The following is the first of two fantastic emails penned by Dr. Ray Brown. This first one is an editorial he wrote about the new ROG or TAUT format set up by the ITF and USTA.
Dr. Brown is a tennis coach located in Houston, TX. Coach Brown is an internationally recognized expert in high performance tennis training having published over 200 articles on advanced tennis training at TennisONE.com (US based), Procomparetennis.net (Great Britain) and Mid Atlantic Match Point (Virginia) and now Tennis World USA. From the urging of many local parents and coaches, Dr. Brown founded the EASI Academy in the summer of 2007.
ROG A CHAMPIONSHIP FILTER (An Editorial): ROG may be one of the best championship filters ever envisioned. Champions seek out challenge, eschew the easy route, and demand the opportunity to face impossible odds. ROG is a filter in that any player who would choose the ROG route over the standard ball route is clearly not yet a championship personality. If I had a student inquire about enrolling in our program and he/she was looking for ROG I would tell him/her come back when you think you are ready to be a winner.
It is an illness of our times that our youth is seeking the easy route to success. There use to be only a A honor roll in school. Now there is an A and an “almost A’ honor roll. When I went to Berkeley for graduate school in 1969, the lowest level math was calculus; today Berkeley has been “forced” to add algebra and trigonometry. That is a vey bad omen. American is losing the competitive edge it once had. Likewise ROG is just another symptom of our times. Make tennis easy rather than a challenge. Fine, but do not limit the true championship personalities from going their own way.
The problem is that there is no easy route to success. Success requires sacrifice, hard work, dedication and an old fashioned work ethic. ROG sends the message that hard work is not necessary to play tennis. Fine, but recognize that ROG is a recreational activity, not a series competition.
As a freshman at the then North Texas State University, I was not allowed to take graduate math courses. I side stepped the system by going to the University of Vermont and University of Colorado to take graduate courses in the summer. Made only one B and the rest were A’s. NTSU was obliged to recognize the credits. That is how champions think; but, it is not how the USTA thinks and much of the SAT addicted America thinks.
A championship personality does not want to be coddled. They want a challenge and the tougher the better. ROG reflects the personalities of its promoters. They are not championship personalities, otherwise they would never have conceived of taking dead balls, coloring them and sorting them into dead and deader, and calling them Quickstart. Champions just do not think that way.
My father, a Marine, fought on Iwo Jima. I learned my work ethic from him. He was not afraid to die for his country and he taught me to be the same. He did not shy away from a challenge, he rose to the occasion. War separated the men from the boys. ROG is a great way of separating champions from the pretenders to the throne. Any child attracted to the easy route is not a candidate for greatness. I want the kid who thinks that watering down tennis is for the birds, in particular the Dodo. I want the kid who will take a case of ROG balls and throw them into the bayou; I want the kid who gets mad when you mention ROG; I want the kid who seeks the hard challenges to cut his/her teeth on; any kid attracted to ROG is eliminated at once from our program; they just are not the “right stuff”, the stuff of which dreams are won; the stuff of which greatness is made. They are just anther recreational player too timid and too frightened to climb the mountain of success and reach for the stars.0
Like this post? Share it with someone.Tweet