WB Comments on Ltr to US Tennis Industry-PART I

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by HIGH-TECH TENNIS, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    He's BAAAAACK!!! :) Once again, Wayne Bryan's using his big, loud voice to speak UP & OUT on behalf of junior tennis players!!! Love him or don't (we definitely DO), the WB knows EXACTLY what's happening in the trenches with jr tennis (we know cuz we're there too) .. Why no one is listening to him is BEYOND US!!! :(

    From Parenting Aces blog (October 9, 2012):

    I urge you all to read Steve Bellamy’s Open Letter to the US Tennis Industry published online at http://tennisinsiders.com/?post_type=featured_story&p=1323

    Below is Wayne Bryan’s comment on the Letter . . .

    Preamble:

    a) The most important aspect of this is to get lots of input and opinions from all over the country – – – from experienced club pros and public park coaches and college coaches and high school coaches and academy coaches and veteran ‘n passionate parents from Florida to New York to Georgia to Texas to Nebraska to North Dakota to California to Oregon and everywhere in between.

    b) Study the history of the National Schedule and Rankings over the past 30 years.

    c) Remember that when the USTA asked my pal and great coach and mega junior champion producer Jack Sharpe how to improve Player Development and the National Tournament Schedule he told them to “Go back to 1987 and just do what worked!! Simple!!”

    Goals of a National Schedule:

    a) Fairness to all.

    b) Simple and understandable.

    c) A clear pathway from bottom to top.

    d) Bringing the best juniors from all over the country together to create friendships and improve their tennis.

    e) Various surfaces, times of the year, and locations.

    f) No meddling by USTA PD.

    Back in the Day:

    a) I never heard one single word of criticism about the Sectional or National Tournament Schedule.

    b) Rankings were so accurate that when our SoCal juniors flew back from Kalamazoo at the end of the Summer, I would give the kids each a piece of paper and I had them write down what they thought the top 20 in the SoCal rankings would be and what the top 50 in the National rankings would be. I was always astonished to see that each ranking list was almost exactly the same and lo and behold when the rankings came out the were the same as the kids had predicted. The rankings were fair and there was unanimity and agreement on the rankings. They were spot on.

    Now:

    a) I have never heard so much rancor across this country about the National Schedule and Rankings and the Green Ball U10 Mandate and USTA Player Development and the glut of Foreign Players in American College Tennis and not enough doubles tournaments and doubles rankings.

    b) The USTA is seen as heavy handed and top down and non responsive to the membership they are employed to serve.

    c) The USTA is also seen as even attacking clubs and pros and players and the USPTA that do not follow their party line. I have a computer full of e mails complaining about their tactics. There is fear and there is anger everywhere. Witness the harassing letter from the USTA to the great and venerable Little Mo Tournaments and volunteer organization.

    The Way SoCal Tournament Schedules Used to Be:

    a) I walked the junior tennis trails as a coach for decades with thousands of players and even my own two twin sons. I knew those paths like the back of my hand. I believed in playing tournaments each and every weekend of the year. You wanna be a player you play. Players play. Soccer has schedules. Baseball and Football and Basketball have schedules. Players at our club had junior tournament schedules. I have always felt that scheduling is as important as coaching. You can make a player with a great schedule. And you can ruin a player with a bad schedule. It’s like riding a big wave in Hawaii – – – if you get too far out in front on your surfboard you get crushed by the wave, if you get too far behind the wave, you sink down in the dead calm waters – – – but if you get right in the middle of the tube, you get maximum speed and thrills and you can take that baby all the way to shore. Mike ‘n Bob usually played about 100 competitve matches each year in the juniors. Same at Stanford. And, interestingly, they play aobut 100 matches on the tour each year.

    b) Some of our 85 juniors would play our local Ventura County Junior Tennis Assn. (VCJTA) Tournaments. Some would play Southern California (SCTA) Tournaments. Some would play a hybridized schedule of both. Some would play SCTA and National Tournaments. Some would play only National and International Junior Tournaments.

    c) During the school year, tournaments were always two weekends and there was always singles and doubles. Typically, the juniors played two singles and a doubles each day. Perhaps one singles and two doubles. During the three Summer months, most tournaments were week long events.

    d) In SoCal I served on the Junior Tennis Council for many, many years and we would make changes and adjustments very slowly and we had the many of the top pros and parents in our group. We never made knee jerk reactions or massive pendulum swings. Players and coaches and parents could count on and trust the system.

    e) To get a ranking and to qualify for Nationals, players had to play three of the six designated tournaments – – – our largest and best tournaments (including, if memory serves, Santa Barbara, Whittier, Long Beach, Downey, and San Diego) – – – plus two other tournaments and, of course, the Sectional, which was held in June right after school was out. The idea, of course, was to get all the top players together several times during the first six months of the year.

    f) In those days, SoCal was allowed 8 players into the National Tournaments Clays, Indoors, Grass, and The Nationals. and, of course, more into the tournaments on the National Schedule like Copper Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, the Westerns, and the Texas Open. All of those events were 128 draws and all had doubles.

    History of Pedulum Swings as it pertains to the National Schedule and Rankings:

    a) Back in the late 80s and into the 90s, rankings were based on the Star Computer System. It was the quality of your wins and losses that mattered on the computer. If you beat #7 in your Section it was given much more weight than if you beat the #83 player in your Section. If you beat a player that was #4 in the Nation, it was given more weight than if you beat a player that was #63. College Football has a very similar system. The rankings were very, very accurate that way.

    b) There were singles and doubles rankings.

    c) Then, for some reason, there was a massive pendulum swing and they went to points and they offered all kinds of regional and national tournaments all over the place. Regional Tournaments sprang up like weeds. Kids started avoiding their sectional tournaments to go and find weak regional events that they could do well and scoop up points. I could go on and on about this, but it knocked me in the head a few years ago when I learned that of the top twenty U18s players in SoCal, only one played the Sectional!! Back in the day, every single one of the top twenty 18s played our SoCal Sectional.

    d) The rankings became so inaccurate that college coaches no longer relied on them for recruiting. Players that were 60s often were much better than a player that was 30s.

    e) There were tournaments that had only singles and back draw singles and they did not offer doubles.

    f) The USTA removed doubles rankings. Huh? As I say in all my talks: If we had more doubles programming, promotion, and coaching we could quadruple the number of kids playing tennis. Doubles gives our sport more width and breadth. Doubles is fun for juniors and it really rounds out skills and teaches additional life lessons – – – and some youngsters just love the “team thing”. Plus, it gives them a second chance if they lose their singles match at a tournament. And don’t forget Mixed Doubles – – – boys and girls truly love that and there are also great life lessons inherent in Mixed.

    And now the Pendulum Swings Radically Again:

    a) Now in the past few months a small USTA committee takes out the meat cleaver and cuts down many of our old growth Redwood Junior Tournaments along with the too many regional and national events.

    b) They only just a few National Tournaments? Some National Tournaments with just 32 draws?! Lots and lots of WCs to be abused by the USTA PD.

    c) They have only one 64 draw for the National 12s?

    d) Their explanations are many pages long.

    Continued...
     
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  2. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    Continued...

    What does Coach B suggest?

    a) Ha. Yeah, go back to the Preamble c) above and do what Jack Sharpe suggested. Good back to 1987 before the system got ruined.

    b) Simple: For each age group from 12-18s, four USTA nationals with 128 draws.

    c) Keep all the great Redwood Junior Tournaments on the so called national schedule. Restore (somehow) those that have been cut down and ruined. Make sure there is a Copper Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Texas Open, Western, Southern Open, Easter Bowl, Eddie Herr, Orange Bowl. And others.

    d) Cut back on some of the Regionals, but keep those that are thriving and doing well and liked by the juniors, coaches and parents.

    e) Immediately return to the Star Computer System that weights the quality of your wins and losses.

    f) Let each Section determine their requirements for Sectional Rankings and who qualifies for nationals. They can specify how many tournaments their juniors have to play in Section to get a ranking and to go to nationals.

    g) Yes, tweak how many players each Section gets into the Nationals. Do not base it on membership, but base it on the quality of the play of the various Sections. If SoCal has four top ten players on average in all their divisions, and nine top twenty players and 36 top 100 players, give them many more spots in the nationals than a Section that has only 3 players in the top 100. This can all be worked out by fair minded people. But, strength of play in a section should lead to more spots in the nationals. And this can be organic and ever changing each season.

    h) Tweak the weight of the various tournaments. For example, in SoCal, weight the regular tournaments a 1, the designated tournaments a 1.1, the Sectional a 1.2, a regional a 1.3, a tournament on the National Schedule a 1.4, and one of the four Surface Nationals a 1.5, and The Nationals and 1.6. I have no pride of authorship here, and this could be worked out by mathematicians and those much smarter than I am. It should be fair and equitable to all – – – and it should lead to accurate Sectional and National Rankings. And it should all be integrated – – – sectinally and nationally.

    Addendums:

    a) Get rid of USTA Player Development altogether. I am all for those folks coaching, but not from the top down. They need to get out in the trenches with the rest of us and coach. National Federations do not create champions. Ask England. Spain. Canada. Switzerland. Sweden. They harm the growth of tennis in their countries. I, and many others, have written extensively on this and I will leave it at that.

    b) Take those $18 million dollars and give it to the Sections to help juniors players as they see fit. Perhaps the money would be spent by the Sections on club memberships; free entry fees; rackets; shoes; balls; string; coaching; trips to national tournaments; trips to watch the US Open for deserving juniors; trips to Davis and FED Cup Matches; trips to college matches’ trips to the NCAAs. Surely local Sections know how to help their juniors much better than White Plains coming to Ventura County to tell us how to do it – – – all the while we have 3 of the 4 Davis Cup Players from our little area and they have zero. Watch tennis grow and thrive.

    c) Give money to our top junior developers and tell them to bring five more kids into their program that are deserving and, perhaps, can’t afford to be in their club or program. Watch tennis grow and thrive.

    d) Put more money into Junior Team Tennis. Watch tennis grow and thrive.

    e) Value our great American Coaches!! If I want to talk tennis I may or may not call Patrick McEnroe. I do write or call or talk in person through the years with Billie Jean King or Jim Courier or Larry Stefanki or Rick Macci or Stan Smith or Vic Braden or Robert Lansdorf or Dick Gould or Brad Gilbert or Paul Annacone or Tom Gullikson or Nick Bolletteiri or Zina Garrison or Larry Mousouris or Jack Sharpe or Jay Berger or Brad Pearce or Martin Blackman or Greg the General Patton or David MacPherson or Billy Pate or Benny Simms or Pankie Salazar or Lori McNeil or Marty Davis or Tim Mayotte or Manny Diaz or Taylor Dent or David Roditi or Dennis Rizza or John Roddick or Doug King or Steve Clark or Bob Hochstadter or Tim Heckler or Steve Stefanki or Mark Bey or Lynne Rolley or Billy Martin or Will Hoag or Scott Kooper or Ron Woods or Luke Jensen or Rodney Harmon or Phil Dent or Nick Saviano or Allen Fox or Peter Smith or Rich Gallien or John Whitlinger or Chuck Kriese or Bobby Bayliss or Mark Weil or BJ Stearns or Mike Kernodle or Bill Tym or Doug Pielet or Brian Giffin or Hank Pfister or Mark Speardog Spearman or Randy Mattingley or Chris Bovett or Billy Stearns or Jeff Tarango or Chuck Waldron or Murphy Jensen or JP Weber or Chuckie Adams or Cici Louie or Mark McCampbell or Cornelius Jordan or Craig Bell or Cheryl Shrum or John McCampbell or Chris Bradley or Susan Evans or Dave McKinney or Steve Loft or Traci Curry or – – – I’ve got several hundred more, but I’m running out of ink and I profusely apologize to those many great coaches I am leaving out.

    f) Take money from those truly outrageous USTA salaries and use $1 million dollars and have the best Junior WEB Site in the world! Pattern it after the ATP WEB Site. Have current National Rankings at the flip of a switch; Sectional Rankings; Tournament Results immediately from the previous weekend; pictures; articles; schedules from each section; national schedules; and each players record. Doubles Rankings for teams and individuals. Watch tennis grow and thrive.

    g) Take a stand on the glut of Foreign Players in American College Tennis. Millions upon millions are going to foreign tennis playing juniors whose parents do not pay dollar one in US educational taxes, while we are in the midst of our toughest economic crisis since the great depression. That is criminal it seems to me.

    h) Get rid of the ludicrous and laughable U10 Green Ball Mandate that most every pro and parent and kid in this country is against. Again I say, have all the Green Ball and Soft Ball and Nerf Ball and Polka Dot Ball tournaments you want, just don’t tear down regular tennis for U10s that want to compete against their peers. Soft balls are a tool and not an end unto itself. Soft balls from age 6 to 10 may be fine for some, but man oh man, certainly not for ALL our best young players.

    i) Stop attacking pros and clubs and parents and players that don’t play ball with USTA PD. Stop threatening and bullying Little Mo and everyone else. Stop it immediately. And, in fact, write letters of apology. Ya know, I have this down here at the bottom, but really this is issue number one for me.

    j) Fire all foreign coaches that are funded by the USTA. Again, we have thousands of incredible US coaches and in these harsh economic times you are going overseas to hire coaches that are not as good as the ones within these borders. Huh?

    And in Conclusion:

    a) Ha. You may use some and probably none of these ideas.

    b) But do build consensus and get everyone under the same tennis tent.

    I wish you good luck, Steve, with your meeting in Chicago. Ha. Send me one of those USTA first class tickets ‘n a limo and buy me a Chicago Pizza and I’ll go with you . . . thanks for all you do for tennis each day and thanks for coming out to support our Tennis Fest at Spanish Hills last Friday Night and thanks for helping promote the event and pack the place to overflowing.

    Best,

    Wayne
     
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  3. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    I used to to give WB some credit. But he is so concentrated on the juniors that he is missing the whole point.
    The us has a broken system, even with some of the stuff he mentions (I didn't read it all). Still he misses the point of players competition. We shouldn't be limiting our juniors to only playing with eachother. Our national ranking system should include everyone, college players, teaching pros, and juniors. Just like in many European countries. Everyone should be playing in the same draw. No separated by age divisions.

    Ive been in Europe for 10 years now, France, Germany, switzerland. I just laugh at the pitiful system I grew up playing in.
     
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  4. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Go to the comments on tennis Insiders, lots of good comments besides Wayne's, including this on the European System :

    1. Competitive comparison – Tennis Europe is the governing body of junior tennis across Europe – they run a pre-ITF European junior circuit. For the 12U age group which is un-ranked they are offering 87 tournaments across Europe this year , for the ranked 14U’s the number of tournament opportunities is 175 and for the 16U’s some of who are transitioning to 18U ITF circuit the number is 138. Each tournament has a minimum draw size of 32 – some are 64 draws – each event has a qualifier and hospitality is offered for each event – alternate lists at some sites run to over 100 kids!… The number of comparable USTA national events available to juniors in 2014 will be in the neighborhood of 10 –15 between levels 1 2 3 and 4 ,sweet 16 and team events. OK – the population catchment area in Europe is around 720mm people compared to around 330mm in the USA but you get the picture. If I was running the USTA and concerned about the fact that maybe one American is getting to the second week of the grand slams these numbers would scare the hell out of me! 100 kids on the ALTERNATE list for an un-ranked 12U event in Northern Italy when you have 87 tournaments to choose from. Talk about taking the game in the wrong direction!

    I often see posts comparing the US system to a European country like, Spain, etc. What we sometimes lose sight of is that many USTA Sections have populations equivalent to whole European countries
     
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  5. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I really enjoyed reading his letter. I think his ideas are all really good and really fair. I don't know about doing away with player evelopment I would just open up a lot more player development centers to make sure a lot more players across the country would have access without having to move all the way across the country.
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What exactly are Wayne Bryan's credentials? Does he have any standing by himself in the tennis world?
     
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  7. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    http://orangecountyusta.com/wb.pdf

    He's no slouch. Much more experience at training juniors than say, for example, Pmac :
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I suppose Richard Williams also "coached" his daughters, but I don't think anyone is running to him to learn the backhand (if you are counting the twins as students).

    Wayne seems to have experience coaching juniors, and was a college tennis player, right? What division? If you were to give him a NTRP rating in his prime, what would it be?

    I am not comparing with PMac, just to be clear.
     
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  9. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    #1 at UCSB in the late 60s. He's in the schools HOF. Wife is a former tour pro.

    What's that put him at in NTRP? 5.5ish? 6.0?
     
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  10. tennis1

    tennis1 New User

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    Level doesn't mean anything

    How good a player one is doesn't have anything to do with how good a coach you are. What matters is how well you are at developing players. It just so happens that Coach B was a very high level player but that isn't important. Coach B has developed the two players who are responsible for practically every US Davis Cup win in the last decade. He's also developed a ton of super high quality juniors who have played at various high levels. He's been around tennis for several decades and focused on developing talent. That is different than focusing on using your name to move a career ahead on TV and on the backs of other coaches' players. The US really needs people like Coach B influencing and running US tennis. He deserves the support and attention of the USTA.
     
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  11. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Are you not a tennis fan?
     
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  12. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    ok, but he doesnt mention 1 word about the national tournaments that are played by everyone in France and spain. He cherry picked one example, and he didnt really make a point.

    what im talking about are national tournaments, but they are all together, juniors, college/pro level guys all play the same tournaments. and because everyone is playing in the same draw....nobody has to travel very far to get good competition. and all matches count for the national ranking.

    he doesnt mention anything about the 5000 national tournaments that are played in france between april and october.

    im still shaking my head in disappointment
     
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  13. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    i think the point was simply to highlight the scope of junior competition in Europe versus the US - Why the disappointment?
     
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  14. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    "a) Back in the late 80s and into the 90s, rankings were based on the Star Computer System. It was the quality of your wins and losses that mattered on the computer. If you beat #7 in your Section it was given much more weight than if you beat the #83 player in your Section. If you beat a player that was #4 in the Nation, it was given more weight than if you beat a player that was #63. College Football has a very similar system. The rankings were very, very accurate that way."

    I agree with a the bulk of this letter, however in the star system players didn't play enough matches. The top players from the best sections played 100 matches because of the depth of their sections and going deep into nationals, but most of the other players were not playing enough to maximize their development. Chasing level 3s around the country allowed them the 100 match luxury. Let the sections decide if they want points or star system based on their individual needs. An accurate system would be great, but all systems are only accurate at the top.
     
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  15. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    because nobody understands why there are so many players in europe playing tennis! everyone comes up with these lame excuses and whatever they "think" is the difference....but fail to mention the tournament systems.

    another thing in france and spain.........the training is much cheaper.


    I have been coaching/playing in europe for 10 years now. including the 4 years i was in college here and went to europe in the summers. One thing is certain, when I move back to the states, my kids will not be playing tennis.
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes, but I am not necessarily a fan of MCs at entertainment events like WTT or exos, in which capacity I have seen him on TV.
     
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  17. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    I think he has enough tennis background to offer an opinion. Not sure what your interest is in attacking the messanger rather than the substance of the message. I dont agree with all of his points, either, but not becuase of his resume.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Vain Bryan's list of US coaches and his hatred for foreign coaches seems to worded like a politician.

    His hatred of foreign coaches funded by the USTA is targeted towards just one guy I think: Jose Higueras. He is not the first person to be upset by Jose's top appointment at the USTA and his belief in the Spanish style and clay courts, and the fact that Jose has not taken US citizenship.

    Vain should keep in mind that of the coaches he listed, only Annacone was found worthy by Federer of coaching him. Guess who is the other? Higueras.

    Vain needs to reminded that the following American pro players have been coached by Higueras: Chang, Martin, Sampras, Ginepri.

    Vain needs to contact the above players and ask them why they did not hire the "incredible" American coaches instead, thus providing them employment for that period of time. The answer may not be appreciated by Vain, because he does not know that excellence in tennis does not go by his narrow minded views, as he never accomplished anything at an elite level that the tennis world cares about.

    I also love how Vain mentions American coaches of all shapes and sizes to show that though he hates foreign coaches, he is all-inclusive about gender and race and should never be perceived as bigoted. Very clever politician at work here.
     
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  19. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Why would you not just coach them yourself when you move back to the U.S.?
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The USTA is not like the DoD, it is more like the USOC.

    The USOC hired an European woman as the women's soccer coach, and after all the success, she has now moved on to better opportunities. They also hired former Soviet-era gymnastics coaches on contract to boost their players.

    Brad Gilbert, one of the coaches listed in the letter, was appointed as Murray's coach by the UK LTA. Many US tennis coaches are teaching abroad by contract with government sports bodies. Michael Chang approached the Chinese TA to coach juniors (and was snubbed by them).

    This kind of thing is routine in high-level sports.
     
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  21. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    In that case, each large USTA section should produce as many top pros as a single European country of comparable size. They should be able to do it all at the sectional level, without a whole lot of involvement with the USTA and its national tourneys and PD. They can host plenty of USTA sectional tournaments under the current system, their players don't have to travel as far as players in less populous sections, and some of the most populous sections have really good weather for tennis.

    But it seems as if these top sections, while they are producing a disproportionate number of the top American players, are not producing a great proportion of the top world players. E.g., when was the last time that Southern California produced a player with singles accomplishments that equaled Robin Soderling, who comes from a country of about 8 million people, with not very good weather for tennis?

    There is a lot to be concerned about with the USTA, but as cmb indicated, there are plenty of other things to be concerned about than national draw sizes and the wasted money at USTA PD and so on. Maybe sectional leaders can break down the age segregation barriers on an experimental basis by getting some clubs to sponsor open-age tournaments, for example. I would not wait for the USTA to figure it all out at a national level.
     
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  22. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    I am not a fan of WBryan's. He singled me out at a presentation he gave a couple years back because I wouldn't clap and singalong to his lame guitar playing. He continued to belittle me the entire presentation. But he does have a point here. I see most of the American boys matches at the USO. Never see Higueras there. Never see PMac there. Never seen PMac at a supernational. Did see Higueras once- he was there to watch one player. I learned a long time ago that the person on the work floor managing day in day out- that's the person really in charge. In USTA PD that person is Jay Berger. He's always there watching, talking to coaches, talking to parents. WB wants the coaches in the trenches in charge. PM and JH are not even at the biggest events, let alone in the trenches.
     
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  23. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    I happen to be a fan of Jay Berger's , I like his style no nonsense , he is a real pri*k but he is one i wouldnt mind working with DB ,someone who doesnt give a crapp about your feeling while working for the higher levels.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    PMac will be busy with his commentating duties during the USO. Re: his not being around, CEOs are not usually around when the people are working in the trenches. They should not be - their job is to network with their peers and bring in more business.

    I don't support PMac, don't get me wrong. When I pointed out how Taylor Townsend was treated, lots of people were upset on this forum. But not supporting PMac does not mean you have to support Wayne Bryan.

    I am sure Bryan has valid points. He can make those points without the rest of the politics and be less sarcastic. One gets the feeling that if he is in charge, he will behave just like the others do.
     
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  25. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    They should be. But what you seem to be assuming above is that European players play primarily within there own countries, which at the higher levels is not the case. See the post above abut the European tournament system. Robin Soderling played all over Europe, not just in Sweden. So, while sections should be producing tour players proportional to European countries, they still need the national tournament system. No argument from me on PD being a waste of Money.

    I think we can do both, mulit-task. Fight for a better national tournament system, as well as for innovation and more control at the sectional level.

    That's my main problem with PD. Seems to be recreating 80's eastern-bloc methods, top down centralized approach. I think a more typical American approach would work better - let the sections innovate, compete, be labs for different approaches.
     
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  26. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    alot of the french guys ranked 200 to 500 only played in france. Tristan lamasine...made Semis of RG last year never played ITF juniors. only French money tournaments......and that is a Fact! I saw him there! lol he entered RG with a Wildcard
     
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  27. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    Way too expensive to get good competition. Entry fees are 75 bucks at a national, in france it cost 75 bucks total to play a tournament, including gas money.
    and in the states if you are actually a good player it costs even more. In France the young players get money from clubs and sections when they reach a certain level.

    after seeing how it is there, i cant even tell kids why they should be playing tennis here....honest, but its the truth.
     
    #27
  28. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    That's becuase it's France...population 65 million...that's like the Florida and Southern section combined...They don't need to travel to get better competition but they can if they want...but players from smaller countries like Sweden, Serbia, Switzerland and Czeck Republic can and do travel more.

    I think the parallels here are obvious.
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why keep comparing Western Europe and US? One of the reasons for the strong tennis pipeline in Europe is the way to finish secondary school at age 16 and the guarantee of social services (unemployment assistance, job placement assistance, medical benefits) for players who don't make it as a pro. There was a poster from Germany in another section of this forum who said he was going for becoming a pro but did not worry about failure because his government would always provide for him regardless. You cannot separate such issues from tennis. I am not saying it is good or bad, but in the US a failed tennis pro can be in the poor house very fast.
     
    #29
  30. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    So if they fail as a tennis player they always have life on the dole to look forward to.....great..but why settle for that, they can just get a scholarship to a US college...
     
    #30
  31. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Actually, we were comparing to all of Europe, including eastern Europe. And the reason we keep comparing there system(s) to ours is becuase theirs seems to be working much better at the moment. That seems like a good reason to me. As a more serious response to your statement above regarding the social welfare and education system in these countries, it varies quite a bit by country. Not all students in all countries graduate at 16, most contraries have dual tracks where it may take to 18 or 19 to graduate. Social welfare systems vary from country to country as well.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    A few do that (it might seem like a lot, but there are many countries). But after they get a college degree in a liberal arts major and go back, what next? Again they know they can fall back on government support.

    I knew a guy who trained as a junior in France. 6'4" and could wipe most club players off the court. But he was a nobody in French tennis and moved to the US for employment.
     
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  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    And many of the successful pros live and train outside their countries, I also know that. So comparison is very difficult.
     
    #33
  34. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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  35. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    "The reason American kids fail is the same reason anyone fails, they are not good enough." HARSH BUT TRUE...which is one of the many reasons why eliminating opportunity to compete with and learn from players around this country is such an awful idea!!!
     
    #35
  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    All correct, but a larger number of poor is often comforting, in a perverse way. A poor guy in the US is in the small minority and people call him a bum. That can be more demoralizing than being poor :)
     
    #36
  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If it is harsh and true for everybody, then why does it matter in a comparative discussion?

    I think tennis culture is more deeply embedded in Europe and South America, that is the real reason. And it is strange because the US has so many more opportunities for club players.
     
    #37
  38. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    The reason Europe is developing more pros is simply because our best young athletes are not playing tennis. In Europe tennis is the 2nd or 3rd most popular sport. In the US it is around #10. Basketball and football are getting the superior athletes.
     
    #38
  39. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    This is true, but mostly because it is a truism. The question is why aren't our kids good enough.

    Clearly, its Pmac's fault.

    That was a joke.

    It's not just one thing. Its not just PD, or the national tournament schedule, or the ROG mandate, or an anemic futures circuit, or getting better athletes interested in Tennis. The US tennis getting to where it where it's at now is the result a of a systematic failure at all these levels, coinciding with a massive increase in interest and focus on tennis abroad.
     
    #39
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not sure about that. The athletes in basketball and football are not just superior, they are much bigger. I don't see the corresponding big boys in Europe playing pro tennis.

    Isner and Querrey are among the tallest tennis players, along with Raonic and Karlovic.

    I don't know if I am making myself clear - the basketball/football sized athletes are not playing tennis in any country.
     
    #40
  41. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Like those kids from all over norhern sections(and other parts of the world world) who go live and train in boca, bradenton, carson, ojai. its easy to compare actually. that doesn't mean they are identical, but comparing means finding similarities and differences. There are many parallels, and many points of variation.
     
    #41
  42. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    "The reason Europe is developing more pros is simply because our best young athletes are not playing tennis. In Europe tennis is the 2nd or 3rd most popular sport. In the US it is around #10. Basketball and football are getting the superior athletes."

    This is so absolutely true. The question is how to change this undeniable fact. And, in my opinion, the worst idea is the one being forced onto junior players by the association that's supposed to promote the growth of the game.
     
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  43. TCF

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  44. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    I think part of the reason is that training to be an elite tennis player is so expensive.

    Another part of the reason is that tennis is an individual sport and can be more stressful and less fun (at times) than a team sport.
     
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  45. TCF

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  46. valsmokes

    valsmokes Banned

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    Yes for sure the training is overpriced in USA and that is one of the biggest issues. We need to find a way to have tennis affordable and accessible to kids. That will require sacrifices on part of many coaches. This is hard to do because money is tight for lots of people at this point.
     
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  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Overpriced compared to what? In each country, people have to live in that country, so you cannot compare on basis of currency differences.
     
    #47
  48. valsmokes

    valsmokes Banned

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    I know from my experience in Germany. A pro lesson is about 24 Euro an hour. Compare to lessons at our club here at $85 an hour.
     
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  49. TCF

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    #49
  50. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Holy cow that's cheap, do they have public courts Germany?
     
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