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Getting US Tennis competitive w/ rest of the world
What can be done to get the USTA and USPTA past their ego problem and fix American tennis?!
Tennis is my passion. I've been playing tennis for 32 years. I started directing and running tournaments in college where I was president of the Univ. of Texas Tennis Club. After grad school and entering the real world, I established three annual USTA sanctioned tournaments at my club and ran them for three years. Once my 3 boys got out of diapers, I started competing in USTA events again.
Then, two of them started playing junior tennis, and I started coaching Jr Teamtennis. My teams won SoCal 10 & under 6 straight seasons. Last season, we moved up to 12 & under. We won San Diego, and took 2nd at Sectionals.
I finally joined the USPTA a few days ago and will go for certification testing next month.
But enough background. Last month, attended a day of the coaches clinic headed by Jose Higueras in Carson at the Home Depot Center (my son was invited to participate). For those of you who don't know, there are two national training centers - this one, and the one in Florida. He pointed out how weak our players (all invited based on rankings) are compared to Europeans.
One of my sons is part of CTC - Competition Training Center here in San Diego. We also talked about how all the college teams and pro ranks are filled with Europeans and foreigners.
We seem to know there's a problem, but what's being done about it?
I read in Inside Tennis that Patrick McEnroe has took a position with player developement. Does anyone know what he's doing?
Many of America's best athletes play football, baseball, hockey, etc. There are just so many choices here. Europeans tend to have a love for soccer and tennis and then other sports follow. It just is what it is. As for the USTA, their "My way or the highway" attitude is killing American tennis. I just had a couple of players who were offered full rides to the Boca USTA training site and they both said no thank you after being their for a month. What more needs to be said? They were told their parents had to back off and have less participation and there were other ridiculous rules as well. The kids were good before the USTA ever got involved and, to be honest, I think they come back from the training center playing poorly compared to when they left. There are good things about the program, but I think the negatives far outweigh the positives. The europeans have it right. They practice teamwork and positive training.
Originally Posted by SolomonTennis
Can anyone explain why soccer isn't watched in the US? It seems the last couple decades every mom is a soccer mom. Aren't there children in their 20s and 30s by now? Why aren't they still playing and watching soccer? I play tennis at a university here in San Antonio. The tennis courts are always available; however the soccer fields are always full to capacity!
Last edited by Lawn Tennis; 03-10-2010 at 01:50 AM.
Well, all you full blooded american males tend to watch football in the football season, basketball in the basketball season, and baseball in the summer...
Plus, football is always playing on the television..compare the amount of hype the Super Bowl gets v. the World Cup or something..
Anyways, in the states, you can get a scholarship to college in soccer, but the US doesn't really have any good soccer teams, opposed to England and other European countries.
Kids play a ton of soccer in school, I mean like everyone plays soccer, even I played briefly...but it doesn't lead to anywhere in the US.
Boys can go pro in football/baseball and basically for girls the best sport for money would be tennis...
Soccer requires less technique, not that its not extremely physically demanding, and you need to be quick, agile, etc.. but kicking a ball around,recreationally, in your backyard, IMO, is a lot easier than playing tennis, because technique is somewhat important, even at the recreational level for tennis. If you don't put topspin on your groundstrokes, they'll always go out.. If you have no technique, playing tennis isn't really fun.. mostly running to get balls..
Not to mention, at the least you need a racquet and a ball and a wall for tennis, for soccer, you need just a ball, for baseball you just need a ball and gloves, and for basketball a hoop etc..
Americans have a million choices, both in sports and careers, at least Asia which I know, tends to put pressure on only a few sports, and no one really cares about the rest..
Hockey is India's actual national sport, but no one cares about it because all the money's in cricket..
Hockey is also more expensive than cricket, anyone can play cricket..
Sorry for going off on a tangent..
As to SolomonTennis's post, I don't really know what to say...
I know that some of the kids at my club are pretty much all the same, 2h bh, crazy serves..
I guess that people don't want to take a step back to take 2 forward...
I don't really know much about junior development, other than some coaches are terrible, and some are good, and you usually have to take the initative if you ever want to learn anything...
Last edited by 03White; 03-09-2010 at 04:10 PM.
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