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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Comprehensive Alternative to USTA Junior Competition Changes; Davis Cup Junior Camp Participants; New Digital Junior Tennis Magazine

I have written often about my opposition to the changes in the USTA junior competition structure, primarily because I didn't see in glaring need for changes to the structure as it existed.

But once the changes were passed, the huge number of items to consider made it difficult to do more than take each change and evaluate its impact, one by one, then trying to overturn the especially misguided initiatives. That obviously has its drawbacks, the most basic of which is not seeing the forest for the trees.  Having another proposal, an alternative to what was passed, both viable and realistic, was necessary, and fortunately, such a proposal is now out there.

Lisa Stone at Parenting Aces published the proposal yesterday, with Geoff Grant and Steve Belisto credited with collating the suggestions and turning them into a comprehensive template for junior competitive structures.  I don't agree with every little detail--I think a median ranking to determine a tournament's strength would be much better than using an average--but I find it in every way superior to what the USTA's Junior Competition committee came up with.  I admit that I don't have much knowledge of the sectional tournament schedules around the country, but I trust those who have proposed these changes have done their best to consider the impact of what they are suggesting.

Please read the proposal carefully and critically, commenting if you feel there are holes or unintended consequences. For more discussion on this issue, see the Stop 2014 National Junior Tennis Tournament Changes Facebook page, which is now approaching 2000 "likes."

The USTA frequently conducts Player Development Training Camps during a home Davis Cup tie, and today they announced the players who are in Jacksonville for the camp for Friday's tie with Brazil.

They are:
Stefan Kozlov (14, Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
Henrik Wiersholm (15, Kirkland, Wash.)
William Blumberg (15, Greenwich, Conn.)
Jake Devine (15, Boca Raton, Fla.)
Eduardo Nava (15, Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Reilly Opelka (15, Palm Coast, Fla.)
Alfredo Perez (15, Coral Gables, Fla.)
Nathan Ponwith (14, Scottsdale, Ariz.)

Eric Nunez and Diego Montoya are the USTA coaches conducting the camp.

The USTA also announced a feeder program for the National Training Center in New York, with Erik Kortland hired to work with these younger players. There will be an open tryout for spots in this feeder program, for ages 9-13, on Saturday, February 2. For the complete release, see usta.com.

I recently received an email about a new junior tennis magazine available through the App store, called Tennis Junior Aces.  The magazine, part of the tennis and character-building Down The Line and Beyond foundation in the Philadelphia area, published its first issue last month and has features on psychology, equipment, nutrition and many other topics of interest to juniors. It is available  free, for the iPad or can be viewed at the website tennisjunioraces.com


New system said...

I would love to hear what Tom Walker has to say about this proposal. He has a firm and humble grasp on what is healthy for the growth of the tennis game at every level - from the local to elite levels.

It is a shame the USTA does not have a concrete, positive tournament and ranking structure by now. It is rather embarrassing. How is this possible?

I just do not see how complicated this process can be. In a very general philosophy standpoint - you have to qualify and play in your section to qualify for Nationals. NO wildcards into ANY event. PS - I do like the qualifying idea - that would solve many issues and gives more players an opportunity to play.

Political Thinking said...

After reading Warren Buffet's article on how he would fix the National Debt -- A must read - it reminds me alot of the USTA - a major disconnect between self-serving and what is best for the people (or American Tennis).


This article reminds of the similarities between Congress and the USTA. How Members of Congress thinks about themselves first - how to keep their jobs rather than acting on what is right for America - tournament structure and salaries, etc.

After you read - you can see your own examples - especially when there is so much talk on tournament structure, usta always changing the ranking/tournament system, overuse of wildcards, high salaries, being a monopoly while making all the rules.

but one is clear to me - the USTA Head of Coaching, Jose Higueras is rarely at the National Headquarters in Boca Raton - he is mostly in Palm Springs - like the Congress members gets paid if even they are not in their offices. He should be based on Boca working with the coaches and players on a daily basis.

JOKE said...

As soon as you mention warren Buffett you lost credibility. What a crackpot. Like the USTA he has plenty of money. Let him tax himself..Wouldn't be caught dead reading about him.

Davis Cup said...

I am surprised Tommy Paul was not picked for the Davis Cup camp in Jacksonville.

Enough is enough said...

Eric Nunez is now with the USTA. Honestly, what is it about AMERICAN coaches that the USTA is so against..we train a lot of the foreigners who become something. We train almost all the Americans and the USTA can't get American coaches. It's stunning. I am not an anti USTA person in any way but this is such a slap in the face to the American coaches they should be bitter toward the USTA. If the USTA wants to get the American people back they may want to start at the top by hiring Americans.

Colette Lewis said...

Eric Nunez is American.

Truly Fair and Balanced said...

"JOKE said...
As soon as you mention warren Buffett you lost credibility. What a crackpot. Like the USTA he has plenty of money. Let him tax himself..Wouldn't be caught dead reading about him."

JOKE- Your name is apt because you are obviously one of the many Red State Right Wing Knee-Jerk Reactionaries who often post their Fox News Republican echo chamber and innappropriate talking points on this tennis blog all the time.

That "Crackpot" that you describe is not only one of the most successful businessmen in history but also one of the most admired people in U.S. American history.

Just because he endorsed Barack Obama does not make him crazy just because you don't agree with his politics. Moreover, he sides with the majority of Americans who voted in the last two elections.

Buffett was admired and revered as a business "genius" by Republicans and the business community but as soon as he endorsed Obama people like you now want to believe that he's stupid because it doesn't fit within your warped view of what's best for this country.

Reality said...

Truly fair and balanced, do you realize that he would have only won 2 states if the people who actually pay taxes were the ones whose votes counted. 2 . That means that the non educated, low to no information voters put him back in office. A very few( as in less than 20% of people who are educated voted for him). Anyone who thinks people need to pay almost 50% of their income to the government is a crackpot. ( plain and simple) let him donate his money if he wants to. Just don't come on a tennis blog and quote him and act like you shouldn't get an honest opinion of the other side. Keep it tennis and leave HIM out of it. I disagree with him as much as you agree with him and the left wingers.

Seriously. said...

Alfredo Perez can be defaulted from a National Tournament, and the following week be included in a USTA Training Camp?? Huge joke!

Truly Fair and Balanced said...


Just as predicted I knew another Right Winger would parrot a Romney talking point. First of all, there is no way that your statement is accurate about only 2 states voting for Obama. You must have gotten your statistics from the same Right Wing echo chamber (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Carl Rove, Dick Morris, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and all of their advisors, etc.) that uniformly predicted and were certain that Romney would win in a landslide.

Second, there are very few people in this country who you falsely claim “don’t pay taxes.” You are probably referring to the Republican talking point about taxes which is an example of taking a technicality and trying to create misleading information. The vast majority of Americans who you are trying to refer to pay federal PAYROLL taxes that comes out of their income which are not technically “federal INCOME taxes.” And, the vast majority of those same people who pay payroll taxes also pay a combination of state, local, gas and property taxes.

Moreover, huge segments of the populace who did not pay federal income taxes are military personnel and retired seniors. Both of these segments tend to vote more Republican than Democrat. But I guess you and Paul Ryan consider all of them “takers” and lazy.

You’re also dead wrong regarding the educated. It is the educated and most informed who voted for Obama. All studies indicate that it is the Fox News viewers who are the least educated of all the networks and least informed which is also more true of the Red States vs. the Blue States. Those Romney voters were so misinformed that they all were shocked that Obama won because they seemed oblivious to all the polls (predicting a Romney victory) that all the informed people knew about. Those same misinformed Fox News viewers believe by a huge margin that Sadam Hussein, not Osama Bin Laden, was the person who attacked the U.S. on 911. They also believe that Obama is a Muslim and that he was born in Kenya.

Finally, it has been the right wing, not the left wing who has been prone to make comments on this blog by a huge margin and I was only responding to the attack on Warren Buffett. Keep your Right Wing comments off the blog and I will keep my progressive comments off. It’s up to you and your ilk.

Santa claus said...

Truly fair and balanced, typical leftist stuff. Dream world numbers thrown out just like the unemployment numbers and everything else you so called Progressives throw out. Unemployment numbers don't count people who have already quit looking for work..8 and a half million less people working now than 5 years ago. That's a fact. You can make numbers say anything you want to. REALITY is all that matters. The REALITY is our country is in infinitely worse shape now than 4 years ago. Pick an area, economy, military cuts,unemployment, on and on. For the first 2 years he was in office had complete control of House and Senate. FACT. Things got worse. Fact..if you call the direction he's taken this country Progressive I guess with left logic its not a lie if it's progressively worse. That's progressive alright. Get a clue. Like all lefties you can dish it out but can't take it. But it's ok the government is gonna take care of you.

Colette Lewis said...

I am not publishing any more political comments to this post. There are other blogs where that is more appropriate.

Mitchel - GA said...

Alfredo Perez is defaulted from a NATIONAL USTA REGIONAL for cursing numerous times after being warned, and then 3 days later the USTA rewards him by appointing him to the DAVIS CUP JUNIOR CAMP?

1) Either the USTA has no idea what happens at USTA National tournaments or
2) The USTA doesn't read Zoo tennis :)
3) The USTA doesn't care about sportsmanship.....

And then the USTA wonders why their membership is so upset with them?
How out of touch is this organization?