BOARD TALK
The fastest growing tennis discussion forum on the planet.


Post Reply 
How to develop New American Tennis Stars
Author Message
britbox Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 4,798
Likes Given: 984
Likes Received: 2,080 in 1,056 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
How to develop New American Tennis Stars
Original Source: http://www.tennisconsult.com/develop-ame...nis-stars/

This was article was brought to my attention by Chris Lewis, who has been a good friend to the Tennis Frontier:

Chris, if you were putting in place a national development program, and you had twenty million dollars plus available to you, how would you spend it?

Considering that no American reached the third round of the menâ€s singles at Wimbledon for the first time in 101 years, this is a question that needs answering, and fast.

Many believe that the appalling 15+ year decline in US tennis since the days of Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang is occurring because the sport no longer attracts the nationâ€s most talented athletes. Others believe that continued American dominance is unrealistic due to tennis†globalization in the past few decades. Some point to a lack of both modern coaching methods and competent coaches, or a lack of clay courts, or an obsolete “American” style of playing, or that the USTA isnâ€t doing enough to help players – the list is as varied as it is long. Every passionate tennis fan has strong opinions regarding the current swamp that US tennis is mired in, including me.

Iâ€d like to address this issue at its most fundamental level; namely, the framework upon which national development systems are built. Letâ€s examine the typical national model. The hallmarks of all such bureaucracies include: a top-down approach, centralization and conformity. A person (or committee) at the top determines how things are going to be done, and then everybody in the organization must conform to his decisions. Inevitably, the director of the national coaching program determines that young tennis players nation-wide must develop a certain style of playing, a blueprint is drawn up, and, in fear of losing their jobs, all of the coaches within the organization “agree” that players should play the way the director wants.

Aside from the fact that recruitment of the most talented young players in the country invariably involves severing an existing and successful coach/player relationship, this regimented approach neglects to consider that every player is an individual with particular physical and mental attributes and a unique personality. When you attempt to coach identical strokes to all the top tennis talent in a country, you deprive those players of the opportunity to learn to counteract a variety of styles. In the main, players are practicing with and competing against mirror-images of themselves — never learning to deal with the unfamiliar. By adopting uniformity, you preclude the possibility of an exceptionally talented youngster developing his or her own style, based on his or her own unique physical attributes and tendencies, and in harmony with his or her own unique personality.

Would John McEnroe have been a champion if, as a 12 year old, a Borg-like game had been imposed on him? Would it have suited his temperament to be molded into a patient, heavy-hitting baseliner? When you nationalize a particular playing style, you exclude the possibilities of innovation and creativity. By necessity, uniformity only looks backwards. It usually takes the current top player in the world as the model, and then an attempt is made to produce clones of that player, thereby excluding the possibility of the future development of playing styles as unique and radical as Connorâ€s, Borgâ€s, McEnroeâ€s, Lendlâ€s, Beckerâ€s and Agassiâ€s were in the days when national programs didnâ€t exist.

Would Pete Sampras have been allowed to switch to a one-handed backhand so late in his junior career? Development of unique individual tendencies cannot be planned or tracked, and is not related to previous statistical success. Because of the personal element, a national body is ill-equipped to produce champions, who, invariably, do not conform to the average of the points on a graph. Sampras†late alteration was a bad idea in general, but a fantastic idea for him. A private coach adept in nurturing the personal traits of each player could help make such a decision, a national body could not.

A national body is not only in direct opposition to private coaching in philosophy and results, it is in direct competition to it in the real world, meaning the two options cannot co-exist peacefully. By establishing a national, centralized program, you quickly alienate the private coaching community when their best players are enticed away. This leads to an unhealthy ‘”us” versus “them” mentality, with the national organization being increasingly criticized as the nationalization of player development further expands. A further decline in playing standards accompanies this expansion as private coaches lose more of their players, and become increasingly hostile towards the organization that is meant to act in their interests, not contrary to them.

Such a bureaucracy, once established, will always expand, and always use their power to regulate, not persuade. Typically, they follow a pattern like this: Someone within the organization decides that one reason why the country isnâ€t producing players is because the national program is inheriting players who have already been “ruined” by incompetent coaches. Their answer, then, is to grab the players when they are even younger (more expansion). Or, a clipboard-holder in the organization then decides that every 10-and-under player in the country should conform to his desire to see them playing with shorter racquets and pressureless balls (more regulation). The consequences of this dictatorial approach are devastating to player development. Through further expansion, you deny coaches whose players have been enticed away any chance of actualizing their players†potential. Consider the consequences when all the private coaches and their varied approaches to player production are deprived of the opportunity to develop their players, instead forced to watch them sacrificed to a homogenous program that demands uniformity at the expense of creativity and variety.

Would American tennis have been better off if Nick Bolletieri, Wayne Bryan, Robert Lansdorp, Gloria Connors, and every other coach who contributed to the development of a top player had lost their best students to a national program? Think of all the hours each of those coaches spent planning and managing the details of whatâ€s involved in producing a champion. This planning process happens largely off the court, in deciding the best course of action for each student as an individual. Does the same amount of thought go into each of a national coaching programâ€s coach/player relationships, where, in many cases, the relationship with a coach is an involuntary one? Through further regulation, by mandating that every 10 and under player be banned from competing with racquets and balls that a great majority of coaches think are in the best interests of a young playerâ€s development, you preclude those coaches from acting on their own conclusions, which draw upon decades of practical observation and experience. At the stroke of a bureaucratâ€s pen, all that expertise is rendered useless. Would Martina Hingis have won the French Open Juniors (18 & Under) as a twelve-year-old if sheâ€d been forced to play with a toy racquet and balls until she was 11? I doubt it. What do you think?

At this stage, things usually degenerate to such an extent that it becomes obvious national programs are synonymous with failure. When it comes to producing champion individuals, centralization, standardization, uniformity, rigidity and regulation do not work. What, then, is the antidote?

There are three essential components that need to be in place when it comes to producing champions. The first is that the player needs to have a certain amount of physical talent and mental toughness to one day be internationally competitive. The second is that there must be in place an environment that is conducive to ensuring that talented, tough players are given the best opportunity to allow their talent to reach its ceiling of potential. The third component is player choice; i.e., whether the player chooses to actualize his or her potential by doing justice to both his talent and the environment that gives him the opportunity to maximize it.

When it comes to development programs, what we are really talking about is creating an environment within which gifted players have the best opportunity to flourish. When identifying these environments, the evidence consistently points to a committed, passionate coach teaching, guiding and mentoring a gifted player to a successful pro career. How, then, do
we best ensure that such relationships are given the best opportunity to thrive in the future? First, itâ€s imperative to understand that tennis is a highly individualistic sport. Aside from a shared ability to win, the only thing that many of the great champions had in common was that they had virtually nothing in common. Nothing better illustrates this fact than the contrasting styles and personalities of some of the gameâ€s great rivalries, like McEnroe and Borg, Evert and Navratilova, Sampras and Agassi, and Federer and Nadal. Incidentally, itâ€s a useful exercise to look at who the primary coaching influences were in the development of these players (John McEnroe – Tony Palafox and Harry Hopman, Chris Evert – her father, Martina Navratilova – Billie Jean King and I also understand that Tony Roche had an influence, Pete Sampras – Peter Fischer, Andre Agassi – his father and Nick Bollettieri, Roger Federer – Peter Carter, Rafael Nadal – Toni Nadal). Second, like players, coaches also have their own unique methods and personalities. The best ones are independent thinkers who wouldnâ€t survive for a second in a regimented environment, where they would be expected to ignore their own knowledge and conform to the dictates of a “one size fits all” approach. Can you imagine Wayne Bryan, Nick Bollettieri and Toni Nadal working within the confines of a stifling bureaucracy? With such a diverse range of players and coaches out there, itâ€s essential that players and their parents are free to determine for themselves who is the best coach. Any wider program or system must take this into account.

So then, back to the original question, What would I do if if I had upwards of twenty million dollars to spend in order to maximize the chances of creating future champions? I would use the money to create the most competitive tennis environment for both players and coaches in the world. I would make use of the exceptional junior talent that I see everywhere as well as the enormous coaching talent that exists throughout the country. I would create a level as possible playing field for both players and coaches by offering them significant incentives, available to all in order to develop players and produce results.

Instead of severing successful and existing coach-player relationships by seducing the top junior players away from the committed and passionate coaches who develop them, I would support those players and coaches.

Hereâ€s how I would do it: I would first design a US tournament infrastructure that offered year-round competitive opportunities to as many young players as possible. This infrastructure would place an equal emphasis on entry-level professional tournaments as it would on junior tournaments. To optimize the chances of young American players transitioning from top juniors to successful pros, I would make lower-level professional tournaments and the invaluable ATP ranking points they offer as accessible as possible. This would mean putting in place a year-round circuit of events on different surfaces and in as many locations as practical.

After establishing a comprehensive tournament infrastructure, I would design an objective and transparent player incentive scheme that directly linked results and rankings to player funding. The criteria for funding would be publicized prior to the beginning of each year so that players could plan their schedules accordingly. To reward results at the junior level, I would select a number of the highest status junior events and link performance in those tournaments to financial reimbursement for expenses incurred. For example, the winner of a high status junior event might receive 100 percent reimbursement for all legitimate expenses (coaching, accommodation, travel, restringing etc.) related to the event. The finalist might receive 75 percent reimbursement, the semifinalists 50 percent, and the quarter-finalists 25 percent. The total amount of reimbursement per player, per tournament, would be firmly set at a reasonable level. To further assist juniors receiving financial support based on junior tournament results, I would assist the top ten juniors in each age group based on their national year-end junior rankings. For instance, the number one ranked junior in each age group might receive an amount equal to 80 percent of tennis related expenses for the year, with a cap of, say, $20,000 for each number one ranked player. Percentages of expenses and capped amounts per player would be adjusted on a sliding scale downwards based on each playerâ€s ranking.

In addition to having a financial incentive scheme for junior players, I would have an ATP and WTA ranking-related incentive scheme for players aged 19 (or younger) up to 22 attempting to break into the pros. The criteria I would use for these transitioning players would, as I stated earlier, also be objective and transparent.

Hereâ€s how an objective incentive scheme for the transitional players would be established: I would document what each of the top 100 ATP and WTA players from the last 10 years was ranked at yearâ€s end from the ages of 19 through 22. The results from this analysis would enable me to identify extremely reliable statistical criteria that could then be used to determine the players most likely to achieve a successful pro career. It would also be useful in determining the amount of financial assistance offered to each player who met the criteria.

To concretize the above, letâ€s say that after conducting such an analysis, I find that 95 per cent of 19 year old male players who eventually reached the worldâ€s top 100 were ranked inside the worldâ€s top 800 when they were 19, and 95 per cent of 19-year-old female players who eventually reached the top 100 were ranked inside the top 650. Letâ€s say I also find that 95 per cent of 22 year old male players who eventually reached the worldâ€s top 100 were ranked inside the worldâ€s top 275 when they were 22, and 95 per cent of 22 year old female players who eventually reached the top 100 were ranked inside the top 225 when they were 22.

Using this data, linking a financial incentive scheme to a developing playerâ€s ranking progress based on his or her age would be simple. I would opt for a three-tiered scheme that offered more assistance to higher ranked players than to mid- and lower-ranked players of the same
age. In other words, a 19 year old male player ranked 750 at the end of the year might receive an incentive payment of, say, 75 per cent of annual tennis-related expenses up to a maximum of $10,000; however, a 19 year old male player ranked 300 might be eligible for a payment of
75 per cent of annual tennis related expenses up to a maximum of $25,000. Ineligibility for the program would kick in when players either turned 23 or made it into the worldâ€s top 100.

In addition to being objective and transparent, this system would be fluid and dynamic. Even if players qualified for financial assistance one year, the scheme would demand from them continued progress in order to qualify the following year. Conversely, players whose rankings and results precluded them from receiving assistance one year would have as much of a chance to qualify in subsequent years as the players who qualified the previous year. Under the criteria outlined above, the scheme would offer equal opportunities to all. There would be no
subjectivity, no bias, no favoritism. It would be driven exclusively by performance, results and age. By implementing such a scheme, I would be giving players, parents and coaches not only a powerful incentive to succeed but also a fair way to benefit from significant financial assistance while still retaining a full range of coaching and tournament options.

Finally, it needs to be said that this is a highly complex subject. I do not attempt to address many of the issues that such a complex subject raises. What I have done is outlined, in principle, a national framework that maximizes the chances of producing champions. A framework that offers players (and their parents) the widest possible choice of coaches by offering earned financial support in a highly competitive environment supported by a national body that doesnâ€t play favorites.

I expect there will be many who agree and many who disagree. Letâ€s hear from you, as this is a discussion that needs to be had.
12-Aug-2013 04:54 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like britbox's post:
Didi (08-16-2013), tented (08-16-2013)
1972Murat Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 8,513
Likes Given: 2,152
Likes Received: 3,161 in 1,854 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
I agree with Chris in that nothing good can come out of something "nationalized" and centralized, except a blueprint that might or might not work with any given player, or a coach. Tennis is an individual sport and I am a huge believer in individualism . Everyone is different.

I think , especially at the beginning, it is up to the parents. Look at Agassi's father, driving around Vegas to find a lot big enough to build a tennis court. Look at Connor's mother developing and shaping Jimbo's career. Or countless other parents relocating to places where they think their kid will have a better chance of improving...I don't want to get into parenting and deeper issues here, but it seems to me that none of these parents subscribed to the more laid back philosophy of " My kid will be whatever he wants to be...we will not force anything on him"...Guys like Agassi were almost already pros before they realized they had other choices in life.

Another thing is the competition from other sports that are more popular. It is tough to compete with baseball and basketball and etc. in the US. One reason is the pay structure in those sports. In tennis , the only way you make money is if you win. In baseball or basketball, you get paid guaranteed money, AND THEN you play. Sure, one might say you work really hard to get that contract and I am not disputing that, but a tennis player works just as hard , has to travel from place to place out of his own pocket, stay in the crappiest places and still end up with no money in his pocket . A basketball player on the other hand, playing high school ball, travels with a coach, a therapists and does not pay out of his pocket to travel. All he has to do is play basketball, nothing else to worry about...That is really tough to compete against when you are a parent that wants his kid to play a sport somewhat seriously.

Another thing that I believe to be true is a totally personal observation and I am sure reasonable people might disagree with : The decline of personal responsibility and individual accountability in the US. To me it seems like everyone is looking to blame someone else for their shortcomings and people are looking to the government or other places more and more to hold their hands as opposed to getting things done. That type of thinking lends itself way better to team sports where you can easily blame your teammates for failure..not so in tennis. In tennis, you are all alone in the court, you against the world, and as Sampras said "There is no place to hide, you cannot pass the ball".

In a nutshell, it is the parents and the kids themselves that will get it done, not a national program, IMHO, unless you put together a program that recognizes each individual, develops them in a way that does not mold the kids into one style.

12-Aug-2013 07:44 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like 1972Murat's post:
Chris Lewis (08-16-2013), Didi (08-16-2013)
britbox Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 4,798
Likes Given: 984
Likes Received: 2,080 in 1,056 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
Agreed murat.

On the comments section of the original piece, somebody mentioned it was like using a socialist model to get a capitalist result. It seems Tennis Australia and Tennis New Zealand are in a similar position.
12-Aug-2013 09:38 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like britbox's post:
1972Murat (08-16-2013), Chris Lewis (08-16-2013)
Clay Death Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 3,280
Likes Given: 62
Likes Received: 125 in 102 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
American youngsters are thrust into team sports very early on. we cant really go by the past models.

guys like Connors, johnny mac, Agassi, courier, and Sampras were tennis prodigies.

prodigies in tennis don't work anymore. there are too many sharks on the tour. the sport has changed dramatically. now you need several years of experience to be somebody on the tour. also the sport is far more demanding than at anytime in the past.


it is all about team sports in America. a youngster grows up dreaming about baseball, football, and basketball. and now soccer is gaining rapid ground.


and it is about money and fame. you get instant fame in team sports here. from the time you enter college and if you are on a prominent program, you are on the tele every weekend.

you are likely to make millions if you can just get into the pros. average salary of a baseball player is probably $2.5 million. and it is not nearly not as demanding. top stars reel in $25-$30 million a year.

in the NFL, the average salary is over $1 million. many of the top quarterbacks in the league now are raking in $20 million a year. those who are on the bench are also cleaning up.

with team sports you also learn valuable leadership skills and you get a chance to develop social skills that are highly valued here in America. these skills often elude those in individual sports.

but I think the money issue is paramount also.


average touring pro outside the top 300 is starving to death in tennis. he is having to beg, borrow, and steal just to be able to travel to the next event.

mark sanchez is the worst quarterback in the league and he is pulling down well over $10 million a year. these type of stories are endless here in team sports.

people can be relatively poor and even warm the bench and yet they rake in millions.


also you don't need millions to spend on your teenager like you do in tennis. here grade schools, high schools, junior colleges, and colleges provide you with all you need to become somebody.


translation: don't expect anybody from America to dominate tennis again.

it happened a few times in the past. those were just outliers.

[Image: forum%20sig-800_zps8nhvcahj.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 12-Aug-2013 10:24 PM by Clay Death.)
12-Aug-2013 10:21 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Clay Death Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 3,280
Likes Given: 62
Likes Received: 125 in 102 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
bottom line:

do the content analysis to determine where the stars are coming from in tennis today and tomorrow.


content analysis says that whatever is going to happen is happening already. all you have to do is look with a keen eye and look at the content. and the amount of the content.



the best players will continue to come from the countries where they are coming from now.

with the exceptions being andy murray, roger , and nole.

these 3 are all time greats anyway. they would have become major stars in any number of sports.

they just happen to chose tennis.


American youngsters are simply not choosing tennis.

its a bleak conclusion from my own vantage point but it is what it is. there is no hope for American tennis.

no amount of money can be thrown at the sport here to develop world beaters in tennis.


it just wont work. people want team sports.

[Image: forum%20sig-800_zps8nhvcahj.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 12-Aug-2013 10:39 PM by Clay Death.)
12-Aug-2013 10:29 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
tented Offline
Potential GOAT
*********

Posts: 11,618
Likes Given: 4,705
Likes Received: 3,392 in 2,108 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
I thought of this issue today after reading about the USTA getting ready to spend something like $500 million dollars renovating the Billie Jean King center, including putting a roof on Ashe.

Do they really need to spend that much doing this? If they have $500 million, I hope they're planning on spending some on player development.

Enacting Mr. Lewis's plan would cost a fraction of what they plan on spending in renovations.
(This post was last modified: 16-Aug-2013 02:51 AM by tented.)
16-Aug-2013 01:49 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Clay Death Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 3,280
Likes Given: 62
Likes Received: 125 in 102 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
spending money on player development wont net you the future superstars of tomorrow in America.


they don't want individual sports here on the average.

and a probability of being a major star in a sport like tennis is low here relative to the team sports.

and there is no money in tennis. so the return on investment usually does not pay off.

[Image: forum%20sig-800_zps8nhvcahj.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 16-Aug-2013 09:06 AM by Clay Death.)
16-Aug-2013 09:05 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Kieran Offline
Running around the backhand...
*********

Posts: 11,428
Likes Given: 6,967
Likes Received: 4,546 in 2,998 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
I don't think money is an issue. The US does very well developing eastern Europeans into GS champs. I think it's finding American talent is the issue...
16-Aug-2013 09:09 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
tented Offline
Potential GOAT
*********

Posts: 11,618
Likes Given: 4,705
Likes Received: 3,392 in 2,108 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
(16-Aug-2013 09:09 AM)Kieran Wrote:  I don't think money is an issue. The US does very well developing eastern Europeans into GS champs. I think it's finding American talent is the issue...

You could be correct, in which case how does the US find talent?

There's a lot of money to be made in tennis. The top men and women are all multi-millionaires; some are extremely wealthy. There isn't the lack of a financial incentive to draw people towards tennis, I don't think.

It used to be wildly popular here, but now it's difficult to generate much interest at all.
16-Aug-2013 09:20 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Clay Death Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 3,280
Likes Given: 62
Likes Received: 125 in 102 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
only the top stars make the big bucks.


anybody out of the top 300 is strictly starving to death and probably stealing just to eat.


and the probabilities of making it big in tennis are very low compared to say those in team sports here.

it is also a brutal sport today. it takes many years of experience on the tour just to be somebody.

[Image: forum%20sig-800_zps8nhvcahj.jpg]
16-Aug-2013 09:26 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
the AntiPusher Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,166
Likes Given: 920
Likes Received: 1,284 in 964 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
(16-Aug-2013 09:20 AM)tented Wrote:  
(16-Aug-2013 09:09 AM)Kieran Wrote:  I don't think money is an issue. The US does very well developing eastern Europeans into GS champs. I think it's finding American talent is the issue...

You could be correct, in which case how does the US find talent?

There's a lot of money to be made in tennis. The top men and women are all multi-millionaires; some are extremely wealthy. There isn't the lack of a financial incentive to draw people towards tennis, I don't think.

It used to be wildly popular here, but now it's difficult to generate much interest at all.

The top men and women are all multi-millionaires; some are extremely wealthy. Tented.. there lies the problem.. only some.. The players who don't make it into the top 200 barely are able to survive on the tour..
16-Aug-2013 09:29 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
the AntiPusher Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,166
Likes Given: 920
Likes Received: 1,284 in 964 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
(16-Aug-2013 09:26 AM)Clay Death Wrote:  only the top stars make the big bucks.


anybody out of the top 300 is strictly starving to death and probably stealing just to eat.


and the probabilities of making it big in tennis are very low compared to say those in team sports here.

it is also a brutal sport today. it takes many years of experience on the tour just to be somebody.

Clay.. I think we both was posting the same thoughts at the same time.
16-Aug-2013 09:30 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
tented Offline
Potential GOAT
*********

Posts: 11,618
Likes Given: 4,705
Likes Received: 3,392 in 2,108 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
Well, other countries are doing something right, and the US isn't. Look at the number of players some countries have in the Top 100:

Spain: 14
3 Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
4 Ferrer, David (ESP)
15 Almagro, Nicolas (ESP)
23 Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
27 Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
31 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
41 Montanes, Albert (ESP)
46 Granollers, Marcel (ESP)
51 Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
58 Gimeno-Traver, Daniel (ESP)
66 Bautista Agut, Roberto (ESP)
74 Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP)
75 Ramos, Albert (ESP)
90 Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)

France: 13
8 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
11 Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
17 Simon, Gilles (FRA)
24 Paire, Benoit (FRA)
30 Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
36 Benneteau, Julien (FRA)
49 Monfils, Gael (FRA)
52 Llodra, Michael (FRA)
68 Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
71 De Schepper, Kenny (FRA)
73 Roger-Vasselin, Edouard (FRA)
79 Mahut, Nicolas (FRA)
92 Rufin, Guillaume (FRA)

[Roughly a quarter of the Top 100 come from Spain and France.]

Germany: 7
13 Haas, Tommy (GER)
26 Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
47 Mayer, Florian (GER)
55 Brands, Daniel (GER)
89 Kamke, Tobias (GER)
95 Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
100 Becker, Benjamin (GER)

Argentina: 7
7 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG)
32 Monaco, Juan (ARG)
48 Berlocq, Carlos (ARG)
54 Zeballos, Horacio (ARG)
59 Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
77 Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
91 Pella, Guido (ARG)

And then the US: 5
22 Isner, John (USA)
28 Querrey, Sam (USA)
87 Sock, Jack (USA)
93 Russell, Michael (USA)
97 Blake, James (USA)

And 3 of the 5 could drop below 100 any minute.
16-Aug-2013 09:39 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
the AntiPusher Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,166
Likes Given: 920
Likes Received: 1,284 in 964 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
(16-Aug-2013 09:39 AM)tented Wrote:  Well, other countries are doing something right, and the US isn't. Look at the number of players some countries have in the Top 100:

Spain: 14
3 Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
4 Ferrer, David (ESP)
15 Almagro, Nicolas (ESP)
23 Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
27 Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
31 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
41 Montanes, Albert (ESP)
46 Granollers, Marcel (ESP)
51 Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
58 Gimeno-Traver, Daniel (ESP)
66 Bautista Agut, Roberto (ESP)
74 Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP)
75 Ramos, Albert (ESP)
90 Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)

France: 13
8 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
11 Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
17 Simon, Gilles (FRA)
24 Paire, Benoit (FRA)
30 Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
36 Benneteau, Julien (FRA)
49 Monfils, Gael (FRA)
52 Llodra, Michael (FRA)
68 Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
71 De Schepper, Kenny (FRA)
73 Roger-Vasselin, Edouard (FRA)
79 Mahut, Nicolas (FRA)
92 Rufin, Guillaume (FRA)

[Roughly a quarter of the Top 100 come from Spain and France.]

Germany: 7
13 Haas, Tommy (GER)
26 Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
47 Mayer, Florian (GER)
55 Brands, Daniel (GER)
89 Kamke, Tobias (GER)
95 Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
100 Becker, Benjamin (GER)

Argentina: 7
7 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG)
32 Monaco, Juan (ARG)
48 Berlocq, Carlos (ARG)
54 Zeballos, Horacio (ARG)
59 Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
77 Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
91 Pella, Guido (ARG)

And then the US: 5
22 Isner, John (USA)
28 Querrey, Sam (USA)
87 Sock, Jack (USA)
93 Russell, Michael (USA)
97 Blake, James (USA)

And 3 of the 5 could drop below 100 any minute.

Thanks Tented.. Numbers never lie..The US should invade Spain so we can have the top tennis players in the World.. Vamos Spain

Heck.. I thought I was a Spainard since I always pull for Rafa, Lopez and the rest of the Spainish Alameda plus Gladiator is one of my top favorite movies of all time.
16-Aug-2013 09:51 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
britbox Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 4,798
Likes Given: 984
Likes Received: 2,080 in 1,056 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
I think one of the main issues Chris touched on was conformity - "a one size fits all" centralized blueprint imposed on each player in the program.

If you took the next Johnny Mac and the next Jimmy Connors at the same time, why push them down the same channel toward a duplicate style and program?

For me, policy rather than money seems to be the bigger issue.
16-Aug-2013 09:56 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Clay Death Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 3,280
Likes Given: 62
Likes Received: 125 in 102 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
others countries don't face the same cultural dynamics as we do here.

the social aspect of team sports is deeply ingrained here.

football, basketball, and baseball are wildly popular here.


tennis just does not cut the mustard. it is not a top sport here and never will be.


and don't forget the return on investment for an American youngster and his family when they are comparing tennis to team sports.


my own nephew and my niece do not care at all about individual sports. they want team sports.


me and my brother have suggested tennis to them many times. they want soccer, volleyball, baseball, and basketball.

and that is how it is with a lot of youngsters. social aspects of the team sports works for the American family.

[Image: forum%20sig-800_zps8nhvcahj.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 16-Aug-2013 10:05 AM by Clay Death.)
16-Aug-2013 10:04 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
britbox Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 4,798
Likes Given: 984
Likes Received: 2,080 in 1,056 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
Track and field is usually well represented and successful, plus I'd hazard a guess that there are far greater numbers playing tennis in the States than countries such as Serbia. It may pale into insignificance compared to some sports but by weight of numbers alone (in comparison to other tennis nations), you'd expect a better representation.
16-Aug-2013 10:13 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Luxilon Borg Offline
Major Winner
******

Posts: 1,665
Likes Given: 1
Likes Received: 415 in 269 posts
Joined: Jul 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
(12-Aug-2013 10:21 PM)Clay Death Wrote:  American youngsters are thrust into team sports very early on. we cant really go by the past models.

guys like Connors, johnny mac, Agassi, courier, and Sampras were tennis prodigies.

prodigies in tennis don't work anymore. there are too many sharks on the tour. the sport has changed dramatically. now you need several years of experience to be somebody on the tour. also the sport is far more demanding than at anytime in the past.


it is all about team sports in America. a youngster grows up dreaming about baseball, football, and basketball. and now soccer is gaining rapid ground.


and it is about money and fame. you get instant fame in team sports here. from the time you enter college and if you are on a prominent program, you are on the tele every weekend.

you are likely to make millions if you can just get into the pros. average salary of a baseball player is probably $2.5 million. and it is not nearly not as demanding. top stars reel in $25-$30 million a year.

in the NFL, the average salary is over $1 million. many of the top quarterbacks in the league now are raking in $20 million a year. those who are on the bench are also cleaning up.

with team sports you also learn valuable leadership skills and you get a chance to develop social skills that are highly valued here in America. these skills often elude those in individual sports.

but I think the money issue is paramount also.


average touring pro outside the top 300 is starving to death in tennis. he is having to beg, borrow, and steal just to be able to travel to the next event.

mark sanchez is the worst quarterback in the league and he is pulling down well over $10 million a year. these type of stories are endless here in team sports.

people can be relatively poor and even warm the bench and yet they rake in millions.


also you don't need millions to spend on your teenager like you do in tennis. here grade schools, high schools, junior colleges, and colleges provide you with all you need to become somebody.


translation: don't expect anybody from America to dominate tennis again.

it happened a few times in the past. those were just outliers.

Reasons:

-Americans have been trained to have zero attention span

-In most other countries tennis among the top 3 sports, in the USA
tennis is the red headed step child competing with garbage sports filled
with criminals, low lifes, and cheaters.

-There is essentially no more tennis on network TV

-Tennis requires a very specific amount of skill sets and cognitive ability. It is just
easier to get "good" at baseball or football which require 1/100th of the skill sets.

What to do, for those who care:

-learn and train 75% on clay.

-watch specially prepared videos of the very best players
to study their body language, shot selection, and technique.

-emphasize that you MUST sacrifice. There is no other way.
16-Aug-2013 10:20 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Clay Death Offline
Grand Slam Champion
*******

Posts: 3,280
Likes Given: 62
Likes Received: 125 in 102 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: How to develop New American Tennis Stars
(16-Aug-2013 10:13 AM)britbox Wrote:  Track and field is usually well represented and successful, plus I'd hazard a guess that there are far greater numbers playing tennis in the States than countries such as Serbia. It may pale into insignificance compared to some sports but by weight of numbers alone (in comparison to other tennis nations), you'd expect a better representation.

Negative. We have nearly 400 million people here.


that alone accounts for more people playing here.


It is simply not popular. It requires a huge investment and the return on that investment are negligible.


As for track, if you have any ability at all, schools support you and develop you.


It does not cost any money to individual and his/her family.


again average youngster grows up dreaming about team sports here.

[Image: forum%20sig-800_zps8nhvcahj.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 16-Aug-2013 12:23 PM by Clay Death.)
16-Aug-2013 12:20 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)