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Post Info TOPIC: LTA performance strategy 2018 to 2028


Improver

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LTA performance strategy 2018 to 2028


https://www.lta.org.uk/globalassets/play/player-pathway/lpdc/local-player-development-centre-investment-guide.pdf

https://www.lta.org.uk/player-pathway/programmes-and-centres/

as with every performance strategy forget about the kids who are not the chosen few. Kids who have tried to compete with they system for years and years who are forgotten about. Kids who pay a lot to tennis academies and perhaps dont peak until late teens or god forbid even later.

to get a 16 /17 year old onto the national programme requires and ITF ranking of 100 for boys and 75 for girls. Guess how much that costs a working class family. So they give up trying or just carry on playing on home soil with a dream. Of course if you are not good enough you wont get very far but their system is still very much aimed at those who can afford to effectively buy the points. Kids start to realise this and dreams end as they stop with a whats the point attitude.

every system so far always forgets about all the kids and starts again with a select few.  I have watched some ITFs at home and qualifiers were getting to finals proving my point. Some of Those with points are buying them. I know its the same in mens game and perhaps the transition tour may address some of that but the LTA had a chance to change criteria for support and spread the love so to speak.

was same under draper . At regional ID days kids were told , Well done your are the best kids in the region. Some of those went on to national id days in the hope of funding. The rest after being told they are best in their region were just forgotten about.

I would rather Simon cowell be at the helm to run this Britains got talent strategy.

What a joke.



-- Edited by Kolohead on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 06:58:11 AM



-- Edited by Kolohead on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 07:02:11 AM



-- Edited by Kolohead on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 07:02:32 AM



-- Edited by Kolohead on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 07:03:19 AM

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Tennis legend

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Firstly, welcome to the board Kolohead. Always great to have new people and new perspectives.

I have to say, when I read the article about the new National Academies in Loughborough and at Stirling Uni, the stat that jumped out was the number of people they could take. It seemed very small to me. My immediate reaction was "what about the rest".

I don't know that much about the setup (or lack of it) for aspiring youngsters throughout the UK but from everything I have heard, it does seem to leave a lot to be desired. My sincere hope is that this announcement about the strategy for the next 10 years is just an initial announcement and that others will follow regarding a broader strategy for increased participation and availability of facilities/coaching for those just below the elite threshold. I note the 11 regional performance centres, but this still seems just a drop in the ocean to me.

This is (yet another) new administration, so I am prepared to give them time to see what else they are going to come up with, but I am not holding my breath.

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Tennis legend

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Yes, welcome Kolo.

I have no problem with the 30-something kids, IF - and this is essential - IF it's just the top of the pyramid and there's another layer below and then another etc. etc. AND there is some fluidity between layers.

I don't know enough (never had a kid playing tennis in the UK so have never seen firsthand) so I can't say with certainty but it seems to me that this isn't there.

And, I agree, I would never have fixed criteria that rely on foreign travel. If you host tons of ITF events, then, fine have a specific ITF ranking as a criteria; if you don't, then the criteria are going to have to be the LTA ranking, or national championships, or whatever.

However, as Bob says, it is early days. And I do believe a centre is a better way than doling out tens of thousands every year to each player individually for specific coaching which is dreadfully wasteful - and then taking all the coaches to La Manga, and to RG, etc., every time the group of kids play. I sometimes feel the LTA is sponsoring favoured coaches, not favoured players. So I like the idea.

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Challenger level

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My heart sinks.....same old same old....take the kids away from their families and the coaches who have brought them on and teach them the LTA Way!!!  Even the vastly expensive national tennis centre with all its facilities couldn't make that model work.  And that supposedly had mainstream education too ..... although I can tell you that the tutors had to fight for every second their students spend with them.  I thought Downey's disposal of the centralised training structure was a good move.  Kids thrive where they have a support network, they inspire others around them, coaches stay motivated knowing the best kids aren't going to be shipped off.  We seem finally to be getting a flow of youngsters coming through, most of whom have thrived whilst the centralised structure was abandoned, so why go back to it.  Yes, most of them are getting support but it has been support to train as they wish (albeit monitored by the LTA).  



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Improver

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Thanks for the welcome messages. Been an avid listener for some time now reading more on my commute to work the new pathway suggests if you are over 14 I am afraid unless you meet the national standard for the national programme your time is up but thanks for your support. A real kick in the teeth for parents who have kept kids in the game for so long trying to keep in touch.

I am afraid the sport is elitist and its very hard for talented kids at the bottom of the so called social ladder to progress beyond a county standard. What about the kids who as advised by LTA performance policies quit school to train harder and longer. Those who are 15 or older bye bye. LTA should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done to some kids as also noted above re education at the NTC.

I dont know all the kids but I bet my mortgage if you look at the top performers they have fall back positions through family business. Good for them not so good for the ones dropped who gave everything for tennis. I can name a few of these kids now struggling to catch-up with their education

Agree about the pyramid structure. I do have a kid in tennis with one who dropped out. Kids who were once part of a talent pool are drifting. Further away thanks to the lta schemes. If they created a new policy they needed to think of how to support the kids left behind. This new policy will result in a large number dropping out.

Im all for lots of centres but I mean lots. What does a kid in Cornwall do? And what of the old high performance centres like Sutton or Gosling. There will be a mass exodus of players so maybe just maybe these centres will struggle to continue with performance. So local kids again will suffer.


Totally agree about not funding kids.

Finally this is why loads of kids go to American uni. We have centres now stating that they can get your kid into American uni. Why!! Because thats all they can offer now. The lta should be creating a uni structure here so we keep talent here in uk

Sorry my first ever posts are rants

Very nice to meet you all



-- Edited by Kolohead on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 08:35:24 AM



-- Edited by Kolohead on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 08:36:32 AM

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Tennis legend

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We love a good rant Kolo. So if the urge hits, you then go for it.  wink



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Tennis legend

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Welcome indeed, kolohead.

Many folk have long said ( quite rightly IMO ) that an ITF Junior ranking should be far from the be all and end all for a junior. Different strokes and all that and to be taken in the round.

And then along come the LTA basing entry to this programme on ITF ranking, totally making it important and as you say your chances of getting said ranking very much linked to family means ( and indeed the players' educational aspirations ).

Flipping heck, are those folk for real ? 

And that's without even considering The Optimist's thoughts on the whole concept. 



-- Edited by indiana on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 09:18:06 AM

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Improver

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biggrin



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Tennis legend

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Unfortunately the nature of the game means the sport is elitist.
Tournaments last a week and no comprehensive school will allow pupils to miss so much time, so younger players go to tennis supporting private schools or are home tutored.
Therefore you are correct that you have to have money to players high level junior tennis.

There are very few examples of UK players that have hardly played juniors and made a success on the tour.

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Tennis legend

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paulisi wrote:

Unfortunately the nature of the game means the sport is elitist.
Tournaments last a week and no comprehensive school will allow pupils to miss so much time, so younger players go to tennis supporting private schools or are home tutored.
Therefore you are correct that you have to have money to players high level junior tennis.

There are very few examples of UK players that have hardly played juniors and made a success on the tour.


Yes, UK players. But plenty examples in other countries. You can't change a whole culture just like that but I am sure there are things that can be learned by looking at others to help be less elitist and look at varying paths.



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Improver

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Sorry disagree about the schools. My lad is at a comprehensive that fully supports his tennis. It does help that he is academic and works hard to catch-up that was the deal. Its the cost of having a technical coach, squads tournaments etc. and tennis academies who are all fighting for your cash. Chasing dreams set down by the lta if you attended any of the regional
ID Days of the last regime . If the Lta want to help they should support all the kids and not just flirt with ideas to make themselves feel better. The gov doesnt give me any tax credits as its means tested so why does the lta who also get gov money support those kids who are able to be financially supported at home. Sour grapes you bet it is. There is an elite bunch who do not want others in their club. Sad but true. Having said that I have come across real genuine coaches who try to help kids but then eventually get worn down by the red tape. Example , coaches trying to help kids being refused courts at the NTC as their players are not in the chosen few and on some list for court access. 



-- Edited by Kolohead on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 10:53:20 PM

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Masters Series Champion

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Kolohead, that is great to hear. I think the key is that your son is fully engaged academically and well supported by you. The phrase the deal is is crucial and in terms of protecting children that is an absolute but will disenfranchise many children who are in the state system.

There are inequalities all along the way and it sounds like your son may well be able to benefit from them in the future as from your brief post it sounds likely he is of a level that may secure a Tennis scholarship in the US most of which are funded by other sports Basketball /Football most of the athletes from poor backgrounds generating that income will never eatn a penny from their talent. The one positive is that they will have been pushed academically to reach a standard that will allow them to be recruited.

It frustrates me immensely that the fiscal realities of the technical training required for Tennis excludes all but those with rich resources be they a Tennis family, wealth or both. Not enough gifted athletes play tennis. I think we need a radical shift in how we facilitate opportunity and keep doors open both athletically and academically for athletically gifted kids.

Now if I was prime minster we would suspend BREXIT negotiations and focus on much more important things.

I feel the way forward would be to invest in sports academies (specialist schools already exist but they dont really do what it says on the Tin) in comprehensive schools in the big cities (4 in London) at sites which would allow access to as many children as possible with a 45 minute comute. The key would be to use the middle school model taking children in years 5,6,7 and 8 who are athletically gifted and focus on sports other than football and Rugby. Retention of your place would be on academic commitment and achievement proportional to ability. I would focus on general all round athletic development with a multi sport general theme and limited specialisation inviting in the relevant national sporting bodies to offer high quality specialist coaching incrementally increasing time offered in relation to potential.

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Masters Series Champion

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The LTA recently announced its 11 regional tennis centres will be based at the following locations: congratulations to the centres awarded this status

Tennis is really limited to those with phenomenally committed families.

Culford School (Bury St Edmunds) Nice place but in one of the least densely populated parts of the country

University of Bath (How about something in Plymouth?)



The Home Counties North and West are well sorted but what about Estuary Essex!

Living Tennis (Bisham Abbey)

Batchwood Sports Centre (St. Albans)

Reeds School (Surrey)

Dukes Meadows (Chiswick)


A morsel for Kent and South East London

Bromley Tennis Centre


Now if you live North of Watford gap this is your lot! Nothing in the whole NE! Its Nottingham or Edinburgh!

Swansea Tennis Centre

My Tennis (Nottingham)

Bolton Arena

Tennis Scotland (with network sites at Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow)


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Improver

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Whatever tinkering the LTA does at the top of the pyramid is doomed to fail unless they first address the bottom of the pyramid so that more kids start playing tennis and more of those kids keep playing tennis. Without that in place there will not be a large enough pool of young players to provide a steady stream of talent further up the pyramid.

The LTA has no strategy to keep kids play tennis beyond minis (where they have Tennis For Kids) and as a result most kids (including many of the most talented) drop out before the reach their teens. Professionally coaches in clubs are not motivated to solve the problem because the easy money for them is in coaching minis. Older kids are less lucrative, harder to coach and more hassle. Add to that the fact that the LTA drives up the cost of tennis by effectively shutting out volunteers from coaching at participation level (in contrast to other mass participation sports where most recreation level coaches are volunteers) and driving up the cost of facilities by creating ridiculous over the top technical standards for court surfaces, spacing, lighting, covers etc.

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Social player

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surprised Gosling not on the list as was a HPC for years, but then Batchwood has always focused on the minis which is where the LTA also seems to focus and spend money.

Gosling more focused  on juniors, pros and AASE, which incidentally is not running next year. I don't know if this is just tennis AASE or stopping for all sports? Was a good source of funding for 16-18 year olds! Gosling has about 15 on the AASE scheme every year and must be similar for other clubs around the country so will be sadly missed. no Some of the funding for AASE came from the EU so don't know if linked to Brexit? 

Gosling also lost 3 indoor courts which were turned into a trampoline park by Better. As although LTA invested in Gosling when owned by council, believe it did nothing to protect its investment! Think trampoline parks also popping up at other tennis centres taken over by  Better at the expense of court space; ironically indoor court space is something we are always short of in the UK.... Like the idea of cutting LTA management salaries and bonuses to build more tennis centres biggrin



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