Tim Mayotte was hired by the USTA to run junior programs at the National Tennis Center. Tim’s playing career included winning the NCAA Championship in singles, getting to the semi finals at Wimbledon and being ranked as high as #7 in the world. His career earnings was $2,663,672 and he won 12 singles titles on the ATP Tour and 1 doubles title. This letter – by Tim Mayotte – appeared on Johan Kriek’s Facebook page.
NOTES: pd = USTA Player Developement. The Player Development Department is tasked with overseeing all of the USTA player training programs, selection of National Teams, developing the National Junior Tournament schedule, running the U.S.Open and all related events and coaching National Players and professionals under the USTA banner.
wayne = Wayne Bryan (father of the Bryan brothers – Mike and Bob
jose h = Jose Higueras – Director of the USTA Elite Player program, former coach of Robbie Ginepri, coached Federer in 2008 for the clay court season and was himself ranked as high as #6 in the world.
jay – Jay Berger – formerly #7 in the world. Jay is Head of men’s Tennis for the USTA.
patrick = Patrick McEnroe – General Manager of Player Development. He is the younger brother of John McEnroe. Patrick got to a career high of 28th in the world in singles and reached 3rd in the world in doubles. He was a semifinalist in singles at the Australian Open. He was Davis Cup Captain for 9 years (longer than anyone else in history).
boca = Boca Raton, Florida. The USTA Training Center – Headquarters is located in Boca Raton, Florida. The USTA Training Center – Headquarters features 9 hard courts and 14 har-tru clay courts. Additionally there are another 15 tennis courts accessible at a nearby private club. As part of the new training facility, the USTA offers player housing for promising young players who are entering high school. The USTA Training Center offers dorm-style living arrangements, a state-of-the-art fitness center, classrooms, offices and a conference facility.
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after almost two years inside the usta player pd i strongly agree with wayne’s outrage over the misuse of funds and the arrogance of that organization. when jose h, jay berger and patrick were around (which was very rarely) i tried to put them on court with some of our 8, 9, and 10 year olds. jose flatly said no
clearly out of discomfort. jay shared a court with me and was unable to see even the most basic technical changes needed and patrick would bark words parroted from jose’s thinking like “receive the ball.” that had no relevance in the context of what we were working on with the kids. none of the three asked what we were doing or how we were trying to do it.
i understand wayne’s outrage that this group mandate, forces, others to do what they know nothing about. it is my understanding that none of them have ever been to a 10 and under tournament. when i was hired to start and run the usta at the open site i was told to develop “a pipeline of top young 8-12 year olds.” it became clear they did not know how to teach and train and at that point neither did i. my associate lee hurst was great and as i
learned from him we veered from jose’s “philosophy.” when jose visited we were told change to mirror boca. after months of arguing my need for a different approach i found no option but to leave. the predictable has happened; they terminated that group and now only work with players 14 or over who commit to home school. so hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars and thousands of hours served to only drop players leaving them and parents in the lurch, alienate local pros and deepen the cycle. it was outrageous then to see patrick on tv broadcasting when he could have been on court learning about jr development (isn’t a million a year enough) or jose ensconced in palm springs with the usta paying to send player to his fancy ranch. its all such a waste.
i do think a comprehensive, in-depth, coaches training program should be developed so we can create more great coaches like you guys.
coaching is one of the most complicated endeavours i have been a part of requiring a knowledge of technique, motivational skills, psychology, parent management, etc. we need more and more systematic training.