Wayne Bryan / Patrick McEnroe – Reader Comments – Part 1


There has been a healthy dialogue – generated by the Wayne Bryan letter – on this blog, on Zoo Tennis, on Facebook and on Twitter.  Here are comments that we got from readers of this blog.

FROM ADIRONDACK TENNIS BLOG:

Don Petrine          Submitted on 2012/02/16 at 11:49 pm          Wayne Bryan loaded the bases and Tim Mayotte hit a Grand Slam!

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Ken Hydinger          Submitted on 2012/02/17 at 3:07 am          Not to be trivial or maybe to point out a psychic phenomenon but the picture labeled Jay Berger is actually Chuck Kriese. I can’t believe he is not courted by the USTA. A year before he retired from Clemson he had a team of mostly Americans up to #5 in the NCAA (and mostly guys he really developed) and then when he went to SE Asia he helped a girl go to number 1 in the world and this little girl had a huge winning record against Americans. Chuck is a proven developer and an original thinker.

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Brian Sidney Parrott          Submitted on 2012/02/17 at 5:54 am          My name is Brian Sidney Parrott, father of Travis Parrott, and coach here in Oregon for the last 40 years….

Patrick McEnroe, while assumably good intentioned, has close to no idea how this puzzle of using the legion of good coaches throughout the USA needs to be refined to efficiently develop players. Wayne Bryan, and a Greg Patton…both ‘nurturing’ personalities, need to be in leadership.

We (USTA)..>I have been a member only 46 years…have got it wrong ALOT…ask Jimmy Connors, ask John McEnroe….ask me.

I but my money on an ‘apostle’ of the game like Wayne Bryan…who knows the game from the five and under to Wimbledon. Sorry Patrick…step down and let people that have actually coached at all levels to assemble and develop the talent that is thwarted by the ‘control freak’ syndrome that is the USTA….for years.

It is time for an open airing of these issues…and I would call for an open debate on this and other subjects…(the foreign players that eat up the $$ for US kids development is another issue that has NOT be addressed as part of the ‘situation’…

Ken Solomon (Tennis Channel)….please invite, for the good of the game in the USA…a friendly debate…

Patrick McEnroe and anyone he wants to bring…vs Wayne Bryan, me and Jimmy Connors.

Let’s get it on…for the good of the kids and the future.

Brian Sidney Parrott
Portland, Oregon

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John (columstu@aol.com)          Submitted on 2012/02/17 at 2:20 pm          My age group was the beginning of the USTA development team that resulted in the end of american tennis dominance. What drove the demise? Nick Saviano. I saw this guy destroy players such as Brian Dunn, David Witt etc. This was not a coach but an ego. He was the head and foundation for what we now call the USTA junor program. Is it any suprise that today it is filled with a bunch of disconnected “coaches” with limited junior coaching experience that are using the platform to enrich themselves and provide a platform for their names? Tim is right. A name player does not equal a great coach. To be great you need to put your time and effort into being a great coach at different stages of the game. In fact if a coach is not fully devouted to their craft he/she can destroy a player. Bravo to Wayne and Tim for calling it out because the USTA should be truthful. Either be a marketer to produce money or be an investor in players resulting in more fans. Don’t say you are an investor when reality you are more about marketing as a means of capital return.

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 HIGH-TECH TENNIS          Submitted on 2012/02/17 at 8:07 pm          Good on you for using your voice to step UP for junior players!!! We attend 30+ junior tournaments each year..We talk and LISTEN to tennis parents practically every day. I can assure you that Wayne Bryan’s comments are similar to those we hear from 99% of the people in the trenches. I certainly don’t have any answers but there is clearly a PR problem, at the very least. Shine that light!

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 andy kugler          Submitted on 2012/02/18 at 5:06 pm          After watching my own under 10 grandkids for a couple of years, I see this: they would rather play with regular balls, but perform better on average with the ROG balls — perhaps the phenoms adapt more quickly (at a younger age) to regular balls. If finding and producing phenoms is the goal of 10 and under tennis, then regular balls is the way to go.

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Brian Sidney Parrott          Submitted on 2012/02/18 at 10:52 pm

Dear HIgh-Tech Tennis…

Appreciate your encouragement to ‘shine a light’ on a number of issues relating to junior tennis…

The Importance of Doubles

My friend, UCLA great Roy Barth, Chair of the Davis Cup Committee and former #2 doubles team w/Steve Tidball (El Tid..:))…told me in NY this past September, that ONLY 40% OF THE JUNIOR TOURNAMENT HAVE DOUBLES! That is NOT smart.

a) We are developing kids really CAN’T VOLLEY! We are NOT developing singles players that can volley. That is why I am excited about Jack Sock…:) Isner’s ability to volley is part of why he has progressed in my opinion.
b) Doubles is FUN for kids and takes the ‘edge’ off a loss in the singles….and Mixed Doubles would REALLY be good to put into junior tennis! BJKing made the comment to me when I brought it up this summer: “It’s our best event…and we (tennis) does the worse job promoting it”
c) Doubles teaches important life skills that singles can’t; Teamwork, Tolorance, Encouragement to name a few important ones.
d) Over 30…to the 90′s…it will be a doubles game that the majority of players will play.

“Housing” is healthier

Reinstitute housing at junior tournaments!

Less pressure on the kids…it costs a fortune to fly the whole family, hotels. Learn to write a thank you note, make your bed and talk to people in different parts of the country…PLUS it promotes the game on the local level when these amazing kids come into town… “Mom I think that Travis Parrott was pretty cool…I think I WILL try out for the tennis team”

American College VISA Limit

Every college program gets THE SAME visa limit…and the rest are American players.

For the past 40 years, we have spent many, many millions developing the rest of the world’s talent with our best college coaches. If a kid in not in the top 20 in the nation, they are not in as much demand…since 136 nations are spending millions to get their Top 10 trained and travel…and then THEY come and take the scholarships that should be being used to develop American talent. We do NOT develop late bloomers (aka basketball converts/blue chip athletes that decide to switch to tennis).

Patrick McEnroe’s comment some years ago: “We just have to get are American kids better” to compete with the 136 other nations talent that comes to the USA is proof to me that he does not get it.

David Benjiman, ITA Executive and sweet man, told me it was ‘fear of lawsuits’ that kept him/ITA from put a visa limit in place to allow more American kids to play college tennis. WHAT COLLEGE PRESIDENT IN THE USA WOULD ALLOW A LAWSUIT to proceed that is helping American kids, whose American tax-paying parents are funding the development of the world’s junior tennis players!?

Time for some spine in the USTA, the ITA and correct this situation for the betterment of the American game.

Billie Jean Joan of Arc, John the Baptist McEnroe….can you hear me….we need leadership…and I am happy to consult….as I have thought about these subjects as I walk the Enchanted Forrest of the Pacific Northwest….:)

Respectfully…but very much in support of Wayne Bryan…

Brian Sidney Parrott
Portland, Oregon
2-18-12

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