There is an interesting opinion of Robert Lansdorp, a living tennis legend, about American tennis coaches, academies and USTA Player Development.
Most coaches in this country don’t know much at all about coaching. They are just horrible. They know how to talk a great game and people believe them. You don’t know who is great and who is not.
The USPTA is for quantity, not quality any more. Anybody is a coach these days. If you can poke a ball over the net and get a basket of balls, you are a coach. If you can talk a great game you must be great. So many times the parents are smarter than the ” PRO ” and know more. IT is not the PARENTS!
Another thing that is happening in this country is that every body has Academies!! Academies don’t create Champions. THEY DON’T !!!
But people don’t want to believe me. Every club in the US has “Academies” and if the coach has one pretty good player he will start an ” Academy “! It is more money in his pocket. So the “One on One” has left this country.
Name me one top tenner that has come out of the Chris Evert Academy in the last 10 years? Name me one? Even top 30 player? I like Rick Macci, but who came out of his Academy in the last 10 years? And all these so, and so, Academies in clubs don’t develop players. If in the past the kids were in Academies, it was always a family member running the show. They were in control.
I am at fault a little. My rates have gone up to $200 an hour. Not outrageous, like some pro’s but too expensive for a lot a people. So, the “One on One” is disappearing!
“Academies” are popping up all over the place and now comes the second problem. Everybody and I mean everybody is in hitting lots of topspin and hitting “Academy” balls. High over the net with lots of topspin. Then you look at the top pro’s and they are all hitting the hell out of the ball. Very hard, fairly low over the net, not much higher than 2 1/2 feet over the net, AND CONSISTENT! Consistent, because they have been doing it since they were young.
This Academy ball is a big problem in getting Champions. Because of the Academies, you are losing the “One on One” teaching and there goes the DISCIPLINE! Now you are in real trouble! No discipline…. No Champions!
Also, the attitude of people has changed after the Capriaty debacle. Let’s just go to college! Nothing wrong with that, but no Champion will develop with that attitude. And don’t bring up Isner!
Probably 99% of the world class players hardly went to high school and never went to college. Combining the two does not work. Going to a hard private High School is the death in becoming a great player, forget becoming a Champion.
On top of all this you have a bunch of money hungry people running the USTA Junior “Development” Program. Nothing good will come out of the USTA Junior Development. They are just stealing players from other coaches and then messing them up and forgetting them. What a great organization!
There are hundreds and hundreds of very talented youngsters in this country, but they don’t get developed into Champions. Making of Champions is an art and a gift!
Dear readers, what do you think about the opinion of Robert Lansdorp? It also will be very interesting to hear opinions about the article from owners, directors, and coaches of tennis academies and from USTA Player Development officials. I know, that many of them read the blog. Please express your thoughts and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you!