Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Exclusive Tennis New Zealand Pathway !

First of all thank you to all that have signed the petition re the National Junior Teams event , and those that took time to add comments some of which have been enlightening ,Coaches Parents, PLAYERS and supporters a big thank you keep spreading the word.

Here is the latest link to an article in the NZ Herald calling for "Heads to Roll" in the current Northern Administration.LINK

A big thank you to Clint Packer Central's regional Head Coach for allowing me to use his comment he left on the Petition yesterday. His thoughts are very logical and I think practical and hence my Topic Exclusive vs Inclusive.

In the past decade I’ve noticed a growing trend -
- we continue to lose our best coaches to overseas positions – or worse, they quit coaching all together
- internal structures are dying or failing such as National events and Regional strategies
Last year we had 7 National selectors not reapply for their National selector roles (I was one of them) and now we are on the verge of losing another important event, the National team’s event.
5 years ago, with the support of an incredible Tennis Central staff, I knew our region required a change and a new challenge for the both the players and the coaches. I introduced 4 new events and a point’s race with a final Masters event in order to select our Central Team to compete at the NZ team’s event. Some of the events have evolved and possibly require further adjustments, however since –
- Events/Tournament numbers continually improved
- Under performing Tournaments received more support
- Players “earned” their way into our team – no one is a “targeted athlete” and
automatically selected regardless of their performance (TNZ)
- New coaches emerged and regardless of what they individually thought of each other or
me personally as the Performance Coach, they now had an event structure to coach
towards to develop their own culture in a competitive environment
- Mini tennis climates and training grounds were noticed and rewarded
- Tennis coaching ‘brands’ are now everywhere in Central
- Most Coaches/players all support our Performance Centre
(35 from 38 local reps train in our RPC – 5 years in a row)
TNZ need to understand that coaches at the coalface are their biggest asset for building the game from the ground up. The NZ team’s event will reward our kids for their efforts and provide our young coaches with further opportunities. It’s a culture building opportunity for everyone in our Region as it should be across our sport within NZ.
Tennis New Zealand’s very first objective in their HP strategy is -
“To have a performance driven program with a shared organisational culture and strong strategic relationships with stakeholders all focused on our HP vision”
Given the numbers involved having the opportunity to represent their region under the TNZ ‘brand’, surely the National Teams event needs to be a major part of this objective?
What’s also contrary to this objective is that National selectors and National coaches have recently made decisions to only select their ‘targeted athletes’ above kids who actually performed at their own National titles. This included selection of players who don’t live in NZ and one player in the JDC team who hasn’t even played in New Zealand….I don’t even know if he’s a member of a club?
What message does this send to both the targeted players and “everyone else”?
- TNZ’s targeted kids now require zero accountability at our own NZ titles
- the rest of the contenders now have nothing to play for
- coaches have nothing to coach towards
- Parents of non-targeted players can stop spending their money attending National titles because “targeted players” have already been chosen, in fact they might not even be there to play against.
This philosophy is not exactly “Performance Driven” and is simply an example of the culture killing attitude occurring within our sport in NZ
What about this concept
- Free up all the HP money and stop paying National Coaches and stop the funding for these targeted kids
- Use that money by investing in event structures with financial or opportunity rewards for all players at all stages with more prominent rewards at our National events
(12’s through to adult ‘futures’ level)
If you do that then everyone’s culture, abilities and environments are in play!
Now to me that’s a “performance driven program with a shared organisational culture and strong strategic relationships with stakeholders all focused on our HP vision”

My personal view is that I am sick of losing important events and opportunities for our juniors who deserve much better. Start implementing strategies that coaches can coach towards and players can play to – It’s about time we stop shifting the goal posts for terrible kickers. CLINT PACKER
Well said Clint!New Zealand Tennis continues to lack credibility ,as Clint says what message are you sending our juniors! I feel sorry for the NZ 16 year old boy that missed out on selection for Thomas Guy not living or playing in New Zealand , no Top Dog ranking , no Head to Head against his peers! I believe he is the son of former NZ Davis C upper Steve Guy who coaches in Europe.I am not taking a shot at this boy simply the current selection and pathway TNZ has developed!UNACCEPTABLE!
My question is how on earth can this happen? Clint says it all above. To-morrow I will dissect the high performance paper and it wont be pretty!
Finally another comment from the petition page from a current Top New Zealand tennis player
"bizzarre that tnz consider college tennis one of their "pathways" to the pro tour, but abolish the only teams competition that is similar to college tennis. I played 12s 14s and 16s teams events and benefited greatly because of the team aspect, not to mention the preparation it gave me for college. Everyone that knows anything about tennis on an international level know that nz juniors have played so few matches compared to players from strong tennis nations, so why abolish an opportunity for tough matches against the best players around the country. Please explain"
Indeed TNZ you have some explaining to do and Tennis Northern I guess you used the exclusive pathway so when Parents queried aspects of Northern's costing they decided to teach these parents a lesson , exclusively not to send any Junior teams to Nationals! 



  1. So commit locally, play the nationals , compete in local tournaments and then get screwed over by TNZ yes that's real good makes you want to give up!

  2. I would liked TNZ to have said to Northern if you are not fielding teams, you can't host the 14's age group, we will play it somewhere else. I believe TNZ will pay the host for the courts to play the 14's in Northern - SO WRONGE ON SO MANY LEVELS.
    I have never played at this level of tennis but I have been involved through my daughter for four years. The kids gave there all but learnt so much and enjoyed the experience. If you are sending your number 3 4 5 7 8 or whatever ranked players because 1 2's are unavailable - these kids will do there very best for there region and make you very proud. If they are losing all there games the managers and coaches and parents have to make the off court time fun for them so the enjoy and learn from the experience.
    I feel so VERY SAD for the Northern kids & Waikato Bays 16 Girls!!!!!!
    COME ON ADMINS. get your heads out of the clouds and think for the kids.
    PLAY TENNIS enjoy and learn

  3. You are correct its the competition that's important and making the off court time fun is the key!

  4. Very disappointing. What will it take for TNZ to govern the sport in a more practical and sensible fashion rather than by the book and by every new strategic plan which Sport NZ tells them they have to abide by.
    Their communication to tennis people and the public is down right shoddy and a real shame they don't put out media releases any more and ignore their top players.

  5. What is it with TNZ is it compulsory to be difficult, dictatorial and just plain incompetent?, People like Johns in Auckland and Leslie Wilkinson in Hamilton really haven't a clue. We don't deserve them!