Team USA

Image courtesy of USTA
Image courtesy of USTA

 

Several weeks ago, I got a call from USTA’s media department informing me of – and inviting me to – an upcoming (July 29, 2014) webinar on its new initiative, Team USA. I was unable to tune into the webinar live, but I did take the time to listen to the recorded version and wanted to share it with all of you.

The webinar was hosted by USTA General Manager of Player Development, Patrick McEnroe, and USTA Director of Coaching, Jose Higueras. According to the invitation I received, the Team USA initiative is an effort to create a structure that includes personal coaches, USTA Sections, and USTA Player Development working closer together to create the next wave of world-class American players. During the webinar, Patrick and Jose provided information on the initiative while gathering feedback via instant polls from those coaches and parents online with them.

I urge you all to listen to the webinar at the link below, especially in light of the recent events concerning USTA’s Player Development. It may shed some light on the direction USTA is heading in terms of our junior players.

If you were online during the live version, please share your thoughts in the Comments below. If, after listening to the recorded webinar, you have feedback to share, I’d love to hear from you, too.

http://www.usta.com/About-USTA/Player-Development/first_team_usa_forum_held/?CategoryId=12660&Year=2014

 

2 thoughts on “Team USA

  1. Overall good initiative that seems to miss some major points.
    There is a place for recognition/rewards and admirable to stress this. Inclusion and communication are needed yes.

    I listened and ~51 minute mark questions from parents were answered with little to no substance. Mainly how to defer cost of tournaments fees/travel. No answer or even the sense this is an issue. Surprising there seems to be little to no acknowledgement this cost is an issue, a major one. He gives an example of illegally practicing with college teams, or just playing locally to develop. Odd considering earlier the discussion states best vs best is how the US kids get better. So how will USTA PD get the best and then have them compete against each other? The current tournament structure doesn’t support this.

    Maybe it’s me but an organization with outreach that affects so many seems like it’s stuck in 1st gear. The answers seem genuine BUT lack any substance, and I’d expect more from such a hi level of leadership. Sounded like a section meeting, not a national think tank.

    The Webinar was informative, and further solidifies the lack of confidence I have this will get corrected. Actually based on McEnroe’s and Jose’s answers I’m surprised he lasted this long. I’m not BASHING him, it was ill prepared and ad hoc at best. The Q&A was a disaster soft ball fluff answers to real time questions.

    I sensed he was SET UP! Jose also, maybe I’m just paranoid.

    Finally they’ll meet again in Dec, quarterly meetings are for a well formed and functioning organization. USTA PD Webinars should be monthly @ a minimum until some issues on the table get resolved. At this pace they may get this ship to 30 degrees of turn in 12 months.

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