Originally Posted by ClarkC
I think that you are missing the point here. First of all, the boys have a different situation than the girls, so the same statements are not true of both. Second, not every playground basketball player is another Michael Jordan, but there are plenty of them who are good enough competition to develop your game even if you are at an elite level.
Tennis has unique problems. There is no equivalent of the "pusher" in many sports. Girls in USTA tournaments do not have very many of the right kind of opponent to develop their games properly. That is not a statement about the elites being better than the average players, which is true of every sport. It is a statement about the available depth of talent, the steep rather than gradual drop-off as you move down the tennis ladder, and the unique nature of tennis tactics (e.g. the "pusher" phenomenon).
But this really is my point. Some kids aren't looking to develop their games. They just want to play and do as well as they can. The varied level of play of USTA kids is only a surprise if you assume that they all are trying to be elite players.
And what you refer to as a "problem" is not something I see as a problem or phenomenon at all. Even elite players need to recognize that playing a pusher game is a perfectly legit. strategy. One that they will have to deal with at all levels of the game. At some people realize that you either get the ball back in play or you lose (hence, the junkyard dogs that Houndog 109 mentions).