and Chris Paul and Chase Utley are all too stupid, lazy, unathletic, and undisciplined to have play tennis!

Kobe is the exception, but read what i wrote and face the "facts" do you remember the olympics?

momtogrif
06-12-2009, 12:02 PM
got to read the whole article and its true the parents have the best results , most coaches will read this see the truth of it and become insecure hoping the rest of the tennis parents don't read this article and decide with a lot of discipline and commitment they can do it on their own and probably a lot better.

Great read

Well, I know that my husband and I can be pretty hard on our kid and that's why we have him with a coach now. My husband just wants to be the ball feeder, not the coach. He was a USPTA pro many years ago and he is obsessive about stroke technique, etc. We didn't want that to ruin his father/son relationship. Having someone on the outside(ie. a coach) I think helps us stay balanced.
PS: I already homeschool my son, I didn't want to have to school him on the court!!! I think he gets enough of mom and dad at home!:) Poor kid!

Julieta
06-12-2009, 01:51 PM
Tennis takes too much money. The parents have to be rich or be pushy in the extreme to secure resources for their child. Even if the kid is 100 percent motivated and the kind of kid who will hit serves until it gets dark and their parents have to come looking for them, it doesnt matter if the family doesnt have the money to travel all over the US playing tournaments. I have seen kids get turned down for USTA money in the past and have it go to kids who dont really need it, because the USTA knows that on a long term basis, the poor kids cant sustain it. So they dont bother to give them any of it. Kids can also sense when the parents are stressed over money and may back off and do something else that is less resource intensive. If you're a single mom isnt it easier to put your kid in basketball or something where another parent or the coach can take care of some of the logistics?

In other countries, it is cheaper to travel due to smaller areas and the federations help a lot more in terms of setting up a better tournament system. Juniors cant earn money here so it is just cash going out the whole time with no sure chance of payback.

I also love the stories about the kids playing in swimming pools - yes there may have been resource issues due to war and politics but dont forget that those kids are rich. They aren't from the streets of any of those countries. They are from rich prominent familes who have the resource to allow their kids to pursue tennis. It doesnt hurt that European kids also earn money from tournaments at 16 to help offset expenses.

Lastly, tennis is just not that popular in the States. You can play a random summer tournament in France and have a big crowd watching the match. Here, not very likely. Top college programs struggle to get an audience.

TennisCoachFLA
06-12-2009, 01:54 PM
Kobe is the exception, but read what i wrote and face the "facts" do you remember the olympics?

Olympic basketball has nothing to do with my point or my post at all. We are talking about picking specific skill position elite athletes from various sports. Athletes whose decision making and athletic talents might translate well to a sport like tennis. We are wondering what would happen if a large percentage focused on tennis instead of other sports.

The fact that a foreign basketball TEAM, that plays together all year, playing a set of rules that is very different from the NBA, plays well together against a TEAM of NBA players is 100%, utterly, and totally irrelevant to the discussion.

As others have posted, in almost every single athletic endeavor that Americans embrace, we excel at and are as good as any other country.

Yet in tennis, countries with 1/8th our population such as France and Spain, along with countries that are tiny such as Serbia, have lots more top 100 players per capita than we do.

The whys and how to fix that are what we are discussing here.

TennisCoachFLA
06-12-2009, 02:32 PM
Tennis takes too much money. The parents have to be rich or be pushy in the extreme to secure resources for their child. Even if the kid is 100 percent motivated and the kind of kid who will hit serves until it gets dark and their parents have to come looking for them, it doesnt matter if the family doesnt have the money to travel all over the US playing tournaments. I have seen kids get turned down for USTA money in the past and have it go to kids who dont really need it, because the USTA knows that on a long term basis, the poor kids cant sustain it. So they dont bother to give them any of it. Kids can also sense when the parents are stressed over money and may back off and do something else that is less resource intensive. If you're a single mom isnt it easier to put your kid in basketball or something where another parent or the coach can take care of some of the logistics?

In other countries, it is cheaper to travel due to smaller areas and the federations help a lot more in terms of setting up a better tournament system. Juniors cant earn money here so it is just cash going out the whole time with no sure chance of payback.

I also love the stories about the kids playing in swimming pools - yes there may have been resource issues due to war and politics but dont forget that those kids are rich. They aren't from the streets of any of those countries. They are from rich prominent familes who have the resource to allow their kids to pursue tennis. It doesnt hurt that European kids also earn money from tournaments at 16 to help offset expenses.

Lastly, tennis is just not that popular in the States. You can play a random summer tournament in France and have a big crowd watching the match. Here, not very likely. Top college programs struggle to get an audience.

Sometimes the poorer kids get discovered.

Sachia Vickery did not come from money, has a single mom. She played on some bad courts as a little kid. But her talent was evident and the tennis folks came in to support her.

Richard Williams did the same thing...called Macci and said he had talented girls. Macci looked, liked, the rest is history.

Sharapova came here with her dad...he had nothing. Worked as a cab driver for 2 years. She hit at local parks for 2 years, no coach but dad. IMG said no to her at 7....yes at 9.

I bet if we go through the WTA and ATP top 50 we can find another 20 examples of poorer kids being discovered.

IMG and others get hundreds of videos a year, from poor and rich kids parents...they look at every one. If you know of a specific kid with huge promise that is being forced out of tennis due to money, send a video to IMG. They will look at it....they make money finding the gems, rich and poor.

Seacoast Stringer
06-12-2009, 08:21 PM
Olympic basketball has nothing to do with my point or my post at all. We are talking about picking specific skill position elite athletes from various sports. Athletes whose decision making and athletic talents might translate well to a sport like tennis. We are wondering what would happen if a large percentage focused on tennis instead of other sports.

The fact that a foreign basketball TEAM, that plays together all year, playing a set of rules that is very different from the NBA, plays well together against a TEAM of NBA players is 100%, utterly, and totally irrelevant to the discussion.

As others have posted, in almost every single athletic endeavor that Americans embrace, we excel at and are as good as any other country.

Yet in tennis, countries with 1/8th our population such as France and Spain, along with countries that are tiny such as Serbia, have lots more top 100 players per capita than we do.

The whys and how to fix that are what we are discussing here.

All good points. The Olympic team sports are irrelevent when discussing individual abilities....especially basketball.

BradBaughman
06-12-2009, 09:31 PM
All good points. The Olympic team sports are irrelevent when discussing individual abilities....especially basketball.

Its not relevant!!! He keeps saying that our best athletes are in other sports and when one of those other sports (BASKETBALL)shows up to the grand stage the Olympics with our best so-called athletes and we lose to countries that are not focused on those sports,"hello"

What happened is your argument dies right at the Olympics with Basketball!!

These other counties schooled our very best or as Tennisflorida would say the inner-city athlete got spanked by counties that are not as in to basketball as us.

Seacoast Stringer
06-13-2009, 05:11 AM
Its not relevant!!! He keeps saying that our best athletes are in other sports and when one of those other sports (BASKETBALL)shows up to the grand stage the Olympics with our best so-called athletes and we lose to countries that are not focused on those sports,"hello"

What happened is your argument dies right at the Olympics with Basketball!!

These other counties schooled our very best or as Tennisflorida would say the inner-city athlete got spanked by counties that are not as in to basketball as us.

How are you not understanding the underlying MAIN point.:shock:. Basketball is a team sport and (especially with international rules) and there are many, many factors that contribute to on court TEAM success. The Olympics are a great example. The US obviously had better athletes than the other countries and better individual players however; when put together with only a few weeks to prepare in a situation with players that they haven't played with, with a different coach, different strategies needed, and against competition that has played under those rules and together AS A TEAM for years in many cases - the results can be bad. Take any of these players "one-on-one" with foreign athletes and the results would probably be much different. And the other countries are definitely becoming more "in" to basketball during recent years. The leagues over there are becoming huge. The Olympic basketball example is completely irrelevant to your argument.

Mulligan
06-13-2009, 05:27 AM
As others have posted, in almost every single athletic endeavor that Americans embrace, we excel at and are as good as any other country.

Yet in tennis, countries with 1/8th our population such as France and Spain, along with countries that are tiny such as Serbia, have lots more top 100 players per capita than we do.

The whys and how to fix that are what we are discussing here.

I agree. Most great athletes in the US are playing other sports and dominating those sports; especially those sports most popular in the county (your point about team sports being a different animal is spot on). That is a major reason why the much smaller countries around the world have an incredibly larger relative amount of top tennis players than the US. I'm not sure of the best ways to deal with this. More inner-city exposure to tennis (but it will never become the "sport of choice" for the best athletes IMO); maybe more money/focus on youth programs or a better development program at the USTA? Who knows. But it is almost comical to see some of the lousy results and lack of good athletes coming up in the ranks of US tennis during the past years. I don't think that we're going to get there by having parents on individual basis taking their 5 year olds and sending them to France for "tennis immersion" either, lol.

ryangoring
06-13-2009, 06:14 AM
I agree. Most great athletes in the US are playing other sports and dominating those sports; especially those sports most popular in the county (your point about team sports being a different animal is spot on). That is a major reason why the much smaller countries around the world have an incredibly larger relative amount of top tennis players than the US. I'm not sure of the best ways to deal with this. More inner-city exposure to tennis (but it will never become the "sport of choice" for the best athletes IMO); maybe more money/focus on youth programs or a better development program at the USTA? Who knows. But it is almost comical to see some of the lousy results and lack of good athletes coming up in the ranks of US tennis during the past years. I don't think that we're going to get there by having parents on individual basis taking their 5 year olds and sending them to France for "tennis immersion" either, lol.


I like your take here. Yes if we can get tennis on the inner city levels, in schools from early like elementary or late as middle school, we can probably turn this thing around.
The reason I grew up playing tennis is from my dad, God love him, he wasn't the BEST player, but he took the time with me and then I went on to a coach. I love the sport. The people at my time, like Becker, Lendl, Sampras, Courier, just to name a few I always like to watch.

People, I think want the quick and easy way out. All the football, basketball, baseball player, make tons of money and their lifestyles are always seen. To see that, many opt to these sports for the money. Many of the sports are so publicized that the younger generations see your Lebrons, Mannings, Jeters, and want to grow up just to be like them. "I want to be like Mike!"

And plus it is cheaper to buy a pair of shoes, or cleats and a ball!

John Galt
06-13-2009, 06:21 AM
I like your take here. Yes if we can get tennis on the inner city levels, in schools from early like elementary or late as middle school, we can probably turn this thing around.
The reason I grew up playing tennis is from my dad, God love him, he wasn't the BEST player, but he took the time with me and then I went on to a coach. I love the sport. The people at my time, like Becker, Lendl, Sampras, Courier, just to name a few I always like to watch.

People, I think want the quick and easy way out. All the football, basketball, baseball player, make tons of money and their lifestyles are always seen. To see that, many opt to these sports for the money. Many of the sports are so publicized that the younger generations see your Lebrons, Mannings, Jeters, and want to grow up just to be like them. "I want to be like Mike!"

And plus it is cheaper to buy a pair of shoes, or cleats and a ball!

Well said....I can only imagine some of the great tennis players the US would have had if a few of these type athletes had ever focused on (had the chance?) at tennis. Sadly, tennis is not on the radar for most gifted young athletes in the US and for many of the reasons that you bring up. A great young athlete in my area is going to want to be the next Tom Brady, Kevin Garnett, or David Ortiz rather then the next "Roddick" - and he will certainly have more opportunity to pursue those sports than tennis. Interesting thread subject. The solution evades me.

ryangoring
06-13-2009, 06:37 AM
^^^If tennis was marketed more or publicized more to our youth and be more inexpensive in terms of coaching or playing the sport. I believe it can flourish tremendously! It just needs 'water', 'sunlight', and a lil love.....

TennisCoachFLA
06-13-2009, 06:54 AM
Excellent discussion, the last three posters, John Galt, ryangoring, and Mulligan, have made some great points.

We do have some bright spots, some young talent coming along, especially on the girls side. And when you read the bios of Sachia Vickery or Madison Keys and some other talented girls they almost always say they got interested in tennis, or their parents did, after seeing the Williams sisters. There are even 2 sisters, the Pitt sisters, who are trying to emulate the Williams sisters. They actually look pretty dang good in their You Tube videos.

ryangoring
06-13-2009, 08:39 AM
as a parent whose son wants to play the sport, i had some set backs in life that caused me stop the club clinics for him. which really hurts. i tried to take him on the courts but i guess the you are doing it wrong attitude sets in, i get frustrsted with it.
he is 9 and just started.
maybe some parents get this way and give up the ghost on tennis.
maybe another reason why it struggles here in america.
i have plans to get him back in to camp and start over with him.

tenniscoachfla, should i just take my son out to courts and just have fun and hit with him instead of worrying about footwork or strokes or form?

great thread that you have started

SoCal10s
06-13-2009, 08:52 AM
Well said....I can only imagine some of the great tennis players the US would have had if a few of these type athletes had ever focused on (had the chance?) at tennis. Sadly, tennis is not on the radar for most gifted young athletes in the US and for many of the reasons that you bring up. A great young athlete in my area is going to want to be the next Tom Brady, Kevin Garnett, or David Ortiz rather then the next "Roddick" - and he will certainly have more opportunity to pursue those sports than tennis. Interesting thread subject. The solution evades me.

a lot of people on this forum love to talk about "" most gifted young athletes"".. I don't see any.. babies aren't born to be athletes .. if you take Andre's and Steffi's kid and raised them as normal kids never introducing them to tennis,do you think those kids will be ""most gifted young athletes"" .. this article may be right on.. look at Tiger's dad,he's more demanding than a drill sargent and his mom was the tough one in the family... everyone says that Tiger is so gifted,I never bought that.. he was raised and brainwashed ,and disciplined to be Tiger since he was a baby.. it was his crazy dad and mom who gave all that to him.. but off course,he had to finish the job and keep doing what he was raised to do,but he already had the discipline instill in him since very young..

TennisCoachFLA
06-13-2009, 09:18 AM
as a parent whose son wants to play the sport, i had some set backs in life that caused me stop the club clinics for him. which really hurts. i tried to take him on the courts but i guess the you are doing it wrong attitude sets in, i get frustrsted with it.
he is 9 and just started.
maybe some parents get this way and give up the ghost on tennis.
maybe another reason why it struggles here in america.
i have plans to get him back in to camp and start over with him.

tenniscoachfla, should i just take my son out to courts and just have fun and hit with him instead of worrying about footwork or strokes or form?

great thread that you have started

I have seen your situation 1000 times. Tennis can be a rough thing to teach to your own kid. It naturally lends itself to constant corrections. You want to constantly remind the kid about footwork and follow through and on and on.

I can't even count the times I have seen parent-child tennis sessions end in anger, frustration, or tears.

There just is no easy answer. Each kid is so different. The correct balance of letting them have fun BUT not develop horrible strokes is tough.

I have a 5 year old daughter who enjoys tennis. But if mom or dad corrects her she quickly tunes out. But when a 10 year old girl at the club shows her the same thing she will listen and do it all day long!

Maybe find an older boy who knows enough to show your son some things. Sometimes a coach the boy thinks is 'cooler than dad' gets the job done!

But if it is going to be you, you have to keep the fun portion as high as possible. Because if he flips that switch that tennis is no fun for him he may never come back to it.

John Galt
06-13-2009, 09:22 AM
a lot of people on this forum love to talk about "" most gifted young athletes"".. I don't see any.. babies aren't born to be athletes .. if you take Andre's and Steffi's kid and raised them as normal kids never introducing them to tennis,do you think those kids will be ""most gifted young athletes"" .. this article may be right on.. look at Tiger's dad,he's more demanding than a drill sargent and his mom was the tough one in the family... everyone says that Tiger is so gifted,I never bought that.. he was raised and brainwashed ,and disciplined to be Tiger since he was a baby.. it was his crazy dad and mom who gave all that to him.. but off course,he had to finish the job and keep doing what he was raised to do,but he already had the discipline instill in him since very young..

I agree to a point, however I definitely believe that there is such a thing as a "natural born athlete". You need to have the foundation (physical structure and innate basic talent) to take advantage of the upbringing. In other words you cannot take a kid with an obese gene pool or with a disadvantaged physique and magically create the next Lebron. You can train (discipline?)your child to be whatever you want him/her to be but if the basics aren't there.....you will be sadly disappointed.

TennisCoachFLA
06-13-2009, 12:22 PM
a lot of people on this forum love to talk about "" most gifted young athletes"".. I don't see any.. babies aren't born to be athletes .. if you take Andre's and Steffi's kid and raised them as normal kids never introducing them to tennis,do you think those kids will be ""most gifted young athletes"" .. this article may be right on.. look at Tiger's dad,he's more demanding than a drill sargent and his mom was the tough one in the family... everyone says that Tiger is so gifted,I never bought that.. he was raised and brainwashed ,and disciplined to be Tiger since he was a baby.. it was his crazy dad and mom who gave all that to him.. but off course,he had to finish the job and keep doing what he was raised to do,but he already had the discipline instill in him since very young..

Not true at all. Study some genetics, study some sports science.

How come there are no more Tigers? Since Tiger appeared on the Mike Douglas show at age 2.....30 years ago.....many, many dads have tried to emulate him. I have seen course after course littered with tiny kids playing golf. I have seen many news stories on 3-4-5-6 year old golf boys. These families have money and the best coaching. And they had the role model of Tiger and his fame and fortune to motivate them. They have had WAY better coaching than Tiger had as a boy. Yet zero Tigers.

How come there is not one that has ever emerged like Tiger in the past 3 decades?? Show me all the 18-25 year old amazing golfers that are at the top of all the major tournaments?

Tiger was the perfect storm....obsessed dad AND supernatural talent AND supernatural work ethic. The odds of producing another Tiger are beyond tiny....no matter how young they start or how disciplined or how obsessed the parents.

SoCal10s
06-13-2009, 01:33 PM
Not true at all. Study some genetics, study some sports science.

How come there are no more Tigers? Since Tiger appeared on the Mike Douglas show at age 2.....30 years ago.....many, many dads have tried to emulate him. I have seen course after course littered with tiny kids playing golf. I have seen many news stories on 3-4-5-6 year old golf boys. These families have money and the best coaching. And they had the role model of Tiger and his fame and fortune to motivate them. They have had WAY better coaching than Tiger had as a boy. Yet zero Tigers.

How come there is not one that has ever emerged like Tiger in the past 3 decades?? Show me all the 18-25 year old amazing golfers that are at the top of all the major tournaments?

Tiger was the perfect storm....obsessed dad AND supernatural talent AND supernatural work ethic. The odds of producing another Tiger are beyond tiny....no matter how young they start or how disciplined or how obsessed the parents.

well I'll agree with 2 out of 3""obsessed dad AND supernatural work ethic.""
it's all about hard work.. my dear .. Tiger has said that he didn't miss a day of practice until he was 20 something.. even in rain he was out there... how many of those Tiger clones are willing to put that kind of sacrifice.. It has to really burn inside the heart and gut to do it..
IMO,, two WORDS that killed more want-a-be than anything.. TALENT.. and EXPECTATIONS... when players hear and start to believe how much TALENT they have ect.,ect.. they're finished, if they don't work hard.. when players feel the pressures of EXPECTATIONS put upon them.. they are doomed if they don't keep working harder to fill those expectations ...

TennisCoachFLA
06-13-2009, 04:17 PM
well I'll agree with 2 out of 3""obsessed dad AND supernatural work ethic.""
it's all about hard work.. my dear .. Tiger has said that he didn't miss a day of practice until he was 20 something.. even in rain he was out there... how many of those Tiger clones are willing to put that kind of sacrifice.. It has to really burn inside the heart and gut to do it..
IMO,, two WORDS that killed more want-a-be than anything.. TALENT.. and EXPECTATIONS... when players hear and start to believe how much TALENT they have ect.,ect.. they're finished, if they don't work hard.. when players feel the pressures of EXPECTATIONS put upon them.. they are doomed if they don't keep working harder to fill those expectations ...

I agree, labeled as talented has killed many a player by making them lazy.

I am talking only about the Tiger example though. There are other kids putting in the work but not one is close to Tigers level. In Florida we have had golf prodigy after golf prodigy. I know some of these kids have worked every day for years and years. Just like many, many Indiana school boys, with super work ethic, have practiced just as hard as Larry Bird did. There are no harder and more dedicated workers and basketball players than Indiana school boys. A few have had some college success....but not one top NBA player.

In 25 years not one of these hard workers has approached Larry Bird's level. Not one golf kid has approached Tiger. Thats pretty much all the evidence we have to prove this point one way or another. Common sense and our own observations tell us that others have worked just as hard without the results.

Like I said....it has to be hard work AND special talent that almost no one else has. No other explanation adds up.

SoCal10s
06-13-2009, 10:34 PM
I agree, labeled as talented has killed many a player by making them lazy.

I am talking only about the Tiger example though. There are other kids putting in the work but not one is close to Tigers level. In Florida we have had golf prodigy after golf prodigy. I know some of these kids have worked every day for years and years. Just like many, many Indiana school boys, with super work ethic, have practiced just as hard as Larry Bird did. There are no harder and more dedicated workers and basketball players than Indiana school boys. A few have had some college success....but not one top NBA player.

In 25 years not one of these hard workers has approached Larry Bird's level. Not one golf kid has approached Tiger. Thats pretty much all the evidence we have to prove this point one way or another. Common sense and our own observations tell us that others have worked just as hard without the results.

Like I said....it has to be hard work AND special talent that almost no one else has. No other explanation adds up.

let me say your example of Larry Bird and Tiger are proving my point.. Larry Bird is not a talented gifted athlete compared to all those NBA players,he is a winner because he uses his head better, at the right times,than the others.. same as Tiger.. he is not the longest hitting,nor the most accurate ,or the best putter but the sum of all the above and his intuitiveness give him those added edge over others.. if you really know golf,you'll know what I'm talking about.. he's a golf genius,because he has studied the game from all facets ... I've been up close,and inside the ropes with Tiger on a few occasions in a golf tournament,and I can tell you,this guy wins with his brain and knowledge... I doubt very much if all those FL golf wannabes ever put in the amount of studies that Tiger did and still does about the game of golf.. that's not including those hours of hitting the ball and learning how to hit a better ball,which everyone else does... same with Jack N.. I remember he once said on an interview after sinking a putt,in skins game,he said"" I remembered I had this similar putt 3 years ago and I read it the wrong way and I missed it"" -- here's a guy who plays countless amount of golf, almost everyday and over how many different golf courses,how can he remember something like that 3 years past? it just takes a kind of genius,not everyone has.. Tiger is the same way.. it's their great desires to do the stuff they love, so the learning to them is more clear to them than others..

Rory G
06-14-2009, 06:55 AM
I agree, labeled as talented has killed many a player by making them lazy.

I am talking only about the Tiger example though. There are other kids putting in the work but not one is close to Tigers level. In Florida we have had golf prodigy after golf prodigy. I know some of these kids have worked every day for years and years. Just like many, many Indiana school boys, with super work ethic, have practiced just as hard as Larry Bird did. There are no harder and more dedicated workers and basketball players than Indiana school boys. A few have had some college success....but not one top NBA player.

In 25 years not one of these hard workers has approached Larry Bird's level. Not one golf kid has approached Tiger. Thats pretty much all the evidence we have to prove this point one way or another. Common sense and our own observations tell us that others have worked just as hard without the results.

Like I said....it has to be hard work AND special talent that almost no one else has. No other explanation adds up.

This is all very true; good post. Although some would wish it were not - many great athletes were born with the inherent physical and mental qualities that made it soooo much easier to excel at what they do. Your point is well taken. There have been thousands of kids in golf & tennis (and all sports) that have "put in the time" and been coached since they were in the crib by obsessed parents yet there has not been another Tiger Woods and Indiana has not produced any more Larry Birds. It has been said that Bird had a unique mental quality of seeing a play develop way before-hand and planning the play 3-4 passes "ahead". You can't teach that - although many try to.

IMO you can force a child at age 4 or 5 to give up everything, plan their "future" and obsess with training in a particular sport...........BUT the success of that sad venture is anything but guaranteed due to natural abilities that the child might never exhibit.

goober
06-14-2009, 08:53 AM
Its not relevant!!! He keeps saying that our best athletes are in other sports and when one of those other sports (BASKETBALL)shows up to the grand stage the Olympics with our best so-called athletes and we lose to countries that are not focused on those sports,"hello"

What happened is your argument dies right at the Olympics with Basketball!!

These other counties schooled our very best or as Tennisflorida would say the inner-city athlete got spanked by counties that are not as in to basketball as us.

You should probably not comment on something you obviously know nothing about.

Do you disagree that the US best athletes are not going into tennis? Is that even debatable?

What does Olympic basketball in 2004 have to do with anything that this thread is about? Basketball is a very popular sport worldwide, probably second most popular sort behind soccer. The only lesson learned in 2004 is that the US no longer can just show up with a team of 2nd tier NBA allstar players (the 2004 was not even close to sending the best players), with no practice, no exposure to international rules and expect to win like they did previously. They changed their approach and easily won the gold medal in 2008. But what does this have to do with anything in regards to this thread? Whether or not the US is winning the gold medal in basketball does not change the fact the best athletes in the US are in football, basketball and baseball.

goober
06-14-2009, 09:21 AM
I agree, labeled as talented has killed many a player by making them lazy.

I am talking only about the Tiger example though. There are other kids putting in the work but not one is close to Tigers level. In Florida we have had golf prodigy after golf prodigy. I know some of these kids have worked every day for years and years. Just like many, many Indiana school boys, with super work ethic, have practiced just as hard as Larry Bird did. There are no harder and more dedicated workers and basketball players than Indiana school boys. A few have had some college success....but not one top NBA player.
.

Not that I disagree with your overall point but, there have been some great NBA players that have come out of the state of Indiana besides Larry Bird.

George McGinnis- 6 time all star, one year co MVP with Dr. J

Brad Miller- 2 time all star

Shawn Kemp- 6 time all star

Glenn Robinson- 2 time all star, All rookie team.

I would consider these guys were top level NBA players at one point.

Then there are a ton of Indiana players that were starters on their teams or played significant roles on their team, but they are obviously too many to mention.

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 09:23 AM
let me say your example of Larry Bird and Tiger are proving my point.. Larry Bird is not a talented gifted athlete compared to all those NBA players,he is a winner because he uses his head better, at the right times,than the others.. same as Tiger.. he is not the longest hitting,nor the most accurate ,or the best putter but the sum of all the above and his intuitiveness give him those added edge over others.. if you really know golf,you'll know what I'm talking about.. he's a golf genius,because he has studied the game from all facets ... I've been up close,and inside the ropes with Tiger on a few occasions in a golf tournament,and I can tell you,this guy wins with his brain and knowledge... I doubt very much if all those FL golf wannabes ever put in the amount of studies that Tiger did and still does about the game of golf.. that's not including those hours of hitting the ball and learning how to hit a better ball,which everyone else does... same with Jack N.. I remember he once said on an interview after sinking a putt,in skins game,he said"" I remembered I had this similar putt 3 years ago and I read it the wrong way and I missed it"" -- here's a guy who plays countless amount of golf, almost everyday and over how many different golf courses,how can he remember something like that 3 years past? it just takes a kind of genius,not everyone has.. Tiger is the same way.. it's their great desires to do the stuff they love, so the learning to them is more clear to them than others..

Just so I understand what you are saying.

Are you saying that you could take any baby boy and if his dad and later himself did everything exactly the same as Tiger....and his love for the game was the same as Tiger's....and he studied golf as much as Tiger has, than he could be just as good as Tiger?

Tiger has the muscle fibers to lift weight and bench press 300 lbs. So if another boy grows to 5'5" and can't gain any weight past 130 lbs.....he still could work hard and study golf and develop intuition and be just as good as Tiger? Any golfer who develope the same level of golf genious as Tiger, could be as good, even if he was 6'8" or 5'4'?

Are you also saying that every single person is born with identical physical potential in sports...and the only difference is the great players just work and study the game harder? And that elite athletes have no genetic physical advantages, they just develop their mental powers better??

If that is your theory, I must say I have never heard that theory before.

BradBaughman
06-14-2009, 09:45 AM
Just so I understand what you are saying.

Are you saying that you could take any baby boy and if his dad and later himself did everything exactly the same as Tiger....and his love for the game was the same as Tiger's....and he studied golf as much as Tiger has, than he could be just as good as Tiger?

Tiger has the muscle fibers to lift weight and bench press 300 lbs. So if another boy grows to 5'5" and can't gain any weight past 130 lbs.....he still could work hard and study golf and develop intuition and be just as good as Tiger? Any golfer who develope the same level of golf genious as Tiger, could be as good, even if he was 6'8" or 5'4'?

Are you also saying that every single person is born with identical physical potential in sports...and the only difference is the great players just work and study the game harder? And that elite athletes have no genetic physical advantages, they just develop their mental powers better??

If that is your theory, I must say I have never heard that theory before.

Can anyone beat Nadal on clay??

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 09:47 AM
Not that I disagree with your overall point but, there have been some great NBA players that have come out of the state of Indiana besides Larry Bird.

George McGinnis- 6 time all star, one year co MVP with Dr. J

Brad Miller- 2 time all star

Shawn Kemp- 6 time all star

Glenn Robinson- 2 time all star, All rookie team.

I would consider these guys were top level NBA players at one point.

Then there are a ton of Indiana players that were starters on their teams or played significant roles on their team, but they are obviously too many to mention.

Good point, I should have phased it better, Indiana has put out many pros.

But my point with Bird is that he has to have some genetic advantage. Obviously not jumping high, etc.

But maybe his eyesight is superior...Ted Williams had scary great eyesight. Maybe Bird's eyes focusing ability was better. Something.

I find it hard to believe that each baby could be Larry Bird if their mental abilities and obsession with basketball were developed the same as Bird's were. There has to be a genetic physical advantage that the hard work just magnifies enormously.

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 09:48 AM
Can anyone beat Nadal on clay??

Apparently only lower ranked Swedish guys.....when Nadal's tendinitis flares up!

SoCal10s
06-14-2009, 10:12 AM
Just so I understand what you are saying.

Are you saying that you could take any baby boy and if his dad and later himself did everything exactly the same as Tiger....and his love for the game was the same as Tiger's....and he studied golf as much as Tiger has, than he could be just as good as Tiger?

Tiger has the muscle fibers to lift weight and bench press 300 lbs. So if another boy grows to 5'5" and can't gain any weight past 130 lbs.....he still could work hard and study golf and develop intuition and be just as good as Tiger? Any golfer who develope the same level of golf genious as Tiger, could be as good, even if he was 6'8" or 5'4'?

Are you also saying that every single person is born with identical physical potential in sports...and the only difference is the great players just work and study the game harder? And that elite athletes have no genetic physical advantages, they just develop their mental powers better??

If that is your theory, I must say I have never heard that theory before.
let's just say,even Einstein would not be Einstein,if he wasn't born Einstein.. I'm pretty sure even with all the hard work,Larry Bird put into his basketball ,he would not have been the great Larry Bird if he wasn't over 6ft tall.. so if you really want to argue just to argue,I'll let you win the argument ..

BradBaughman
06-14-2009, 10:32 AM
let's just say,even Einstein would not be Einstein,if he wasn't born Einstein.. I'm pretty sure even with all the hard work,Larry Bird put into his basketball ,he would not have been the great Larry Bird if he wasn't over 6ft tall.. so if you really want to argue just to argue,I'll let you win the argument ..

He says our best athletes are from the inner-city "aka" black athlete , they play basketball .football ,baseball , would love to see the "Fridge" play tennis or lets say Jason Smith coming out of college or how about the " Shaq"how are these for athletes transferring over to tennis ,how about Barry Bonds would he make a great tennis player??

He brings up basketball and Kobe, LeBron but when i bring up our Dream team getting their butts handed to them at the Olympics 04 by counties that basketball is not even their main sport and as one thread said:

""And the other countries are definitely becoming more "in" to basketball during recent years. The leagues over there are becoming huge."" .

He has and excuse for why a bunch of less athletic guys beat our superior ones at a sport they don't focus on i guess theres a reveres here imagine these guys getting serious about basketball !!!

Mulligan
06-14-2009, 10:54 AM
He says our best athletes are from the inner-city "aka" black athlete , they play basketball .football ,baseball , would love to see the "Fridge" play tennis or lets say Jason Smith coming out of college or how about the " Shaq"how are these for athletes transferring over to tennis ,how about Barry Bonds would he make a great tennis player??

He brings up basketball and Kobe, LeBron but when i bring up our Dream team getting their butts handed to them at the Olympics 04 by counties that basketball is not even their main sport and as one thread said:

""And the other countries are definitely becoming more "in" to basketball during recent years. The leagues over there are becoming huge."" .

He has and excuse for why a bunch of less athletic guys beat our superior ones at a sport they don't focus on i guess theres a reveres here imagine these guys getting serious about basketball !!!

What thread are you reading, lol?? You're completely disconnected to the point that virtually everyone is making in this thread- the other posters' examples have no relevance (much to your dismay?) to "black v white" issues; rather they are pointing to "great athletes v not so great athletes". The fact whether you want to believe it or not is that the best athletes in this country are not choosing tennis. Be it inner-city kids or suburban Indiana kids. Team sports...especially with regard to the lame 2004 Olympic example....are completely irrelevent. Man, I have been reading this thread and another one and can't believe that you are still trying to make your argument.

Craig Carter
06-14-2009, 11:01 AM
This is all very true; good post. Although some would wish it were not - many great athletes were born with the inherent physical and mental qualities that made it soooo much easier to excel at what they do. Your point is well taken. There have been thousands of kids in golf & tennis (and all sports) that have "put in the time" and been coached since they were in the crib by obsessed parents yet there has not been another Tiger Woods and Indiana has not produced any more Larry Birds. It has been said that Bird had a unique mental quality of seeing a play develop way before-hand and planning the play 3-4 passes "ahead". You can't teach that - although many try to.

IMO you can force a child at age 4 or 5 to give up everything, plan their "future" and obsess with training in a particular sport...........BUT the success of that sad venture is anything but guaranteed due to natural abilities that the child might never exhibit.

I'm with you on this one. This has nothing to do with race or with Olympic basketball (of all things.:shock:)...it's about how do we get the best athletes interested in playing tennis in the USA. If we believe that some crop of 6 year old kids are going to be "magically transformed" in to tennis stars by a combination of focus, discipline, and coaching then we will be disappointed to no end. The best athletes need to be interested in the sport or it will always be second rate.

SoCal10s
06-14-2009, 11:07 AM
He says our best athletes are from the inner-city "aka" black athlete , they play basketball .football ,baseball , would love to see the "Fridge" play tennis or lets say Jason Smith coming out of college or how about the " Shaq"how are these for athletes transferring over to tennis ,how about Barry Bonds would he make a great tennis player??

He brings up basketball and Kobe, LeBron but when i bring up our Dream team getting their butts handed to them at the Olympics 04 by counties that basketball is not even their main sport and as one thread said:

""And the other countries are definitely becoming more "in" to basketball during recent years. The leagues over there are becoming huge."" .

He has and excuse for why a bunch of less athletic guys beat our superior ones at a sport they don't focus on i guess theres a reveres here imagine these guys getting serious about basketball !!!

well maybe he's right,all the physical gifted athletes are the (aka) inner city black guys.. that's is why there are no tennis gifted athletes,well except 1, Donald Young,and look where he is headed..
the problem with tennis is that in this sport you need to be more than a physical gifted athlete.. tennis takes a lot of discipline and learned skills(no one teaches for free) and imagination and problem solving ,ect,ect,not to mention a certain type of physical body that can last 3-5 hours on a hot day in the hot sun without cramping up..

I can't see those NBA guys lasting in the daytime sun for a 5 hours in a 5 setter at almost continuous moving as so many has done.. all these factors are what makes tennis so unique compared to all the other sports...

I mean a marathon runner will run only a few marathons a year,and it lasts only 3 hours + ,but a clay court or hard court tennis grand slam,a player can have a 4+ hour match one day and has to do it again within a day's rest,and sometimes not even a day's rest..(as in the bad scheduling in the Aussie open this year)..

if I was a young gifted athlete and they told me to pick a sport and they tell me how much a baseball player can earn or basketball or golf or soccer(in Europe) and they told me what it takes to get there and the playing venue , there is no way I'm gonna choose tennis... tennis is just too hard to be great in and the rewards are not proportional to the other sports..

WChiang
06-14-2009, 11:55 AM
well maybe he's right,all the physical gifted athletes are the (aka) inner city black guys.. that's is why there are no tennis gifted athletes,well except 1, Donald Young,and look where he is headed.. ......I can't see those NBA guys lasting in the daytime sun for a 5 hours in a 5 setter at almost continuous moving as so many has done.. all these factors are what makes tennis so unique compared to all the other sports... .......

OK, I can't hold it in anymore. You and BradBaughman are living in a fantasy world. (Let me stop laughing first)... If you don't think that NBA players, hockey players, football players, etc. can "handle" a 5 set tennis match then I need some of that stuff you're smoking. I also love how you are both trying to make it into a "black guy" thing when nobody has made that the point. Yeah, Hines Ward, LT, Tom Brady, or Troy Polamalu would NEVER be able to play a "gruelling" tennis match (those "other sport" seasons are such a breaze, lol) but, hold the phone, the superior athletes such as David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, Djokavich, and Andy Roddick would blow away the fitness levels of the stars in other sports. What a joke.

SoCal10s
06-14-2009, 12:20 PM
OK, I can't hold it in anymore. You and BradBaughman are living in a fantasy world. (Let me stop laughing first)... If you don't think that NBA players, hockey players, football players, etc. can "handle" a 5 set tennis match then I need some of that stuff you're smoking. I also love how you are both trying to make it into a "black guy" thing when nobody has made that the point. Yeah, Hines Ward, LT, Tom Brady, or Troy Polamalu would NEVER be able to play a "gruelling" tennis match (those "other sport" seasons are such a breaze, lol) but, hold the phone, the superior athletes such as David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, Djokavich, and Andy Roddick would blow away the fitness levels of the stars in other sports. What a joke.

no man,I'm not making into a black thing... I'm sure to say that an NBA athlete who is 6'+ and 225 + lbs. is not going to go too many rounds at a tennis grand slam where he may have to play multiple 4 hours matches in the sun.. maybe a guy like Steve Nash or a point guard like Parker or Chris Paul can do it but too many can last that long carrying their weight and size around on a tennis court..

you get back to me when the next time you've played 4-5 sets in a row of high level tennis,not too many long breaks and then do it again for 2-3 days.. tell me how your body feels after that.. NBA guys do their thing indoors,for what 2+ hours with subs and breaks and time outs with 4 other guys helping on the floor.. think about it...

Tom C
06-14-2009, 12:22 PM
What do we mean by athlete? Do we mean speed? Strength? Hand-eye coordination? Discipline? Mental toughness? Was Agassi a great athlete? As great as Sampras? Is David Ferrer a great athlete? Simon? What about Tsonga? Is it a combination of things or is it just physical?

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 12:31 PM
OK, I can't hold it in anymore. You and BradBaughman are living in a fantasy world. (Let me stop laughing first)... If you don't think that NBA players, hockey players, football players, etc. can "handle" a 5 set tennis match then I need some of that stuff you're smoking. I also love how you are both trying to make it into a "black guy" thing when nobody has made that the point. Yeah, Hines Ward, LT, Tom Brady, or Troy Polamalu would NEVER be able to play a "gruelling" tennis match (those "other sport" seasons are such a breaze, lol) but, hold the phone, the superior athletes such as David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, Djokavich, and Andy Roddick would blow away the fitness levels of the stars in other sports. What a joke.

I hear you....these discussions usually end in frustration with those 2 posters.

Donald Young is the example he pulls out. Donald is a nice guy, works pretty hard, a good athlete.

But no one will ever confuse his athletic ability for an elite NBA guard or MLB shortstop!!

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 12:34 PM
no man,I'm not making into a black thing... I'm sure to say that an NBA athlete who is 6'+ and 225 + lbs. is not going to go too many rounds at a tennis grand slam where he may have to play multiple 4 hours matches in the sun.. maybe a guy like Steve Nash or a point guard like Parker or Chris Paul can do it but too many can last that long carrying their weight and size around on a tennis court..

you get back to me when the next time you've played 4-5 sets in a row of high level tennis,not too many long breaks and then do it again for 2-3 days.. tell me how your body feels after that.. NBA guys do their thing indoors,for what 2+ hours with subs and breaks and time outs with 4 other guys helping on the floor.. think about it...

Come on, that is a silly argument. Obviously an NBA player does not train for tennis situations. Why would they.

But if they choose tennis as kids and went through IMG...their hearts, etc. would be trained for elite tennis, not the NBA. They would do entirely different workouts their entire lives....maybe carry less weight, do different cardio. Obviously not every NBA great athlete could translate to tennis. That is why I limited the pool to point guards, shortstops, etc....guys who have a body type that might translate well.

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 12:38 PM
What do we mean by athlete? Do we mean speed? Strength? Hand-eye coordination? Discipline? Mental toughness? Was Agassi a great athlete? As great as Sampras? Is David Ferrer a great athlete? Simon? What about Tsonga? Is it a combination of things or is it just physical?

We are not trying to define each component of an athlete I don't think.

We are merely saying that if tennis was our first sport, and most kids choose tennis before football, basketball and baseball, the pool of potential American elite tennis players would be much, much better.

Out of that vastly deeper pool, a much better chance of a Grand Slam champ emerging.

BradBaughman
06-14-2009, 01:26 PM
OK, I can't hold it in anymore. You and BradBaughman are living in a fantasy world. (Let me stop laughing first)... If you don't think that NBA players, hockey players, football players, etc. can "handle" a 5 set tennis match then I need some of that stuff you're smoking. I also love how you are both trying to make it into a "black guy" thing when nobody has made that the point. Yeah, Hines Ward, LT, Tom Brady, or Troy Polamalu would NEVER be able to play a "gruelling" tennis match (those "other sport" seasons are such a breaze, lol) but, hold the phone, the superior athletes such as David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, Djokavich, and Andy Roddick would blow away the fitness levels of the stars in other sports. What a joke.

i Dont want it to be a black or white thing either but Tennisflorida always points to the inner-city is the "only place you find gifted athletes" and i highly disagree, there's a history here you may not be aware of ,im sorry for me not stating that ,

but getting on to it what does it take 7 out of 10 times it takes the right recipe of the parents, the right kid and some good coaching , the article states about the parents behind the players have driven them to greatness and i believe that is a lot of what it takes.

But my question to all how many of you have gone to a dictionary and looked up what the definition is for and athlete is ??

BradBaughman
06-14-2009, 01:33 PM
Come on, that is a silly argument. Obviously an NBA player does not train for tennis situations. Why would they.

But if they choose tennis as kids and went through IMG...their hearts, etc. would be trained for elite tennis, not the NBA. They would do entirely different workouts their entire lives....maybe carry less weight, do different cardio. Obviously not every NBA great athlete could translate to tennis. That is why I limited the pool to point guards, shortstops, etc....guys who have a body type that might translate well.

tennis florida i dont think you with all your years of "elite coaching" that you even understand the size of the tennis court calls for a certain size of player to do well, its kinda funny how when you do the tale of the tape, the players or athletes who have done great measure between 6'0- 6'3 and the Ivo's have not, nor have the Rochus's , my expertise would say Kobe who i find a very educated guy and athletic would struggle at 6'8-6'9 what ever he is.

sureshs
06-14-2009, 07:03 PM
a lot of people on this forum love to talk about "" most gifted young athletes"".. I don't see any.. babies aren't born to be athletes .. if you take Andre's and Steffi's kid and raised them as normal kids never introducing them to tennis,do you think those kids will be ""most gifted young athletes"" .. this article may be right on.. look at Tiger's dad,he's more demanding than a drill sargent and his mom was the tough one in the family... everyone says that Tiger is so gifted,I never bought that.. he was raised and brainwashed ,and disciplined to be Tiger since he was a baby.. it was his crazy dad and mom who gave all that to him.. but off course,he had to finish the job and keep doing what he was raised to do,but he already had the discipline instill in him since very young..

Hard work does not take anyone to the highest levels. Much is made of Agassi's dad or Sharapova's dad being poor immigrants, but Agassi was blessed with exceptional hand-eye coordination, and Sharapova is 6'2" or more. If she was 5'3", no one would be talking about her. Tiger too is exceptional - you can't play at that level without inherent talent. The opposite argument, that gifted children may not make it big, is not relevant. That is pretty obvious, IMO. It is only of interest who makes it, not who doesn't. There are thousands of motivated Mike Agassis and Yuri Sharapovs out there, but their children amount to nothing tenniswise. In fact, I myself know a Yuri from Russia whose daughter Maria plays tennis! It is a combination of nature and nurture, but at the top levels, genetics (nature) wins. It is like tens of thousands of students study physics very very hard, but they will not achieve anything like Einstein did.

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 07:49 PM
tennis florida i dont think you with all your years of "elite coaching" that you even understand the size of the tennis court calls for a certain size of player to do well, its kinda funny how when you do the tale of the tape, the players or athletes who have done great measure between 6'0- 6'3 and the Ivo's have not, nor have the Rochus's , my expertise would say Kobe who i find a very educated guy and athletic would struggle at 6'8-6'9 what ever he is.

Brad....you posted a quote from me in your post where I said not every NBA elite athlete would translate to tennis, and I said I was limiting my pool to players with body types like "point guards and MLB shortstops".

Then you tell me I should know that a 6'9" NBA player could not play tennis.

That would be exactly what the quote you posted from me said!!

TennisCoachFLA
06-14-2009, 07:55 PM
Hard work does not take anyone to the highest levels. Much is made of Agassi's dad or Sharapova's dad being poor immigrants, but Agassi was blessed with exceptional hand-eye coordination, and Sharapova is 6'2" or more. If she was 5'3", no one would be talking about her. Tiger too is exceptional - you can't play at that level without inherent talent. The opposite argument, that gifted children may not make it big, is not relevant. That is pretty obvious, IMO. It is only of interest who makes it, not who doesn't. There are thousands of motivated Mike Agassis and Yuri Sharapovs out there, but their children amount to nothing tenniswise. In fact, I myself know a Yuri from Russia whose daughter Maria plays tennis! It is a combination of nature and nurture, but at the top levels, genetics (nature) wins. It is like tens of thousands of students study physics very very hard, but they will not achieve anything like Einstein did.

Exactly....it is so ridiculous to say it is all hard work, mental work and nothing to do with talent.

The truly great players emerge when one of the .1% of people born with a special particular talent (Tiger) combine with opportunity that lends itself to that talent (Tiger's dad).

Sure there might have been 100 other people born out 1000000 that had Tiger's potential, but never played golf.

But to say Tiger did not start off with something super special is silly.

Like I said, studies showed Ted Williams had ridiculously great vision....vision that hardly anyone has....that physical advantage started him down the road to be Ted Williams. A person with average vision could never have been Ted Williams, no matter how smart or hard working he was.