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Monday, August 18, 2008

Building An American Nadal; UNC's Kearney Charged in Accident

Last month I spoke at length with Geoffrey Gray of New York Magazine, who was writing a pre-U.S. Open story on the USTA's Boca Raton High Performance facility. Focusing on Chase Buchanan, the story, entitled "Building The American Nadal, was released today, and it delves as much into Buchanan's junior career as it does the USTA's change of direction with this bricks and mortar initiative. For those of us with a keen interest in player development, the specifics aren't as interesting as the big picture, but for a general interest magazine, not a sports or tennis-related one, it does provide insight into the junior tennis subculture.

Yesterday's college tennis news was all positive; not so today, with the Raleigh News&Observer's story on the arrest of North Carolina men's tennis player Chris Kearney following an accident that injured two pedestrians.

42 comments:

thats sad said...

collette, it's really unnecessary to publish that story about kearney. there is just no need to embarass a kid that like that to everyone in the tennis community.

just terrible said...

thats sad:
collette is simply publishing what happened. At the end of the day it was Chris' choice to get in that car intoxicated, and even worse went on and fled from the scene. It is sad to see such a good player and person make such a bad decision. But with these mistakes there comes ramifications. And one of those is the public knowing about what happened. Now he must live with his decision. Just don't go attacking collette for posting the news, and most importantly the truth. Hopefully, other teens will read this and learn from Chris' mistake, if anything Collette is doing the right thing. As far as Chris' case, I wish him the best I just wish he would've have taken a cab or had a designated driver that night. My best wishes to him, his family, and those injured in the accident.

Man in the Moon said...

I was fortunate enough to spend the week on bank business in Wash. D.C. and the bank was a major sponsor of the ATP Legg Mason.

I was able to watch up close and personal all the Roddick matches, Young / Isner match, Isner & Jaun Martin Del Potro match, and Dewarman / Kunstsyn match and saw Del Potro winning his 19 th match and 4th championship in a row.

I usually go to the US Open / Sony Erickson Miami each year to see the transition from juniors / college to the ATP.

I will not be chatting about the #45-150 (journeyman) nor even the top 20 only about the top 5 or top 10.

and in spite of the bloggers "tired of his comments", "watcher" observer, " james timothy" " observer", "family friend" et. al

This is what I see in the next few years - as far as where the Pro Game is going and frankly already is there.

To cut to the chase--The have's -Nadal, Nole, Murray, Tsonga, Del Potro, Gael Mofils, all are aged between 19 and 22. good height -6'2" - 6'5", incredible speed and amazing agility, big power game (not as big as Roddick) but can play many different styles - power, move around the court with great ease- power and finesse serves- and most importantly not one dimensional.

The have nots for the future- Isner, Roddick, Querry, Young -they are toast.
Either one dimensional -Roddick, Isner, Querry and frankly I have watched Roddick every year since he became a pro for at least 2 major tournaments / year. He has really improved his backhand and his net game each year - still no way enough to win it all- if he can't overpower you - he will lose.

Now I know that "tired of his comments" will come back with some dribble that everybody knows this now- yet he was the blogger who kept arguing with me about Donald Young and how hard I was on him because I didn't think he would amount to much-4 years ago and he is now #100 and sinking like a stone. It wasn't obvious to you then and NOW it is even obvious to you.

Frankly, I don't think the USTA is remotely close to figuring out what is going on -that the PRO game has totally changed to one of -really, really top athletes, and stressing mobility, and not being one dimensional.

If they want to model the players after Roddick and Blake - forget about it -- better make them like the list I mentioned above and have been mentioning for that same exact list for years.

Most of you only look at where the juniors are now and what their potential is going to be - the problem with that is the world of tennis has totally changed right before your eyes and you can't see it.

The trick is to see where the game is going in 3-5 years by evaluating what is going on now.

You can call me pompous, egotistical and self righteous- but I haven't missed yet.

Austin said...

I agree with "thats sad". I had already heard about it and was hoping no one would bring it up. Im the first one to criticize, sometimes too much, but I hope we(zootennis community) can leave those stories that are away from tennis out. One bad decision can ruin your life, his just got ruined and now everyone knows about it.

parentsagaintsdui said...

It is a sad situation, no question about it . But Colette, did the right thing. Kearney, made a bad choice, therefore, he takes responsibility for his action. I hope that the people involved especially the victims are ok .

And I also hope, that the people reading this, will take this as a serious situation, and that they will discuss this with their family to be vigilant about DUI. My best to all !

steven s said...

I support Collette in her decision to show this article. Everybody should realize that you should never step behind the wheel after drinking. If only one person reading this, gets that message and refrains from ever doing that again, then this article has more than done its job. Of course this applies to everybody, all ages, but sometimes when you are young, you feel indestructible. Many young juniors read this message board, and while its very regretful what happened in this instance, it can be a positive if the youngsters reading this understand that nobody is safe when alcohol and driving is mixed. Not you, not your parents, and not innocent people who have not even been drinking. Its not worth the risk.

formerplayer said...

To Man in the moon:

Your comments are right on. The game has changed considerably over the past 10 years. One additional comment I would make is that a player has to be able to hit the ball with incredible power to even make it to the top 100. Thus, focusing too much energy on juniors who win on consistency is a big mistake, in my opinion. We have got to teach them from a young age to hit the ball hard while developing an all court game. Let's worry about results in the later teens (16 on up) after the power game comes together.

tennisjunky said...

To all of you who said Kandath was snubbed with a Open Jr. WC he just lost first rd as a seed in a grade 3 to a non-seed. He has a nice game but he was not a shoe-in. As I said before it was premature for Harrison (should have been in qualies) and Sarmiento should have been in qualies also and earn being in the maindraw.

steven s said...

Formerplayer, do you think the USTA individuals that are in charge of finding talent, would ever consider searching out kids who are 10-14 (perhaps younger) that have dismal results, non-tennis playing parents, limited resources, and/or the reluctance of their parents to disrupt the entire family (Agassi Williams) to try and coach the kids themselves?

Yet, feed a ball to this kid (yes, they are out there) and a blind man could hear the distinct sound of God-Given natural talent. You would have to open your eyes to see the footspeed. Put this kid against anybody in the top 100 of boys and girls USTA 12's, and I guarantee, they lose double bagel.

That is what the USTA cares about. The mental toughness needed to grind out points in the young juniors. We'll worry about weapons later.

My crusade continues. With the USTA's $$, why not have a division dedicated to development of obviously talented kids, who do not yet show results? I am not talking about "Billy Bates" who is ranked 118 in the 12's. I'm talking about "Billy Bates", #118 who breaks strings every 2 weeks, and has a forehand that sounds like a cannon, with racquet head speed and timing at a totally different level. Do you throw away and discard the current USTA system of progression in the juniors, and the rewards that go with it? Of course not!

But realize, not every talented kid gets discovered by Nick B, or even the local tennis PRO. I doubt the coaches at USTA are stupid. They know racquet head speed when they see it. Instead of solely focusing on mental toughness of making balls, they should also attempt to find talent, and develop or $$ assist these players, without a death sentence age requirement of success.

Formerplayer..why did you have to get me started!!:)?

Stephen said...

To man in the moon -- Your repetitive agenda is really tired.

It's interesting that you didn't mention Blake in your "haves" list, since he's a top-10 player and just beat Federer and was within one point of playing Nadal for the gold medal. I'm just a casual observer, but I wouldn't call his game one-dimensional. He seems to be strong, athletic, and mobile. What about his game is one-dimensional?

We are all aware of the current state of American tennis; you don't have to exaggerate your points by slighting one of the best players we have, imo.

gettingthefactsstraight said...

Of course the usta is such an easy target, it has the most money, and "supposely" oversees every American who picks up a racquet, from your 6 year old to the top professional, BUT isn't weird how no one has commented on any tennis academy, tennis club pro, high school or college coach, or an individual tennis coach? Aren't they also in the business of producing American players? It seems some of these coaches and parents look to blame elsewhere. The "We Won, They Lost" theory.

Man in the Moon said...

Stephen,

the reason I didn't put Blake in the "have's" -- I am looking to the future not the past or even today-yes Blake and Roddick are both currently in the top 10.

And yes, Blake and Roddick are terrific players in today's world of tennis -- I don't think they would be with the FUTURE (emphasis added) players that I listed.

I didn't put Blake in the have or have not's - because he is 28 years old and I don't see him winning against the 19-22 year old players for very long. I am looking 3-5 years out and what game will be played then-- and Roddick's or Blakes game would not produce a top 10 player.

Yes he had a great win against Fed-however, it is a different world now-

The reason that I seem to be repetitive to you and many of your cohorts- are the responses to my remarks do not resonate with you and your buddies and you just don't get it. Even after being repetitive.

Have a little vision and stop trying to see USA tennis with rose colored glasses and see it for what it is.

I am not negative on US tennis -I am a realist (emphasis added).

Being a cheerleader doesn't work in a competitive business - sooner or later you have to produce.

gettingthefactsstraight said...

To the Man on the Moon--

All of the players you have mentioned have different game styles and mind-sets going into a match, so not sure you should caterogize those players into one group, except for their age. Del Potro has played the same way, since he was 15 yrs old, but doing it more consistent now. Same with Cilic (all-court game), Murray (counter-puncher) and Monfils (aggressive baseliner). Same game styles since juniors--just alot better at it.

Querrey, Roddick, Isner and Young are washed up?!? Isner has been on Tour for only 15 months--and is doing great things. Querrey has been top 40-50 in the world the past 12 months. Young, may be struggling now, but he is Top 100 in the world by 18 yrs old. And now you are talking bad about a former #1 in the world and winner of the latest Davis Cup tie. WOW. It seems you see a tennis player struggle at some tournaments, and think they don't have it anymore. Trust me---there ALOT more things going on with a player, then what you see in the box score in the paper.

steven s said...

"gettingthefactsstraight" You are correct. It is not solely the USTA's responsibility. But they do contribute, with their "doctrine" of grind it out tennis, make balls, be mentally tough as nails, win Gold Balls, and turn PRO just past puberty. This makes great junior players, and these great junior players "may" break through as a great PRO. They roll the dice, and see which kid "wins" with this method. This "pathway" is what most junior parents accept as the gospel, and thus is handed down to the youngsters. Yes, there are academies, club PRO's, College coaches etc that also are out there, but none with the influence of the way junior tennis is approached, as far as tournaments/rankings, and the attention one receives with good results in the lower age groups. That mentality does not promote developing weapons. But again, you are correct in that others are responsible for development as well. Look at Mike Agassi, Richard Williams (with help) Pete Fischer. Without the innovative skills of these men, Andre, Pete, Venus and Serena would be doing something else now. The USTA had little to do with their progress. I just wish the USTA could gear more towards this type of development, and find kids out there who are talented, but without the guidance/help that the above players were fortunate enough to have.

Man in the Moon said...

gettingthefactsstraight,

All my words are measured--I opened my remarks by stating this concerned top 5 and top 10 players.

Querry, Young and Isner will never (emphasis added) be top 10 players. I didn't say they were washed up-you did.

Power AND agility are the key, for the future- which did not occur in the Fed, Roddick era.

My comments were about players being able to play different styles - Muarry can go to the net, Brad Gilbert who knows a little about tennis has said on many occasions that Murray's hands at the net are some of the best in the business.

I never said the players on my short list had the same style -I said they could change their style. That one word CHANGE is the part you missed so please gettingthefactsstraight, get your facts straight (emphasis added)


I do not base my thoughts or judgements on box scores-never had, never will - if I personally see a player in 10-12 matches a year - I have a pretty good handle on what he is about.

My entire point is the Roddick of today would not be a top ten player in 3-5 years not because he isn't good. But because the game has CHANGED and the players are much better athletes, more agile and have more than adequate power.

Unfortuneatly you can not read between the lines and go to the next step without a little help- and you make me explain some comprehensive, strategic remarks and then I have to spell out where the prospective is headed.

Please read my remarks more carefully - I do take the time to say what I mean and I try not to waste words.

gettingthefactsstraight said...

Man on the Moon--

I did jump the gun and wrote a quick reply, and for that, I misread what you wrote, and I apologize.

You are correct with future top 10 players having the ability to play different game styles. However, I will still disagree with you on Donald Young. He has everything that you mentioned a Top 10 player needs to have. He can still be a Top 10 player in the world. With that being said, he is still an extremely under-trained player, so he won't make it that high unless he trains like it. But that's a whole different topic.

It will be interesting on how high Querrey can get. I think he can definitely get into the teens and maybe 8-10, if he stays healthy.

No one knows what the ATP plans to do over the next couple years: if they will keep continuing to slow down the game, by making the court surface slower, balls heavier, etc. And with racquet companies making the racquets and strings more powerful.

I do think the USA got really spoiled with the group of Agassi/Sampras/Chang/Courier, etc. and the generations before that. Tennis is becoming extremely global, so there is more competition for American players than before.

There is usually only one player per age division that stands out and could break through into the elite pro ranks. And that includes all the other countries as well. All junior players have role models and will tend to dress, act and even play like them. I don't think Roddick and Blake modeled their games around Sampras and Agassi, so I hope our next American players don't do the same with them. And I beleive the usta is smarter than that.

Man in the Moon said...

gettingthefactsstraight,

this time a very interesting comments by you and certainly have opened many insightful thoughts on many different topics.

(1) Donald Young- I have watched him play many times in the juniors and actually much more in the pros. He has "a lot of stuff" and he is special to a degree,(excellent hands, movement, has worked on his serve, great feeling for the ball and where he is on the court and what shot to use when)however top 10 you really have to be hungry, very hungry - I have seen him practice, play singles and doubles and something is clearly lacking in his approach to achieving- I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one - but at least I can see your point of view.

BTW when I mention my short list - each player has POWER AND AGILITY - not one or the other-ala Roddick - power and Fed - agility. Fed was never known for his power and Roddick was not known for his agility -- the player of the future / now HAS BOTH. And to me that is the main difference of the player in the future / now (going to be top 5-10).

(2) I can possibly buy what you are saying about Querry- with the one big "if" he must drastically improve his footwork- but he will still have a very difficult time with the agile, power big guy-6'3-6'5" who is much quicker. Sam is just to slow.

(3) ATP, court surface, balls heavier, racquets you are right on the money.

(4) global tennis you are right on the money- my feeling concerning the tennis player of today and past- I just don't know how great an athlete in the pure sense of the word they would have been - yes, they were tremendous tennis players -but I just don't know how good the players of the past would have been playing basketball, baseball, etc. I could see Nadal great in soccer, Nole, DelPotro, Tsongas great in Basketball and Muarry great in baseball.

(5) I hope and I do agree with your last paragraph concerning current Americans modeling their games with past heroes - because I do not think it will work.

Stephen said...

man on the moon -- I don't understand why you assume that everyone who questions one of your statements is an apologist for US tennis. I am far from that. I just know your agenda and thought it odd that you left out Blake, who seemed to fit your criteria for a top player.

If you remember, Blake didn't look like a top-10 player early in his career. Maybe some other American players will develop later, also.

I also remember a few years ago many people saying that Nadal would never be a top-10 player and saying he was over-hyped.

Hindsight is indeed 20-20 after these guys either develop or not. Sometimes, it's not so easy to tell early on.

Michelle Prentice said...

MoM,

I've read your first post a couple of times but can't find anything that might be considered 'original', at least, anything that might warrant "I haven't missed yet". It just looks like the same argument and comments that numerous others have made about a wide range of sports, not just tennis.

And really, it took you half of your first post to "cut to the chase" even though, in the very next one, you were able to sum it all up in 5 lines. That's what I call being wasteful with words.

Man in the Moon said...

Stephen

all your points are solid and I appreciate your comments

go out on a limb said...

Man on the Moon, We have heard you say a lot of things but who do you believe will have a chance from the juniors to be successful in the pros. You make vague points about the future. Heck everything in the world will be different in 3 to 5 years. Thats obvious, You don't know who will adapt and who won't. Act like a U.S.T.A. coach and tell us what players you think have a chance to make it professionally 3 to 5 years from now since thats what these coaches jobs are and name names and then we can see how truly smart you are.

Man in the Moon said...

Michelle Prentice

the comments are now coming to fruition and everyone acknowledges that -

Correct it is not oringial NOW, however I made those comments 4 years ago (emphasis added) - when many on this blog vehemently disagreed with me.

The comment " I haven't missed yet" is because I called this 4 years ago.

Man in the Moon said...

go out on a limb,

Finally, you asked the $100,000,000 question and that is why the USTA COACHES have gotten and taken so much heat.

The USTA, USTA Coaches, High Performance, National Team, etc. etc. should not be in the business of developing the top players in the land.

Does the counter part to the USTA in Golf - the USGA try and take credit for Tiger Woods or any other great American Golfer - Heck No - Why because the USGA is to smart and does not have the EGO of the USTA. Does the swimming Federation of America try and take credit for Michael Phelps--- NO- why because it is a N0 WIN SITUATION. Same is true for gymnastics, ice skating, etc.

What happened in the late 80's early 90's - some high powered US coaches got together and sold a bill of goods to the USTA that they could make the next crop of players and make us forget about Aggasi, Sampras, Chang, Courier.

These coaches sold to the USTA that they would be able to take the credit for the next GREAT AMERICAN PLAYER.

Guess what - players that play individual sports are home grown.

Name one player in any individual sport that was really and truly trained by a federation in the United States.

The answer is NONE.

Let the federations (USTA) provide tournaments and special events and give money to a wide range of players - say the top 25 in each age division and let them be coached by their own local coaches and lose the EGOS AND STOP TRYING TO TAKE CREDIT FOR THE PLAYERS WHO HIT THE HOME RUN.

So, the reason I am smart and so are all the other individual sport Federations in the United States except the USTA (emphasis added)- I will not take credit, nor will I pick who I think will be the next Sampras and only provide a platform for the next Sampras to achieve via grants to the top 25 players in each age group (boy and girl) provide special events, tournaments and supplemental training and get rid of the White Elephant that is in Boca and Carson, get rid of half the coaching staff, high performance, etc and just give the 10's of millions (emphasis added) of dollars to the top 25 boys and girls in each age division.

And that is why I am smarter than the whole sham of the Usta COACHES AND LET THE PLAYERS DO THEIR TALKING WITH THEIR RACQUETS.

take another break PLEASE said...

man on the moon, just as i thought. what an absolute cop out. again you start saying things that have been said by a million people and then claim to be so smart. if you have seen so much tennis you surely as we have read on here(not much lately thank god)have an opinion on what juniors you see with a big enough game to have a shot at making it into the top 50. not answering is so cowardly. why don't you? because then you would be left open to criticism. i enjoyed the break from comments and hope you take another one till christmas. your lack of character in using your real name when being so critical speaks volumes about what kind of person you really are.

McLovin said...

MoM, right on! the USTA should get out of the hand picked forecasting game Fire all those high performance coaches, get rid of Carson and Evert. Save all those $millions and spread the wealth by lowering tournament fees and paying the hotel and travel cost of the top 16 finishers of every Supernational. Then there would be no favorites, no biases,no excuses and real incentives. And it would certainly cost less than what they are spending now trying to handpick.

fed up said...

Please stop printing Man on the Moon. I am getting turned off this website and he is 100% the reason. He needs therapy worse than anyone I have ever known.

nomoremaninthemoon said...

man in the moon, fed not known for his power. how stupid, he hits much harder than nadal so why does he keep losing to him. people simply do not have the time to rebuttal to all of your ignorant statements and there are many. please quit posting on this website. you are ruining it for everyone.

stephen said...

man on the moon -- Are there any examples of countries that have had successful national development programs?

Personally, I don't know what the difference would be between training at an academy like Bollittier's and training at a center run by the USTA. How is the experience of one substantially different than the other?

michelle prentice said...

MoM,

That still doesn't make your comments original. People have been decrying the one dimensional nature of our 'new' crop of US players since Andy Roddick hit the big time. It's exactly the same thing they were saying when Jim Courier and Michael Chang came to prominence. All you've done is claimed those opinions as your own when they most certainly aren't.

You need to take your own advice - lose the ego and stop taking credit for other people's work.

Man in the Moon said...

Mclovin,

the fine points of disbursing the millions of dollars- whether top 16 finishers of the Super National, graded scale for top 10 all the way down to top 30 etc. can be worked out -then the parents can figure out whether to go to an academy, train at home, etc

Conceptionally what the USTA is doing does not work because NO ONE can predict who the next GREAT AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER WILL BE-

But will most likely come from a junior who is in the top 25 - 30 in his age group.

gettingthefactsstraight said...

To the Man on the Moon--

"just give the 10's of millions (emphasis added) of dollars to the top 25 boys and girls in each age division."......

Now I know you are certainly smarter than that, just to throw out that random comment. I'm not sure which players you think the USTA are taking credit for, who have hit that home run? Agassi? Sampras? Courier? Chang? Martin? Washington? Ginepri? Blake? Roddick? amongst others.

The USTA coaches had been "supplemental" and the mission statement was to "faciliate" USA players. So that's what the USTA did "provide tournaments and special events and give money to a wide range of players" The USTA coaches even took players on tournament trips and held training camps.

Only a year ago, did the mission statement change to "primary" coaching. So don't you think the verdict is still out there, and NOT get rid of Carson and Boca. Those players who train at those centers have certainly made great progress.

I agree with you that the USGA has a tremendous system. However their series of tournaments and whole program is different. Example-their pro tour is only in the states, where as our american players have to travel all over the world to play touraments. So maybe it's the format of tournaments that needs to be changed.....so why not have an only American tennis Tour?!?

In closing, are you upset with the whole USTA structure or just something personal with the "sham of the usta coaches"

Man in the Moon said...

Stephen,
I think Colette had an article printed from the NY Times about a sparse training facility in an Easten Block country that did produce a number of top pros- can't remember the name. I don't know if it was private or run by the state. Aside from that facility -I know that Spain has a supplemental training facility that a number of the top Spainish players attend- However all the top Spainish players train either indivually or went to an academy - some in Spain some elsewhere.

The actual training between Nick's Place and the USTA would probably be similiar.

The problem is the USTA is the judge and the jury. For example if the US gymnastic Federation ran a camp for a select few and then did the judging in an event- there would be unfair advantage to the select few (i.e. wildcards to junior and pro events, etc.)
The United States was built on private enterprise and we have been pretty succesful on that approach for a very long time.

Why not let the spirit of independence rule and let the best man or woman win. However let the USTA provide funding for the most amount of people because no one can predict who is going to be the next Sampras.

BTW- I have never called anyone stupid- nor told them not to write on this or any other blog- nor asked for a real name-

I do find it amusing / comical that "take another break please" goes off on the fact that I do not use my real name and yet - will I guess you get the picture.

This is a blog for each and every one's personal opinion-

I have no malice for anyone who writes on this blog and I accept it for what it is - a place to state your opinion-- and exchange (emphasis added) your ideas in an intelligent manner- and not use name calling or threats about how much one should write and when one should write it --because I am certainly not going to stop writing because some bloggers have a differnt opinion than I do.

Stephen said...

On an aside -- I think the fact that so many people are commenting so passionately about tennis development here shows that Collette's blog is a tremendous success. I'm sure for every comment there are many, many more just reading.

Man in the Moon said...

gettingthefactsstraight,

You always raise interesting, thought provoking points.

I will answer your last questions first.

I have absolutley nothing personal against the USTA coaches- My boys are 34 and 31 so they didn't even have USTA coaches back then. I should clairify some of my comments - I don't know if the US coaches went to the USTA or it was the other way around to start the elite training programs, High Performance, etc. in any event it started. Frankly my gripe is the way USTA is handling the juniors because at the end of the day - the USTA pulls the trigger on everything Tennis related.

You might be onto something with an ONLY AMERICAN TENNIS TOUR - like the USGA - of course the pro golfers play globaly as do the tennis players - so that part is the same.

The problem is not the centers / primary coaching -- the problem is picking the right players and I don't think anyone can consistently pick junior players that will be top 10 pro players.
Even in Basketball you don't know which players in College aside from the very top echelon who is going to make in BIG in the pros and those players are 18-22. Too difficult to predict who should be in the camps. That is the problem and America is spending much too much money if the player does not work out.
Spread the risk and have a bigger pool maybe the top 16-30 players in each age division.

The USTA could not take credit for any of the past players because ALL of them were either home grown or thru the Academies.
I am saying the USTA wants to take credit for any success in Tennis- IMO I just don't think individual sports can be mass produced in the USA- perhaps in China where the state runs everything is a differnt story.

The Dude said...

Collette's blog is the best on junior tennis, bar none. You may not like the manner in which MoM has spoken but many of MoM's points are well taken. The USTA is the judge and jury. Leaving the pro picking game and entering the facilation game will improve the system for the majority of the junior players. It will become more of a meritocracy and less of a entitlement bias program. Let's be honest here, the USTA has never had success picking the eventual winners but has squandered a lot of money along the way. If we stay in this points based horror show of a system, then give reward reimbursement based on points achieved. The current top junior, Ryan Harrison is a product of Pat Harrison and Newcomb's and not the USTA. The only help junior players need from the USTA is making the whole process more affordable in general.

analyst said...

Man in the Moon-

Please DO keep writing. As you said this is a a forum for opinions and I find yours well thought out, whether I agree or disagree with them. Others should agree or counter as they see fit and leave the emotion out of it.

To many others: People who invest their money in the stock market usually put it into a variety of investments in order to increase their chances of hitting a winner. If you back only a few companies you are taking a much bigger risk. And even if you have researched your investments and think you have a good bet, it's still a guessing game. This is very similar to what the USTA is trying to do by selecting only a few kids to finance before all the info is in. Often before they see how big, strong, dedicated, etc the kid is. Any of you who have been around tennis can surely remember some kid on the sectional or national level who was a superstar in the 12's and who has faded away in the 16's and 18's. What if the USTA had selected that kid for support? It is nearly impossible to predict which physically and emotionally immature pre-teens will have everything it takes to become a pro tennis player. The USTA should spread the money around, as others have said, let the kids choose where to train and with whom and let the process of development play itself out in a free enterprise system. Instead, the USTA, based on their belief that they can spot future pros by age 12, provides a few kids with what is essentially the life of a touring pro. Travel to tournament after tournament, trips to Europe and South America, wild cards galore, personal coach, trainers flown in to work with kids at tournaments. In fact, most touring pros do not have what these 12-16 year olds are given. Meanwhile the other 97% of the federation's juniors are struggling to pay for their training and travel and spending extra money to make their way through the qualifiers of tournaments. They ARE doing it on their own as many of you have suggested they do. But this takes a heck of a lot of money and sacrifice from them and their families. Many do persevere but many others are not able to do so for financial or other reasons.

Man in the Moon said...

Dude,

oh boy, you brought up another great thought provoking comment - the one about "points based horror show of a system".

yes that system receives an astounding NO from me, also.

If by some miracle the USTA changes the approach to reward the "top 25" with money - IT MUST CHANGE THE POINT SYSTEM - to either a "HEAD to HEAD SYSTEM" or some combination of head to head and points similiar to the pros.

Because the point system would only benefit the "RICH GUY" by providing more money to him to buy more points.

So point system-head to head -combo of both in addtion to the DIRECTION OF THE USTA DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM- really is a lot to get involved in just prior to the US OPEN - and next week we have the big show in NY - so aren't these interesting times.

Dude, I know my manner might rub so people the wrong way - but frankly, to me, it is more about the thoughts and thought process.

I do enjoy reading your opinions. Some I agree with and some I don't - but you are cetainly entitled to expressing your opinion and yes, Colette does have the best tennis blog in the United States and I have read them all(junior, collegiate and Pro).

gettingthefactsstraight said...

Collete does have a great blog (in fact, i believe the only blog). The ratio between constructive, general comments to usta bashing is way out of balance. I understand the anonymous system of blogging, but that leads to unecessary thrashing, with no consequence. I beleive that if an educated person writes something critical, then they follow up with how they would fix or change it. The past several blogs have been great, but this past week and year's past blog has been embarrassing. But I guess that's Colette choice of what gets put on here, since it is her blog.

Man in the Moon said...

take another break please

to respond to your comment about being cowardly and not picking a junior who would be a top 50 player in the ATP.

In the past (1970-thru the late 80's)it was fairly easy to pick an American because in that time frame we had 35 Americans in the top 100 and most were in the top 60--- So, if you were a top American Junior you were almost assured of being a top world class player.

THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED- and even if you are a top junior in the USA does not mean anything in the GLOBAL WORLD OF TENNIS-TODAY.


Therefore, it is impossible for a person of reason and some intelligence to make even an educated guess as to who will be in the top 10 in the World.

Perhaps that is why the USTA High Performance is not doing well-- because they SHOULDN'T be in the business of prediciting talent as many of the other sport Federations in the USA are also NOT PREDICTING TALENT.

and I won't even ask for your real name (as you have done)because I don't care and it is hypercritical ( which BTW you are)- I only care about the thoughts. It also seems that you change your fictious name and do not stick to one name -but change on a whim-which is fine by me- you words resonate a message not your name.

And frankly it is easier to pick the players who are NOT going to be top 5/ 10 in the world.

I have explained why I don't think it is worthwhile to predict the future top 10 players- How about you predicting the next great player and more importantly WHY.

Enjoy the day - maybe we will see each other at the US Open.

Man in the Moon said...

analyst,

I have been reading your posts for quite a while and your name fits your writing well.

I to enjoy your thoughts -most of which I agree and some that I do not.

(ps) my name is a bit more whimsical although I am sure some people on this blog wish that I visit the moon for a period of time.

steven s said...

"analyst" Great points on your post. I could not agree with you more. And "man on the moon", also encourage you to keep posting your thoughts. Thanks Collette for continuing to allow opinions on your blog. Maybe I live a dull life:) but I very much look forward to logging on and reading all the posts!

get real said...

To all of you man in the moon haters quit hating,
It appears he has said things no one relly wants to hear, because you feel there is hope for the U.S.
I totally agree with everything he is saying, truth does hurt and the dream is destoyed. Until there are things changed within the USTA and with tennis and popularity with the americans, forget about it. The sport is so individual and the financial issue is crazy,(coaching,traveling and off court trainers). Tennis has become a disfunctional sport in every respect. Keep it simple.