USTA High performance coaches quitting

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by willshot, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    I think the number one reason we don't have more US champions these days is that in the US, tennis is still the sport of the wealthy and elite.

    That is certainly due to prohibitive tournament fees, travel expenses, coaching expense, etc...not just one of these things but all of these things.

    As a tennis parent, I can tell you, this sport is super expensive and my daughter would have a lot more opportunity if I had a lot more money.
     
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  2. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I thought Keys trained at Evert? Nice kid I must say.
     
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  3. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    You can grow the game in the US using the grass roots approach. Taking the sport to the masses will definitely result in more people playing tennis and having a lifetime sport that will keep them healthy and engaged.

    This approach will not produce a US champion. Tennis is a skill sport. The player must be instructed by a skilled teacher. This coaching will require a significant investment of time at an early age. In a location where large amounts of time by skilled instructors are expensive, this will be expensive.

    I also think tennis is different because it requires an incredible dedication and work ethic at an early age. To create a champion in tennis requires the same kind of effort it takes to produce a gold medalist in the Olympics.

    Just to be clear I cannot imagine how the USTA could do a worse job. We should talk more about how to remove/change the current USTA management and less about how much we dislike what they are doing.
     
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  4. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Interesting thought. Since the USTA is organized as a nonprofit, they most likely have it set up in the bylaws that a certain number of directors must vote to remove the President. It would be an interesting exercise to get a hold of the USTA bylaws.
     
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  5. Rob_C

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  6. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    Didn't Keys beat a top 100 player in her 1st tour level match last year?? I saw that result and at least it was in the semis. Stuff happens, especially in womens tennis. Sharapova got double bageled by Daveport in the IW finals, and almost got DB'd by Cibulkova at the French, she was down 6-0, 5-0, save a couple of match pts and made it 0 & 2.
     
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  7. bsardana

    bsardana New User

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    My take is a bit different than yours. The reason why we have successful champion players from NBA, MLB and NFL are because:

    1) The game is played in the community / grass roots level
    2) Coaching is abundant and available - community coaches, current and ex-college level players providing instructions for free (seen it many times in basketball)
    3) There is a clear path to success - grass roots, to middle / high school, to college, to professional - there exists a value chain
    4) You have to be skilled to reach the top of value chain - just like any other sport
    5) The game is affordable

    Taking the game to masses is the first step - this will create a supply. The reason why specialized instructors in tennis are able to demand high prices is because of the supply / demand relationship. If the supply becomes abundant, the demand for high priced coaching will subside leading to community coaches, ex-players (from all categories) helping out.
     
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  8. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Great post and I agree with you. Unfortunately for the readers, there's a lot of misinformation about the USTA being disseminated here which only fosters negative jibba jabba. With all due respect, it's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and broad brush a golden plan. And while I think it's a healthy topic to discuss, it's a pointless exercise to try and debate this in an online forum venue.
     
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  9. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
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  10. Tennis_Stringman

    Tennis_Stringman Rookie

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    Well said. In the northeast where you have to pay for indoor court time, lessons run $90 -150+. In Florida where outdoor courts are abundant lessons can be had for $40-75.

    I think the main impediment is the horrific cost of the development and the junior tournament structure. It's not about the players and grass roots development, it's more about the money generated for all the organizations who have a vested interest. All the supernationals should cut the field back to 128 draw like the slams. A draw of 192 creates creates more travel expense, weaker fields with players who can't compete. Too many level 3 nationals and required sectional tournaments encourages point grubbing and point chasing. The system is a farce to create fees for vested interest. There is no support at the local level with the educational system like there is in basketball, football and baseball. It's better to spend your time playing a skill sport like golf rather than tennis.

    As far as the USTA as a non profit org, it is a mutual admiration society that answers to no one. It is a closed system of musical chairs where the leaders take turns rotating in the heirachy with everyone getting paid handsomely without achieving any results. It is hard to get fired from the USTA High Performance staff. You can get paid handsomely for 5 years and produce no results. In a for profit org, 99% of these people would get their walking papers. Who's going to fire Pat Mac? He's a member of the mutual admiration club by being Johnny Mac's brother. A player with his tennis credentials would never get to this position based on his tennis resume. He's a nice enough, agreeable guy but what has he done in junior tennis development and achievement compared to Lansdorf, BJK, Michael Chang, Larry Stefanki, Sampras. How much time can he devote to development between his Davis Cup, TV, father to toddlers duties? It's no wonder that we will get more of the same for the future....
     
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  11. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    As I said earlier I do not go along with those who say the way to produce great players is to have them play as many tournaments as possible so they become winners.
    The prime reason that the US is no longer producing top players is that the Europeans have left us behind. They grab young kids early and work on their technique and don't allow them to compromise on this by putting them into tournaments too early with all the pressures of ranking points , pushy parents and coaches who think that winning at aged 6 is all that matters. In that situation most kids become more defensive and try not to make errors. When they attack and lose they are berated by parents and coaches and end up in tears. The USTA are instrumental in all this.
    The one good aspect of Quick start is that there are no tournaments in real tennis until the 12's. So maybe those kids who do not want to do Quick Start will spend more time working on fixing technical flaws, learning how to attack and becoming all court players that they will need to be to compete with the new generation of Europeans.
    As for the USTA I would start by removing Mcenroe and letting him concentrate on his tv career and putting in place people who will take a different approach as the existing one is not working.
     
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  12. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    "The prime reason that the US is no longer producing top players is that Europeans have left us behind."

    I'm sorry but in my opinion but that's just a cardboard comment with absolutely no fiber. Pushy parents? You don't think Uri Sharipova was pushy? You think Mike Agassi was a softy? C'mon get a grip.
     
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  13. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    Sorry but the fact is that there are 40 + players in the top 100 from France and Spain against 6 from the US. I have spent a fair amount of time in Europe ( especially France ) and I can tell you there just isn't the same pressure on young kids of 6-10 to win tournaments and get meaningless rankings points. There is definitely more emphasis on technique and that I believe is the best thing for the young kids.
    Whether there is a direct correlation between less pressure on kids and the numbers of kids who make it is debatable but I don't believe all those French and Spanish kids come from inner city tennis initiatives from their Tennis Federations. Nor is the excuse that there are too many other sports in the US a good one - soccer is much bigger over there and rugby in France is bigger than tennis.So what's the reason if not better technique ?
     
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  14. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Fair enough, but let's take a look at your numbers more closely because I'm not quite following your math. According to Monday's ATP rankings, there are 23 players in the top 100 from France and Spain -- a far cry from your claim of 40+ players. And there are 7 players from the US in the top 100 -- not 6.

    Now I'm not arguing that the US is superior, on the contrary; however, you just can't start pulling numbers out of left field when it's convenient to make your story more compelling. If you want play the numbers game, one could argue that the US has TWICE as many players in the top 25 compared to France (4 vs 2). Why do you think that is? Hmmm... perhaps superior technique. :razz:
     
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  15. Milan

    Milan Rookie

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    Yes we don't want to lie on numbers.. however..

    if we're going to speak numbers... how about the fact that there are 350 MILLION people in the US.... as opposed to 45 million in Spain and 66 Million in France...

    Secondly, US always had more money (not anymore) than other countries so they should be able to produce more Champions..

    Bottom line is coaching is INFERIOR in America because USTA pay coaches $20/hour so they are terrible. USTA then steals players and feeds them to their idiot coaches. Then, you have Querrey, Roddick, Blake, Isner, Kendrick, Fish... Players all look the same, play the same....Huge Serve, and rip everything off the baseline and try to attack all the time...
     
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  16. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    Well lets see here. Querrey: atp #22 and climbing, won tournaments on multiple surfaces. Roddick, former #1, former us open winner, 10 years in top 10, does not rip everything off baseline and try to attack enough. Blake; former #4, 10 titles, former ATP tour championships finalist. Isner; atp#19 and rising, yeah he should definitely try to grind more, set up longer points. Fish; atp #21, many titles, master series finalist, beaten Fed.

    Seems like the strategy you are bagging on has worked pretty well for them.
     
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  17. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Agreed Granite.

    I'm tired of people using garbage numbers to facilitate agendas. So Milan refutes the argument that US is inferior because USTA pays their coaches $20/hour. So Mardy Fish's coach is pulling down $20/hour? Does that include per diem?
     
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  18. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    USA doesn't have inferior coaching .. a lot of the past, present and up and coming foreign players are training in Florida .. especially the women .. they are all here and working hard and improving while American players haven't made the big jump to the next level .. I'm sure the teachings are the same and it's just the focus .. American players are maybe more distracted by other things and lose focus ..
     
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  19. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Agreed many great coaches and programs in Florida for juniors. American tennis will rise again. It will just take some time...it's not a light switch that you can turn on but the bulb will burn bright again.
     
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  20. tenniscrazed

    tenniscrazed Guest

    Actually we significantly great coaching. (Murray hired Gilbert, Anacone working with Federer, among other pairings over the years).

    But we also have some of the worst coaching ever especially at the grass roots level. The park level, private, and public club level coaching can be some of the worst ever.

    The other issue is in the US the coaches are competing with each other instead of working together. In otherwords, if one coach is a better groundie coach but he knows a good serve and return coach they will NEVER trade players. In reality they are trying to steal players from each other. In Europe it's not uncommon for a coach to tell a players family "spend some time with ... tell him you need to groove the slice one day per week". This would never happen here. We are too selfish and greedy in this area.
     
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  21. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Per diem? I thought food at the mess hall and bunking were free for coaches at IMG?
     
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  22. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Roddick, Fish, and Blake are near the end of their careers and starting their declines. Tennis is always evolving, their styles are going to be relics in the future.

    We are left with Isner and Querrey who are about where they will peak. Who do we have in the men's pipeline? Harrison? He will be lucky to ever crack the top 50.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
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  23. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    True, tennis parents in Europe are 100% different for the most part. Their style is more low key and nurturing. Here parents act as if kids are extensions of themselves and their self worth rising and falls with their kid's wins and losses.
     
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  24. GRANITECHIEF

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    Blake declining yes. Fish not yet reached his top ranking. Roddick at 9 and likely to rise before the year is done. I would not be surprised to see two of USA guys at ATP Finals. Isner&Querrey haven't peaked quite yet.

    Styles will be relics? You speak as if their styles are the same, obviously very individual. So is the new style going to become that of Nadal? Will only 1 style be successful in the future?

    Harrison is in the pipeline. Time will tell if he get to atp50 or beyond, just as it will for the other guys 20yo and under inside top 700.
     
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  25. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I can go cruise through the rankings and identify non-Americans in the top 100 that are on the decline. So what?!!! Declining or not, the rankings are what they are (no asterisks the last time I checked). Why is Fish on the decline? Because he's not 21? His results imply that he's on the rise. For a guy that's supposedly on the decine, Fish is playing some of the best tennis this summer against some of the top players in the world.

    The bottom line is the American pipeline will grow and will continue to grow. And with patience and hard work, I believe we'll be a force in men's tennis again. In the meantime, the naysayers will continue to chirp.
     
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  26. Tom C

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    USTA Coach David Roditi will be named the mens head coach at TCU.
     
    #76
  27. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    That is definitely the case. You see it in the Academies here where too many US parents care only about results and rankings while the European kids playing over here are here to learn. Having said that you don't get too many from France and Spain over here because their own coaching systems is producing players.
    I apologize to Chalk for my error in the statistics but the fact remains that those 2 countries with a combined population 3 times less than the US have over 3 times more top players.
     
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  28. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Since you want to continue on with the numbers, let's look at a few more facts...

    In tennis it's all about the titles. The superior coaching system you speak of in France has produced ONE Grand Slam singles champion on the men's side in the Open Era (Noah). The United States has 51 Grand Slam singles titles on the men's side in the Open Era. That's FIFTY more than France. Brian Teacher is in a deadlock tie with ALL OF FRANCE in the Open Era for men's Grand Slam Singles Titles! Brian Teacher. Toss in Spain's 15 slams and the deficit is a hefty 35. Toss in Sweden's 20 slams and the US still maintains a healthy double digit lead.

    Everybody wants to push the panic button and it's not necessary.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
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  29. Tennis_Stringman

    Tennis_Stringman Rookie

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    I spoke to a USTA coach who told me that the 2 kids that are receiving full scholarship at Johnny Mac's new program were initially rejected for admission into Tim Mayotte's USTA High Performance program at the BJK NTC. Huh, WTF?
     
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  30. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Really! Wonder who is going to take his place?
     
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  31. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    Nice history lesson but who are the new generation of US players that are going to maintain that tradition ? Isner ? Querry ? Young ? The fact is that Europe is producing a flow of top 100 players, the US only a trickle . In the women's game it's even worse. After the Williams sisters who else is there ? Answer - nobody. Unless you see Melanie Oudin as a slam winner. I haven't even looked at the number of Europeans in the womens top 100 but I guess it must be around 75. Going back to the point of this thread the USTA is not bringing through top players any longer because the system they use for finding and developing them does not work.
     
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  32. bsardana

    bsardana New User

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    From the following posted facts:

    1) About 80% of the top 100 men and women have come from Europe over the last 17 years
    2) European countries have won 13 of the last 17 Davis Cups and 14 of the last 17 Fed Cups

    (Source: ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, Issue 50, April 2010)

    So, yes, Europeans are producing quality.

    So, yes, our system is broken (from the above facts) and needs to be fixed. Does not necessarily imply that we have to blindly adopt the European system. All it tells us is that we have to innovate and think. Given the historical and current success of overall sports (and sports industry) in this country, it is not a difficult task.
     
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  33. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    http://www.usta.com/back_to_school_for_4th_class_of_usta_national_training_program/

    A good read about the USTA high performance class. The program head says in no uncertain terms that they want champions out of the program and nothing less will do.

    Yet they require top academic classes and lots of community service....which don't get me wrong, is wonderful stuff.

    But this is why they should bail on high performance, the program is trying to be everything, make top students, top citizens, and Grand Slam champs? My guess is that these kids will all end up going to college on scholarship after getting millions in free training from the USTA.

    The USTA just does not get it. $$ Millions for 29 kids? How about supporting 1000 kids to a lesser extent. Support their tennis and leave it up to them and their parents how to educate them and do charitable acts. Let the best get gobbled up by IMG and the others.

    http://www.usta.com/back_to_school_for_4th_class_of_usta_national_training_program/
     
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  34. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Exactly, once the Williams sisters are done, its over. Those totals for American wins are in the past. There is no one American outside the Williams sister that is a Grand Slam threat, Roddick had his last chance vs Fed last year. Oudin is right where she will remain, in the 30-50 range. Isner and Querry will have a free nice runs here and there but they are not top 10 talents.

    And there is not one Grand Slam threat on the horizon, even the distant horizon.
     
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  35. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    TCF,

    I believe the USTA had to take a proactive stance because the private sector has struggled in producing any GS American candidates in over a decade. Something had to be done. Contrary to belief, the USTA program extends well beyond Boca Raton and a few dozen kids.

    Generally speaking, the private sector waits for business to come to them while the USTA sees thousands of kids play each year. My guess is there is probably some common ground between some of your ideas and what is actually in process.
     
    #85
  36. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    chalk....Pat McEnroe is just the latest leader. The programs has been run for over 10 years, in Key Biscayne before Boca.

    I have not seen one American player come through the USTA high performance program in 10 years that has even been ranked in the top 100.

    Tens of millions spent without one player emerging?
     
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  37. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    TCF

    Millions? The private sector in Florida drains the public for that in a year and what have they done in 10 years? Something had to be done. Slapping more concrete down is not the answer.

    Why don't you apply for a job with the USTA and make your mark? I think you mentioned that you were going to be at Evert in the Fall for a month. Go have a cup of coffee with someone at USTA and share your thoughts. Otherwise we'll continue to hear your frustrations, some of which are based without the benefit of having all the data which only fuels more frustration.
     
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  38. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    #88
  39. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    If TCF believes we need change, he'll need to apply for Patrick's job not Berger's. I don't believe TCF understands everything the USTA is doing today but it doesn't matter.
     
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  40. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    ^^^^ that is the point, it is not going to happen because we have all seen the godfather, donnie brasco and goodfellas :)
     
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  41. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Thank goodness! We don't need any more concrete in this country!
     
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  42. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Is there some kind of formula which says how much is to be spent for a certain number of players to emerge? It doesn't work that way. The raw material (athletic ability), college tennis options available in US unlike Europe to be had instead of pro career, lack of desperation, 12 year schooling as opposed to 10 year secondary school option in Europe, total money in tennis vs other sports, the cultural popularity of a sport, cost of a sport for the poorer sections, social aspects of a sport, genetics (Croations are the tallest people in the world, followed by the Dutch), etc play a role.
     
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  43. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    That was my point. You can't judge someone based on one match and determine that they are a waste of money or whatever that other guy said.
     
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  44. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    You do have a point. I see a lot of parents putting their 7 or 8 year old in a tournament every week. I don't understand the point of that.

    It would seem smarter to keep it fun and work on their skills instead of compete, compete, compete at such an early age.
     
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  45. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    You are over complicating this. You could go on for days the factors that go into a champion. We all get that and have posted that many times. We all know about genetics and Euro hard work and opportunities....that is all irrelevant to this thread and old news. College opportunities??....not sure if you have checked lately, many of the top spots are filled by overseas players.

    How come the genetic edge in height does not make the Dutch and Croatians better than us at basketball? Because our top athletes play hoops. So the genetics are irrelevant when the right system is in place.

    We are talking simply about how the USTA spends junior money. They have run high performance for 11 years with no results that they consider success....they clearly state high performance must produce American top rated players.

    The USTA should grow the sport among young Americans, thats all. Get as many kids playing tennis as possible. Get the best athletes you can into tennis. Make the tournies cheap and plentiful. The cream shall rise.

    End of story. Spending millions for 29 kids is worthless.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
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  46. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Way too many inaccuracies in this thread. End of story.
     
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  47. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    Ok please tell us which top players have been produced by the USTA in the last 10 years and which ones are hot prospects. My experience is that kids learn much more at the best Academies where they can learn to train with overseas players than any USTA program.I still maintain that is how the USTA can do the right thing by sponsoring the best kids to go there rather than insisting that their own coaching is the best.
     
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  48. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I've heard everything from build more courts, lower tournament fees, cheaper lessons, and now you suggest the USTA funds the private sector. Not gonna happen.
     
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  49. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    Probably not - but why shouldn't it ?
     
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  50. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    I have read the last 3 pages of this post. While everyone agrees that the USTA is not spending their Millions of $ per year correctly, I don't see one post about sponsoring a minor leaggue tournament system here in the states. In france and spain, the young kids are playing tournaments against veteran players for money starting at around 13 and 14. The tournaments are local, and their is always someone better then you to play against, and they give cash prizes so that if you are winning, you are making a living. During the summers after school is out, its not uncommon for the french kids to play 2 or 3 tournaments in a week. The highest level kids are paying for themselves...the mid level kids who would be going to school are covering their expenses so they can afford to play. If they USTA put a MIL into a tournament system, and changed the ranking system to revolve around the moneys, and scrap the age division tournaments, maybe keep Kalamazoo as the NATIONAL championship...and all other tournaments were Open, I think the game would become way more deeper, and the kids would improve from playing against college and pros who are trying to make a living from the tournaments.

    My opinion,

    thats whats happening in france, anyone who has played in france should know this
     

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