Here is another great correspondence between Blanche Roddick and Wayne Bryan regarding the 10 and Under mandate. To my way of thinking this is exactly as they describe it. It is sooooooooooo stupid to have this thing brought in as a mandate. But they over reached when they put it in to play. They told schools, parks and clubs this is the mandate and We Are Sticking To It! We now know there was no true and real research done regarding the mandate and it was an idea hatched from ITF and USTA people who could not coach their way out of a brown paper bag.
Ms. Roddick is in Black and Wayne is in Blue.
Wayne, I watched my grandson JC play a tournament in San Antonio this week-end. I was appalled by his lack of performance due to not being able to play the competition necessary for him to improve and be motivated. Sorry to hear that, Blanche. He was able to stand perfectly still and not play aggressive tennis to win two matches and win the tournament losing only three games. Absolutely no competition. Gee. Looking back, I can honestly say that in every 10 ‘n Under Tournament that Mike n Bob played in SoCal, they had to fight like dogs to even hope to win the tournament. Lots of competition with regulation balls and lotsa great and full tournaments each and every weekend – - – singles and doubles.
He also did not have the normal energy on and off the court. He is being beaten down by this ridiculous system. Hopefully his parents, coaches and grandparents can get him through this rough patch created by the USTA. I wish every young player in Texas and across the nation had a support system like JC has to try and weather this Mandate. As I travel across the county I hear one parent and coach after another tell me how harmful this Mandate of forcing their child to go back and compete with soft green balls has been to their child. In states other than Texas, the better 9s and 10s have no choice but to “play up” at just the wrong time. Many have quit the game entirely.
The rules come from authoritarian and “group think” USTA Committee members who have never produced a player or whose own children do not even play the great game. They are clueless . . .
His opponents were coming from the green ball system and his first opponent was the number one seed. Everywhere I go I hear how the so called Green Ball kids are getting rocked by kids that have been playing with yellow balls. Duh. Another approach I hear all the time is that the better kids are practicing with regulation tennis balls all week and then they are required by our august Governing Body to dumb it down to play with green balls at tournaments on the weekend. What a bizarre system. Thank goodness Andy, Mike, Bob, and Mardy did not have to grow up with a system like this. Also, the 12 and unders were divided into two draws, qualified and non-qualified. There were only five players in one draw and seven in the other. Geez. Why not have just one draw of 12?! Duh, again.
The qualified will not play non qualified for they will not get points if they do. SOOOOO If JC can play an open, it will not do any good for the tournament separates the players. My head is spinning and my heart is heavy for a very fine young player is being punished for the stupidity of a committee that has no understanding of developing a player. Being dysfunctional should be their motto. 100% agree and it is truly an Alice in Wonderland scenario. It is sad, it is silly, it is stupid . . . He needs help before February. If forced to wait for June he will probably not be playing or definitely not at the level he is so capable of playing . . . and to me every month is crucial in junior tennis. Know you agree. But am sure the USTA cadre is saying “We know best” and “What do the Roddicks and Bryans know about tennis?” Well next week end we spend money on playing a beginner tournament again. The same level he has won four straight tournaments. Hang in there and, again, so sorry about yet another ill-conceived USTA Mandate. I think our mutual pal Rick Macci said it best when he opined: The key to junior tennis success in the America is being able to avoid the USTA minefields. It has been this way ever since the advent of USTA PD in the late 80s, but I have never seen it worse than it is now . . .
Thanks for staying in touch and wishing you and your family a very Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year.
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