Sunday, January 31, 2010

ITA Collegiate Kick-off Weekend Winds Down; Tsuji and Halys Win Les Petits As Titles


I spent the afternoon at the Eck Tennis Center in South Bend, where No. 2 seed North Carolina upended top seed Notre Dame 5-2 to advance to the women's Team Indoor in Madison, Wisc. on February 12th. I will have a detailed account of the match for the Tennis Recruiting Network on Thursday.

Notre Dame was one of the few top seeds/hosts who did not advance; of the 15 women's teams hosting only Fresno State, Arkansas and Notre Dame did not win both their matches this weekend. As a No. 3 seed, Michigan is the lowest seed to advance to Madison, but with their No. 19 ranking, it's difficult to call it a big upset. Their host, Arkansas, the top seed, is ranked 18. (Florida State (2) and Ohio State (4) are playing on the West Coast, and the result is not yet in, so if the Buckeyes pull off another upset, they will be the lowest seed.) The qualifiers are: Duke, Northwestern, Georgia, California, North Carolina, Baylor, Miami (congratulations to NCAA finalist Laura Vallverdu for becoming the all-time leader in wins for the Hurricanes), Georgia Tech, Southern California, Tennessee, Clemson, UCLA, Michigan, Florida.

For the men, there are three finals taking place on Monday: Georgia vs. North Carolina, Baylor vs. TCU and Tennessee vs. South Carolina (the Volunteers website is featuring a live blog). The dozen teams who have already qualified for the men's indoor championship in Charlottesville, Virginia are: Ohio State, Ole Miss, Texas, Stanford, Louisville, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Southern California, UCLA and Fresno State.

Fresno State, a No. 4 seed, has been the big surprise of the weekend. Ranked 46th coming into the weekend play at College Station, the Bulldogs dismissed No. 12 seed Texas A & M in the first round and today swept Rice, ranked 34th, to advance to Charlottesville. The women's team had the opposite kind of weekend, losing both their first match to No. 4 seed Ohio State, and their consolation match to Virginia.

Marcia Frost's coverage of the Illinois men's event this weekend can be found at her Big Ten Tennis Examiner site.

In Tarbes, the French crowned their first Les Petits As champion since Richard Gasquet in 1999, when unseeded Quentin Halys defeated American Noah Rubin, the 12th seed, 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the 14-and-under event. The girls title went to No. 8 seed Kanami Tsuji of Japan, who defeated No. 6 seed Indy de Vroome of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. For more on the tournament, see the Les Petits As website.

27 comments:

Tyler said...

I must admit a bit of confusion. I’m in South Florida and have read how some of the largest academies in Broward and Palm Beach recommend the importance of winning in your age group; even tennis magazine had an editorial about it. Is it the "do as I say, not do as I do" mentality? Every weekend, the same academies have vans dropping off loads of children to play up one sometimes two age divisions. It's the same group of kids that are playing 4 1/2 to 6 hours a day, clearly they’re favored over an after school player who might be older. If you have a 16, 17 or 18 year old player who's not going pro but places a lot of emphasis on tennis recruiting and those results can be devastating. There is absolutely no pressure on a 7th or 8th grader playing in 18s. Why is this the preferred approach, and who has benefited in the USTA sanctioned tournaments in the last ten years from this approach? Where is the American champion who played up? Wasn’t it Pete Sampras? Why doesn’t the USTA make a change? The older player, especially on the woman's side typically freezes, where the range of athleticism isn't as large. The academies encourage the girls to call lines out and yell "c'mon," and now some of the younger boys are playing with similar gamesmanship. Academies must be encouraging this because that’s what their players do. An upcoming Girls 18s designated has two 7th graders, two 8th graders, and seven 9th graders. The new rackets have introduced potential danger with regard to the speed of the ball hit off the ground. There exists a realistic risk of injury.

I have a similar role at junior tournaments and have really begun to see an increase in ugliness by both players and parents; it’s clearly on the rise. The reality is what comes around goes around, the exact same players who played up for the last four years, are now terrified when they’re the legitimate 17 or 18 year old and a hot shot 13 year old steps onto the court.

I think the parents are falling for it. The academies line their pockets, spin it to the player and parent, look how great the player performed against that older child in a loss, or better yet a win. There’s no risk for the academy to play up the student because the result can be spun as a success regardless, it’s a “win win” proposition. In a couple of years the academy will do the same thing with the next batch of paper champions, the USTA will continue to wonder why they have no champions, and the parents will wonder why their player didn’t really develop? But the money will keep rolling in!

The real shame is when you look at the alternate lists. Players who want to get better but clearly are not in the same fine tuned 4 1/2 to 6 hour tennis machine program each and every day are not even getting a chance to play, the little ones get with a couple of more points are taking a lot of quality spots and opportunities and the USTA clearly lacking of any demographic studies or information doesn't seem to care. The older player clearly can't go backwards and play a in 14s or 16s, they're stuck because tennis recruiting penalizes them for the wins in tournaments they can get in. Meanwhile there's an odd celebration of no cut high school tennis, which most juniors don't play, and there's a continuation of the first or second line of published tournament results pointing out the age of the player.

The game is evolving, name the most recent young champion, wasn't it Sharapova at Wimbledon? Clearly ‘playing up” is outdated.

LAME said...

Tyler, That was the most lame letter ever. I don't even know where to begin, so I won't.

getreal said...

Tyler

Long winded but on target. Agree for boys. For girls its different and teenagers who got the game pop through but for boys the game has changed so much and except for those very rare exceptions after a certain age makes little sense to play up because most are not ready to give it a real shot in the pros and its like throwing them to the wolves.

Eric Amend said...

Tyler,

I applaud almost everything you posted and this is EXACTLY the reason I decided to stop working for the USTA as a PDev coach some 12 years ago. The USTA wasn't 100% accountable for training players and it was left up to the academies, which must make a profit in order to survive.

When you said, "I think the parents are falling for it. The academies line their pockets, spin it to the player and parent, look how great the player performed against that older child in a loss, or better yet a win. There’s no risk for the academy to play up the student because the result can be spun as a success regardless, it’s a “win win” proposition. In a couple of years the academy will do the same thing with the next batch of paper champions, the USTA will continue to wonder why they have no champions, and the parents will wonder why their player didn’t really develop? But the money will keep rolling in!", you touched on the major problem that every academy, including the most successful NBTA, HAS ALWAYS brought to the formula; they need their junior players to have positive results to market themselves to the masses so that they're considered a successful player development type of academy in order to continue their daily operations.

I would add that tennis academies, like any other business that needs a direct profit from it's operation to exist, try to cut expenses (translation: subpar/inexperienced coaches that will take less money) while at the same time, need to show the success of it's product (translation: teach a method of "pusher/retriever", that wins at a young age but doesn't lead to a player down the path to have a chance at a top 100 professional career.

My opinion is that this is precisely the reason why Patrick McEnroe/USTA has taken the much needed step to institute their own academy to control a player's development throughout his/her junior career, making the USTA 100% accountable for the first time in it's player development history!!

NOW, if the USTA Player Development is unsuccessful at developing Grand Slam champions, top 10, 25, 50, and 100 world ranked players, they will finally be responsible for something that they've been wrongly criticized for since their inception 20+ years ago.

Man in the Moon said...

Tyler, Eric and anybody else,

please explain why the only, yes only sports Federation in the USA (the USTA) tries to produce a champion, top 10, and your point of a top 100 just is not going to cut it in America.

Frankly, anything below top 5 really is not acceptable to the US general population!!!

So, and I have said this many times, USGA - did not take credit for Tiger, swimming federation did not take credit for Phelps, figure skating, gymnastics, or any other individual sport.

The reason is ---- it can't be done for an individual sport.

I have been in a business environment for the past 40 years and the biggest mistake that business and gov't make is this:

They take a premiss- that is faulty -- such as putting $10,000,000 homes in a depressed area and try and sell them --or -
have a federation try and make a champion --- I can go on forever naming specific sport federations - but I am hoping you get the picture.

Never going to happen---- yet the USTA got swindled by a bunch of coaches who pull down $100s of thousands of dollars -- trying to sell the idea and the Blue Coats of the USTA, who couldn't discover a champion if they fell into their lap -- gets sucked in by (starting with Paul Annacone and ending with Pat Mac) yes- they might be able to coach Sampras and the Davis Cup -- but the premiss is doomed.

Instead of trying to copy the Spainards, French, Austrialian ,etc

Why don't they just run the Federation and not try to be a coach -- it doesn't work in individual sports - not in America ---- name one junior, just one -- that has attained a top level and was brought up by the USTA.

Eric, you have a special interest because you were a USTA coach - and frankly you were just a pawn--

Tyler -- I bet you have a daughter who is older- 16 -18 and just got her head handed to her by a young 7th - 9th grade junior.

Eric Amend said...

Man on the Moon,

Like the typical USTA basher, you're hearing what you want to hear and making an argument but you're not listening to what I'm saying, nor are you deciphering the facts from my post.

The usta has never directly developed a player because, until Patrick McEnroe decided to start a USTA Academy, the USTA has never been 100% accountable for a players long term development. (translation: For the past 20+ years that PlayDev has been in exsistance, every single American player at some point has had their own private coach, WHILE the USTA has only supplemented that coach with USTA traveling coaches, like myself, and USTA sponsored training camps.)

What makes your opinion negligible and what you can't, or don't, understand with your "40 year business environment" experience, that my 42 years of tennis experience already knows, is that by only supplementing the support, the USTA wasn't in 100% complete control of a players day to day development from the time that they were 10-12 years old until 18-20 years old thus, their hands have always been tied.

So, the answer to your question of "name one junior that has attained a top level and was brought up by the USTA" is that The USTA hasn't had the opportunity to build a player from the ground up, until now, hence the reason they cannot be held accountable for not having developed a player yet.

I'll try to explain how this made the situation difficult for a USTA coach to try and aid a developing player so you can understand.
When I travelled with a group of players, I would watch their practices or their matches and I might suggest something to them that might have been completely opposite of what their private coach had told them, so there becomes a conflict between two coaches advice and the player would almost always elect to ignore my advice. Then, because I had said something that was opposite of their coach, they would distrust my advice altogether making my job all the more difficult.
I'm not saying that my advice was correct and their coach was wrong, what I'm saying is that for the first time, the USTA will not have any conflicts of coaching with a 10-12 year old player that stays under the USTA's coaching guidance for 6-8 years of development at their academy.

Since the profit needy academies haven't been doing the job very well at all, why shouldn't Patrick McEnroe/USTA try something new/different than what the status quo has been doing at PlayDev for the past 20+ years??? Give them a chance before saying it isn't possible for them to succeed.

You don't even explain why it can't be done, rather just stating it without backing it up with any explanation!!!

get real said...

tyler,

could not agree with you more. the longer you are in the little jr.circuit you will see the little ones fizle out or ask what happened to them. the best part is watching the parents think they have the next star on their hands. i also think SOME parents play their children up for the right reasons. personally i think its great to have them play up and really pressure the older kids and see where their mental toughness is ect. my child loves it, especially when the drama starts and the parents try to influence the outcome of the match, outside of the fence, and then the little one walks off crying.(saw it this past weekend). have the time the kids that are going to these academies are lying about their age at least 2 yrs. the only thing that comes out of this crap is welcome to the real ugly world, better these kids learn to deal with it than not. sports gives you the confidence to over come this garbage and move on with your life. i do agree that fl. tennis is becoming more aggressive with the parents and how they will do anything to have a million $ contract for their kid. i think it is only going to get worse, unless something is done about the parents, they think its their win and lose HAHAHA

seenit said...

amend

tennis coaches are like investment brokers. listen to me let me have fulll control and pay me all along the way. even though I have developed nobody (in 42 years or more), have little if no formal training in ANYTHING. I know better than everyone and you must trust me fully with your money or child because I know so much since I have been rip[ping people off on this gig for so long I believe it. When you realize it if you are a typiclal tennis parent or investor it is too late and I'll move on to another. Nice try Amend. Basically your claim is that you need to take the place of tennis academies so you can be the incompetant ripoff artest instead of them. Profit is profit and a child's well-being and development are something entirely different. You have one interest A knowledgeable parent has another. entirely different goal.

The original poster should be glad he/she is not watsting all her money on a ripoff florida tennis academy for her child to learn a game.

educated person

Eric Amend said...

Seenit,

Again, you're just another person in a long line of posters that only hear what they want to hear!!!

If you're such an "educated person" than you would have realized that the difference between the USTA's academy AND EVERY OTHER academy in that has every existed in the U.S. is that the USTA's is funded, for all intent and purpose, through the profits from the U.S. Open while EVERY OTHER ACADEMY MUST MAKE A PROFIT BY CHARGING SOME/ALL OF THEIR STUDENTS!!!!(Emphasis added)

Let me try to make it easier for you to understand since you're obviously NOT EDUCATED on this topic; the USTA will spend their own money to train the elite players that the invite to their academy.

Was that easy enough for you to understand???

Also, if you would have comprehended my first post on the issue, you would have understood that I would agree with you on the fact that there are PLENTY of incompetent coaches out there stealing money just as you said but the object and responsibility for the USTA was to NOT HIRE those types of coaches!!!!

So, if you had better reading comprehension skills, you would have understood that I have the same goal as the "knowledgeable parent" and that I'm not trying to take the incompetent coach's place to "rip them off"

Man in the Moon said...

Eric Amend,
first and foremost I am not a USTA basher.

I just call them, the way I see them.

I understand exactly what you are saying.

My comment to you is ---

How in the World could it take 20 years -- 20 years to install a change in the program -- if it wasn't working.

If the USTA was a true business (which it is) how come the powers to be -- (1)didn't change the method (2) how come the brilliant coaches couldn't figure out - the system wasn't working--

and force the men in the Blue Coats -(that get primo box seats at the USO) couldn't figure it out.

Any private company that takes 20 years -- which you repeat and repeat to figure out a problem (MAYBE) WOULD NOT BE IN BUSINESS - especially now with the changing times.

Why should the Tennis Public of the USA trust the USTA -- because Pat Mac says it will work!!

You have got to be kidding--

Your comment of why I say it wouldn't work is very simple.

The USA has a different social-economic position than any country in the world with a totally different attitude.

Why would a parent give up their child at the age of 10 or 12 to a firm (USTA) that hasn't shown one iota of success, not one -- in the coaching of juniors.

Throughout the world - Spain, France,England,Australia , etc -- not one Federation has produced a tennis star

Not one Federation in the USA has produced a individual star in ANY SPORT--

Who made Pat Mac the great creator of junior tennis.

He is not proven a thing in reference to Junior Tennis - so why would a parent of a 10 year old -- send his kid away for 6- 9 years to an unproven environment.

And the part I keep coming back to is your comment -- well we couldn't figure it out and it has taken us 20 years to figure out --we need a change --

and NOW we will be OK.

Your comments about the private coaches not producing is also a very cheap shot.

You know that the entire world has produced much better players and it is not just about American coaching that the reason America has not produced.

And I have nothing to do with coaching tennis in any way, shape or form.

20 years - are you kidding me!!!

get real said...

i think everyone does care about the path o jr. tennis in the states whether it is negative or positive. the problem is with not the talent but the coaches and parents. the academies mold their players to what they want as a whole not the individual players needs. not all of the coaches out there are used car salesman, but the majority are. when they tell you they can make your child into a world class player run and run for your life, when the cost exceeds more to go to an academy per year, than to go to college you are probably getting scammed. parents need to take responsibility in checking out the coaches and the academies, you do that for drs. schools ect. the usta needs to look at other sports to see how they decide if an athlete that they are putting $ into is really a worthy of that training, meaning mentally, physically ect. trust me there are ways to do that ut not at the ages 9-16. yes that is true, every child matures differently physically and mentally, plus get them away from mommy and daddy and see how dedicated they really are. i happen to be friends with the ex general manager of a pro. football team who brought brette farve to the packers and to hear how they decide if they want them on therir team and what they are put through is amazing. every coach wants to be seen and known, they will say and do anything for $ when they make promises tell them to put in writing, lets face it the coaches are more fired, than hired.

The Dude said...

"So, and I have said this many times, USGA - did not take credit for Tiger, swimming federation did not take credit for Phelps, figure skating, gymnastics, or any other individual sport."

Eric Amend, I think he is suggesting that why does the USTA want the control and think It has the answers in an individual sport where other sports have acepted individual coaching as the keys to success.

After Murray's lost to Fed at the aussie, Boris Becker said, "I was looking at Andy's box during the match and there was no one up there who knows what it is like to be out in a Grand Slam final. Don't get me wrong, 'Team Murray' are first rate - they have made Andy the third-best player on the planet - but you cannot learn the skills you need out on the centre court from a book, or from hearsay. You need to talk to people like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, someone Andy would listen to and respect. For Murray, it is now about playing the right shot at the right time, not running or going to the gym."

I see the USTA HP in the same light. Yes they made be ok nice tennis people but by and large they are and has always been journeymen. The whole heirachy of coaches have never won a slam, never had great success in junior tennis development so the expectations of future success is rather questionable. Maybe they should spend the money in broadening the sport and lowering the cost of junior competition.

Man in the Moon said...

The USTA IMO should grow the game, run tournaments and be responsible for the USO, take care of Rules, etc.

(like every other federation)

AND NOT TRY AND PRODUCE GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS (emphasis added)

WHY

BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK AND NEVER WILL!!!!

IS THAT CLEAR ENOUGH (emphasis added)

PERIOD THE END.

get real said...

man in the moon,

i usually agree were you are coming from, but you cannot right off the usta all together. they may get lucky and have a kid who is talented and has a pure passion for the sport. as soon as the parents let the kids think and speak for themselves and the coaches do what they are payed to do, it could take a very long time. after the willias sisters we are screwed for the women. lets hope they will keep playing way past 30 yrs. old.

Man in the Moon said...

get real,
I appreciate what you say, however it is not just the USTA.

I just don't think that ANY Federation - especially in the US should or Could (emphasis added) try and produce a World Class individual athlete.

BTW -- there isn't a Federation that has developed a World Class Athlete yet.

The difference between the USTA and the other American Federations are:

The other Federations REALIZE it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to do -- and the USTA BLUE JACKETS have such large egos

they want to take credit for a GRAND SLAM CHAMPION

Eric Amend said...

Man on the moon

First off, my criticism of the private coaches in the U.S. is just me "calling it like I see it" (with emphasis added) like you called it like you saw it!! There are WAAAAY too many inexperienced "car salesmen" teaching tennis to people because it's a relatively easy method of making money. I can't tell you how many "coaches" I've seen in higher positions that did little more than talk there way to the top by making players feel good about themselves instead of an experienced coach telling them what they need to hear but might not like to hear!!!

Now, contrary to what my views about the USTA may appear to everyone who reads my posts, I AM NOT A USTA APOLOGIST and, as I said above, I quit working for them 12 years ago because I didn't agree with the direction the coaching philosophy was headed. BUT, here is where my insight as a former employee of the USTA, and about their philosophical past, adds credence to my opinion REGARDLESS of your opinion that I have a "special interest".

The reason why I feel that it's taken 20+ years to change is two-fold and I'll try to express this as best as possible in short form.

1) The USTA is structured like our government organization with the leadership constantly changing every few years so it isn't always possible to stay on the same path. You say that it's a "true business" but the difference is that, similar to our government, the President of the USTA changes every two years, unlike a private company with a CEO who isn't shackled with the term limits, so the comparison isn't really fair.

2) The USTA's philosophy regarding Private Academies when I worked there was that the USTA didn't want to be in the academy business because it might be viewed as trying to put the private academies out of business, since the USTA basically has "unlimited" funding through the U.S. Open so potentially this had some validity to the thought process, which in turn could upset many, many high level and influential academy owners.

Man in the moon, my question for you is, if you feel the USTA should just be a Federation and run the game, what is your plan to try develop players into Grand Slam Champions?? Because just running the game, along with supplemental coaching, has been the status quo for the last 20 years YET, people are criticizing the USTA for not adding to the Grand Slam pool of players in order to protect the American game and help grow back the declining viewership of tournaments that everyone is screaming that the sky is falling!!

I will 100% agree with you on your point about" The USA has a different social-economic position than any country in the world with a totally different attitude" as being the biggest hurdle that's in the way of American tennis players being successful on the professional tour/winning Grand Slams. Most of the players in our country have never been pushed to be successful out of necessity.

Man in the Moon said...

Eric,
my plan is straight forward and direct.

It is not the responsibility of a federation (any athletic federation in the US) to build Grand Slam, PGA, figure skaters, boxers, swimmers, etc Champions.

The individual sport champions are made at home mostly (by individual coaches-involved in ANY SPORT- including tennis), sometimes for a period of time players will go the academy route --

but NOT THE FEDERATION.

and if America is not (for whatever reasons) developing talent in tennis --

It should not be the fault of the Federation and the Federation should not get the Accolades if a player is succesful.

So, how to get back on top in Tennis Worldwide -- no secret

good and great athletes need to get involved with good and great coaches -- and the rest will take care of itself.

The problem is -- the rest of the world has caught up with America -- and frankly I am not just talking about sports.

The rest of the world has caught up and in many instances has surpassed America in things like building cars, technology , finance, industry, dependence of fuel, to name a few.

I hate to break this to you -- but India now purchases more cars per day than the US for the first time in history.

30 -40 years ago -- a top junior tennis player or top college player in the US was almost guaranteed to be top in the world.

That was when USA had 30-40 players in the top 100 in the World and most were in the top 60.

I have been saying this for a long time- and received a lot of heat for it andf many people thought I was anti- USA players --

Wrong

The rest of the World has caught up -- in many things that the US was at one time the biggest dog on the block -

And frankly that is why I don't see anyone in the boys or girls junior players (age 15-20) that will make a dent -- compared to the rest of the world.

I have stated about Muarry, Tsonga, Nole, Clic, Del Potro, Monfils and a whole host of young players ( under the age of 22 -23) that are light years ahead of the American crop and have stated it for quite awhile.

and while Austin and a bunch of his buddies were yapping about 5 year old girls / boys that were doing this and doing that --

because our top boys -- starting with Donald Young received all this hype in the USA and nothing and I mean nothing happened

now everyone says what is wrong with American tennis

it was going downhill just like our industry, banking, retailing, finance, real estate for years and everyone put their head in the sand.

We are not the power that we used to be in many things and Tennis - in the big picture is really a very small piece of the pie.

and that is why many of my contemporaries are purchasing 2nd and third homes in places like Costa Rica.

abc said...

I suppose the reason why the USTA are trying to raise players is because for the past few years, nobody big came. So, they take a different approach, by trying to raise players. However, that doesn't mean that these are the only US players. Some of you make it sound like the only players who have a prayer are the players at the USTA center. Well, there are other kids around the country who do their own thing. And if they get good, the USTA will fund and support them.

Also, it's not like the USTA steals these players. The players willingly go. It's up to them. Maybe they like it. If they don't, they'll leave. Nobody said it was mandatory.

Eric Amend said...

Man in the moon,

While I might agree with some of your ideas, the problem is that for every person like yourself that thinks the USTA should not be involved in developing players, there is an equally loud representation on the otherside so it always seems like the USTA is in a can't win situation.

On another note, if you use Tiger Woods as an example, television viewership of golf was down 50% last year so you can bet that the USGA is going to be shaking in their boots this summer if vieweship continues to erode. That is precisely the reason that the USTA is feeling the pressure to develop a Grand Slam caliber type of player so they've decided to take more control if they are going to be criticized for something that hasn't been 100% their responsibility!!

sam said...

didn't see any grand slam champions in Federers box

Man in the Moon said...

ABC,
points well taken.

However the USTA started in 1990 with the National Team which was the beginning (1st generation)of the High Performance Story.

It didn't work then and it hasn't worked yet.

I am a very big proponent of home grown talent -- not USTA at all.

Whether it be Sam Querry, Jon Isner, Andy Roddick, Marty Fish, etc. etc

None of them were taught as juniors via the USTA,

I am saying home grown in any INDIVIDUAL SPORT IS THE WAY IT IS IN THE USA--

YES, THERE IS A PLACE FOR ACADEMIES (some or part time - basically for the competition)

BUT NOT THE USTA.( they don't have the goods)

Frankly, players have a better chance without the USTA than with them.

Why many of the parents complain about the USTA - is because they want the funding that the USTA dangles in front of them.

As with most things in life --

there is a price too be paid -if you sell yourself to someone -- but parents only look at the short term and complain about the USTA not funding their little Johnny or Jane.

So I agree on your point ABC- that there are players who benefit without the USTA.

I think the players that are not funded by the USTA have more than a prayer to succeed.

A Parent said...

I will not give my name because I want to protect the security of my child but I have read most of the blogs on this site and I feel really bad for a lot of you. It appears that most of you do not see what is going on on the inside, only from the outside.

My child lives at the usta center in boca and I am thrilled my child is there. They have an amazing system in place and the rate of improvement of my child over the past 7-8 months has been incredible.

Some say they must be taught by Grand Slams Champions, well I completely disagree. However, they have some former Top 10 players on staff and even Ivan Lendl has been involved some with their development.

The usta is using other resources: Jim Loehr, Ivan Lendl, Pat Echaberry, to name a few to help the players. These people have been or had playes in Grand Slam finals.

Bottom line, the players who work the hardest have the best chance. The usta was supplemental before so they were never in a position to coach players. Now they are and they are doing a great job. We will not know for several years what happens, but if you look at all the players there, they all have improved ALOT!!

Give them a chance because finally the usta is being very productive with the development of players.

Man in the Moon said...

Eric,

your defense as in your point #1 (only gives my position more, much more credence that I could possible hope for) and I quote your comment:

1) The USTA is structured like our government organization with the leadership constantly changing every few years so it isn't always possible to stay on the same path. You say that it's a "true business" but the difference is that, similar to our government, the President of the USTA changes every two years, unlike a private company with a CEO who isn't shackled with the term limits, so the comparison isn't really fair."

So, if the USTA is like the government with elections every 2 years and no continuity -- HOW IN THE WORLD COULD THEY SUCCEED.

Meaning even if they agree with Pat Mac's idea who is to say - that when the next regime takes over in 2 years -- THEY WON'T JUST REMOVE IT -so basically Pat Mac will have a couple of years to prove his point --

You make the case for me -- using your points.

I rest my case - now that it is even stronger with your defense!!

Tiger was a extraordinary WORLD Phenom, much like Michael Jordan and Kobe

Players like that come along once a generation or more --

that is what drives TV ratings --

and the NBA, USGA or the USTA can't do a darn thing about it.

and with Tiger's digressions

who knows what is in store for the USGA

one thing for sure --- it is not on their agenda to TRAIN (emphasis added) THE NEXT TIGER WOODS.

They are just trying to get as many people interested in playing golf -- especially the youth and see where it goes.

The USTA could learn from the USGA.

NO ONE IN THE USGA is blaming or rewarding the USGA for the great golfer that Tiger was.

And that is the major difference -- as I have said ad nauseum

IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A FEDERATION TO RAISE CHAMPIONS --

REGARDLESS OF WHAT PEOPLE SAY!!!

A thought said...

Man in the Moon

We ALL know you are a big proponent of home grown talent and HATE the usta.

The usta now has a set coaching philosophy, like great coaches who have already produced Top 100 players and champions, like Spain and France. Pato from Spain has a set system that has produced players that alot of coaches emulate. The France have a set coaching system that always puts palyers in the Top 100 and alot higher. The usta finally has this but it takes time to see the huge results.

The usta is finally on the right path. Is it possible to keep an open mind?

Man in the Moon said...

A parent,

I hope what you say pays off and certainly the names you have mentioned are top draw.

Jim Loehr, Ivan Lendl, Pat Echaberry, are all terrific and have been there.

And you are on the $$$$ about players working hard --

The certainly have a better chance than those that don't

and I am sure there is marked improvement of the players in Boca.

The problem is -- the big 3 (Jim Loehr, Ivan Lendl, Pat Echaberry,) aren't there all the time --- only for guest appearances -- and what is needed is DAY TO DAY -- EVERY MORNING -- EVERY AFTERNOON --

so I hope in a few years - that it works

IT WOULD BE THE VERY FIRST TIME -- IT EVER DID

I MEAN THIS SINCERELY

GOOD LUCK

Man in the Moon said...

A thought,,
I do not hate the USTA -- I really mean that

I am a business man first and foremost

Show me results -- that is what counts, that is the only thing that counts - especially in a PRO SPORT --

Just Win Baby Win-- owner of Oakland Raiders - Al Davis

Winning is the Only Thing- Vince Lombardi

I am not talking about the juniors or even college -- JUST AT THE Pro Sports LEVEL

I have an open mind --

but I will only be convinced about the USTA

When THEY SHOW RESULTS -- and according to ERIK

there haven't been any results in

20 Plus years

SHOW ME THE RESULTS --

THEN I WILL BELIEVE

Eric Amend said...

man in the moon,

please don't misquote me!!

"and according to ERIK there haven't been any results in 20 Plus years".

Reread my posts because I never once said that, but you did in almost everyone of yours!!