U.S. Tennis Losing Ground in Developing Players

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JRstriker12, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    NY Times article on the state of US Tennis developing pro players.

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

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

    Interesting to see comments from Fisher and Lansdorp-

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

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

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

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

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

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Blame it on the USTA.
     
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  3. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    No racist comment meant here, but the USTA need to stop spending all it's money for inner city kids, and instead take the "Best" kids, no matter where they come from. Most of the top rated kids that are ranked high got there despite not getting any money from the USTA. So, either you have to be from a rich family, or get money from the USTA because you live in the inner city. The kids between these two groups don't get squat. Also, they need to stop taking the kids that are ranked highly in the 14's, but have a game that does not translate to high level tennis in upper age groups. Instead they need to look at the kids who have the type of game that will be successful later on, instead of taking kids that win by hitting/pushing high deep floaters, that eventually get killed once they reach the 16's and 18's. Take the kids that play an aggressive game, that just need a little tweaking to their games, instead of the higher ranked kids that would have to totally remake their games to handle the power in the upper age groups.
     
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  4. Nadalfan89

    Nadalfan89 Hall of Fame

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    Think USTA is doing a bad job? When was the last time you saw a Canadian in the top 20?
     
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  5. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^ One of the problems with the USTA IS the USTA. Like you said, they spend money where they shouldn't be spending money.

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

    One of the things that Bolleteri had over nearly everyone else was that he had the brains to put together a great group of kids ( courier, agassi, etc, etc, etc) and have them compete with one another every day. By doing this, they all became better players. Bolleteri himself didn't necessarily do anything to develop them (they already came into his academy with the tools/technique), but by making them compete with one another hours on end, they all transcended the game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
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  6. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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

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

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

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^Problem lies with money.

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

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

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

    The last great American player (Roddick), was developed by Macci, as were the Williams sister. Later, the Williams sisters went to Bolleteri and he got the credit, along with richard williams.
     
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  8. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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

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

    I often like to think how Allen Iverson or Lebron would play if they had chosen tennis. SCARY.
    I guess we can do a better job of exposing kids to our wonderful sport. I went from baseball to X Games and discovered tennis later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
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  9. CCNM

    CCNM Hall of Fame

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    I've heard that a lot of US kids are turning to golf-possibly because of Tiger Woods.
     
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  10. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    NICE! I do hope Dancevic gets there though.
     
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  11. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^Amen. Agree whole-heartedly with your comments about south american / european kids.

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

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

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Just my thoughts...
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
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  15. Casey10s

    Casey10s Rookie

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    Here are my thoughts on US tennis.

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

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

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

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

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

    Caloi Semi-Pro

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

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    Who plays pick up baseball with 18 people? And in most parks in America from spring-fall there are people playing baseball out there. Forget it you have a better chance in America playing soccer somedays then tennis you need to know someone who plays tennis, very few times can you walk on a court and find someone just there like hey play with me. At least in urban areas.
     
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  19. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    All around good comments guys. Good to see a good discussion going on.


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

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

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

    But, hunger can come from other sources. Sometimes I think he rags to riches factor can be over-rated.
     
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  20. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Good comments rabbit.

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

    Moving to clay is a good idea, and it looks like USTA is moving more towards that route.
     
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  21. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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

    Mansewerz Legend

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

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

    Mansewerz Legend

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

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

    lilycolefan Rookie

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    The kids that are successful in juniors from Europe are also rich. I've been to several countries in Europe. I remember going to a tennis club in Serbia and most of the kids that were any good there had rich parents. And most of the Russian juniors that are playing in academies come from very wealthy families as well. The problem is the structure in US tennis. In Eastern European countries they have clubs where people grow up playing w/e sport for there club. Thet get cheap coaching and get to grow up and develop along with the other kids from that club. Yes, the coaching is not world class, but it is good enough for kids to begin competing nationally. Plus the kids get to constantly compete with other kids at their level. This way it is easy for kids to become decent and be discovered by scouts at national tournaments or ITF tournaments. It's almost impossible to become decent in the U.S. unless you're rich. Especially if you live in the northern half of the U.S. It would cost $20,000 a year just to be able to get coaching, play inside regularly during the winter, and travel to tournaments.
     
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  25. Challenger

    Challenger Semi-Pro

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

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

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    all of our local country clubs have both clay and hard courts in this area, but all the free city parks are strictly hardcourts.
     
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  27. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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

    deltox Hall of Fame

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  29. Toxicmilk

    Toxicmilk Professional

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    just wondering, how many ITF tournies are in the US compared to elsewhere?
     
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  30. lilycolefan

    lilycolefan Rookie

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

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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

    Toxicmilk Professional

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

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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

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

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

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

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I guess we need to force American kids to drop out of school, like Fed or Nadal, and give up education and everything else for a probabilistically negligible chance of making it to a pro level where the earnings are actually more than the expenses.
     
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  36. canuckfan

    canuckfan Semi-Pro

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

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

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

    Leublu tennis Legend

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

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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

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

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

    Leublu tennis Legend

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

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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

    egn Hall of Fame

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

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

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

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

    So really it is an American sport and the 04 loss was a fluke stupid American team got way too cocky, but the American's outside of the year they did not participate have been a medalist in every single basketball at the olympics
     
    #43
  44. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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

    And, do you really think that all the players of various sports in the NCAA Div I - Div III finish their four years of eligibility with degrees that mean anything? If I remember correctly, in all the years that Nolan Richardson was the head basketball coach at Arkansas, he graduated exactly zero (0) players that he awarded scholarships to.
     
    #44
  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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

    US universities are much stricter now. They are spending a lot of money paying for tutoring their star athletes outside regular classes to make sure they get the minimal GPA. They actually budget the money for this and it is a big chunk!
     
    #45
  46. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    I think he was trying to say american tennis players struggle on clay and that maybe it is not the school that is the issue that america needs to work on developing players that can perform on more than just hard courts and on clay as well.
     
    #46
  47. Patrick_St

    Patrick_St Rookie

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

    To those who say that the MLB, NBA, and NFL are domestic leagues, that is simply wrong. The leagues are simply in the U.S., but since the opportunity to make the most money is in those leagues, they attract players from all over the globe. Baseball is dominated by the Dominican Republic, and other central american countries, the NBA has players from all over the globe from every continent except Antarctica, the NHL has almost no U.S. players even though it is mainly based in the U.S. Hockey isn't quite as popular as basketball, or football, or baseball though. As for the NFL, I would say that it is probably the professional sports league based in the U.S. with the highest percentage of U.S. born players.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
    #47
  48. Leublu tennis

    Leublu tennis Legend

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

    Wasn't there a movie something like White Men Can't Jump?
     
    #48
  49. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    1. Yes the game has evolved. Your point? Besides players, there are coaches in the mix too. Yes, it has been dominated by African-American players, but that is quickly changing as the sport is growing world-wide.
    2. Getting the ball into the basket has always been the goal. Dunking is a high percentage shot if you can do it.
    3. Rebounds are very important.... most important? Probably not.
    4. Jason Kidd just passed Magic Johnson for third on the all-time assist list - so yes they do keep track of assists and they still do pass the ball.
    5. Yes- it was a comedy.
    6. This seems to have very little to do with my original post about US tennis.
     
    #49
  50. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    And where exactly is my statement "uninformed"?

    Are you saying that any and all who compete in college athletics graduate with degrees that are meaningful and provide them employment? I said nothing about making the jump from college to professional sports. My statement clearly indicated that just going to college or getting a degree and competing in athletics is no guarantee of competence. The statement to which I responded indicated that we should encourage kids to drop out of school to play tennis. My response was that playing sports and going to college is no guarantee or indication of competence in your educational discilpline even if the student/athlete "graduates".
     
    #50

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