This is an email exchange between Wayne Bryan and another Coach. He sent it to me and I like it because he is just plain honest about what he has said through and through. There are those who would say Coach Bryan must have some hidden agenda. I say not. I say if he has a hidden agenda then he certainly is not going about it the right way to win with the USTA. He is doing it in such a way that does not work within the USTA structure. It is the power of him being forthright and honest that is propelling the message forward and making a difference. I particularly like the paragraph that begins with “Lastly, and most importantly…”
So glad we are very close in our views on American tennis . . .
Again, I feel – – – and hope you now agree – – – that being endorsed for the limited spots at national tournaments is a different kettle of fish from just being allowed to play 10 & Under tennis against your peers in your home town or region with regular tennis balls on regular courts.
And who is to say that hitting very soft orange tennis balls on a short court or soft green balls on a regular court is a determinant of future success or a qualification to play with regulation yellow tennis balls? Soft balls can be used judiciously as graduated learning tools by pros and parents. Or not. They can be used for competition or not. They can be used for a week, a month, a year or four years. Or no years at all. Ask any pro on the tour today how good they were at 10? And they will tell you they were darn good and probably great! Ask them if they were playing with regular yellow balls in tournaments at 10? They will 100% say, Yes!
Earned advancement? Huh? Just let the kids – – – that have the desire and talent – – – enter and play regular 10 & Under tennis against the kids across town.
Have all the green ball or orange ball or red ball or nerf ball tournaments you want to stage, but don’t mess with Texas – – – don’t mess with regular U10 tennis.
Rather than harshly tearing down regular tennis for 10s, the USTA could and should have come up with something novel and new with U6 tennis or U8 tennis – – – so we could compete with youth soccer and T ball and all those sports in the US that have “6” as Jump Street rather than “10” – – – Create! Do not eliminate!!
Lastly, and most importantly, I hope you will always tell it like it is. Say what you truly feel and think. Speak truth to power. Do not hold back just to get perks from the USTA or get nice Committee assignments or to avoid perceived retribution by our heavy handed governing body. To me, that kind of “group think” and bowing to the USTA has gotten us into this situation where everyone is in a state of despair and so disgusted with the USTA and state of American Junior Tennis.
We can only do better when we get the best ideas from great and experience coaches and parents like you and everyone comes together and under the same warm and positive tent. Thanks again for the call and long and productive chat. Hope to see you out on the tennis trails soon . . . I am flying off now to do talks and emcee tennis events in New Braunfels, Chapel Hill, Dix Bay, Necker Island, Atlanta, Sarasota,and Miami and will be back home for Christmas.
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