2 Comments

  1. Lawrence Roddick

    The Texas U10 Mandate is crippling progress in Texas tennis. I am in the trenches on this one as I have lived this mandate with my son who is 10 so I have many, many examples of how detrimental the mandate is. In order to be fair about the debate I have taken my son out of the equation and asked upper level U10 parents what they think of the Texas U10 Mandate and without exception the response has been frustration. I have heard that other sections are looking at the Texas U10 Mandate and I can not disagree more in regards to the Texas U10 Mandate being adopted by other sections. The only reason the Texas U10 Mandate would be adopted by other sections is for short term financial gain.

    I think a U8 Mandate would be reasonable and grow tennis far, far more. I have spoken with Chris Bovett on the phone and seen Kabeer play and it is ridiculous to have Kabeer not playing the appropriate tournaments based on his skill level. Kabeer is going to waste a good 18 months because of this silly and sad situation in Texas

    • Lawrence,

      The USTA brass were in town yesterday to speak about the National schedule stuff. While here they really did not want to discuss the 10 and Under stuff but both Jerry Baskin and Chuck Kriese managed to squeeze in a little but about the 10 and Under stuff. Jerry spoke up and explained to the USTA that even the their own coaches PD do not believe in the initiative. Chuck Kriese explained he felt like it was not any way to go about motivating coaches to become creative or players to strive forward by mandating age based stuff. They spoke quickly about it then moved on to the issues before the group.

      I was struck by one speaker who is the Chairman of the USTA’s 10 and Under initiative for the Southern Section of the USTA. He spoke passionately to the USTA brass about how he felt like it was his money and his kids and it should be their choice to do what they want to do for their vacations. They should be allowed the freedom to choose how to handle their kids. 30 minutes later I had the opportunity to speak with him about the “mandate” and whether he thought there might be a like struggle from the parents of children affected by the mandate. He explained to me he saw no similarity in the two situations in terms of choice. I was dumbfounded and asked him to come on my show last night and he graciously came on and repeated the same stuff. I was dumbfounded. He was able to cite the “talking points” of the USTA on the 10 and Under issue and related to me the success he has had with his kids but could offer nothing more to convince me. This remains to be a tough one.

      While on the show Ray Brown from Houston, TX came on and made several excellent points. One of the points he drove home was it is “unfair” to simply have the younger kids play up. I agree. This is especially true here in the Southern section where kids cannot look at a yellow ball until they turn 13 years of age. Not good. We have a circuit of tournaments we have begun here in Marietta where we have the kids of all ages playing the “old school” yellow ball–Regulation Ball Tennis! RBT Tournaments! Let’s spread these across the USA.

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