Posts tagged coaches
Last year, about this time, I was writing regularly about my son’s experience on his high school tennis team – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
However, due to some ridiculous eligibility rule changes by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), my son did not play for his school team this year. It was HIS choice, don’t get me wrong, but, basically, our state governing body made it very unattractive for any high-level players to join their high school teams this year – to summarize, the rule said that a player lost eligibility if he or she trained for his/her sport during stated school hours. For my son and many other tennis players, their school hours are modified in such a way as to include “zero period” and online classes so they More >
“If you don’t like us, find a way to get rid of us!” That was Patrick McEnroe’s response to a parent’s question regarding the 2014 Junior Competition Changes at last summer’s Girls 12 Nationals in Atlanta, and it was really the beginning of my extensive coverage of the new calendar that USTA was planning to implement beginning January 1, 2014.
Now that the calendar changes have been finalized and approved at the National Board level, I figured I should do a sort-of recap of the process around the changes and how they came to be . . .
- Some time in 2011: Jon Vegosen, then president of USTA, charged his Junior Competition Committee (JCC) to devise a new national tournament schedule. Please note that the JCC was chaired by Tim Russell, a More >
I know I said you probably wouldn’t be hearing from me this week – I’m still at the beach on Spring Break, luckily – but I wanted to pass along the latest news from USTA’s Board of Directors meeting.
I received an email this morning from USTA’s Bill Mountford, letting me know that the changes to the previously approved Junior Competition Structure were unanimously approved by the Board last night. That means, as predicted, that the changes will go into effect January 1 of next year.
It’s time to take a serious look at your child’s current schedule and the tweaks that you’ll need to make for next year. Alternatives to USTA tournaments are popping up around the country, and I’ll continue to post them here as I get word.
Time to move on . . More >
Why, you might ask, is there a French magazine cover pictured at the top of this post? Well, 2 reasons . . . first of all, because I want everyone to notice that it features French pro, Richard Gasquet, at the age of 9, playing tennis using a yellow ball. Second of all, because in just a few weeks I’ll be at Roland Garros watching a couple of days of phenomenal tennis at the French Open and am pretty darn excited! (P.S. Anyone who wants to hook me up with courtside seats, you know how to reach me!)
Some of you may have gotten wind of the changes happening across the country with 10-and-under tennis and the mandated use of the ROG balls in tournament play. What you may not know is that ROG is now infiltrating the 12s, too.
The 2014 changes to the junior competition calendar are all but a done deal. The Powers That Be at USTA, despite our best efforts, have decided they (not parents, not coaches, not the players themselves) know what’s best for our young players and have slashed competitive opportunities at the national level by a huge margin. So, now what?
Add to the mix the fact that several USTA sections have also adopted a rather Draconian policy for the 10-and-unders and 12-and-unders, forcing them onto the ROG path, making it so they have to play all the way up in the 14s if they want to play with a yellow ball on a full-size court. If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to the free podcast of my radio show with Lawrence Roddick (Andy’s older More >
This past weekend was another giant step in my Tennis Parent Journey. My son drove himself to a tournament. Out of town. About 2 hours from home. While my husband and I were at a family reunion out of state.
Now, before you start thinking I am totally out of my mind, please know that I enlisted the support of a Fellow Tennis Mom to be on call for my son. She and her son were staying at the same hotel as my kid. She was in charge of checking my son into his room and making sure he had his key. Her son was playing in the same age division as my kid. And the boys go to school together. (And I now owe her a very nice bottle of wine!)
As my husband and I left our house and headed to the airport, I made a mental list . . . Had I More >
- Bill Mountford
- Dave Haggerty
- Lew Brewer, though he arrived a bit late and stayed mostly at the back of the room.
The following information is a conglomeration of several emails that I received after the meeting. If you were there and have something to add, please do so in the Comments below.
Sadly, attendance was rather small, but those in attendance seemed to be fully aware of the changes and were fully engaged in the discussion.
The initial issue that came up was in regards to why the USTA is reducing the number of national tournaments. The conversation started with traditional schooling and the desire to try and reduce the number of days players will miss. A few of the parents voiced their disagreement More >
Voting within USTA is much like the Electoral College system in the US federal government. All USTA sections are not created equal. Apparently, size DOES matter.
That said, and as was suggested by Scott Schultz at the listening meeting in Los Angeles, it is still crucial that we all continue to reach out to our Section Presidents (click here for a list of Sections, 2013 Presidents, and contact info where available) and ask them to vote for a pause on the 2014 changes to the junior competition calendar. It is our best hope for getting the result that many of us have been working toward for the past year or so – to see the USTA Junior Competition & Sportsmanship Committee take the 2014 plan, push the pause button, seek input from those More >
- Scott Schultz
- Bill Mountford
- Lew Brewer
- Ellen Ehlers
- Greg Hickey – SoCal President
- Michael Cooke – NorCal President
I’m happy to report that I have heard from several folks who attended last night’s meeting in Los Angeles, and that there was once again overwhelming opposition to the 2014 changes.
There were 61 attendees including several parents, coaches, USTA representatives, and even a tennis journalist. Some people who had planned to be there didn’t make it because they thought it was at UCLA (I’m not sure how or why they had incorrect information regarding the meeting location). School-night traffic on the LA freeways made it impossible for some parents to get there, but, still, 61 people came.
During the More >
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report from last night’s “listening” meeting in Troy. The only word I’ve gotten is that there were only a small handful of people there, and that everyone stayed cool, calm, and collected.
Paul McDonald and Mark Bey were the USTA representatives leading the meeting. Apparently, Scott Schultz was also supposed to be there but got delayed by the weather. The parents in attendance who did speak were against the 2014 changes to the junior competition schedule, but the opposition was voiced in a very factual rather than impassioned manner. From the emails I received, it seems that the overall feeling was one of resignation – one attendee reported that it just felt “flat out terrible for the sport more so More >