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Coach Wayne has outdated material saying that all U10 are mandated using green which I wish were the case.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.