Zoo Tennis – The Response – Part 1


Recently, we have been featuring articles based on Wayne Bryan’s letter to the USTA about Player Development and particularly about the 10 and under tennis initiative.  The Zoo Tennis blog has responded to the letter with a well written and  well reasoned posting of their own.  This article contains excerpts from that posting that deal with my posting earlier today featuring Wayne Bryan’s views on international players on college tennis teams.

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A couple of weeks ago, an undated letter by Wayne Bryan found its way to Facebook and then out to the Tennis-Prose website, generating a lot of attention in the junior and college tennis communities. At the time, I sent out the link via twitter, promising a response, but I needed time to think about it and then time to write about it, which I didn’t have with the Plaza Cup, Australian Open, Les Petits As and ITA Kickoff Weekend the past couple of weeks.

I know Wayne Bryan better than he knows me, having covered many of his clinics, demonstrations, and presentations at junior tournaments and conferences over the past eight years. He loves tennis and is a lot of fun to be around at these events, and his humor comes through in this letter as well. I have no knowledge of his private coaching background and whether he still is involved in developing young players.

Those who know me won’t be surprised to hear my biggest disagreement with Bryan is about college tennis’s international component. He flat out says, “College tennis should not be a world class sport.”

I would have no interest in college tennis if it were not, and I suspect very few of the elite juniors in this country would either. As I’ve said many times, there is no college coach in the country who would choose an international player over an American, all things being equal. Bryan’s talk of quotas smacks of the entitlement attitude many believe bears some responsibility for the decline of tennis in this country.

Competition is global now, whether in business or sports, and protectionism will create more problems than it will solve. I wrote about this several years ago in more detail, and that column, written for Racquet Sports Industry magazine, can be found here.

Bryan’s failure to mention the College Showdowns, the Campus Kids Days and the College Showcases the USTA has organized over the past three years suggests he is either a) out-of-touch or b) willfully ignoring the strides the USTA has made in connecting American juniors to college campuses despite the draconian NCAA rules.

For the complete posting at Zoo Tennis – CLICK HERE

Editor’s Note: There is no better way to follow top American junior tennis than reading the Zoo tennis Blog

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