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Hal is right, I lived it Boca with my son, for 1 horrible year. Now trying to pick the pieces and shaping his game again. Nothing good came out of that association. You leave and you get ostracized.
The First Tee program by the USGA is much more creative and has actually produced pro golfers and tons of college players. It is about the game of golf and producing outstanding individuals, not 40yr old ex-pro's trying to build their ego's.
I VE been trying to do the same thing in jacksonville nc but its not easy finding volunteers and sponsors for tennis eventsperiod. but i will continue to keep pressing my efforts no matter what and will eventually have a tennis facility in this city. the children are suppose to be our future right.
Good luck Willie! you keep the dream alive!
How are you getting started? Are you starting off at a public facility like most pros do when they are starting a new academy?
I have worked for three Federations, the USTA, the German Federation and the Mexican Federation, and people love to second guess what is being done. No matter what the federation does, it is never enough. All federations have a limited budget and they have to place a limit somewhere on who they can help. If they help 50, the numbers 51 and up will complain. If they help 100, the numbers 101 and up will complain, and so on.
Compared to most countries in the world there is an incredible amount of help here in the US. Most federations do not even have a tenth of the budget the USTA has for player development.
Off course there are always better ways to do something and the USTA has a lot of areas to improve but all in all most players in the world would kill for the opportunities available in the US.
So, why, in your opinion, do we have a lack of top players at the moment?
I think in general there are cycles. I remember after the Connors, McEnroe era everyone was panicking because there were no players. However, after a few years we had Sampras, Agassi, etc. Now suddenly we have a lot of women, out of no where. The men will come.
The other important factor that we need to keep in mind is that tennis has become global. Everyone has similar opportunities. There is an international junior tournament every week somewhere in the world. Every coach can have access to the latest information on coaching through the internet and all this has leveled the playing field. There is much more competition and even the smallest countries have one or two decent players. Therefor the US will probably never dominate the way they used to. Having said that, the US is still one of the countries with the best opportunities for players and therefore should always have top players.
I am sure top men will emerge soon!