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The Enormous Cheating in Junior Tennis

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  • airforce1
    Originally posted by jkawalec View Post
    I would ask to avoid comments on other nations or countries and label them as worst and such. is being read and used by many people all other the world. You might feel that USA is the best country in the world, but please don't make this general accusations which doesn't help to get closer to a solution.
    I'm sure you have good intentions with your comments, but I don't get your point. Eastern Europe is not a Nation or country, and the biggest point of the whole post and thread is that we, in the good ole USA have big problems in the area of cheating.

    Being PC is fine I guess, but I rather folks share honestly on their observations, rather than sugar coat it. Especially if they see a certain problem area.
    Seems most folks are fine with taking shots at the USA as you did in your reply, but just make sure you don't single out anyone else.
    How about we just call em as we see em here on the forum, and feel free to state a differing point of view. Both views can be considered on their merit.

    I don't know first hand, but it sure could explain a lot about how areas with few resources, have done so well in recent years, as well as breaking the code in the common phrase heard, " they just want it more." If you have been around much high level jr. tennis, you can see how a few important points can make all the difference; even in matches where the final score is not that close.

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  • jkawalec
    Originally posted by labete View Post
    Hear, hear! We spent three years in Florida (now back in France but we are all Americans) and here are our conclusions on cheating:

    1. The Eastern Europeans are the worst and most sophisticated cheaters. They do it in different languages and often "give" an unimportant point only to hook at 4-4, 40-30 in the third to cheat for that important point.

    2. I have talked about cheating with a well-known tennis coach in Fla who just said, "What do you expect me to do? I can't control all those people out there. The kids have to learn how to go out and f----- fight!"

    3. I have written several letters on this and sent them to different USTA officials and all I have been met with is SILENCE.

    4. The solution is to (as I and now Mr. Lansdorp says although in different words; hopefully it will carry more weight because he, Master Lansdorp, has talked about it): use local kids and pay them $10-$20 to referee a match and use the roving umpires who are just retirees making about $150 a day to patrol the courts and help the kids with difficult decisions. Maybe use one or two less roving retirees per tournament to pay for the kids. By paying the kids, you are empowering them to be fair judges, to really "see" the balls that land in or out and most kids will not just root for their favorite, they'll probably lean over backwards to be honest. If the kids don't know how to referee, they can at least keep score and see if the ball goes in or out. The roving retirees do the best they can but one cannot referee a match by only observing a few points here and there. Here in France, all competitive tennis players have to go to "arbitration" school (within their tennis clubs) financed in part by the French Federation de Tennis.
    Why can't we do this in the good old USA?
    I would ask to avoid comments on other nations or countries and label them as worst and such. is being read and used by many people all other the world. You might feel that USA is the best country in the world, but please don't make this general accusations which doesn't help to get closer to a solution.

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  • labete
    Hi Peter Smith

    You said putting the kids in the chair and on the lines was Don's idea. If you look on page 1 of these posts, you will notice I posted this idea first and I got the idea by looking at how the French Tennis Federation does it.
    To repeat, this is the SOLUTION for cheating:
    1)Downsize the roving USTA referee retirees to half the number per tournament
    2) Use the money saved (about $150 per referee per day) to pay kids to keep score and call lines from the chair only.
    3) If necessary, up the tournament entry fee slightly to make ends meet.
    4) Make every USTA member take a tennis arbitration and morals test and only award USTA cards to those who pass. In other words, take away the huge profit motive from giving out USTA cards blindly.
    5) In the absence of the above (kids in the chair; half-blind roving retiree refs not wanting to take charge) and in the current status quo, tell kids themselves that if someone obviously hooks you (a ball two inches in that is called out, for example), say nothing and immediately, on the next point, call out a ball that lands smack in the middle of your court. This will immediately straighten out any obvious cheating.

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  • tanker
    Team tennis

    Like I said earlier I have 3 boys in junior tennis, 13, 11 and 8. Their best experience playing has been zonals by far. We need to do more of this. There is CTC but somehow this doesn't have the same feel as zonals. I talk to my players at SC and the players I recruit and most of them say the same thing-they all loved zonals in Tucson, it was their best tennis experience. We need to do more of this in the 10s, 12s and 14s-we are losing kids. My youngest played a 10 & under tournament and the coach and parents were all over him after every mistake-parents don't realize what they are doing and coaches are just losing it trying to keep their lessons. My little guy wanted to run back to soccer and I am sitting on the sideline shaking my head thinking I don't blame him-why would any kid want to go thru this. I do believe their has to be more done by the USPTA and PTR to give coaches a code but trust me we have to figure out how to get to the parents and kids. Have each section do a couple of zonals-do an 8 & under zonals-talk to the kids. Have college coaches, top coaches (Lansdorp or Robert Van Hof oor Wayne Bryan), some coaches with enough clout-USTA coaches come in and talk to the parents and help set them straight. Make this mandatory for the kids to play sectionals or nationals. The kids would love it-we have so much in So Cal.
    I do like a couple of Don's ideas-find a way to have each kid call lines at a match. Create something where the kids have to give back. Kids in high school have to do service hours-make it mandatory that USTA ranked juniors have to give back at tournaments-service hours for them to be eligible to play nationals. The USTA holds all the keys, we have to make kids and parents accountable. I know it is a huge job for some like Darren Potkey (SCTA) but we have to do something.

    Peter Smith

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  • dnabedrick
    Hi Tommy, thanks for writing and adding, your ideas and experiences sound fantastic .


    I was really excited to see you comments and think you are on to something. I am in the Northern Section, where are you? Can you email me and give me more info on your progress and coaching commission in your section, we currently do not even have a coaching commission.

    I have recently been in contact with USTA National Junior and Collegiate Staff Chair and have some great emails supporting a coaching organization and ideas for amateur,collegiate and professional player development. Love to share more with you, and I think you are on to something with your tourney proposal, and you are correct about the Zonals being a positive for most kids.

    Funny thing now, I hear parents and players say all the time, they are playing the individual tourneys just to get enough points to be invited to the Team Zonals, as if that is the highlight of their tennis season.

    Funny how the team event is viewed by many that way, except the most elite probably. I love the Zonals Concept, but it still remains, second tier and less of a prestigous event in terms of the USTA Promotional Highlight Film.

    But an international team event, is right up my alley for sure, and I just watched the Nike Junior International Championships, we need some heavy weights to go back to these guys and get that format changed. Make that event a Team Event, and have a one day individual shoot out for the top performers just to crown a few individual champs if necessary at the end. But if we get Robert or another big hitter to step up and get in talks with the Nike /Club Med/ Junior International Director who just got that 1 hours special aired on Tennis Channel, we are making headway right away.

    And thanks for adding the coaches component idea to your post. To me, it is definitely the most logical, and you are really a forerunner in trying to get an invitational together that includes a coach on the sidelines for a player.

    Coaches need to step up, donate and or get paid for some time, part of the PTA or PTR continuing education point system or part of a USTA high performance certification continiuing ed program. One or two tournaments a year, by all of these coaches in every club or region, is easy to manage and very possible to coordinate.

    Plus it give the coaches added exposure and built in selling/talking points to parents and players once the tournament is over to promote their own private coaching styles and how the saw the players on the court perform.

    Coaches on site at tourneys is needed, whether engaged as coaches in a team format, in a individual format, or as a umpire/referee,unbiased support person format and following a coaching code of conduct.

    We are not far away from getting this done!!! Robert now that you are on the USTA Player Development Board, will you please consider promoting some of these ideas at the National Conference in the Desert in March? or even earlier?

    Looking forward to continued dialogue and using tennis to help create this tipping point.

    Tommy help out if you can, and email for specifics on your own plans please.

    eager for action- and grateful for Robert's original article,

    Daniel Nabedrick

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  • tommyt
    Hi Daniel,
    Team competition and individual competition with coaching are great ideas. I am on the coaches commission for a USTA section and I'm pushing for an individual invitational intra-sectional tournament with coaching. I've talked to Director of Player Development/Junior Competition and the Director thought it was a great idea. Now we must find a date, a site, and make sure it's within the budget.
    I've been the head coach at the 12's Zonal team competition for the last 4 years. Not only is there no cheating (I've overruled my own team members who I believe did not cheat but missed the call) but it is a tremendous developmental tool as the juniors get immediate feedback on their match play.
    Recently my section had a 1st Annual 10 and Under X-Sectional Camp with 3 other USTA sections and again I did not see any cheating only good sportsmanship. I did an player evaluation on all the juniors from my section. This evaluation gave the juniors, their parents and the player's coach an idea of how they played during the competition.
    I am currently working on having a foreign country bring it's best U12 BG to our section for some International team competition.
    It must start from the section and expand from there. I wish you luck in your meeting.
    Btw, the USTA is seriously thinking about more team competitions on a national level and more coaching on the court at individual tournaments but that may not happen for a few years.
    Last edited by tommyt; 12-28-2008, 05:22 PM.

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  • dnabedrick
    Don- working with the section

    Yes Don, I think it is an uphill battle and the USTA is a big hill.

    But as Robert said, cheating has to stop and he said it is the USTA that has to stop it. We will forever be able to complain about the cheating, I am just not sure how committed we are to actualizing that change. We need a force of our own, a coaching organizational body to influence change, have leverage and power at the USTA level, local or national, and get changes made.

    Team tennis already exists, USPTA/PTR conferences, USTA Annual and seminannual conferences, web dialogues and petitions via the internet, getting Robert or other famous names to endorse a proposal and sent it around the internet and create a "tipping point" of such.

    Don, I liked your ideas about getting the players involved on the courts as well, and my guess is there are many more great ideas yet to be established.
    The challenge is responding to the question Robert asked and doing so eventually with action as well as ownership, and not just projection on to the USTA, players, parents, coaches etc...

    I personally believe there is a structural flaw in the historically developed individual tournament junior format. A modification on a large scale slanting towards a college format will not only relieve the systems but cure the disease, and eventually grow the game of tennis like never before. We need a little league world series to be aired on the tennis channel every year, a team event that every kid and every coach aspires to see themselves on.

    Don- I saw you mentioned Huggy Bear and my college doubles partner Jack Waite I believe told me about your incredibly successful tournament that you put on in the east coast prior to the open(correct). If you are willing, I would love to talk more about this with you as well, I would welcome any information and background you might be willing to share.

    Robert, John, anyone else- if you have time- it would be great to get further discussions continuing on this thread about the Cheating in Junior Tennis and where you think we might realistically be able to go with it?

    Daniel Nabedrick

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  • tennis_chiro
    Daniel's meeting with section

    Good luck with that meeting, seriously. It's very tough to get anyone to cede power. It sounds like you already have started some grass roots work with other coaches in your section. I'd suggest you shoot for a pilot project with one or a couple of your ideas in a little subcircuit of your section's tournaments, maybe just a summer or spring little satellite circuit or one of these K-Swiss or Nike or Prince GranPrix's that run a couple of months, expenses sponsored by the USTA. I really think players are going to have to be involved as linesmen with a chair if it is ever to really work. Never be able to afford it otherwise.
    And if you got the habits better trained early, you wouldn't have to do it in the older age groups. 12's officiate 10's, 14's for 12's, 16's for 14's, 18's for 16's and 16's and 14's for 18's, always with an umpire or adult. Something like that.
    And the team idea is a great approach.

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  • dnabedrick
    Great feedback Don, more ideas for changing the culture of cheating

    Hi Don,

    I enjoyed reading your comments above very much and like the fact that you too feel we have to do something.....

    I think we can create a coaches organization to influence the USTA and work with the USTA.

    Three of us are meeting with our sectional president and executive director for our section on January 5th.

    Our goal is to establish a USTA Coaching Commitee within our section and have that committee work to organize a local USTA endorsed Coaches organization.

    Coaches do not really hold much offical clout currently within the USTA Sectional Oranizations, but that can change by creating Coaching Committees and then giving this committee direction and support to engage the private sectors coaches to become more involved and mobilized to grow the game.

    Yes we already have the PTA/PTR and we can work with them to help establish this USTA Sectional Coaching Committee, but we need to work with the usta because that who is really leading the way in program development, ie. Junior Player Development and Junior Tournaments, Junior Team Tennis, Quick Start Tennis etc...these are all really USTA programs.

    A coaching committee creating and making change, having influence to steer player development, deal with cheating etc....makes the coaches responsible and take ownership of this problem.

    Right now we are making the money, teaching the kids, but not in charge or involved at all in these players competitions, unless we are directing tournaments and on site.

    Coaches can could coach players, supervise matches and be involved in disciplining players who break the code as well. Coaches can also hold players accountable better than the USTA and referees.

    We can always complain about cheating, we can always tell stories about cheating or not cheating, we can tell stories about the good old days when players didn't cheat as much, but....

    Can we come up with real solutions- actionable agenda items to ignite change.

    I agree with Robert that cheating is rampant, and I believe that cheating is a result of the climate of the competition, pressure, structure and support system that is currently in existence within the USTA Tournament format that exists.

    But, I feel that the USTA is responsible for charting the way in making recognizable changes, yet it is the Coaches who must influence and lead the way as to what changes should be done and it is the coaches who can act collectively to implement these changes, monitor changes, and hold players accountable to cooperating and participating with these changes.

    The ideas I mentioned with
    1. Junior Team Tournament Tennis (college style), i
    2. individual selected players tournaments-piggybacked on to the end of the team tournament weekend.
    3. Individual tournaments with coaches hired to be on court acting as monitors and not just having tennis umpire officials.
    4. Individual tournaments, where players have to have a coach (or one coach per four players) present to be in charge of their players during the event.

    5. Individual tournaments with on court coaching allowed by coaches.

    all of these are suggestions, I believe there are many more alternatives as well.

    We can go about presenting ideas collectively to the USTA National Office Junior Team Tennis Employee and also to the National Junior Tournaments employee that set the direction for our section reps as well.

    there are ways to influence change, but I think the problem does not go away unless we changes the culture that cheating exists in.

    Daniel Nabedrick

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  • tennis_chiro
    Ps forgot to sign

    the above is from Don Brosseau

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  • tennis_chiro
    Amen, sort of

    This is such an important topic. I think Daniel's ideas are great, but the reality is there is no coach's organization with any clout (with the USTA) in this matter. How do you get the USTA to take action? Dan's ideas are great. When I was learning to play (in the 60s), players would often be called on to call a service line or even take a chair in a local public parks tournament (adults, mostly). Even later, I remember a lot of events where uncertified individuals were used as linesmen and umpires. I actually chaired the first ATP match Fibak played (against Ray Ruffels) in Munich WCT in 1974 because I was training ball kids there and spoke a little German. In those days, officials were not as organised and someone could be put on a line with little or no training. Remember, there was very little money.

    When I started Huggy Bears in 1985, I got Army Neely to be our chair(for every match... we started with just 8 teams and then had Army play on the ninth with the sponsors son-in-law the day before the main draw started). That was a big step for a backyard tournament. We had no idea how big the tournament would become. Even the next year, I didn't know what was to come, but I knew there was going to be some money involved and we brought in umpires who were going to work the US Open the next week. Ever since, Jan Ryan has been bringing in a crew of well over a dozen world class officials to work that even. In spite of the fact we had those umpires on the court, we couldn't cover every line until the later rounds. And every year, with adults, I would hear stories about this hook or that one and there just isn't much you can do about it. I had an almost unlimited budget. My final solution for dealing with poor conduct was a "black balloon". We handicapped the tournament with bisques (a bisque is a free point that could be taken at any time in a match). A lessor team always started with a number of balloons floating behind the umpire indicating how many bisques were left. Plus there were a couple of black balloons floating behind the umpire. Our conduct code was 1. warning 2. bisque. I only remember 2 ever being awarded in 20 years I ran the tournament. I remember Linda Hinshaw telling me she started using it with juniors back in Indianapolis and it immediately calmed down behavior on her courts. Hooking is a little tougher to control.

    The reality is that when there are one or two officials on the site with as many as a dozen courts, there is simply no way. It really seems like the frequency of hooking was a lot less. I thought it was a lot less when I got to play with better players. Then in the 80's it seemed like things began to deteriorate. There was more and more hooking in the senior events I was playing. And now that I pay a lot of attention to the lower age group juniors, I am often appalled.

    And there are two different problems. As Craig so accurately pointed out, the best players have to learn to deal with it. And you know what, most of them do. But I'm not sure it helps develop any love for playing competitive tennis. And most of the kids that are playing and really trying are not going to be that good. To take what little chance they have of being competitive away from them with a hook, just shatters a lot of kids. I can't tell you how many times a kid has said to me in answer to the question of what happened:"Well we got to 30-40 and I hit it on the line and he called it out. I called the linesman, but he served out the match." This has happened too many times and that's just to my players. I know I didn't want to play senior tournaments if I knew I was going to run into certain "hooks".

    But we have institutionalized this behavior. From the "good strategy" of taking a bathroom break to break momentum in the pro game to having obvious coaching coming from the coach's box. If I was in charge, I would put the coach and the entourage in a great seat, ... that the players would not be aware of and in which the players would not be able to see or hear them. Maybe even behind one way glass. Either that or change the rules. How do you expect kids to act when you see the pros openly cheating this way half the time.

    One option is to make the players have to work lines in a random match with players they do not know. Could be tricky, but better than what we have. I always felt the right penalty for McEnroe would have been to suspend him until he worked as a linesman and a chair for a month: on the challenger level until he was good enough to work tour level events. Having to do that would have changed his attitude toward umpires. Maybe all players should be required to work as umpires for a certain period to earn their ITF membership. We need more people with good eyes and good hearts involved in calling these lines.

    We have a real goal definition problem. Are we trying to create great tennis players or great people who play tennis? In the old days, it was not necessarily a conflict. I grew up watching Wanted: Dead or Alive with Steve McQueen, Palladin with Richard Boone, Gunsmoke with Marshall Dillon, etc. The bad guys always got the worst of the deal. NOW kids grow up with heroes like Gordon Gecko ("Greed is good!") and who knows what from the rap music they listen to. It's not good enough to do well. You have to be a centimillionaire to be considered successful. Those GM, Chrysler and Ford execs looked pretty foolish up there in front of Congress. But guess what, they are still the heroes of the graduates of our best universities and colleges. Or the execs at the investment banks that got multimillion dollar bonuses from their firms even as they came hat in hand to the taxpayers asking for and getting help for their bankrupted companies. They are WINNERS. Who cares who they destroyed along the way. Or what companies.

    Excuse me, I digress. But if we want to really change the way this thing is going (and it is getting worse), we have to adopt some radical measures before it is too late. In Los Angeles when I was a teenager, there were full draws in the Metropolitan Championships that start the first weekend in January. We had over 100 entries in the men's singles and a full draw for the women. Are there more tennis players now than 40 years ago. Well, every one of the last few years I see draws of between 128 and 256 in almost every division in the designated junior tournaments in Southern California. That's a lot of players that should be out there. They've learned the sport of a lifetime by the time they enter college and leave the juniors. But, as usual the last few years, there are just 7 entries in the men's open draw and 5 entries (big improvement) in the women's singles next weekend in the Metropolitan. Where did all those tennis players go? It doesn't seem like they love competitive tennis. Too me those empty draws are the melting icecaps of the meltdown of the popularity of tennis.

    Robert is absolutely right...there is a big problem. And it must be addressed. Couldn't the USTA at least sponsor some trial solutions, perhaps along the lines of what Daniel suggests? Couldn't we try using players as linesmen, perhaps as a way to earn bonus ranking points (something everyone could earn ) or to lower the required number of tournaments played? In my day, we really wanted long service linesmen, because it was just too tough to see and play the ball. Not because we thought we were being hooked. Today there is an awful lot of wishful vision supporting wishful thinking. Ed is on the money when he says it is the coach's responsibility to instill some of these values in his students. But it's virtually impossible to overcome something else that has been instilled by their parents. Our only chance is if we are reinforcing what their parents have been telling them. I see an awful lot of parent-coaches, wearing both hats and doing damage to the reputations of both. And please Kal, don't write that book. We don't need that.

    We need to get back to healthy competition. Isn't that what Jose is saying creates great players in his article this month? Just call what you see. And play ball.

    Sorry for carrying on so long, but I'm hoping I strike a chord somewhere. This is actually important for our sport. Imagine if just 10% of those kids graduating out of designateds were coming back to play competitive tennis 6 or 7 years later when they are out of college and settling into their lives ... because they love being part of the culture...because they love to play...because they love to compete? There would be 256 draws in qualifying every year for the Metropolitan and we would all be so busy we would have waiting list only lesson books. It's that important.

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  • dnabedrick
    Junor Tennis Cheating- a few more observations and possible alternative solutions

    Hi Robert- thank you for writing that Article on Cheating in Junior Tennis. Obviously it is a very hot topic and not one everyone wants to touch.

    I heard another great coach in Florida a couple years ago, say that the way to win in the 12's and 14's is first and foremost is to learn to cheat the best. It was shocking and probably very true for many kids, but hopefully not always true for everyone.

    I personally learned the hard way years ago in the 12's and 14's making some bad calls and probably lost some lifelong friends because of it. They are hard lessons to learn and there are lots of better ways to learn those lessons, than being in an environment that is so competitive, with intense pressure, and clearly very unsupervised or mentored

    Now currently I am 38 year old industry professional, country club tennis director, junior tennis academy owner, high school coach, tournament director of 5 junior USTA tournaments every summer and director of probably a total of 50 tournaments, and former college coach - I often struggle with the same questions and answers that you have posed in your article. Here are my various observations and answers to the situation on cheating and junior tennis.

    1. LONELY AND UNSUPERVISED- There is no other sport that I am aware of where young kids are placed in a competitive environment on their own, told to keep score on their own, and told to manage their behavior and their opponent behavior on their own.

    And all the while their parents are watching them from the outside and often they are unsupervised as well.

    Granted many national and sectional events do have "roving" umpires and you can request to call a line judge for special situations if necessary but other than that there is very little official supervision for a junior player during a match or an entire tournament.

    WE ARE ASKING TOO MUCH EMOTIONALLY OF 12 AND 14 YEAR OLD KIDS. We are making the stakes so high with all of these national tournaments and potential professional careers just around the corner for some kids, especially girls.

    2) TEAM SPORTS- Most team sports (I grew up playing soccer and basketball) have coaches working with competitors, teams, parents on the sight/sidelines of a sporting event. I remember having the same two traveling basketball coaches for 4 years from 6 through 9 grade. We players became very familiar with their coaching styles and were very accountable to their expectations for sportsmanship and competition.

    These team sports, support an environment where the coach can interact with players (coach them) during from the sidelines, and they can manage behavior better, provide pre game pep talks, post evaluations, manage referee interaction for the team, and also manage parent involvement during the competition and to some extent afterwards.

    The closer relationships between teammates also fosters a more healthy supportive environment for players to compete just as hard but develop empathy and compassion quicker while being supported by teammates and not feeling all the weight of the competion squarely on their shoulders.

    3) COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL FORMAT-What if we had a junior tournament environment that operated similarly to college and high school tennis. Coaches develop teams, teams play matches and then compete for local, sectional and national championships, but also there are individual championships played the same weekend for the local, state, sectional and national titles.

    These events would have coaches involved, on court, on site and available for evaluation.

    Our players would also learn more and benefit from coaching on court and maturing faster with better sportsmanship and focus.

    High School Tennis and College tennis still supports the individual in tennis winning their own match, but the match also counts for the team, and the player also represents the team when they compete. So their actions and behavior is more accountable.

    Players develop better practice partners, make better friends, and also can become friends with other teams players when they join to play on All Star Teams that compete nationally.

    4) TEAM TENNIS A BETTER WAY TO SELL THE SPORT-These ideas are not that far fetched, in fact we could make in roads very quickly as the USTA has already been laying out a similar format for Junior Team Tennis already but it does not have the legs or clout yet to command the top players around the country yet.

    Team Tennis, will sell the sport to juniors better than what we have now. Kids will want to make the team, travel, have friends, a solid coach relationship, not just someone they go to for private lessons once a week or group drills.

    USTA Junior Individual Touranament tennis today breeds - loneliness, disconnect, fierce competion, extreme parental pressure, and intolerable cheating and gamesmanship.

    We can make changes, the USTA has the weight on its back, but coaches, parents and players can ask for the changes.

    5) THE COACHES AND THE USTA I put the responsibility back on the coaches, teaching professionals. We are the ones working with the junior players, earning a living teaching the kids. We are the teachers here.

    Yes parents may be the ultimate ones responsible. But let's face it, many parents come into this world of tennis blind and don't understand it early enough, and many other parents understand the current system and want to see their kids reach the top and are willing to condone or turn the cheek and let it continue.

    As the teachers, it is our job to mentor, guide, teach, and monitor our players. We as a whole do not come to many of our players tournaments now, do not give proper evaluations, and do not speak up enough about behavior for fear of losing the paycheck.

    But we can make changes and lead the way. A Coaches Organization (not a technical teaching organization) that works

    1) to develop individual tournaments where coaches can be inside the fences helping out as volunteers or paid assistants would be one pilot project.

    2) Have individual tournaments where players have to sign up with a coach, and can be coached during the event on court.

    3) Promote local team, traveling team, and all start team tennis for tournament level juniors. Lets get a National Championship established and then host a Little League World Series Tennis Tournament every year.

    The USTA has a lot of work to do, but ultimately I believe that it is up to the coaches, the industry professionals to lead the way....

    Daniel Nabedrick

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  • johnyandell

    well said in my opinion. the pro chance is virtually zero.

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  • dunlop_maxply
    I have not seen, in my son's brief exposure to the 10s and 12s, anything much different than when I was playing in the 1970s, with one exception.

    As bad a reputation as tennis parents typically have had, these days many are sort of off the charts delusional.

    They are not delusional in the sense or rooting for thier own kid, that's been the case will parents, probably forever.

    They are delusional in that tennis produces the worst possible odds of a professional career or probably any professional sport, yet parents continue to behave as if there is some chance.

    Think about it, how many American men have made enough money to retire and not work the rest of their lives out of tennis? What, less than ten over THE LAST 25 YEARS? Roddick, Sampras, McEnroe, Agassi, Chang? It looks like Courier is still working, although he might too qualify.

    I would bet that James Blake is going to have to get some sort of post tennis job, not that anyone would not want to be James Blake, mind you.

    But any logical parent (like, say, Ivan Lendl) would direct their kids towards golf or baseball.

    Cheating in tennis is not only wrong in the moral sense, its wrong in that it is against a players own enlightened self interest. Much better to spend your serious tennis playing days building a network of good friends who trust you than winning a couple of more matches that are guaranteed to be meaningless anyway.

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  • johnyandell
    Not everyone has Craig's ability to confront adversity (or is that desire to confront adversity??)

    I would agree that with my high school players running into a little irregular behavior is a good thing. They all go to a private school where people are far too nice to them and they actually get the mistaken impression that the world is fair...

    BUT what people are describing here is crazy, like the wild wild west. It used to be that eventually the bad actors got caught and disciplined. We won't mention some famous norcal players who spent time on the sidelines in the juniors for "behavior" issues.

    From what I'm getting the problems are now so much more widespread that players and families go through whole careers never being brought to heel.

    The Code is great. It just isn't enough anymore.

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