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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!



I won't be posting for a couple of days, but the Miami Herald did a feature on Chicago's Evan King that I wanted to link to while it is still fresh. The regular high school vs. home/online school debate isn't likely to be resolved any time soon, but the Kings certainly have a compelling argument for their son's current path.

The Herald also had a reporter at the University of Miami for a few hours on Saturday, and his report is here. One correction--Tomic lost in the 14s quarterfinals last year to Grigor Dimitrov, not the semifinals.

Enjoy your holidays!

8 comments:

Stringman said...

Hooray for the King family to make the right choice for their son and not succumb to the USTA pressures to go the home schooling route. What percentage of the home schooling kids will be on the tour, less than 1/10th of 1 percent? The USTA's agenda in not neccesarily your child's agenda.

West Nott said...

Great article! I am surprised by the comments of David Roditi. Being a good tennis player doesn't require 6 hours a day on tennis court. Most players at the top of the game work very hard, so to differentiate yourself, working smarter is the answer. For Evan, it sounds like having balance is extremely critical to his game's development. The way he currently lives his life makes him a well-rounded person that will enable him to make mature mental decisions on the court- before, during, and after his matches. Like Even said, "it's not the end of the world if I lose a tennis match." There is no cookie cutter route to the top and plus, is 22 really that old to start a professional career? Anything is possible if the mind is strong.

At the US Open, Tarik Benebilas (who coaches Benjamin Becker) explained why he enjoys coaching Benjamin- he is full of life experiences before entering the tour. I saw Benjamin at a Futures in Toronto in Nov 2005 where he was struggling and Matt Behrmann won the tournament over Phil Stolt in three sets. 9 months later, Benjamin is beating Agassi in front of millions of people. The maturity of Benjamin fueled that fast rise to the top. Taking care of the little details that a younger player will often times overlook. Just hearing Benjamin talk is a treat because he "gets it."

Jim said...

The most neglected word in junior tennis is balance. It’s great to hear some parents with foresight come out and talk about its importance. It’s the lack of balance in many of the kid’s games on the court and life off the court that is stifling their potential in tennis. It is interesting to look at the educational route of the best performing kids in the USA. Sam Querry and Vania King. Sam completed a normal high school education and Vania was playing as an amateur for sometime because she didn’t want lose the college option. All around the world there are guys like David Roditi no offence I am sure he has the best intentions, working in high performce centres urging kids to take up home schooling. Their jobs are to produce tennis players. If the kid doesn’t make it, out he goes and in comes another. The kids’ education and life after they leave is not their problem.It is interesting to note that the kid who won the tournament Evan King was playing in, still goes to high school.

traveltot said...

I salute the Kings. As highly educated parents they know that the chances of making it big in tennis are practically zero. There are literally thousands of young people with these dreams and amere handful who even make it into the 100's to say nothing of the 400's.The eagerness of the tennis establishment to create a champion is leading to manipulating family decisions (look your son is sure top ten material) and denying talented athletes the blance in their lives. John McEnroe went to a private school in NYC and played other sports as well as tennis. I used to be upset he dropped out of tennis because I wanted to see him as a lawyer in a courtroom but at least he had a normal education.

Anonymous said...

"if the kid doesnt make it, out he goes, and in comes another" That quote is the doctrine of the USTA High Performance division, without question. Perhaps someone from USTA would like to defend, or dismiss this policy as untrue? They have a certain timeline for progress for their select kids that they help, and if the timeline is not met, the kids are replaced. As far as education, they care nothing about this. They want fast track results, which IMO discourages the proper development of a net game and/or major offensive weapons. The parents, and then followed by the children know that winning is essential for continued USTA support. Would this mindset encourage families to have their children perhaps take time off the tournament bandwagon to hone skills, or would it lend itself for the families to play as many USTA events as possible, and rack up points, playing a USA junior style to win during the present, without regard to the future? I think the answer is obvious. Ask Nick B if he gives a hoot about USTA events?

Anonymous said...

How refreshing!!!!! Of all the boys on the USTA 92 team Evan King has had the best results. The bottom line- real talent rises to the top. That said, tt's nice to see parents with a realistic view of their son's chances to be a top pro, 50-50, and at least giving Evan an opton by being balanced and educated. Sadly a lot of his peers dont have that. My best of luck to Evan King.

Anonymous said...

While it is great to see Evan King having good success at the moment lets not forget about Raymond Sarmiento who is also a '92 and has been doing well before missing this couple of tournaments and if Im not mistaken Ryan Harrison is also a '92.

Anonymous said...

David Roditi, USTA National Coach for boys born in 1992, is always talking about balance and the importance of education. You can ask any of his players. The issue with Evan is that his school does not allow him to miss school much, therefore he can't travel as much. Coach Roditi was not asking him to drop out of school, he was simply giving him the different options out there. 3 hours a day of mandatory study time is asked of David's players at any of his camps. I believe the article is a bit misleading in regards of the USTA and David Roditi's opinion on Education.