Originally Posted by gameboy
No, I got your point just fine. Top 200-300-400 are still TINY fractions of kids playing in high schools and parks all around the country. USTA should be focused on getting more kids to play, not catering to every whims of those top players. Most of those kids already have full compliments of support and resources, 99% of the junior kids do not.
The record of USTA producing top players over last couple of decades (at least in men's side) have been abysmal. What you are suggesting is just going back to the same system that has produced jack squat.
I agree top players do inspire others. And I think the record shows that catering to those top 200-300-400 players does not produce inspiring results. What will produce better result is to get more and more juniors to participate because it will increase the chance that someone out of that increased pool will become great.
USTA needs to focus on growing the game more broadly. If cutting back on top 200-300-400 players will allow them to shift the resources to top 200,000-300,000-400,000 players, that is a wise choice to make.
I agree the USTA should grow the game broadly.... at all levels. and much of the time it has been attempting to.
However there needs to be a free and open pipeline of opportunities for all.
Eliminating nat'l opportunities for the aspiring #200-800 doesn't add 100,000-400,000 players it actually discourages them if they are looking for upward competitive opportunities. You have brought up a very valid and important point of getting more players involved. I am all for that and have spent much of my tennis energy participating in that in NJTL's for years and team tennis etc The USTA has long recognized that this a game and kids want to play and compete. The 70's Natl Jr Tennis Leagues were
give 'em a racquet, teach them to play, play games matches immediately
technique as you go, within match play.10 and under tennis....
Like the 50 kids at a summer NJTL clinic that only play each summer, need an intermediate competitive level forum prior to HS to progress
The top 1000 need a free flow of opportunities earned to the top
They are the closest to the future pros. No matter the resources
No,stifiled,limited, and delayed nat'l opportunities = discouragement.
Growing the grassroots is a parallel level of focus to natl play opportunities
Its about bridges, progressions, and a free flow multi-pipelines of opportunities.