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-   -   My response to Wayne Bryan QS 10 and under letter to the USTA (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=412120)

Pro_Tour_630 02-03-2012 06:37 AM

My response to Wayne Bryan QS 10 and under letter to the USTA
 
Since the other thread is mucked up with "miscellaneous" points, I thought it would be nice to have an official response to the main point and that is the U10 initiative.

The USTA is trying to build a bridge across the whole river. It takes time to build a bridge over several years of planning executing etc.. It seems Coach Bryan wants results in one year. He wants kids to play with yellow balls at age 6. This is possible if the coach has proper training but most coaches do not have the training to teach 6 year olds the progressions on mini tennis using yellow balls. He went on to say that Champions are not made by slick ads it is grown from main street local parents. Well that is what the USTA is trying to do. Local parents will have easier tools with these colored balls to each their kids. He wants us to plant trees and grow the game. With these new balls you are getting more kids and parents involved. The USTA has done research and was modeled after the play and stay program which has been in Europe since 2005 which has a proven record. If the Japanese, Koreans and Germans are producing great cars it is wise to look at their model and see what has been so successful; and the US auto market have been doing just that recently. Most 10‘s dink the ball, The 10’s were not created for the elite few, they were created for the majority of kids. With the new 10 and under rule they are hoping to get kids more passionate about the sport with an early success. Players have always been playing up since the age of time. Sampras always played up and did not dominate his age group? Also there is no reason to play up since many of the 10 year old kids who do not want to play 10 and under are playing 12’s so the level is the same only now it is called U12. If they are still not comfortable with regulation there are always U12 using green. Again most of them are low level 12 year olds or average 10 year olds.

Coach Wayne has outdated material saying that all U10 are mandated using green which I wish were the case. They are mandated using orange. Green can be played at the U12 level. He wants a dual approach where U10 is played with regulation as well. Well the USTA can not make everyone happy. They are not in the business to make everyone happy. They want to grow the game and make it fun for everyone. They do not want kids under 10 playing with Regulation balls in tournaments period. And I am full agreement to this rule only I would prefer they included green in the U10’s. There has been large # of participation level using these colored balls and it has only been one month. So I suggest that coach bryan give the rule some time to take into affect before casting judgment on a system that has not bloomed.

The data shows that ATP and WTA players have grown up using softer balls. Heck your own sons have played/trained with old yellow balls ( same as green) and yellow balls that have been punctured using a nail by Mr Bryan so why not use the same ball you practice with in competition? Is that a crime? To use the same balls that you practice with in competition? As for the bribes, the only bribes I have seen is the resurfacing some of the courts using QS lines to be able to get a grant. The USTA is giving the grant they can set any qualification they see fit. It is their money.

One does not have to keep kids on orange until 11, kids can go through this suppose mandate as quick as they want. If the kid is an elite player at 9 sure heck he can handle regulation with low level U12 players. If they are not allowed to play up ( just like the LTA) then I am against this. My only regret is the USTA should have kept green in U10 as they do with play and stay in Europe. The green ball tournaments in U12 have not been small in many areas across this nation. Again it has only been a month. I suggest coach Bryan to have a little more patience.

When I spoke to you Mr. Bryan this year at the pilot pen about this U10 initiative, you were not that critical and was in support of QS. Now, you want a dual approach which is ironic and contradictory IMO. You can not go to a doctor and have him say you need brain surgery and lets operate on your feet as well.

We can not have U10 kids playing regulation with ranking (pressure) and have a parallel system with kids just having fun with no ranking and multiple winners. Those two are totally opposite.


We do not have little league and full pitch using (wood bats only) at the same time. We don't have U10 kid playing soccer with full size ball on full size field at the same time using smaller ball and smaller field.

A temporary transition was put in place to make some folks happy. The USTA can not make everyone happy. The only folks that are unhappy are the elitist parents that want to see Jr getting to #1 in U10 using regulation. Not sure why this is important. Well, it is not going to happen anymore. There are going to be no ranking in U10 anymore, good riddance. However there will be multiple winners.:) which I fully support.

The 10 and under idea is not just any idea, it was a proven idea called play and stay in Europe since 2005. I could care less about producing champions right now, we want to grow the game, and by growing the game we might have something in 5-10 years. The next idea is to give $ to centers/coaches to teach in a UNIFORM way and combine it with the teaching ways of mini tennis. Hopefully the USTA will look into this new idea in the near future.

Ash_Smith 02-03-2012 07:54 AM

I think that is a very well written response. But I would like to pick you up on one thing "a proven idea called play and stay in Europe since 2005" - it isn't proven at all, and we won't see if it is proven to produce top players until maybe 2020 (assuming players started at Mini Red at age 5 in 2005). In fact one of the greatest criticisms of the scheme in the UK was that there was no proof at all - it was just one persons "idea".

Don't get me wrong, I love the modified equipment, but I don't like the mandate we have dictating what age can play what "colour" competition. Biological age should dictate, not chronological age.

Otherwise, well said!

Cheers

sureshs 02-03-2012 08:27 AM

How many players has "Coach Bryan" coached and produced? Two tall and fit lefty-righty twins who were tailor-made for tennis with a football player as father and a tennis pro as mother?

LMK5 02-03-2012 08:32 AM

They call it Quickstart for a reason. It is aimed at kids who haven't played and need help to get going and hopefully enjoy the game more. I get that. But what about the kids who don't need a quick start, but are already well on their way? Do we force training wheels on kids who already know how to ride a bike, simply because we're hoping more kids will want to ride?

How does it help the USTA, the kids, or anyone else when you take a mid-level kid who has been playing for 2-5 years and tell them they have to start playing with dead balls? These kids are long past the dinking stage. What does it really say about Quickstart when you have to force kids to play Quickstart?

Playing up? My 10 year old was told last week that she had to play in her "natural age division" or withdraw. She opted for the latter.

Hey Pro Tour, will your feelings change when they tell your 9 year old he can no longer play in the 12s? Mandates tend to come in bunches.

Pro_Tour_630 02-03-2012 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash_Smith (Post 6303124)
I think that is a very well written response. But I would like to pick you up on one thing "a proven idea called play and stay in Europe since 2005" - it isn't proven at all, and we won't see if it is proven to produce top players until maybe 2020 (assuming players started at Mini Red at age 5 in 2005). In fact one of the greatest criticisms of the scheme in the UK was that there was no proof at all - it was just one persons "idea".

Don't get me wrong, I love the modified equipment, but I don't like the mandate we have dictating what age can play what "colour" competition. Biological age should dictate, not chronological age.

Otherwise, well said!

Cheers

thanks ash, yes I agree the LTA is out in left field with the mandate but it isn't like this in my section cross my fingers.

the one person is the "belgian wink wink" steve martens :wink: Belgian what a coincidence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOufTTrsCkI

ah the good old days http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009...-lta-wimbledon

anyway I am convinced of the RPT methods and hope they open a branch in the US.

Pro_Tour_630 02-03-2012 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LMK5 (Post 6303221)
They call it Quickstart for a reason. It is aimed at kids who haven't played and need help to get going and hopefully enjoy the game more. I get that. But what about the kids who don't need a quick start, but are already well on their way? Do we force training wheels on kids who already know how to ride a bike, simply because we're hoping more kids will want to ride?

How does it help the USTA, the kids, or anyone else when you take a mid-level kid who has been playing for 2-5 years and tell them they have to start playing with dead balls? These kids are long past the dinking stage. What does it really say about Quickstart when you have to force kids to play Quickstart?

Playing up? My 10 year old was told last week that she had to play in her "natural age division" or withdraw. She opted for the latter.

Hey Pro Tour, will your feelings change when they tell your 9 year old he can no longer play in the 12s? Mandates tend to come in bunches.

LM, sorry I stopped at QS, it is not called QS anymore it is called 10 and under initiative for your reason.

in our section it is not the case, you can play up and do not withdraw. With my 6 year old, he is not affected and going along fine,

Ash_Smith 02-03-2012 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pro_Tour_630 (Post 6303246)
thanks ash, yes I agree the LTA is out in left field but it isn't like this in my section.

the one person is steve martens :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOufTTrsCkI

Yes, it was Steve I had the argument with! He is now with the Belgian Football Association!

Cheers

Pro_Tour_630 02-03-2012 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash_Smith (Post 6303289)
Yes, it was Steve I had the argument with! He is now with the Belgian Football Association!

Cheers

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/9376917.stm

we may not have to wait until 2020, we are seeing the Jr's that are coming out of france. Luis and Emilio from RPT both have agreed that the best ( great form and technique) Jr's are not coming out of spain etc... they are coming out of france. And these Jr's have been using these colored balls since 2005. I have spoken to numerous French coaches and they have all said the same thing. Now whether we will have a french champion in the near future is debatable but we do know that the French Jr's attending the spanish academies for example all have a great base and pure technique to work with and that is one testament in favor of play and stay along with uniformity of coaching in france.

Ash_Smith 02-03-2012 09:27 AM

I think your last point is probably more the reason for France's strong showing in juniors than ROG (although that's just my opinion). The FFT have had an excellent system of coach education and certification for many, many years. The quality if their coaches is very high, and as you say they have a uniform approach (as do Spain, Argentina and many of the former Russian states - maybe there's something in that, and they don't or haven't until now used ROG).

Constructive use of the equipment will help. Mandatory age grouping of players with equipment for competition may not!

On the flip side (throwing a potential spanner in!) at Let Petit AS last week you had all four boys SF's and one of the girls finalists! They didn't grow up on ROG competition (probably). Just goes to show there is not one 'right' approach!

Cheers

Pro_Tour_630 02-03-2012 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash_Smith (Post 6303332)
I think your last point is probably more the reason for France's strong showing in juniors than ROG (although that's just my opinion). The FFT have had an excellent system of coach education and certification for many, many years. The quality if their coaches is very high, and as you say they have a uniform approach (as do Spain, Argentina and many of the former Russian states - maybe there's something in that, and they don't or haven't until now used ROG).

Constructive use of the equipment will help. Mandatory age grouping of players with equipment for competition may not!

On the flip side (throwing a potential spanner in!) at Let Petit AS last week you had all four boys SF's and one of the girls finalists! They didn't grow up on ROG competition (probably). Just goes to show there is not one 'right' approach!

Cheers

I agree, the high level of certification and the uniformity of the FFT is the main reason but we can not discard these kids when they were competing using ROG. Many of kids who are competing at let petit As did not one day show up in competition, they were competing in Green nationally.

BMC9670 02-03-2012 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pro_Tour_630 (Post 6302976)

The data shows that ATP and WTA players have grown up using softer balls.

This is the only sentence I would quality - starting on soft balls is very different than growing up on them. There is no way an ATP or WTA player today started on soft balls at 5 or 6 and was still using them at 9 or 10. I don't think any kid should be mandated this. Playing up as an elite junior as you suggest, yes. But intermediate kids should be able to progress too - which leads me back to green ball for 10s, so I'm with you on that.

spun_out 02-03-2012 06:50 PM

I don't know the details of the program, but I think the program gets into trouble when it talks about champions, American champions at that. This is what is wrong with tennis, in my opinion. We don't need champions. What we need are fans. People who actually play tennis, buy racquets, get coaching, go to see tournaments, even World Team Tennis. People who actually can name the number 253 player in the world, not just the very top (Ferrer who?). Tennis will die as a professional sport if the number 100 player in the world is not a millionaire. It is just too much hard work to get to the top only to eek out a meager existence. I mean, how many baseball players make million dollars a year around the world? Soccer players? For that to happen, people need to care about tennis as a game and not tennis as some star gazing or idol worship activity.

Anyways, for creating fans, the new program is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, it will bring in more kids into the sport. Of course, it's a bit harder because tennis is an individual sport, as one's shortcomings will get exposed immediately. There is no moment of glory (the kid playing right field making a miraculous catch to end the game, etc.). And it's true that I can't see kids who are not good at tennis continuing to play. Maybe the program needs to look into making tennis more team-oriented, more local groups like Little League where they have drafts.

I am not sure if this rambling makes sense, but my two cents.

gplracer 02-03-2012 08:13 PM

I think QS orange balls are great! I have one son that did not play with orange because it came along when he was about to turn 11 and one younger son who has played a massive amount of orange ball. Orange ball is great for tennis. It helps to hook more beginners on the game and it makes it easier to develop strokes. I think the jury is still out on how long a player should stay with it. I would like to see green ball in the 10s for higher level tournaments.

chalkflewup 02-04-2012 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spun_out (Post 6304399)
Tennis will die as a professional sport if the number 100 player in the world is not a millionaire.

Tennis will never die as a professional sport. The game has exploded in the open era.

Ash_Smith 02-04-2012 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gplracer (Post 6304507)
I think QS orange balls are great! I have one son that did not play with orange

I don't think anyone is debating the usefulness of the equipment, it's the mandatory age groups for competition that coaches generally get annoyed about.

Cheers


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