Wayne is in blue and Kurt in Black.
“You’re the best and most likeable adversary I have ever had” That’s quite a compliment coming from you. Ha. If the shoe fits, you gotta wear it.
Just so you know, I get dozens of emails every week from concerned USTA members and answer all of them Good on ya, Kurt. I get a few hundred a day and do my darndest to answer them all, although I come up well short often, especially when I’m on the road or during the workout days with the Bros.
Regarding the 10 and Under mandate, it’s probably best to connect over the phone or meet face to face. Sadly, I think you are locked and loaded on this U10 Mandate and you think it will bring hundreds of thousands of kids into our sport, while I look at the decimation and pain it has caused and the reduced draws in U10s everywhere I look. Authoritarian. Top Down. Harmful. And has caused anger and resentment all over the country. Similar to USTA PD; the glut of foreign players in American Colleges; and the ruined National Schd and Ranking System.
I spent four glorious days in December with Sir Richard Branson emceeing his Necker Cup with Novak and Mike ‘n Bob and Tommy Haas etal and also doing clinics at Dix Bay. I spent a few hours talking into the wee wee hours with his GM, Kenny, down by the dock where his massive yacht is kept, about the concepts in my book, Raising Your Child to be a Champion. In talking to Sir Richard and reading his Like a Virgin – - – Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School – - – that he was so nice to give me a copy of – - – I was struck by how often he had a failing business.
In his Chapter called Today’s Failure he writes:
Recognizing failure and recovering from mistakes are essential skills for any entrepreneur. The impending failure of a business is something that you will instinctively recognize deep down, but human nature may put blinkers on you that may prevent you from acknowledging it.
May I be so bold as to humbly submit to you and the USTA that Player Development has been a massive failure despite over $250 M being spent on the program over the past 23 years. Not one player to show for it and so many deleterious effects on American juniors and US coaches. Ask our American pro players and pro prospects what they think of USTA PD. Again, you will find anger and resentment.
So many ill-conceived Mandates through the years, with the U10 Mandate taking its rightful place along with them and also having millions spent on that as well.
Were it not for the bountiful US Open coffers, none of these foolish programs would be able to continue.
I’m going to Australia for a Coaches Conference The more we learn about coaching and the more we are all students of teaching and mentoring and parenting, the better for our children, our grandchildren and our US Juniors. so won’t really be able to connect on this until after the USTA Leadership Meeting the third week in January. Maybe we can still meet at Davis Cup to discuss 10 and Under. Great and hope you will have some good news for us. Otherwise, we’ll schedule a meeting sometime in early February. Great. I will be in Montgomery, Alabama for the Blue Gray College Event in mid-March and we could meet there as well.
Again, I repeat, have all the nerf ball, soft ball, red ball, orange ball, green ball, and polka dot ball tournaments you want to have for U6s, U8s and U10s, just don’t be so presumptuous as to tear down regular tennis for U10s that want to compete against their peers using regulation tennis balls . .
Best and Happy New Year,
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