Tennis Recruiting

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by hound 109, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

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    I like TRN & for the most part agree with most of the data they put out....but:

    - What is with their "articles" on the front page?

    The most recent in a handful of non-informative puff pieces is an interview with the Rice Woman's coach.

    http://www.tennisrecruiting.net/article.asp?id=1152&sessionid=305C735A35294378

    Not only does it provide worthless generic information...."parents supporting a kid is good....not not supporting is not good" & "making sure you will fit in is good" etc....but the interviewer fails to ask the coach why 7 of her 9 players AREN'T even from the US.

    This would be a question (& answer) that most readers would be interested in.... since TRN is a website with a US tennis scholarship focus??

    Prior articles included an interview of the Baylor head coach (also a team with very few Americans) & an article extolling the virtues & play of a Junior who had been booted out of the previous national tourney for coaching/cheating.

    I like TRN.....but like the USTA propoganda magazine i get every 3 months....it's content is becoming pretty much a wasted read except for the actual rankings.

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
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  2. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

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    I totally agree. Tennis Recruiting is a great, great tool for college bound kids, I really don't think my daughter would have made it without their format and the respect college coaches have for it (laughingly, tr.net was on the computer screen of virtually every school we visited)

    That said, their decision to never rock the boat in the tennis world, never taking a stance unless it's positive, tap dancing around the foreign college tennis player issue and such is very disappointing.

    I agree with your take on the interviews as well. The coaches hardly ever give anyone any useful information and as you pointed out NEVER get asked the tough questions.

    Recruits need to know HOW to attract a coaches attention, how to keep them interested and such and the content needs to be directed at the 3 and 4 star players. They're the ones needing the help. We all know the 5 star and blue chippers don't really have these problems.
     
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  3. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    OK... I'll bite. And I'll do so with one of my patented verbose posts that is much too long-winded...

    Over the last year, TRN has run 2-3 articles per week - and occasionally we have special article series (e.g., right around the start of the Fall and Spring Signing Periods in November and April; the week after the Claycourt and Hardcourt Nationals in the summer).

    The content that we run on the website can be loosely classified as:
    (1) profiles of junior players
    (2) wrap-ups of national junior tournaments
    (3) college commitment announcements
    (4) wrap-ups of college tournaments
    (5) photo galleries from the junior and college events that we are able to visit and photograph
    (6) recruiting advice

    Of these six classifications, we contract for (1)-(4) with freelance authors who specialize in tennis (e.g., Colette Lewis, Marcia Frost, Josh Rey, Ali Jones), we do (5) ourselves, and we get (6) for free from a variety of companies who are associated with academies or who specialize in assisting with recruiting (e.g., Scholarship for Athletes, IMG/Bollettieri, Donovan Tennis Strategies).

    You seem to be complaining about (6) - all of the articles you list come from (6).

    A few notes...

    - There are people who like all of our articles - including those in (6). We get feedback - usually more positive than negative - for almost every article that we publish.

    - Before we had Class (6), we only ran 1-2 articles per week - the Class (6) articles are easy for us to get, and it increases our content. Those articles in Class (6) just mean that we have more content.

    - We have no control over the content we get in (6). Our partners make it available to us, and we can decide whether to run it on our site or not. It is by far the least time-consuming for us. We do have some additional control over what we run in (1)-(5) since we are paying for it, but we often yield substantial control to the authors (e.g., Colette Lewis of ZooTennis writes a weekly column for us, and we let her write whatever she wants - I think we get much better content because we give her free reign.)

    - As you point out, our rankings and player/college database are the central elements of our website. The articles are there as "extra stuff". Noone at TRN has any background in journalism - we are all technical wonks who love sports in general, tennis in particular, and get into things like rankings. As such, our small company does not spend too much time planning articles.

    (climbing up on soapbox)

    All that said, I think that the TRN content is much better than you give it credit. There have been years when we have been the only site to cover all 8 age divisions of the Clays and Hardcourts. I think our Countdown to Signing Day (which starts Monday, by the way) and College Recruiting Class Rankings provide a lot of buzz in junior tennis. I also think our content - college commitment announcements, etc. - helps provide a better link between junior tennis and college tennis... that link has not been historically strong.

    (climbing back down)

    At the end of the day, we are a small company, and we are doing the best we can to carve out a niche and fill a need. Some people hate us or think we are off track (read some of the other threads on this forum) - and others love what we do. Some are mixed in their feelings. There is no way we can please everyone - just ask any successful company.

    What we will do is to continue to try to provide the best product that we can, and we are always open to suggestions. Indeed, one of the reasons that we now do our Top Prospect Ratings (i.e., the "stars") twice a year - and increased the proportion of 2-Star recruits - is because of emails and comments on this board.


    I hope this clarifies how things work at our site. At this point, I think we will continue with the Class (6) articles. Like I said, many people like them. And there are many people for whom the comments in those articles are not vacuous - there are many, many newbies for whom college recruiting is a mystery.

    Best regards,
    Dallas
     
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  4. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    While we do have a popular website, at the end of the day we are a group of four (somewhat geeky) individuals who love both tennis and rankings. While we do have individual opinions on the subjects you mention above, even the four of us do not always agree. And, frankly, since we have no formal weight with the USTA, ITF, ITA, NCAA, or any other relevant governing body, there is little use in TRN taking public stands on these issues. Some people have suggested that we sanction our own tournaments and "compete" with the USTA. We have no interest in doing something like that, but even if we had the desire, it just isn't realistic.

    That said, we do make our opinions known privately to our contacts in the USTA and ITA.

    The first paragraph above seems again to be going after the Class (6) content that I covered in my previous post.

    But the point of your second paragraph is well-taken - and it is not the first time I have heard that comment. We are working on some new content that provides general advice. But you'd be surprised - many 5-Star players actually do have problems with recruiting.

    I hope this helps.

    Best,
    Dallas
     
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  5. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    One last note... I am about to be overwhelmed for the next month with our Countdown to Signing Day and Signing Week article series - doing those in additional to my usual tasks. I probably won't have time to write more of these posts - and I always take a lot of time to consider my thoughts before writing here. So do not be offended if I drop out of the discussion - hopefully there are others who will take up the mantle of defending TRN. :)
     
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  6. rptennis

    rptennis New User

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    Dallas,

    Great post man! just a quick question off topic. How often do you guys update the player's ranking with his/her ITF results?

    Thanks!
     
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  7. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    There are FAQs at the tennisrecruiting.net site.

    The short answer is that USTA and ITF results are obtained by computer every week. There is no special answer for ITF as opposed to USTA.
     
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  8. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    [Clark and I posted at the same time, and his answer was just fine, but here is my $0.02.]

    Rankings are updated weekly. We import/enter new match results every week, and the rankings are updated weekly according to this schedule:

    Tuesday - College Recruiting Lists - Boys
    Wednesday - Babolat College Recruiting Lists - Girls
    Thursday - IMG TennisRPI Rankings - Boys
    Friday - IMG TennisRPI Rankings - Girls

    I hope this helps.

    - Dallas
     
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  9. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

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    Dallas, you've read my posts and you've read my e-mails ... You know I'm a fan of your product. A BIG fan.

    That said, I don't think you realize what a huge following and influence you have in the tennis world. With your support, a rival to the USTA tournament schedule could be bourne (the L3 tournament directors cannot be happy with what has transpired this past year). Just imagine a schedule in which the MAIN criteria would be the college bound player. Give college coaches what they want and you will succeed. Sponsor / support quarterly tournaments, guaranteed to have x many coaches in attendance and just see what happens. Maybe one tournament each quarter would be enough.

    I understand your agreement with zoo and such but if they just want to be cheerleaders or ostrich's then you have to decide on which side of the fence you choose to be. I have read many, many articles praising top girls from Florida, girls I know for fact were raised on cheating and gamesmanship. This is what Team Mc wants ... Shows desire, I'm told. It isn't what champions are made from, though.

    College bound tennis players need direction and support. They're not getting it from USTA. Hopefully someone will step up.
     
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  10. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    I hope you understand where TR.NET gets its data from. "Rival to the USTA"??? I do not think so.
     
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  11. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

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    data = public domain???

    Maybe I am just dreaming. Maybe these 'pie in the sky' things are not possible. BUT great things always come from big dreams and 'where there's a will, there's a way' always rings true in life, doesn't it?
     
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  12. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

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    Dallas, as i mentioned, i LIKE TRN. Having it exist is 100% better than not having it exist. (& the numbers that the "geeks" put out is amazingly good & accurate data imo :)).

    I also like the fact that you respond. Even when there are times I might disagree, i respect you & your site.

    I realize you don't make $$ responding to posts on TW....& probably won't be able to respond here, but I've got comments to the below:

    Understood Dallas. Your site is great. I hope it's around for decades & you all prosper.

    But even a great restaurant might have a bad desert (that they bring in from a 3rd party). If they do, they might consider dropping it from the menu. ;)

    Thanks.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
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  13. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Sure, the data is in the public domain. If the USTA and TRN have a falling out, then instead of getting a computer feed from the USTA computers, TRN can pay 500 workers to sit around typing in the results from tournaments all over the country.

    So, no, not every pie in the sky idea is achievable.
     
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  14. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

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    OK, so tr.net can't be that organization, my only point is that, IMO, the United States needs someone to step up and compete with the USTA.
     
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  15. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    Actually it is in the best interests of junior tennis community for both ranking systems to co-exist peacefully. USTA rankings provide a system for tournament access and tr.net actually shows how players stack up against each other. USTA ranking forces kids to play tournaments while tr.net recognizes achievements of kids who may not have opportunities to travel. It would be nice if USTA accepted the role of tr.net and started awarding wildcards into Nat tournaments based on tr.net ranking. It would be nice if tr.net made their ranking algorithms more transparent and somehow incorporated the scores (closeness) of the matches into the rankings. I guess everyone (and not just college coaches) would like to be able to compare players that belong to different recruitment classes. At least tr.net could publish rough guidelines - something like R(G2014)=R(G2013)-25 or R(B2014)=R(B2013)-50.
     
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  16. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    It would be nice. In some areas like S. FL. the clubs and park programs could develop their own tournament and ranking system.

    How sweet it would be to have some sort of tiered system based purely on skill level and not age. Pure S. FL. opens where super talented 11 year olds play 35 year olds of similar skill level. Hmmm, sounds a lot like some of the European countries. I bet it would produce some amazing juniors.

    Unfortunately this system would only work for tennis dense areas like S. FL. and Atlanta. In these areas you could have a killer tourny network all within a few hour drive.
     
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  17. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    the thing I sort of question is that families join the USTA and pay for membership and pay to play the tournaments and USTA are entitled to use any data because they are using members permission to do so.. but TR uses the players data(win/lost)ect without any written permission for their own profits ... maybe some kids (and parents)don't want to give out free information what their kids do and where they go.. but TR gets away with it.. to me this sounds like lawyers should be involved..
     
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  18. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    I am totally confused by this post. We already have what you are wishing for. There are 20 USTA men’s open tournaments in Florida every month. Go and play one.
     
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  19. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    I am sure that TR would remove any player who requested to be removed from their system.

    Just like how your personal information may appear on spokeo.com or similar websites because of information in the public domain..but they will remove it if you request.
     
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  20. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    That would be a really good thing, I think.
     
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  21. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    By default TR.NET does not show any info that USTA website does not already provide. You can tell "what they do and where they go" from the USTA and ITF websites (including birth date). The rest of the info is provided by the players themselves. I only question posting photos without player's permission although they are probably always taken at the big events where you fill the form to allow tournaments to take photos. Maybe they should create a setting in the user profile to allow/disallow photos to be displayed.
     
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  22. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    I don't know but I think anything that gives information about children is not public domain .. It needs written consent because they are still minors..
     
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  23. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Then you misunderstood my post and may not have read all the background information over the past year or so where we have discussed the European club system.

    I am not talking about "men's opens". I am talking about a system like the European club system. Players, both male and female, play according to skill level in interclub tournaments. Then they do the same with other tennis clubs. A super talented 12 year old girl could be matched against a 35 year old man close in ability, perhaps a little better, at her club. This results in kids learning the tricks and strategies of all types of players. It is also a local and regional system that results in a family atmosphere.

    We have nothing like that here at all. Players are totally segregated by age as juniors and men's open could pit a former male pro vs a 14 year old who can't win a point and won't help them get better at all. In the Euro system care is taken to match players as to best develop the kids, not to see which talented kid can 0-0 some other boy with much less talent who is the same age.

    You can barely pay a 35 year old guy in an American club to battle it out with a talented girl in front of all their families and friends. Totally different culture and dynamic and especially goals. The USTA nor men's open system offer anything remotely close to the Euro club tournies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^ above is correct. The new USTA president was interviewed and he talked about it. There are 138000 US competitive juniors under 18 and more than 4 times that number is much smaller France. He mentioned the ease of playing high level tournaments locally in clubs as one of the main factors.
     
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  25. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    A couple of others have already commented, but here is my $0.02.

    The only core information we show for players who do not have accounts with TRN is name, hometown, and match results. We also show rankings and ranking history that is derived from the core information - and we finally show college commitments if it is either reported by college coaches or shows up in a press release from an athletic department.

    Note that the core information is all publicly available on the USTA or ITF websites.

    We do allow players or parents to request their profile be removed from the system - I would say that we have removed 5 profiles since we launched in September 2005. The one caveat is that when we remove a profile, it is gone from the system permanently - we do not allow players/parents to repeatedly create and remove profiles.

    We have had informal conversations with lawyers who have indicated that we are on solid ground with our policies since (1) this information is in the public domain and (2) we remove profiles on request. Indeed, it is not clear that we need to do (2) - but removing profiles on request seems to satisfy people who are upset with what we are doing.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to email me - dallas at tennisrecruiting.net - with any questions you might have.

    Best,
    Dallas
     
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  26. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    You are correct that we only post profile photos and photo galleries for players who sign releases at events we attend.

    Also, players/parents can manage the photos - and ANY non-match information - with free accounts.

    Best,
    Dallas
     
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  27. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    The Universal Tennis folks - http://universaltennis.com - are trying to do these kinds of things. There was a lot of talk about Universal Tennis at the ITA Convention in December - many college coaches like the idea. I know that their principals have been talking with the USTA about it - and some college coaches have hosted some of these leveled tournaments at college sites.

    - Dallas
     
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  28. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Thanks Dallas....the section 'About Universal Tennis" has the mission statement that is exactly what I was wishing for. Removing gender and age and just going by levels is a great way to develop juniors.
     
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  29. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    Dallas,
    I could not find an option to remove photos made by tr.net from the player's page with free account. Could you please advise how to do it? I am sure other parents/players may be interested to know as well.
    Thanks.
     
    #29
  30. dallasoliver

    dallasoliver Rookie

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    Ah... I thought you were asking about the profile picture.

    We do not have an interface for removing photos taken by TRN - we have to do it by hand. Please send email to support at tennisrecruiting.net.

    - Dallas
     
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