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Post Info TOPIC: LTA funding


Tennis legend

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LTA funding


As it says "the Head Coaches of Mens and Womens Tennis will each be able to make a maximum of two discretionary nominations for shortlisting", my guess is that the criteria are hardly going to be a strict thing anyway - after all, even if you've got the criteria there's no guarantee you're selected.
It all sounds like the normal arbitrary process, just backed up with a whole heap of impressive-sounding 'criteria'.

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Tennis legend

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Just re LTA priorities and what they should be funding, here's a comment from Mike Appleton, ex-pro and father (and coach) of Emily Appleton:

"Emilys Dad, Mike, is her coach. A former professional, he beat Ivan Lendl in the Junior World Championships in 1977. He believes its about money and support - or lack of it.
British players need access to locally-based competition, with active support and backing from locally-based clubs. In France, where they put money into the game, the younger players compete against retired professionals in club team competitions and locally-based tournaments. This supports the grass roots of the game, which we fail to do here... so we dont have strength in the lower levels. We leave those players who are exceptional, but still developing, to find their own way and support themselves."

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Tennis legend

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You can probably work out who was on the programme last year by their coaching.
Katie Swan, Laura Robson and Liam Broady all switched or were coached outside the LTA.

Boulter, Clarke and Norrie will be on the shortlist for this year.
A lot of the others will be on the secondary funding - Christie, Dart, Burrage, Appleton etc.

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Masters Series Champion

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George Loffhagen (16) reached ITF 57 which is only 7 off hitting the tougher criteria similarly Jack Draper 75 but still 15 at the time the awards are made not too much to do to hit the criteria for 2018.

The criteria strike me as about right particularly if they are adding up to 5 new players per year. Cam and Jay have had outstanding years in terms of their development, hopeful Liam is getting some sort of support he has also outperformed expectations starting from a very low base, given all the nonsense he had to navigate in his late teens (and the money saved on Naomi) there must be some scope for one more year.



-- Edited by Oakland2002 on Tuesday 28th of November 2017 10:47:11 PM

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Tennis legend

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Rankings criteria mixed with some discretionary ( if well thought about ) does seem to be a sensible route, whilst I have not looked into the nitty gritty of it all. And very sensible to apparently have a window to achieve ranking targets rather than based on rankings at date x.

Certainly with juniors ( particularly these in their last year or two of eligibility who might feel lke mixing in say a fair amount of senior tournaments, but also more generally ) a fair amount of sensible leeway ( combined with good judgement from these charged with recognising true prospects ) is needed and not too much emphasis put on junior rankings as the only way to get meaningful real assistance from the LTA.



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It's no criticism of the kids, or even (perhaps???) of the LTA given it's a chicken and egg situation, but maybe worth mentioning that, of the four boys who got Wimbledon quali wildcards, their parents' profiles appear to be:

Jack Draper - son of Roger, ex-CEO, very well paid, of the LTA
Anton Matusevich - son of HSBC City banker
George Loffhagen - son of high-powered London lawyer
Aidan McHugh - parents are doctors/in medicine


Again, no criticism - no reverse snobbery - they've achieved what they've achieved and credit to them.

But what more do you need to confirm the problems with British tennis and the complaints from some 'normal' parents I've met of never, ever being part of the in-crowd......

NB Obviously this is not unique to the UK but the extent is far worse here that in most other countries I know

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Social player

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Say no more. Its obvious what clubs and inner circles you have to mix in. Agreed not the kids fault but if I had a loud enough voice any parents of kids who earn less than six figures I would advise them to find another sport if thinking about performance level tennis. If no aspirations then play and love the great game anything else its just too expensive and doors close all the time

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Club Coach

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The current cost of group lessons for your child at the Annabel Croft Academy, courtesy of the National Tennis Centre, is £22 per hour. And that's on an outdoor court.
Where does that fit with the philosophy of affordable tennis for the masses?


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Challenger level

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It's not that these kids have been favoured because their parents move in the right circles (young Draper aside) but because their parents have had enough cash to pay for sufficient coaching for their talent to shine. †The kids have all had to work hard and put the hours in and have the talent in the first place but they would have been very lucky to come through without their parents' ability to pay for coaching / court time. †The biggest change the LTA could make in terms of opportunity would be for subsidised / free coaching for those youngsters at each age group who are prepared to put in the hours and enjoy competing. †Many will still not come through but it would give a chance to those from all backgrounds.



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I agree, the O, and tried to phrase it that way - the kids have worked hard and, at age 17 or so, you've got to select now mainly on actual results. The takeaway is that pro tennis here is for rich families.

But I don't completely agree about the circles you move in being irrelevant. The question is more how the kids get selected at 11 or 12 when results aren't the main issue. I think it's easy to forget how intimidating a posh big organisation like the LTA can be to people who have no contact with such.
And conversely how easy it is for bankers, lawyers, etc. who are used to doing proposals, speaking at meetings, arguing their case etc.
I have certainly heard stories (maybe not true?) of slick parents putting pressure successfully on the LTA. And normal parents feeling frustrated and helpless beyond measure.
I also note - and wonder if the LTA note - that Jay Clarke received practically no help as a junior - he and his family were most certainly not part of the in crowd.

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Club Coach

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Coup Droit wrote:

... bankers, lawyers, etc. who are used to doing proposals, speaking at meetings, arguing their case etc.
I have certainly heard stories (maybe not true?) of slick parents putting pressure successfully on the LTA. And normal parents feeling frustrated and helpless beyond measure ....


†Not just players - this applies to clubs too: it is immensely frustrating for a club with a membership of mainly blue collar tennis players to see other clubs successfully game the system to "pressure the LTA" utilising this factor. But I guess that is evolution in action.



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Coup Droit wrote:

I agree, the O, and tried to phrase it that way - the kids have worked hard and, at age 17 or so, you've got to select now mainly on actual results. The takeaway is that pro tennis here is for rich families.

But I don't completely agree about the circles you move in being irrelevant. The question is more how the kids get selected at 11 or 12 when results aren't the main issue. I think it's easy to forget how intimidating a posh big organisation like the LTA can be to people who have no contact with such.
And conversely how easy it is for bankers, lawyers, etc. who are used to doing proposals, speaking at meetings, arguing their case etc.
I have certainly heard stories (maybe not true?) of slick parents putting pressure successfully on the LTA. And normal parents feeling frustrated and helpless beyond measure.
I also note - and wonder if the LTA note - that Jay Clarke received practically no help as a junior - he and his family were most certainly not part of the in crowd.


†In reality, the kids are picked well before 11 and 12. †And the ones who are picked are generally those who have had individual coaching at a very young age. †And they are the ones that have parents that can afford to pay for it. †At 11 or 12 there may be some advantage to those few parents still in contention and who have advocacy skills but the majority of kids / families are well out of the loop before then. †I believe the issue with Jay was not that his parents / sister could not put his case forward well but that the LTA did not like certain aspects of his game and felt therefore that his potential was limited. †In reality, I suspect his skills showed a little later than some because he had not had so much spent on his tennis as some of his peers when barely out of nappies...... †



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Tennis legend

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It seems astonishingly illogical narrowing down of the potential pool far too early.

Surely, surely they should seriously scout for up and coming talent at later ages. And particularly say have the ability to recognise truly raw talent that could really benefit and push forward with good coaching, say someone clearly with talent but at that stage thinking there were issues with certain parts of their game. Err, is that not what good coaching should be able to really help?

If they are dismissing players with issues in their game, particularly say very athletic players but so far much less ingrained solid tennis skills ( there is an argument for actively looking for them ) then that is indefensible.†



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The Optimist wrote:
Coup Droit wrote:

I agree, the O, and tried to phrase it that way - the kids have worked hard and, at age 17 or so, you've got to select now mainly on actual results. The takeaway is that pro tennis here is for rich families.

But I don't completely agree about the circles you move in being irrelevant. The question is more how the kids get selected at 11 or 12 when results aren't the main issue. I think it's easy to forget how intimidating a posh big organisation like the LTA can be to people who have no contact with such.
And conversely how easy it is for bankers, lawyers, etc. who are used to doing proposals, speaking at meetings, arguing their case etc.
I have certainly heard stories (maybe not true?) of slick parents putting pressure successfully on the LTA. And normal parents feeling frustrated and helpless beyond measure.
I also note - and wonder if the LTA note - that Jay Clarke received practically no help as a junior - he and his family were most certainly not part of the in crowd.


†In reality, the kids are picked well before 11 and 12. †And the ones who are picked are generally those who have had individual coaching at a very young age. †And they are the ones that have parents that can afford to pay for it. †At 11 or 12 there may be some advantage to those few parents still in contention and who have advocacy skills but the majority of kids / families are well out of the loop before then. †I believe the issue with Jay was not that his parents / sister could not put his case forward well but that the LTA did not like certain aspects of his game and felt therefore that his potential was limited. †In reality, I suspect his skills showed a little later than some because he had not had so much spent on his tennis as some of his peers when barely out of nappies...... †


Maybe.

But can't help but feel that the Yasmin Clarke 'controversy' with accusations of racial discrimination may well have had something to do with it. The LTA do seem remarkably good at bearing a grudge....

Having seen Jay at 15, he was obviously a remarkably athletic boy, and with good ball skills, decent tennis skills and very in love with tennis - what else could the LTA want?††

Jay says that, as a real youngster, he played nine hours a day during all his school holidays, with his sister and brother, both very good tennis players. He's not a rough diamond who had no coaching and just took up tennis - he was as good technically as the others - the reason he wasn't taken wasn't due to his game.†



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Look the lta had regional talent Id my son was one of 24 kids who are told you are the best kids in the whole of your region. Not just county but the whole region. The kids already on matrix funding as it was then did not have to attend. This happened for about 6 years from memory. How the hell can u say that an 8 year old jack is going to be better than 8 year old Johnny in 9 years time. Its because jacks family can pay for what he needs and Johnnys cannot. So as I said before parents salaries and 100% right circles. At that age it was very much (I witnessed it) who you were. I would cringe watching it unfold. Some of those matrix funded kids have stopped playing. There is no doubt young mr draper has a talent but there were another 24 kids who did too. Prob more at the other region camps

Its a club that only certain members are allowed in or you may be able to buy your way in if you are lucky .

I dont know the whole andy Murray story in terms of how he was funded or if they were rich enough but he wasnt made by this lta. We will not have another like him for another 50 years or whatever it was until they change how this talent support operates.

Back to the 24 kids. After 4 or 5 of these sessions/camps not once did the lta follow up with my son or many others I know who attended. Im not saying that any of the others inc my lad would be as good as the kids who got wild cards this year but the lta had made their mind up about this little group many years ago.

When I questioned how my lad may break into the club so he can go away and work at it I was told by the lta its such a shame we live in a strong county as if he were elsewhere in the country he would get in. I dont believe that for a min it was just an excuse to give.

Many of those 24 kids ,( remember the best in their whole region consisting of three counties at least) gave up tennis as young as 12//13/14. Who knows how good they could have become



-- Edited by Kolohead on Friday 13th of July 2018 02:53:44 PM

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