JAVA and James
In 1996 after I moved to Atlanta I spent much more time in the fields and it is not an exaggeration to say that my “teaching and coaching of tennis went to the dogs”! I was privileged enough to get to know a GSP breeder and he produced one of the finest dogs I have ever known. Most of my tennis students knew who Java was because he stayed out on the court with me a lot while I taught. Java truly was a fantastic dog in many ways for me and my family.
When he was a puppy all the other dogs would fight the chain gang jumping and pulling the chain they were attached to and Java would get in the middle lay down and let the motion of the chain going back and forth rub his belly. He was a cool dog. But once you let him off the chain look out–cause he was going to be gone. But he was almost never out of control just out of range. He literally won a major AKC field trial in the morning running for miles and then sat with me on the bank of a pond while I spent the afternoon fishing for catfish. I have so many stories about Java. Here is one I think about often.
Take any great athlete--it does not matter. The reason they are great is because of what is in their heart and what is in their head. And the rest is academic. You know, you give them the same equipment and conditioning and they are going to beat the hell out of everyone else. It is the difference in the best players of today and the guys that are ranked 150 in the world. They have better hearts and better brains. It is not about athletic ability. You can take any extraordinary player from years gone by and they would be great players today. And it is normal for young people to doubt that. They have been doing it for 100 years.
Armistead Neely, former collegiate coach and world-class veteran player
Here is a review of the ITF and USTA’s 10 and Under/Quickstart Equipment from Dr. Ray Brown. Dr. Brown works at the EASI Academy in Houston, TX and studied mathematics at UC Berkeley. No matter how you feel about the good doctor or the 10 and Under mandate he does make some valid points in this review of the mandate from out perspective here in the USA.
To pour all of the money they (USTA) did into Player Development has been an absolute waste in a lot of ways. It has turned into something they had no idea of what they were doing when they started it and I don't think they have much of an idea right now.
Dennis Ralston, On the USTA’s Player Development Programs