What I hate about Junior tennis. Kids, read this
1. Cheating Kids, honestly... Why play this sport if you have to cheat? Tennis is supposed to be a game of honor and competition. Sure, when you cheat, your ranking goes up, but at what price? Everyone will talk about you when you walk on the court. You are a cheater, not a tennis player. The upper echelon of top juniors is full of cheaters. Even ITA and college. That is why American tennis sucks. Guess what? There are line judges at the next level. You can't umpire the match yourself anymore. If you can't beat someone fairly, if your ego would hurt too much if you lose, if mommy or daddy will yell at you if you lose, then don't even dare to step on the court. Or be honest, tell your opponent that if it is close, I am going to call all close balls out.
And parents if you are happy that your kid had to cheat to win, then you are a failure as a parent. If you are in denial, fine. Some people have no moral fiber, so, you need your defense mechanisms. Don't have your kid play this sport if you can't take losing.
2. Getting the superstar early in the draw. Especially when they are playing up and unseeded. Not everyone can train five hours a day and be home schooled. If you're one of the regular kids who needs points to move up the rankings and maybe get a college scholarship... having one of those superstars drawn for the first round is unfortunate for you. That's junior tennis. Spending $80 -$100 to enter, then $400 for a flight, and another $300 for hotels... Just to get squashed down to the consolation bracket and the miniscule points category. You may be a good tennis player, capable of Div 1, but ifnthis happens enough, especially in high school when tourneys mean more, then you are done.
All I can say is, USTA, your points per round ranking system stinks. It rewards players who lucked out and got the worst players in the early rounds. Then it requires backdraw kids to play multiple matches for virtually nothing. Thank goodness for Tennisrecruiting.net. At least that rewards you for quality of opponent and not "luck of the draw."
3. Nowhere to go after all this work. Fine, if you are a superstar, and had the means to get trained to make the 5 Star, blue chip level, you will probably get a scholarship somewhere. But the mjority of hard training kids are three and fourbstar level. Most in the four star level have sacrificed a good portion of their childhood and social life, and their parents have spent enough for privae college tuition on tennis. All this... But scholarships are not there. Especially for boys. For girls who are four stars, this isbwhat you will find... If you are a great student, you will pay for college to go to the most selective schools. Otherwise, you will settle for a tennis scholarship at a school you would not have chosen if not for tennis. If you are an average student, you will probably be passed up for a foreign player.