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How American Tennis Can Alter Its Course From Mediocrity

Lewis-Tyson,_2002[1]

Someone has to take the blame for the mediocre results of American tennis.

The USTA needs to change its methods. In a major, drastic way. The USTA Developmental System leaders should haul off every American in the Top 200 and force them into a month and a half long tennis boot camp. Not as a form of punishment but a way to build character, team unity, and to toughen them up.

US Tennis is in a state of emergency. Look at the abysmal rankings of our players. That’s got to change. Now. Before it gets even worse.

Every American player in the Top 200 or any player in the top thousand who volunteers to attend the boot camp should be accepted. Forty-five days of brutal hard work. Strict diet. No phones, no texts, no contact with family except for emergencies. Just work the players to the bone, Rambo style. 6 A.M. wakeup calls, military officer style blowing whistles and making them run ten miles and doing obstacle courses, boxing training for hand-eye coordination, and even some light boxing sparring would build character and confidence and toughness. Also there will be punishments for disobedience or failure. Work ‘em like dogs like in that movie An Officer and a Gentleman. Also let the players have bonding time playing cards, fishing, etc.

The current system is producing mediocrity. American fans and legends like Sampras, Courier, Agassi, McEnroe, Chang have to be embarrassed by what they see. Drastic changes must happen. Now. Before it’s too late.

A leader has to emerge to save this sinking ship.

Comment below, or you can also discuss in detail with fellow tennis fans on the Tennis Frontier Message Board Forum

One comment

  1. “The current system” hasn’t even been properly tested yet. “10 and Under Tennis”, along with many other initiatives taken on by the USTA of late, have been around for roughly half a decade or less. They’ve seen proper implementation in even less time. We don’t know how these programs, which cite intent to “build athletes within the context of tennis” and “make the game more accessible”, are doing in the big picture.

    This article recognizes an issue, but doesn’t define it well enough to even begin to offer a clear solution. A 6 week boot camp? To “work them”? How would that address the shortcomings found in American tennis as of late? How exactly would it help them to take direction from the same organization supposedly responsible for their failures to begin with?

    Maybe there’s an ironic tone I’m missing in all of this, or some metaphor for a more grand proposal.

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About Scoop Malinowski

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski began covering tennis in 1992 at the Pathmark Classic in Mahwah, NJ. He has written about tennis for Tennis Frontier, Tennis Magazine, Tennis Magazine Australia, Ace Tennis (U.K.), Tennis Week, Tennisweek.com, CBSsportsline.com, ESPNzone.com, Boxing News (U.K.) and TheBiofile.com. Mark "Scoop" Malinowski began covering tennis in 1992 at the Pathmark Classic in Mahwah, NJ. He has written about tennis for Tennis Frontier, Tennis Magazine, Tennis Magazine Australia, Ace Tennis (U.K.), Tennis Week, Tennisweek.com, CBSsportsline.com, ESPNzone.com, Boxing News (U.K.) and TheBiofile.com. Scoop is also the founder of Tennis Prose - an excellent read. www.tennis-prose.com You can contact Scoop via: admin@tennisfrontier.com
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