The Emperor Has No Clothes (reblogged from 10sBalls.com)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennis5, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,904
    Impossible to measure? Huh? How do you figure? You just love to make up stuff don't you. You don't think athletic ability can be measured? LMAO.


    ]

    America doesn't suck at it. It's that we have better alternatives here. Why be a nurse when you can be a doctor? Why be a fry cook when you can own your own foodstand?

    You just like blaming Pat McEnroe for US tennis inevitable downfall. Tennis is less popular then it used to be at the rec level AND we don't get the best athletes going into it. It's no wonder that our tennis is slipping.

    Likewise I don't blame the US leader of squash for our woeful squash program. Few people play squash in america. It's a great game. But if you don't have alot of people playing and don't get the best athletes your sport is going to be weak. it happens to any niche sport.
     
  2. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,510
    For the love of god learn to read. I said "America probably doesn't get the best athletes possible into tennis - but nor does any country. The concept itself is actually impossible to measure."

    This means that the amount of people who have the best athletic abilities cannot be tracked insofar as what sport they go into. This is independent of any measurement of what actually is a "best athlete".

    There is no baseline by which to measure from and too many variables to work out which sports are getting more than their "fair" share (again, a subjective notion) of the athletic talent in the total pool.

    All of the anecdotal evidence in American tennis (male at least) says exactly that - they suck at finding people within the athletic scope that suits tennis and are also dedicated enough for such a difficult sport.

    What evidence do you have to counter that claim? The players on tour are the measurement I am using - and the one that matters. In that regards America falls well short of the curve based on population, expenditure and opportunity.

    Your why be a nurse when you can be a doctor? etc comments mean nothing whatsoever. Just the idling keyboard diarrhoea of someone who thinks such an analogy makes any sense at all. Even if you were to consider it the fact is people who do medical degrees almost never considered being a nurse. And the vast majority of people who get into nursing never had the sort of intellect required to study medicine.

    Again, learn to read. I said VERY clearly "It is a multi-pronged equation which cannot be lumped in one corner except by morons who are more concerned about pointing the finger" - what part of that comment says to you I am laying blame on Pat McEnroe or the administration side as opposed to everyone? To reiterate, I said "cannot be lumped in one corner."

    This thread has mentioned of the inability (or unwillingness) of American kids to dedicate themselves hard enough to succeed at tennis. We know that tennis is far harder to succeed in than the big three American sports on a financial comparison - the numbers speak for themselves quite obviously in that respect. If you look at sport in-general and focus on global sports it is evident that America is less present than in the past almost across the board. In a few select sports they remain but in most - athletics, tennis, cycling, motorsport etc they are disappearing fast so far as global presence is concerned. Where the talent is being pooled is in effectively America-only type sports.

    Perhaps the pool of talent America has produced, the "lazy kids" McEnroe talks of, are America's best these days - and while they produce enough baseball or American football players there are fewer capable of playing tennis well even as a percentage of people who play tennis. It's no secret at all that America is on the back of 1-2 generations of kids who have been over-indulged by their parents and have had life too easy which has seen a downward trend in athletic involvement, skyrocketing obesity and weight-related health issues in younger and younger people and, therefore, a commensurately smaller amount of top athletic potential* in the total pool of people (amongst other reasons like the advent of video games etc).

    (by potential I mean if someone has amazing potential but they never play sport then they count as a zero - because it has never been identified so has the same effect as being non-existent... like someone with some freak-level musical genetics who never got the chance to try)
     
  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    very good stuff TC :)
     
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    so you are sort of agreeing that we don't coach them up well enough due to
    expense, right?
     
  5. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    very good to hear :)
     
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,813
    Why?

    PE Majors should not get credit for non-physical activity or activity that does not involve teaching PE or sports. PE is not about being a referee, and being a referee is not about teaching or training.

    It is not enough for senior citizens to have good eyes. They must know the rules of tennis and have some experience tracking ball trajectories.

    Many of the adults that will show up will be the control-freak type. It will only lead to fights with the parents and complaints to the USTA.

    And you don't want adult men roaming around in junior tournaments without a background check, unless they are affiliated in some capacity with tennis, like being a member of the facility where the tournament is held or a league player elsewhere in the neighborhood.

    The tourney I am familiar with puts out an email to facility members to volunteer, and the TD invites those he needs for help. Officiating is done by a USTA ref, and when he does ask us to roam and keep an eye on hotspots where line calls may be contentious, he chooses among these people and gives us radios. We can only report back to him, and never interfere in the match. Sometimes he will also use us to conduct the ball toss and start a match. The TD and assistant TD have more power obviously.
     
  7. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    Guy, you make a lot of good points in many threads, but think you are on the
    wrong side of this one. Being very good at one sport doesn't mean you will always
    or even likely be good at all. Better the avg Joe? Yes, maybe, but not top 20
    kind of good.
    Bo Jackson, picked as best ever in sports I think,
    struggled in basketball and would have struggled more in tennis imo.

    I do think if we had more of them in the sport,,,then yes of course tennis would
    be better in US due to sheer numbers, but also many of these stars would get
    spanked and abused ...often by guys who couldn't touch them in football.
    A Danny Ainge is quite rare.

    At AU, both Barkley and Bo were amazing at what they did, but even playing
    pickup hoops with Barkley I could out dribble and shoot him...murder him with
    free throws and 3 pointers...but that said, no place for me in D1 hoops but
    him being one of the 50 best ever Pros due to "a very particular set of skills",
    along with a big body with monster hops....lol.
    Oh yeah, and watch him play golf : )
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  8. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    I was just referencing the idea of more adult supervision on the whole, along
    with the coaching at 14 and under.
    I didn't even catch what you are referencing about PE. Missed any mention of that before you
    here.
     
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,813
    You were better than Charles Barkley?
     
  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    Probably better at everything except rebounding and dunking when we were
    in college, but understand...he was not that great at the other stuff,
    except being a fun guy to be around.
     
  11. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Ha suresh, I know you like to debate just to debate. But come attend some SE FL. tournaments and you will see the difference from the ones you have been too.

    Colleges have lots of majors, of course a credit could be designed for officiating youth tournaments. PE was just used as an example. Most majors are jokes anyway. Getting a credit for officiating tournaments is at the bottom of the list of problems with most college majors these days.

    Obviously all officials would be taught the basic rules of tennis. Every other call is a fight down here anyway, at least an official could help move the 2 hour matches along.

    There are already fights and arguments every other match, and complaints galore to the USTA. This system can only help track the trouble makers who are getting away with the nonsense.

    Adult men roam these tournament sites all the time. They roam parks. No one knows who most of the people are at tournaments. Every kid I have seen has parents and/or coaches and/or friends all over the place while at tournaments. There are 1000000 other places for kids to be in danger rather than from the official at the tournament.

    You need to come see a SE. FL. tournament. 120 kids sign up, matches all day long. Academies, entitled parents, Russians with pressure....its totally different that your tournaments. If you experienced it personally and had kids involved I bet you would be more likely to look at ideas like I presented.

    By the way, must not be too silly. USTA FL. rep has actually started a serious email exchange with some higher ups in the loop. So far they like the college students/seniors idea. Good thing is at least they are starting to see how this recent influx of Russians, etc. has created a growing problem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,813
    There were more than 200 kids entered in the tournament here.

    I asked the USTA ref who also doubles as an organizer how he controls the situation. He said you have to make it clear from the outset that no violation of the rules will be tolerated. Simple things like parents saying kid has arrived when kid is in the restroom are not acceptable until the kid shows up in person. Loud parents are warned at once. The defaulting times are strictly enforced. A couple of years back, a kid was punished for inappropriate language. The TD and refs must set the zero-tolerance rule from the beginning.
     
  13. BigGuy

    BigGuy New User

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    Mid-atlantic perspective on cheating juniors

    Been lurking on here for a long time and I'm finally moved to post something...

    My child has been playing 10 and under tourneys here in the Mid-Atlantic area for over a year now. While I haven't experienced the levels of dishonesty and gamesmanship that TCF has seen, I haven't experienced anything close to the idyllic tennis tournament world that suresh is describing either. At my son's level (mostly level 2-3 10Us, and a few level 4-5 12Us), I'd say 75% of the players are trying to be honest (though they make a fair amount of "honest" mistakes on line calls). There are also some "brain farts" where the score gets called wrong and just stays that way, etc., giving away free points or even whole games. Parents have to just sit and be frustrated because we really can't intervene. I'd say a little help in this area would be great--a court monitor rather than a ref to just correct it when the kids get off.

    But there are about 25% of the players that are willfully cheating. They wait until it's a key point to make their egregious calls, and when my son calls a ref over after the second or third time, they stop until the ref leaves. A monitor positioned between two courts would do a lot to discourage this foolishness. We are only talking about maybe two additional people.

    A few tournament directors have smartly employed high school juniors and seniors to do this. At least around here, students need a lot of volunteer community service hours to get their diplomas, so this is really a free labor pool for events like this. Yeah, the ones that are not tennis players would need some training, but it would only take an hour. 95% of the calls they have to make are just easy judgment calls, not interpretations of the rulebook or anything. They can always pause the match and consult with the tournament ref if it gets complicated.

    This could work for any 12U or 10U tournament, but most directors don't bother. So they have one ref over 6 - 8 matches. Using my 25% benchmark, that means there is cheating going on on at least 2 courts simultaneously, so you have an impossible situation for one ref. Either the tournament directors are just too busy to get court monitors or worse--I have even heard the opinion voiced that kids should learn how to handle cheaters on their own, that this is part of their "development" as a player. Yet the most "developed" players, college and pros, nearly always have refs. Hmmm. Let me tell you, asking a 9-year-old boy to "handle" cheating himself is a recipe for disaster--any parent can tell you that. Their way of "handling" something would result in an arrest for an adult much of the time!

    We don't ask kids to self-referee in other sports, why tennis? Anything that makes tennis less fun at this age when kids are picking which sports they are going to commit to long-term is part of the problem that is being discussed on this thread. Make it more fun if you want more kids. Fun means a level playing field with adult supervision. Stop making excuses for why we can't have court monitors and just make it happen.
     
  14. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,543
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    When I grew up there was never a shortage of volunteer umpires. Many people took a couple of night classes sponsored by the club and got the basics down.

    I really don't understand the problem, parents show up at every tournament and many of those play tennis so what is the problem in volunteering umpiring games remote from your child's position in the drawing chart?

    Also it is good to give the youth exposure to umpiring, when I was 12 we already played games where another club member of the same age would umpire the game.
     
  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,813
    There should be no problem in theory, but determining who has enough tennis experience and has no connection with the kid's parents is whose job?

    When you find a post every day in the Adults section about bad line calls, do you really trust these adults? I mean not only for their eyesight, but their character as well.

    If it works out, then great though.
     
  16. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,677
    There is no doubt it's the wild wild west out there. And it goes beyond line calls. Parents blatantly coach kids. The kids and the parents are antagonistic toward opponents, opponents families or their own families, or all of the above. The kids are often emersed in a flood of self-negativity. The parents don't understand what the kids are going through and project their own negativity--exclaiming outloud in pain on misses and the kids feel that sharply. Unless parents have played seriously themselves they don't understand choking or tanking and show displeasure in loss regardless of circumstance.

    And yes all of that is present only to a certain extent. I think it's actually better at the high national levels, at least based on my experience filming at the Easter Bowl. But few tennis families are free from all of it. And that is the problem.

    Kids love team sports and the toxicity of unsupervised individual junior tennis just turns so many of them off. I used to push kids on my high school teams to play tournaments and even take them. I quickly learned that unless the parents are motivated it wasn't something a kid would take on. But when they did they had to take on the whole dealio.


    Despite all, for myself just hitting a few forehands that feel perfect makes it worthwhile. Not to mention at a key pont in a set...Just don't think we have anything like the right organizational set up in tournaments for encouraging fun for the majority of kids who might be interested in tennis, but aren't dreaming of pro wealth, or free college through tennis, and that ain't gonna change.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  17. allenkau

    allenkau Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Messages:
    127
    Well said sir.... That feeling can be intoxicating...
     
  18. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Again...you have to experience the SE. FL. tournaments and you will understand. There are many, many tennis academies of all shapes and sizes down here. You go to a tournament and there are 120 kids signed up, and 15 might be from one academy, 15 from another....another 25 used to go to that academy and had a falling out and switched.

    This kid dissed that kid at practice, this dad does not like that mom. Trying to use a volunteer system of tournament parents/kids would be a disaster.

    You really have to experience wealthy parents used to getting their way who spend $40-50000/year on tennis or parents who are over here from Russia for the sole purpose of winning tennis matches before you can really get the scene.
     
  19. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Good stuff JY. They should do one of those reality shows on SE. FL. junior tennis tournaments. I guarantee it would make the toddler and tiara, or cheerleading parents look like angels.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  20. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    791
    Wild stuff.
     
  21. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    314
    Wow... this sounds horrible. I'm in the Southerns... and I don't know how the parents react to a loss when they are at home or car.. but I have never seen one be bad sports publicly.

    And the kids too? Most people don't hate each other. Regardless of wins or losses, I've made made countless friends off of tournaments. Many people have. It is a game after all. And we see each other (especially at this level) so often.

    Rivals? Sure. Hate? Not really.

    FL sounds like a mess. Never liked the state anyways haha.

    PS. Cheating can happen. Not often though. Not as blatant as what you guys are describing.
     
  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,813
    I am sure FL is not as bad as that. Stuff like this gets amplified a lot since it makes for good gossip.

    Bill Simons has an article in the latest Inside Tennis explaining how the USTA Player Development under PMac is working and producing newcomers, and how difficult it is on the men's side to compete against other American sports for talent. He is a highly respected journalist and the article is quite a different read from these pompous blogs written by disgruntled people who are just looking for someone to blame without understanding the reality.
     
  23. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    1. Once again let me repeat this clearly.......its NOT Florida as a whole. We drove 2 hours north to Melbourne FL. and the tournament experience was amazing.

    Its just the ONE Florida section from West Palm Beach to Miami. The reasons are simple.....lots and lots of tennis academies close together with parents paying lots of money, a high concentration of entitled kids/parents, and a recent influx of 2 Russian tennis academies with lots of kids and parents far away from home for only one purpose....win tennis matches.

    These factors make this ONE section different than others and thus the issues.

    Makes no sense for people to continue to argue about a section unless they personally come down and experience it. Its not like other sections and not like the rest of Florida.

    2. USTA Hi Performance is "working"?? This is the 4th administration since 1998. They have spent probably $150 million plus over those 15 years.

    Please list for me the players who have come through the system to justify that expense?

    There are zero on the mens side. And the women mentioned in the article were developed by other coaches, not the USTA.

    Pat Mac and USTA Hi Performance is a waste of money and the program has already thrown away so much money over the years. Pat Mac gets paid a lot of money yet its only a part time gig for him....how absurd is that? Its obviously just a good old boys, interconnected thing.

    Its IMPOSSIBLE to hand pick champions. Thats why its a waste of money. Its not Pat Mac's fault because no one could succeed in it....thus its a total waste of money. The USTA should simply support the game and improve the tournament experience for the existing kids.

    What sense does it make for the USTA to try to hand pick kids to be champions with their own facilities and coaches when there are already IMGs and Saddlebrooks and 1000 other academies and coaches in the US??

    And of course getting American male talent into tennis is very hard....duh, we have all said that for years. And thats exactly why you spend the millions to grow the game instead of throwing millions upon millions at 20 kids who end up playing college tennis.

    By the way....are you confusing the Bill Simons who wrote the article with the Bill Simmons who is the famous writer and on ESPN? 2 different guys.

    Tim Mayotte used to work for USTA Hi Performance and left. Google his article on the matter....he says its a mess, a waste of money with no chance of success.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  24. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    314

    Okay, I know what you mean. Kids from Smith Stearns, Randy Pates, etc. tend to be okay. But I really can't stand IMG and Saddlebrook guys. They think too much of themselves and cheat more than other competitors. I don't know about the Russian players though.

    Honestly, I don't get the point of year round tennis academies unless you legitimately have a chance to be top 3 on a D1 college or something. For every 1 or 2 kids that beat me from IMG (4 stars +), there are countless players that barely scratch 2 or 3 stars even after spending their whole high school there.

    Just a waste of money if kids aren't talented/don't work hard enough.
     
  25. Player#1

    Player#1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    195
    One of the biggest problems with junior tennis development (male and female) may be the dismantling of Men's college tennis by Title IX.

    Fewer tennis teams and fewer scholarships have caused countless numbers of juniors to stop playing competitive tennis. If there was a goal (even if it isn't playing professionally) of continuing competition (college athletics), more juniors would play competitively. It has also taken away a hub of competitive tennis exposure for both male an female juniors. Other than at college matches, where can most juniors watch exciting high level tennis for free?

    As a result of these factors, competitive participation decreases, the sport doesn't grow, fewer young athletes are interested, it gets less recognition and good athletes want to focus on a different sport.

    This death spiral continues to circulate. Equal opportunity is good, but bureaucratic nonsense (Title IX) in the name of equality is toxic. Didn't the last great American tennis generation develop just before the full effect of Title IX impacted college tennis?
     
  26. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    449
    Sorry I cannot agree that Title IX has made a major impact. D3 tennis has improved dramatically the last 10 years. Over 300 schools have a men's program. Although the top academic D3 schools do not give athletic scholarships 50% of their students are on financial aid and the average financial aid package is around $40,000 at the top schools. There is a tremendous incentive to do well in tennis because it opens the admission door at a lot of top colleges. As far as cheating in tennis, unsportsmanlike conduct, and bad parenting- JYandell in a prior post and Robert Landsdorp in his article on cheating in junior tennis said it best. Yes, there are great kids and many examples of fine sportsmanship but overall in junior tennis at the highest levels- the situation is a disgrace. Some posters here say otherwise but I say to them- the lack of sportsmanship and cheating is many times not visible to the naked eye. You have to have played the game for many years and at a high level to see it- and when you do it turns your stomach.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  27. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Down here we have a tennis academy in every town it seems. Its only an 75 minute drive from West Palm Beach to Miami and in that relatively small area you must have 30 academies of various sizes.

    So every 12s-14s tournament will draw 100 plus kids, many from these academies. Its simply unrealistic to expect parents to pay $30,000-60,000 a year on tennis, kids practice 4 hours or more a day, and have an honor system that works.

    Add in the new Russian kids and parents who did whatever they had to do over there to get lots of money, now so far from home, for the sole purpose of junior tennis.....how on earth can we expect this not to result in exactly what it has, a cheat and bully fest.

    But its not all bad. This summer there have been kids from all over entered in these tournaments. Our kids have played kids from several other countries and many other states. Its a very unique tournament experience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  28. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,517
    Location:
    The crappest town in Britain
    How many of those in the last great generation of US pros played college tennis?
     
  29. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    449
    About 4 years ago I was down with 2 players and they played a tournament run by ZMG. There was a different atmosphere. In my neck of the woods the parents chat, exchange pleasantries etc. Not in FLA. I tried to talk to an opponent's parent and he looked at me like I was crazy. Most of the kids were from academies. Some of the cheating was insane- the worst I have seen. However, you are not going to like this, the overall quality of play was average. Many of the academy kids were not great. In fact, it was shocking to me how mediocre the academy players were. My 5 hour a week in training players were better than 90% of them.
     
  30. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Yup, drive 2 hours north and the parents chat and socialize, but not in SE FL. Add in the 2 Russian academies that opened in the last 2 years. The parents and coaches come early, stake out spots, and coach in Russian.

    There are some mediocre tournaments down here I agree. But on any given weekend you have 4-6 different choices for 12s-14s within a 2 hour drive. Sounds like you got a weak field but also the quality has improved the last 2 years. The Russians are AMAZING players who could do great without all the nonsense they pull.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  31. allenkau

    allenkau Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Messages:
    127
    TCF... you going to love this.

    I happen to watch the ITF hard court Championship matches this year at TCCP. Its a Grade 1 for ITF and the top juniors were there from different countries. I actually went to watch the Boys finals but was treated to some crazy stuff on the next court where the Girls finals was.

    Being an Grade 1 final, there was an empire, several line judges and ball kids. So this was pretty serious stuff....

    There was a 15yr girl there from KAZ. Her mother was dressed in all white with an umbrella on the sideline. She was openly complaining out loud between points. Was it line calls? NO. She actually was making claims that the SCORE was wrong. That the empire was not able to COUNT score correctly within a GAME !!!

    There was about a dozen other spectators watching the girls match and no one else saw this. In fact, when the empire called out 3-1 after her daughter lost an 40/30 point.... She cried out foul directly to the empire saying it was not 40/30 but 40/love. During this, her daughter came up to the net to Forfeit due to an injury. Her mother didn't even realize this and kept on screaming across the sideline to the empire that the score was only 40/15...

    I feel bad for the young 15 yr old girl. Crazy stuff.

    Anyways, the boys final was pretty good. The two boys were very professional on the court with regards to their behavior. My son enjoyed watching how GOOD one has to be to be competitive on the national level.
     
  32. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,290
    I did way better than you. LOL. I only finished "The Emperor Has No Clothes" haha
     
  33. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    allenkau, yeah the parents at these tournaments are over the top.

    Reading this thread again is funny now that less then 2 months later Pat Mac admitted that his efforts failed and he pulled the plug on the Boca full time program.
     
  34. allenkau

    allenkau Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Messages:
    127
    Yeah. I wish the USTA would put caps on tournament fees and/or subsidize them somehow.

    If they are also so behind 10 and under, they should work with all the parks in the uS to build out the courts for them.
     
  35. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    289
    Interesting thoughts about the Russian tennis strivers...

    ...here in NorCal they like and take tennis seriously. Some are verbal but not as agressive as you describe TCF. Personally, I feel their pain/approach and I generally try to friend them up. I feel very comfortable around the Russians in the already stratified domain that is junior tennis. It can get weird when our kids compete against each other, but generally I am thankful for the increased competition.
     
  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    Try not to confuse actually playing college tennis with the effect that having
    that option in the mix
    when kids are 8-12 yrs old and trying to pick a sport.

    Smart parents won't devote the resources to tennis if there is not good chance
    at "fall back" to college tennis if Pro ranks isn't looking good. Most parents are
    smarter than you think and don't really expect they have the next Agassi, so
    they like having the college route on standby. Earning a college ride holds a ton
    of prestige with parents AND kids, so having that potential in the mix is a huge
    draw we are missing more and more!

    Seeing so many in tennis that don't seem to understand or get the above, helps
    me to see why tennis is falling the way it is.
     
  37. Tennisean

    Tennisean Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    218
    A rush-the-net-every-chance-you-get pushing idiot, no less.

    From a bird-chested, barely-athletic, pencil-necked, net-nut.
    (who hardly won anything)

    It's no wonder American Men's Tennis is so pathetic.

    Where Gil R. when you need him?
     
  38. allenkau

    allenkau Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Messages:
    127
    Sorry if I am wrong, but didn't you an some parents started an community type tennis academy? Meaning its all volunteer basis and its non-profit? I am trying to find the thread where you talk about it. I am interested in doing something similar. Where did you go to find enough courts?
     
  39. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    We are lucky in our area there are tons of courts available. Pretty much every neighborhood built courts but few residents actually use them. We had a nice little 'academy' going of volunteer parents and dad coaches. A few of us still meet up occasionally.

    But what happened is the public tennis center literally a mile from us revamped their junior program and plan to add even more courts soon. They used to cater mostly to the older, cardio tennis crowd. But a few months ago they really started going for the junior market. Word has spread through the tournaments and some very solid kids are now going there every weekday.

    Since its a city run center, the prices are quite affordable. Now our kids can go somewhere local, play 2 hours a day on Hartru, with a large mix of good hitting partners and good coaches. So it pretty much made our 'home made' academy obsolete.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  40. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    435
    I have been reading some of the posts implying that if only some of the great football or basketball players decided as kids that they wanted to play tennis instead of the sport they chose they would be the greatest tennis players ever. I will have to disagree.
    Some poster said that all one needs to do to be a great tennis player, is to be fast from point A to point B and hit the ball harder then the other guy - LOL .
    What about mental fortitude the fact that you must depend all on yourself, to be 100% concentrated for sometimes upwards of 4-5 hours. There are no teammates to lift you up when you are down, the fact that there is no coach to constantly tell you during match, what you should do and when you should do it, or substitute you when you don't have a good day. Put all that in the mix and I guarantee you very few of those top athletes will make it to be great tennis players.
    I believe that the difference between good tennis players and great tennis players is not in their muscles, but what they have between the ears. Being a natural athlete helps but is far from being the deciding factor whether one will be a great tennis champion or not.
    There are, and will be much much better athletes in tennis, then Federer... and guess what, some of them will never win a single grand slam tournament.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  41. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    I think the point is that if all the great athletes that went into other sports had gone into tennis instead that we would have more top American players.

    Its a numbers game. Perhaps Allen Iverson or the best NFL safety would not have become great tennis players. But if lots and lots of great athletes had played tennis as kids instead of the other sports, its not far fetched to think that some would also have had the mental attributes required and become great tennis players.

    Again, its a numbers game. Lots of great athletes in juniors would raise the level of play as they develop and would continue to raise the bar for American tennis guys.

    Its happening on the female side. Sloan Stephens, Madison Keys, Duval, Vickery, the Black sisters, and lots of younger girls I am seeing at tournaments.....the American girls junior ranks is becoming full of very athletic girls. Its pushing the other girls to keep up and the result if we will have a stronger pipeline of potential top 50 players in the future on the women's side.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  42. BigGuy

    BigGuy New User

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    Windfall coming for junior tennis?

    Hearing that they are pulling the plug on the boarding part of USTA player development, I'm wondering how much money was going into this. Bet it was a lordly sum.

    Is this money (our money if you think about it as a USTA members/consumers) now going to be free to be used elsewhere? Like maybe spend it on improving the junior tennis experience at tournaments with umpires etc., or stipends/scholarships for promising players to pay for private coaching?

    (Ok, you all can stop laughing now...)
     
  43. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,543
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    More team tennis? :twisted:
     
  44. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    435
    it is going for roofs some $500 mil of it
     
  45. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    351
    I can't argue with some of what the OP wrote, but this quote is dumb and reflects a lack of familiarity with children. This summer on vacation, my cousin's 6 year-old son attempted to play badminton with us out on the lawn. He gave it four or five attempts and then quit after about maybe 90 seconds, adamently refusing to play again. Was I disapointed and somewhat glad my similarly-aged child has more patience? Yes, of course. Was I surprised or did I think his behavior was at all unusual for his age group? Not even the slightest.

    Tennis is not easy. A lot of pre-K and elementary school age children have difficulty with coordination even doing something as simple and non-challenging as playing catch with a softly-thrown, underhand tennis ball from 6 or 8 feet away. Using a larger, slower ball on a smaller court with a lower, kid-height-appropriate net makes the game a lot easier and thus more attractive to young children. Yes, there are some 5 and 6 year olds who can stand behind the baseline of a normal tennis court and rally, but they are very rare. The more kids who can have some degree of success playing an easier, more satisying variant of tennis, the more who will stick with the sport and transition over to the full-sized game when their coordination and skills develop enough to warrant the change. Making the game easier for children so young they still believe in Santa Claus is not the problem with American tennis.
     
  46. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    The OP is not talking about a 5-6 year old. He is not talking about training little beginners. He is talking about the mandate that extends in some cases all the way to age 11-12.

    Many, many, many kids start tennis at age 4-5-6. By age 7-8 they are very good. The USTA mandates a red ball which is ridiculous, then an orange ball on a tiny court which is ridiculous, then a green ball which is more like it.

    They then decided that the 10s should be 80% orange ball small court and only 20% greens. NO kids, besides beginners, over 6-7-8 play the orange balls.

    There is a tournament this weekend we are looking at. So far 28 girls and boys have signed up for the yellow ball 12s. Only 4 girls have signed up for the 10s...because its green balls. All the kids past the beginner stage are playing up to the 12s to play yellow balls. Its like this week after week.

    The OP is 100% correct. Most all tennis coaches know beginners and 6 year olds need to learn first with low compression balls. But the fact is that pretty much every kid progresses through the red and orange and greens within a year or 2.

    The mandate the OP is talking about is the one that forces kids to stay with the orange balls way too long or enter a green dot with few kids to play against or play way up to the 12s where they can face kids almost 13.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  47. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    377
    They have delayed the junior mandate in NorCal again. 12 year olds do not want to play green dot.
     
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,447
    Good on you and the other volunteers for getting them up and started with their
    skills!
     

Share This Page