Dear Tennis Friend,
Hope you are having a nice Fall Season.
As you probably know, there was a very positive and productive meeting on Sunday, October 21, with Steve Bellamy and his concerned group with the USTA officials in Chicago about the state of our National ‘n Sectional Junior Schedule and Rankings that led to a pause on the new changes and a listening tour to be held across the country to make revisions that will be fair for all our juniors and that will hopefully bring a smile to everyone’s’ face.
I then met on the evening of Oct. 24 in Malibu and the early morning of Oct. 25 with incoming USTA President, Dave Haggerty, and USTA Chief Executive of Community Tennis, Kurt Kamperman. We met for a total of 7 1/2 hours and the discussions on my outline of American Tennis Concerns were fair and frank and sometimes hard hitting and a lot was learned on all sides of the issues.
Although we share many experiences in common with our sport, we come from different vantages and viewpoints – – – Dave, as the newly elected President, has served on several national committees and has been a very successful CEO of major tennis companies; while Kurt is employed by the USTA and was the former CEO of the Tennis Industry Assn. and knows Community Tennis in all sections of this country; and Wayne, who spends a good part of the year on the road emceeing ATP events and doing clinics on the tour and at clubs and schools and who coaches World Team Tennis and speaks to coaches and parents frequently.
All of us are passionate about the game and its health and future. Although the meetings were rigorous, they were at the same time cordial.
The issues discussed included:
Our guest tonight is A.J. Pant. Mr. Pant is currently the General Manager for the Tennis Center at College Park, Maryland. Prior to his current position, Pant was the National Tennis Director for Tennis Corporation Of America (TCA). Ajay was with Tennis Corporation Of America for 18 years and also served as Head Tennis Professional, Club Manager and General Manager for TCA clubs in Chicago and other parts of the United States.
This past weekend the USTA met with a small group of individuals who claim only to have the best interests of the game at heart. Each of them put aside their own interests and met in order to better the game of tennis for juniors across the entire USA. For that I am thankful. The top guys at the USTA met with a media mogul/club owner, a political analyst, a tennis goods merchant, a news broadcaster and a successful tournament director. What came of the meeting was a 2013 “pause” to the further implementation of proposed changes which were actually not scheduled to go into effect until 2014.
Mark - if you truly believe that the red court is a waste of time for most decent 8 year olds then you have condemned the entire LTA mini tennis competition structure in that one sentence. Because asking decent 8 year olds to play on the red court is INTEGRAL to this structure.
Bruce Tarran — Leicester, United Kingdom
One of the most important reasons for understanding how the game of tennis has developed over time is that virtually every training technique or way to hit the ball--that is a fad today--has been taught, tried and used before. Some have worked out and some have not been so good. Some have proven to be inefficient. Some have proven to be stupid.
One example I can give is that of the family that enthusiastically purchases a ball machine. Thinking they will save time and money in their quest to become better players they often learn they save neither. They also learn what starts out as seemingly a good idea is not the most efficient use of their time. After a month of use the ball machine now takes too long to get in the car and get it to the courts and get it ready for use. It breaks down. The player does not make the self corrections needed. This is not an absolute statement against the ball machine. Some use is good and maybe getting in a ball machine club is a better idea than owning your own machine and hauling it to the court each time.
The same money spent with the pro and setting up hits and matches very often is more efficient and better. A wall sometimes proves more efficient and simpler.
J.P. Weber, on the We Coach Tennis Radio Show
If you talk to great coaches and great athletes I think a lot of them would say that although there is a lot of science behind it--(tennis and other sports become an art!). The game becomes an art. Maybe not every sport, but I think there is an art to being great as a tennis player. So when somebody comes in and says this is "the formula". That would be like telling an artist this is the only way to do a masterpiece of art and that's not possible.
So if you look at tennis as an art, or dance as an art--then sure, there is some science to everything but there is also a lot of art. The bottom line is this-- you cannot speed up everything and fix the process with a formula. You need the guys who are the artists to make it work.
Doug Pielet, former top junior and collegiate player and current Director of Tennis
I am so excited to announce my guest this weekend is an individual I consider to have one of the greatest tennis minds and to be one of the best people to have ever coached the game. Paul Scarpa is the winningest NCAA Division I tennis coach in America. Tune in Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. to hear one of the greatest.
Join J.P. Weber Sunday evening for the second interview this week on the UR10S Network with Coach Dennis Ralston. Dennis appeared this past Wednesday on American Tennis with Coach Chuck Kriese. Mr. Ralston was born 1942 in Bakersfield, California. Coach Ralston played at the University of Southern California (USC) and helped them to win the NCAA championships.