The USTA 12 and under Junior Development Pathway

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by barringer97, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    I believe that all junior parents and coaches need to read this. If you have a kid, any kid, that is going to play in 12 and under competition, this will effect you (eventually).

    This is only for the NorCal section, but it seems like it is going to gain steam and be nationwide. I (my kids) are a freaking guinea pigs for this nonsense.

    Please see linked PDF:

    http://assets.usta.com/assets/635/15/10andUnderTennisRatingsFlyer1-2-131.PDF

    There are three stages of the Junior Development Pathway;
    Red, Orange and Green, each with their own court
    size and type of ball. If you are new to competition
    you will be in the first level (Red 2, Orange 3, or
    Green 3) of the color you are age eligible for. After
    completing the requirements listed underneath the
    ball in each level you advance to the following
    level. If you do not complete the requirements in a
    level and are no longer age eligible to participate
    you will automatically move into the next color.


    What is the 12 & Under Pathway?
    The new 12 & under pathway is the new initiative by USTA to help students progress from red, orange, green, and yellow ball. Based on a players age, not level they will start playing that color and have to complete certain requirements to move to the next level. Red ball is 8 & under, Orange ball is 10 & under, and Green is 11 and older.

    What are the requirements to move to the next level?
    All players that didn't play Junior Team Tennis or a Sanctioned Tournament in 2012 will be considered a new player. The lucky one's that are returning players may choose the level they want to play at. If you are considered a new player then you will start at Red Ball for 8 & unders. To move to the next level you need to complete 2 seasons of junior team tennis, 8 play days, and 2 team tournaments.

    New 9 & 10 Year olds will play at the Orange level and need to complete 2 play days, 6 tournaments, and 2 seasons of Junior Team Tennis, while finishing top 4 at the sectional championships or winning 2 tournaments to move to green ball.

    New 11 & 12 year olds will play at the Green level and need to complete 2 play days, 6 tournaments, and two seasons of Junior Team Tennis, while finishing top 4 at the sectional championships or winning 2 tournaments to move to regular yellow balls.

    Will the Pathway be enforced?
    Yes the pathway will be enforced. Each player will have a box by their name on the USTA website stating what level they are eligible for.

    What are the problems with the Pathway?
    Personally, I don't love the colored balls, but I can live with it. The biggest thing I dislike about the pathway is the requirements. It takes all the power out of the player, parent, and coach to decide what is best for the individual. After all tennis is an individual sport.

    What if your son or daughter is too strong for a level or starts at the perfect level but improves quickly with enthusiasm? It takes about 6-12 months to progress through all the requirements. It is demoralizing for students not to be rewarded for their hardwork.

    What if my son or daughter is 8 years old and plays orange or green already? It doesn't matter as they system goes by age not level. They will start at the bottom of red.

    Another problem with the pathway is that USTA doesn't have a system of tournaments and Junior Team Tennis in place. This is the pilot year, which means that we are all guinea pigs. Most of the events and systems in place are piece mailed together as they figure things out just like this requirement.
    ......................

    Are you guys fine with this? Forcing your players play certain levels until they play a season of Junior Team Tennis at all three balls? Maybe having you kid still playing Green Dot at 12 years old? I'm freaking pissed.
     
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  2. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    At 11 years old (1991) I played tournaments with an 11+ounce racket and regular balls, there were a ton of kids competing and it didn't matter to them if tennis was supposedly difficult or what not. We played, because we loved to play tennis. We didn't care if the ball felt heavy or whatever. Injuries happened from bad technique and not bad equipment. Our coaches focused on proper execution of strokes, proper footwork and court positioning.

    As a coach reading this, this is way too much regulated. You will end up having 2 groups of kids. The regular juniors who will be forced to go through this system, and then ones who are considered talents who will train at academies like Nick B's and the like or private lessons will skip tournaments altogether until they are older or play up a category if allowed. Possibly even establishing their own tournaments to compete in.

    I am not saying this progression is all bad, I think its a great tool for a lot of kids HOWEVER the decision to put everyone into the same pile and make it a cookie cutter system is beyond ridiculous and will only hurt development of juniors in the US.
     
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  3. raging

    raging Professional

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    I know how frustrating this must be - have coached in 3 different countries with 3 different systems. All seem to be gravitating towards coloured balls.
    1 advantage is that your kid playing with a Green Ball at 12 may mean they have better control.It depends on how the coaches use the balls & explain the use of them.

    I have debated this point with national coaches in 2 different countries.
    In 1 case we set up drills with 11 year olds using Green Balls & then Yellow.
    There was no doubt in my mind that the Green Ball drill was carried out with more spin, control & feel than with the Yellow Ball.
    Whether that makes them better players in the long run is yet to be tested:twisted:

    Where it is also hard to justify is where you have a 9 or 10 year old who has already played 2 years with yellow ball & has great technique and is dominating his age-group.

    Then being told to go back & play Green or Orange Ball??!

    IN THIS CASE it would make little sense for him to even compete - I would train him another year or 2 until he is old enough for Yellow Ball Competition.
     
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  4. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Can you just wait till kid is 13 and play regular ball regular court?
     
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  5. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    She's 8 and we already play yellow ball.

    We have to wait 5 years until she plays tournaments now?
     
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  6. TCF

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    barringer, I can not even imagine your disappointment. Just went to a tournament over Easter weekend which had orange B10s and G10s, yellow B12s and G12s.

    The orange ball kids were all obviously new to tennis and hitting the ball pretty well. But it seemed way more conducive to being a practice format and not part of the tournament. And all of those kids will be very ready for yellow balls soon enough.

    The 12s had kids from ages 8-12 and the 8s were doing fine.

    A mandate like the one you show is beyond comprehension. Red balls are just silly, orange are a nice but brief learning stage, green the last nice but brief learning stage before yellow. They should all be used as tools depending on the kid's improvement rate.

    Imagining the 8-9s I saw this weekend forced to play orange is mind blowing. They would no doubt just quit tennis and go into another sport rather than have to drill for years and years before being allowed to play regular tournaments.
     
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  7. TCF

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    By the way barringer, you can enter her into any level 7 FL. G12s tournament as a USTA member. So if you guys take a trip sometime, she can play down here.
     
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  8. diamondie1

    diamondie1 New User

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    It's awful

    :cry:I'm in the UK and we've had this awful system for a few years.
    It pays no attention to a child who is big for their age (strong & tall) but is solely based on age. Occasionally in the UK, they let a "talented" child who they identified by various tests go up into the next age group, but is very subjective.
    My daughter was given a passport at 7 years old to orange, great but was then stuck in orange for years. We quit the LTA system at 9, told them to keep their money & trained using green balls for a couple of months and then yellow. The only disadvantage is that there were no tournaments till 12 & under.
    This has not proved to be a major disaster but she wasn't very match tough, but that is improving.
    I think that the coloured balls are a great introduction to tennis but a rigidly enforced system is madness - I really feel for you.
    Good luck with red ball tournaments - great pushing contests!
    We found an academy which trained all kids with yellow balls & did their own internal tournaments which has worked for us.
    The Spanish still use yellow balls - they seem to have ignored this worldwide madness.
    So it's go to Spain or find/set up an academy using only yellow balls

    And Barringer97
    I too have a 7 year old too who's going to have to wait to play proper tournaments.
    It stinks
     
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  9. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Thanks TCF, I think that might be in the cards. Florida might be a stretch, but my parents live down in SoCal, so we will probably hit some of those tourneys, maybe a little Mo's, or, what I'm guessing will happen, local pro's will start putting on their own tourneys. I know a lot (about half) of our local pro's are really upset about this, but there are a good number of Pro's that are drinking the USTA Water on this and are totally on board.

    This is going to go Nationwide, I'm 99% sure.
     
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  10. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Sorry to hear this. This is exactly what I'm afraid of.

    I'm going to do something very similar. We have a local academy that is using yellow and we will be with them until my daughter is able to play the 14's (first division of yellow ball).
     
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  11. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    I am in NorCal. Just over the last week I have been pounding my head into a wall trying to understand the junior pathways flow chart. IMO this is really complicated! I am a coach (with a lower case c always!) and am trying to guide some of my talented 10 and under kids into tournaments. Like some other posters here I played as a junior starting in the ten and under division! From there I went far as a junior, my biggest accomplishment being qualifying for nationals in the 16 and under division. I ended burning out and quitting the game but that is an entirely long and complicated story. I appreciate the effort and commitment that NorCal is making. And since it is the system I want to learn how to navigate it. But honestly I feel that it really just is too darn complicated! My organization works with kids in the inner cities and just getting these amazing young people out on the courts is a big task. But for the kids that have the desire to go far I want to do everything in my power to help them achieve this. That being said I am in the process of writing the Jr Development coordinator in NorCal. One of my students is 7 and he is just amazing-i thought it would be an easy task to get him into some tourneys. but that is when I came in contact with the dreaded flowsheet! My students and their families don't have the means to jump through hoops to just be able to play a tourney. I like the 10 and under tennis stuff as far as it is a TEACHING TOOL. The orange and red balls ect etc and smaller courts are great for learning. But I am really concerned that this is simply an industry inside of another industry. I want to put the kids first. I appreciate this thread and am happy to see some thoughtful comments (not rants) on the tennis landscape for kids today.
     
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  12. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    eastbayliz, I think you nailed it. When the 'new' 10 and under stuff first came out there were advertisements from the major equipment manufacturers touting the program, using famous coaches like Macci and Nick B. in the ads. Of course neither of those guys actually use the program as anything but a brief teaching tool themselves.

    This is being pushed by the equipment people no doubt, sell all sorts of racquet sizes and ball types.
     
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  13. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    Does anyone know if mid west or other sections are going to follow lead of Norca, if so whenl? Just listened to a podcast discussing 10 and under tennis and some callers are beginning to hear these types of changes possibly coming. Which looking at Norcal pathway would make no sense IMO...
     
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  14. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    This is what kills me-the USTA is not for profit organization. But the tennis industry is just that, a money making machine. Ten and Under Tennis and everything they do is an amazing learning tool. But I think it should be that-a tool, not a mandate. Seeing kids use the orange balls and be able to rally is great. That makes a real difference-being able to rally. One thing that is so frustrating is that it is the country / sportsclubs etc etc etc (folks with money) that have built the small courts (anyone seen the mini courts?) and have ALL of the gear. The colored balls alone are (I think) about three times as much as regular balls. My nonprofit organization has a good collection of colored balls at least. We only use them to rally as they are limited. I hate complaining but I think alot of the concerns I see in this thread are totally valid! I am open to changing my mind if so convinced. I am going to jump in the pool and get my hands dirty as I try to navigate the "jr pathway" to get a few of my students in tourneys...if only it were so simple. Sign up, pay, get the draw and play.
     
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  15. majac4122

    majac4122 New User

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    My son is a 6 yo playing yellow and I can't imagine him going back down to red ball. He would annihilate those kids. It would be unfair to him and the other kid. This system sucks and I guess we will play him in non-usta tourneys until he can play yellow.
     
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  16. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I know of a couple 6-8 year olds that are way past red and orange. Players/coaches/parents should have the CHOICE of tools for their kids' development, not an age-based mandate.

    This whole change gained momentum when my son was 8/9 and he was caught in the middle. It made us sit out USTA tournaments until be was ready for 12U. Not what the USTA/manufacturers want to see, I'm sure, but the right thing for him.
     
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  17. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    I have been teaching for about 12 years and I find the adaptation of Ten and Under Tennis and green ball for 12s to be fantastic!

    Most people, kids and adults, who play tennis are not very good. Most will never go to college for Tennis or play futures. Average kids, "the rule," make up the populous of the sport. The system should be tailored to them while still allowing for the "exceptions" to move up with their winning records regardless of their age.
     
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  18. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    That's the problem - as the new rules are implemented, they seem to be very rigid in mandating by age, not ability. If I read the Norcal thread right. Many kids will have to start over and take 12 months to prove their ability and move up?!
     
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  19. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    I agree that NorCal's specific rules are far too age rigid. The child's age should be a starting point. However, if a child passes all benchmarks then they move up regardless of age. No system is going to make everyone happy. Especially when the system is being created/implemented by a committee.
     
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  20. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    More hoops to jump through equals more cost for families. Tournaments (even for Juniors) are expensive and time consuming. I see this as a real barrier. I advocate for the kids in the junior program I work for. How about the kids who don't have an advocate? I can't help but get a little cynical here about the "industry within an industry" that I see. But I don't want to miss the forest for a tree here. Tennis is a wonderful thing for kids however it turns out.
     
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  21. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I see this as a business decision to make more money rather than something that will develop better players.
     
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  22. TCF

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    They should forget the age thing. Let the market decide, let the parents and kids decide what tournament type to enter. In FL. many tournaments now have choices depending on the demand.

    For example, last weekend we went to a tournament that offered Orange Ball G 10s and B 10s. Yellow ball G 12s, B 12s, G 14s, B 14s. No red or green, just orange and yellow because the tournament director did some trial and error and found out those offerings drew kids.

    The orange 10s had some little tikes, some very raw, some very good. A few kids were in the yellow ball 12s that had no business playing yellow yet and they lost 6-0,6-0 in the 1st round. But thats the parents call to put them into that.

    The market will decide. Offer the red or orange or green or yellow as the specific market demands. Train the beginners using the red, orange, yellow system in a lesson setting, then let them play the type tournaments they want.

    The Norcal rigid age deal is just wrong. A good coach will produce sound players and a bad coach will produce bad players, no matter if you force kids to use red, orange, green, or not.
     
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  23. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    Have you been to any of the little mo tourneys? What is the competition like in the youngest groups?
     
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  24. TCF

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    Its hit and miss in the Little Mos. Some excellent players in the younger groups, along with some beginners who have trouble hitting 3 balls over the net.
     
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  25. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    '
    I have a student who I think is pretty close to being ready for a tournament. He is no phenom but is very athletic, hits the ball well and has a great attitude. I want him to have a great first tournament experience-get his feet wet and see how he likes it. Sounds like they have a first round consolation. With NorCal rolling out 10 and Under he is going to have to start with a red ball/small court which seems like a waste of time and money. But maybe not-maybe it will give him great confidence. 6 months ago at a 10 and under workshop they told us that there was "no mandate" but it seems as though now with the pathway there is a mandate. I would appreciate anyone's experience with all of this!
     
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  26. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Tennis is filled with average kids. Kids who just want play opportunities and to be rewarded for their hard work. Having a guided system with benchmarks will provide that (not to say that this is the right system for it). We need more casual one day events for kids in 10u tennis and Green ball 12s to achieve their benchmarks. It sadly has to be mandated or else lazy directors and pros will not make the changes necessary to grow tennis in the direction of the casual player/average player. Competition for kids needs to be geared for wider range of kids; this compared to the more elite / advanced players it is currently geared towards.

    -SF
     
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  27. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    It will never work unless it is mandated. Most directors and tennis pros are lazy and myopic. They will keep with the statuesque even to the detriment of a larger amount of players--all because it is easier for pros themselves. There is no reason for said pros to train players with the appropriate balls unless it is what they will be using in competition.


    -SF
     
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  28. SFrazeur

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    Unless he can hit topspin groundstrokes with a super high consistency (90/100) hit slice backhands and transition to net for a volley then it will hardly be a waste.

    -SF
     
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  29. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    I am familiar with TAUT and have gone to a number of play days and workshops. I utilize a ton of this stuff in practice. I don't believe that a player needs to be as skilled as your description above to find playing half court with red balls unchallenging. Red balls/Orange balls are a great teaching tool. But for talented young players who hit well on the full court I can't see the logic in mandating they play at a artificial low level. The better kids I work with don't want to play with the slow balls. They find it boring. They are flat out too good.
     
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  30. Timbo's hopeless slice

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  31. TCF

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    The market will decide just fine. It has nothing to do with lazy directors. Down here for 2 years now we have had numerous tournaments that offered every possible combinations called ROYG ball tournaments. These tournaments offer red, orange, yellow, green. These were set up voluntarily with no mandates and pushed by the equipment manufacturers. In many cases there are no entrants into half the offerings.

    Some areas do go by age mandates. Kids get bored easily with the red and greens. They simply quit tennis and focus on sports they find more fun. I have seen it happen for several years now.

    Coaches have always used low compression balls to teach kids. Before they were available, they would use very old balls with little bounce. Small marked courts have also been used for decades. There is nothing new to this except the mandates.

    Make no mistake about it, the equipment manufacturers are behind this, it has nothing to do with a better way to develop kids. Good coaches develop good players, lazy coaches develop bad players, no matter the balls used or any mandates.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
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  32. TCF

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    That video has been used for a while now to show how great the low balls are. The balls are easy to play with and the kids can have fun with them.

    The problem we see is that many kids get fooled and do not realize that tennis is a running game. They get destroyed when they switch to yellow in many cases.

    We have kids who play yellow and go 'down' to the green or orange level to compete sometimes. In a week they can easily adjust and win vs the slow ball only kids. But the slow ball kids get slaughtered when they try to move to yellow.

    Tennis at the junior level is hard. Its hot, the yellow ball kids move you, they hit high deep topspin. You have to move like a demon to get to balls, you have to have great footwork and be able to cover the court for long rallies.

    Many of the low compression ball trained kids are shocked to find out how much they have to move on a full court.

    The mini tennis video is cute, but there is no way to know if those kids would bust it on a full court anymore than knowing if a good ping pong player would.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
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  33. TCF

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    Also, these balls do not magically make coaches better or less lazy. A lazy or bad coach is that way no matter what equipment they use.

    I have seen these red, orange, green balls used for years now. Nothing has changed. The coaches who teach bad technique, take short cuts, rush kids into tournaments before they have proper fundamentals....they all still do that with the slower balls.

    Good coaches can teach a kid with yellow balls from age 4 if they choose to with proper hand feeds. However, many do choose to use the lower bounce balls for training purposes, for the same reasons they used flat balls or poked holes in balls back in the day before low compression balls were on the market.

    But this notion that the slower balls make coaches better is wrong. A lazy coach is not transformed by the equipment. Same with kids. Lazy or disinterested kids who do not want to learn tennis fundamentals are not changed by the balls. If the yellow balls are bouncing over their heads it is because they have not been taught the proper footwork or simply are not interested or too lazy to use the proper footwork.
     
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  34. ga tennis

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    Why are they doing this mess?? I wont even let my 7 year old hit green dots much less red orange or whatever other color.
     
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  35. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Exactly. People don't understand (or see) the benefits of hitting yellow balls. A proper mix makes sense to me, but saying you can't hit a yellow ball until you can slice is freaking ridiculous.
     
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  36. TCF

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    barringer, you just nailed another major problem with the low compression balls. Kids can learn to slice easily. Then that becomes their backhand and sometimes their forehands.

    Once they go to yellow balls, instead of moving the feet and getting up to the balls so they can hit solid backhands, they resort to slice after slice after slice.

    Many good coaches do not allow the kids to slice until the other strokes are automatic. And then the slice must be used properly depending on the situation.

    Tennis is not easy to learn and play. There are no short cuts. Sure the low bounce balls are a nice tool. But they can also mask laziness if in the wrong hands for the wrong purpose.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
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  37. SFrazeur

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    My point is that TAUT is a not a race to hit a decent enough forehand and then move to Yellow balls / 78' ct. It's classic Could vs Should. A player could be on 78' but they should be on the court size that allows them to play and develop a full court game / different skills.


    -SF
     
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  38. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Tennis Coach FLA,

    The reason kids are getting bored with red balls is because pros are not teaching them a game with depth; to use different tactics. A player should not have to wait to learn a slice backhand or to chip and charge until the yellow ball and 78' court.

    The different divisions will not make unless pros train kids using those balls. many pros are lazy and will keep doing what they have been doing with the yellow ball. I made that point earlier. You might have missed it. Yes. lazy coaches will develop bad player no matter what. That wasn't my point. Lazy pros will not change unless they are forced.

    -SF
     
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  39. TCF

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    SF, I can only speak for S. FL. Many weekends we have so much choice all within an hour or so drive. Several ROGY tournaments with every choice, yellow ball 12s with kids from 7-12 playing.

    I still see the same exact terrible strokes in the reds and oranges, and I see some very nice strokes in all levels.

    I am curious....how does the type of ball "force" a bad coach to change in your mind? To be honest, this one is going right over my head because pros teach the same way, good or bad, no matter if they use balloons or yellow balls. The Spanish ignored the low compression balls and use proper hand feeds to teach even 4 year olds the right swing pattern.

    As far as slicing, I addressed that in my last post. Unfortunately teaching a slice too early results in WAY more problems down the line. More times than not the slice becomes the go to backhand at the expense of a solid top spin backhand.

    The only difference I have seen in a few years of ROGY balls is that now 5-6 year olds with bad strokes now are rushed into local tournaments.

    Euros are patient and use the low compression balls to teach the kids the right way.....American parents use them as a reason to toss 5 year olds into tennis tournaments.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
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  40. tennispodpro

    tennispodpro New User

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    Well, what country should we model our junior development pathway around? The ITF does not allow 10-and-under children to play international events. To put everything in perspective, baseball is on the decline in the U.S. Everyone has heard of the Little League World Series for 12-and-under players. Of the 7,000 kids who have participated in the Little League World Series in the last 60 years, only 31 have ever played in Major League Baseball and no Little League World Series pitcher have ever pitched in the major leagues.

    In tracking participants of one Little League World Series team, fewer than half of the kids on the Spring, Texas, finalist team in 1995 played high school baseball.

    See the parallels?

    All of the above information and more can be found in the book "Positioning Youth Tennis For Success," available through the USTA. This is a must read for any realistic coach or parent.

    Lee
     
    #40
  41. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    Youth tennis is not like any other sport so the USTA trying to compare it to baseball is worthless. Tennis is solitary and unique. Tennis is HARD in the hot sun once you get past the very basic levels. Only some kids will play tennis and stick with it.

    If the idea is to keep many kids playing tennis then do not stop the red, orange balls due to age. Let kids play orange ball tennis until they are 18. Because the fact is the majority of kids will QUIT tennis once it becomes hard on a full court, no matter what balls they played with at age 8-10.

    Its not the same game as red and orange balls. More times than I can count kids quit once they move to yellow balls and a full court, isolated by themselves, calling their own lines, dealing with cheating, busting it for 3 hours in the hot sun.

    The USTA does not get it and never will. Kids today have tons of choices, standing on a tennis court alone in the hot sun is not high on most kid's lists.

    The USTA has HUGE issues it should handle first. We get 50-80 kids who sign up weekend after weekend for local tournaments. The reward for signing up and playing hard is tournament directors who show up late, do not update the online results, blatant cheating and not enough staff to handle the event, etc.

    The USTA has PLENTY of things it needs to address with the current tournament experience rather than this TAUT nonsense sponsored by the manufacturers.

    Kids in our group have had horrible tournament experiences the last 2 week ends. Several parents have decided to focus more on other sports for their kids. The USTA should take care of its current huge problems first.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
    #41
  42. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I have seen it happen many times. The kid is playing 10 and under tennis and switch to regulation balls and look lost. Its not so much technique its reaction time and court coverage. The colored balls let kids get away with bad footwork.I think colored balls might be fun for some kids and give them early success but to mandate it is ridiculous!!!
     
    #42
  43. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    This. I heard some tournament director here in NorCal went to the trunk of his car to grab a bat to confront some parents...was then arrested.
     
    #43
  44. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    barringer, the USTA thinks this red, orange stuff will get more kids into tennis, fine. But then what?

    There is no consistency in the USTA tournaments. The results are many times not updated, the facilities run down, the directors seem confused, the cheating and gamesmanship is rampant and turns kids off.

    They want to compare to youth baseball? Start by putting money into staffing the tournaments with referees and better organization at tournaments rather than spending millions on high salaries and 30 high performance kids who never pan out.
     
    #44
  45. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    I see your point-but I disagree. If kids can and want to play fullcourt they should be able. This is what I do in practice and it's working well.
     
    #45
  46. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    The oddest thing about the whole NorCal "pathway" is that they arguably have the best 14 year old (CiCi Bellis) in the world.

    And I know for a fact that she never hit colored balls.
     
    #46
  47. nn

    nn Hall of Fame

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    If you kids is under 7 and hitting with yellow balls he or she can participate in many green ball tournaments. I don't think very young kids should play with yellow ball i.e. under 7.

    You can ignore red or orange level and go straight to green balls tournament and have fun.

    http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/Schedule/SearchResults.aspx?typeofsubmit=&Action=2&Keywords=&TournamentID=&SectionDistrict=50&City=&State=&Zip=&Month=4&Day=&Year=2013&Division=G8&Category=&Surface=&OnlineEntry=&DrawsSheets=&WIDGET=TDSV1"

    USTA is not very helpful in anyways. They are doing 10&under to promote tennis and attract more kids (it will never happen). Only tennis loving kids can play because it is individual sport and demanding like none.
     
    #47
  48. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    If my daughter wants to play yellow (she is eight) then she has to play in the 14's, Green dot is now the 12's.
     
    #48
  49. eastbayliz

    eastbayliz Rookie

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    lets keep this thread going! I appreciate everyone and their take on it. I hope (dread) that I will be getting my hands dirty this year trying figure out how this pans out. When I was a junior player starting tournaments at eight and I loved it. I had big dreams and had some great experience playing top national players. I wanted to advocate for the kids who dream big no matter the result. I work with inner city kids who would never played tennis except for the great program I work for. the kids inspire me and want to give them the same opportunities I had.
     
    #49
  50. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    eastbay, we are going to play the Little Mo in Port Saint Lucie, FL. in June. We have kids in our group who will be able to play the Boys 8s, Boys 9s, Girls 9s, Girls 10s, and Girls 11s so we will see all the levels. All are yellow balls.

    I will let you know how the competition is.
     
    #50

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