Thursday, May 31, 2012

Has the game in NZ Gone to the Dogs

I have received this article from a concerned coach in New Zealand re the direction of tennis in regards to coaches.Below is the article,the coach has asked to remain anonymous at this point but like many is passionate about the game and the future.
Wouldn't it be great if we had a National Body that would listen, wouldn't it be great if they really cared about Tennis in this country, wouldn't it be great if they supported coaches especially those resident coaches striving to foster tennis. It's an understatement to say Tennis is in a mess in NZ, the pity is it is so fixable! There are very good reasons that coaches don't bother to be registered, or belong to NZ Tennis"s Coaches Association, both organisations are dysfunctional. Of the number of coaches operating in NZ, how many actually belong?, 5%, 10%, who knows. The big question why do so few belong, what are the benefits?, what do you receive from membership? Would NZ Tennis support a registered coach in a dispute with a club, the answer is no, would the Coaches Association support you when an unethical coach from another area uses devious and unethical methods to undermine you and take your business, again the answer is no. Why does NZ Tennis feel the need to import Overseas Coaches?, are these coaches CV 'S checked prior to arriving in NZ, do they have Police checks from their own country, wouldn't it be a good idea to also have a drug check?, and why are they coming in in the first place?, wouldn't it be more logical to employ a resident coach, or if NZ Tennis doesn't feel resident coaches are up to standard, perhaps they could introduce training programmes to up skill. I am just one of many disatisfied coaches in NZ, and because I am vocal, I am classed as a 'nutter', if their were more 'nutters' out there NZ Tennis Might just listen.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Officials Earn more than most Players at $10,000.00 ATP FUTURES.

Being a tennis player trying to make the cut is tough.I found an interesting article on the net which I will give you the link .The circuit of 88 events in 2012 is comprised of “Futures” events — tournaments with $10,000 or $15,0000 in total prize money – and “Challenger” events – with tournaments featuring total prize money in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.Now if you are playing the lower tiers here's the deal the Referee lines men or women and chair umpire will probably make more money than most of the players.Whilst the highly ranked players are reaping financial rewards its absurd that the officials take home more pay at the lower tiers than competitors.The article which is based on the recent Vero Beach, Florida Futures tennis tournament gives an insight just how difficult certain aspects are to be a Pro .

The article has this to say about the prizmoney "Australian John-Patrick Smith taking the title match 6-2, 6-0 over Pedro Zerbini of Brazil in front of a nice crowd of over 300 patrons (each paying either $10 or $20 to attend), who enthusiastically watched some excellent world-class tennis on the final day.
For his singles victory, Smith earned a first-prize paycheck of $1,300. He also won the doubles title and split the $630 first-prize paycheck with his American partner Benjamin Rogers. Zerbini earned $900 for his runner-up singles showing, which was well-earned since the world No. 773 and the No. 33 Brazilian won three matches in the qualifying tournament, then won four matches in the main draw before losing to Smith, ranked No. 336 in the world and No. 11 in Australia. That’s eight matches in nine days for Zerbini, earning him exactly $100 a day during his “successful” Vero Beach stay. The article then goes on to talk about local players
"There was much local buzz in Vero Beach at the exploits of Kriegler Brink, the young South African teaching pro at The Moorings Club who was a former standout at Texas Christian University. Brink made an incredible run to the singles semifinals of the tournament last year, despite not playing a competitive singles tournament in a year-and-a-half. This year, having not played in another competitive tournament since last year’s USTA Vero Beach Futures, he reached the second round of singles – losing to Zerbini – but made a great run to the doubles semifinals with another Vero Beach local Robert Kowalczyk, a former standout at the University of California and a local entrepreneur.
Brink earned $200 for his second-round singles showing – his second-round match with Zerbini had a bounty of $90 bucks on the line as the winner would be guaranteed losing quarterfinalist money of $290. You would think that it was $90,000 or event $900,000 on the line the way that Kriegler and Zerbini were fighting tooth and nail for every point. Lost points were usually followed by racquet tosses or Brazilian or Afrikaan swear words being shouted as loud as a human voice could shriek. There were stare downs and even a good ole fashion “beaning” as Kriegler tattoed a Wilson tennis ball off Zerbini’s shoulder during a tense net exchange early in the second set. All of this with $90 bucks on the line? Talk about competitive!
By reaching the doubles semifinals, Brink and Kowalczyk split $260 dollars. That’s $130 each. So for two singles matches and three doubles matches, Brink grossed $330 for approximately seven hours of competitive match-play. That’s $47 an hour.
Brink played his second-round singles match during the afternoon session of the tournament on Wednesday, May 3 and returned for the evening session to play his doubles semifinal. In between, he taught two lessons at The Moorings club where his hourly rate is $65 per hour.
A young American prospect named Tennys Sandgren reached the semifinals in Vero Beach, losing to Smith 6-2, 7-5. Sandgren, whose first name is pronounced “Tennis,” was a standout player from the University of Tennessee who turned professional last year after winning consecutive USTA Futures events in Illinois. For his respectable semifinal finish in Vero Beach, the world No. 404 earned $480. Another young American talent Bjorn Fratangelo, who last year became the first American since John McEnroe in 1977 to win the French Open junior boys’ singles title, lost in the first round in Vero Beach to Canadian Phil Bester. Ranked No. 753 in the world, Fratangelo earned a paycheck of $117.50 in Vero Beach.
Players at these tournaments can stay at local hotels – usually offered at about $125 a night in Vero Beach – but can also be housed for free by local families, willing to help out a talented young tennis player. Lunches are provided by the tournaments, but everything else is an expense they have to incur on their own. I’d like to have a look inside some of these players tennis bags to see if they have two pennies to rub together after a week of living, travel and training expenses against prize money.
On further reading it then hits home the struggling tennis players with a reference to the officials  earnings.
"It is interesting to note that for tournaments at this level, there are three to five umpires/officials assigned to work the event. According to Mike Rahaley, the Vero Beach Futures tournament director, a fee of $4,500 has to be paid by him for these officials for the week. Plus he has to be responsible for their room and board for the week, an obligation he does not have to the “talent” – the players actually competing in the tournament. This amount for room and board is an additional $3,000 or so. According to some rough math based on these figures, these umpires/officials would receive about $1,000 for the week on the average, and their hotel and food is paid for. This makes the week of work for the chair umpires and officials more financially “lucrative” – although we hate to use that term – than every player competing in the tournament, save for the singles champion.

I hate to be negative but one has to be realistic if your still playing these 10,000 dollar events by 26 I would be seriously looking at getting a better paying Job.
The Full article can be read HERE

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tennis Coaches at the Mercy by Local Administrators

I have found it very hard to post regular posts being disillusioned with the local New Zealand tennis scene .The main area of concern is Administration where good coaches have been terminated by incompetent officials with no experience in the coaching field, but yet with out ever seeing club pros deliver lessons bend to the whims of parents out to further their child,usually they have not got their own way with the coach and set in motion underhanded methods to undermine the club pro.This is just not my story but many coaches throughout New Zealand have been ditched not because of the job they are doing but because they have dared standup to a few "so called board members and fanatical parents.As a coach we have been let down by The Tennis Coaches Association and Tennis New Zealand in many incidents especially in Overseas's coaches being given jobs ahead of local coaches, boards have placed personal agenda ahead of giving jobs to accredited coaches all highly qualified.The "eye" has never been one not to speak out but a huge story is about to break and any association that have hired oversea's coaches need to be worried.Tennis Coaches New Zealand although aware have not acted in the best interest of their members.There has been situations where the club and association have not done a background check or to seek what qualifications these non residents have.
The Code of ethics for coaches are non existent with many coaches moonlighting as a tennis coach although having a full time job, undercutting full time coaches who rely solely on coaching for their income with low price lesson fees .The industry is in a shambles and the story that is about to break is a shocker.Please be free to use the comments section if you have a story to tell.Mean while stay tuned "the eye " will give you the news.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I have the claycourt "blues"

So the Blue clay courts have not been a great hit with the worlds best.The traditional "red clay" has tasted a color change.Rafa says they are too slippery and Novak Djokovic has found them different also.Maybe Wimbledon will follow suit........Blue Grass!!!! I don't think so.

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