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Post Info TOPIC: Oli Golding


Lower Club Player

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RE: Oli Golding


Please also realise that players aren't choosing not to play well...it becomes a vicious circle...they have a bad patch...not enough money comes in...the pressure gets worse... And so it continues.

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sherbert wrote:

Please also realise that players aren't choosing not to play well...it becomes a vicious circle...they have a bad patch...not enough money comes in...the pressure gets worse... And so it continues.


I understand your point completely and I know the tennis lifestyle is very difficult, but tennis players have chosen it for themselves and they are more than welcome to take up salaried roles elsewhere if they prefer financial stability, but that isnt part of the deal and never has been.

Im not trying to sound harsh but performance related pay is normal in many walks of life, not just tennis players and it is a pressure people learn to deal with. You wouldnt get a manager of a call centre throwing money at his worst performers in the hope that this will encourage them to start generating their own commission. Likewise tennis players do need to learn that part of the job is toughing out the bag patches of form and managing their budget accordingly. 

Again, I do sympathise with the challenges they face, it was more the comment about not having much money for things outside of tennis which didnt quite sit right with me, because there are lots of 20 year olds in that situation and they dont see themselves as hard done by, merely as making short term sacrifices for their long term future.



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sherbert wrote:

I don't know how players continue if funding does stop at 18.

Please don't think that players aren't grateful for the funding - because they are. I know that I didn't realise at all how much everything costs until I became more involved in tennis. Like I said, I don't know Oli but I know other players who found the transition from being an LTA wonder kid...to a non funded tennis player very difficult. They have to go from completely concentrating on futures/challengers to having to play British tours to generate some money to continue playing.

To a lot of people that may seem ridiculous - but I've seen it first hand and it's hard to watch. All they've ever known is tennis and they have to learn how to do it differently.


 

Your points are really interesting, Sherbert (are you the old-fashioned sort in the yellow tube with the liquorice 'straw' - LOVED those - might be too long ago though. . . .)

I know several French kids very well, age 19 or so, about WR 800-1000, who are trying to make a go of it. They receive no funding. And as you say it's not at all easy. However, they were never 'wonder kids' and that might have some impact. Also, parents are far more financially supportive. I don't mean rich parents - all parents (except those on social security) pay for/support their kids through university (which is why 50% live at home). Quite a lot take out loans. Not saying it's good but it's normal. So they do the same for tennis kids. They also go to one of the several specialised (state) sports 'universities' which are free and which give unlimited training, physio, time off to play, even very cheap stringing I believe!

However, the key thing is there is, thanks to the federation, a tennis 'industry' that supports them. The LTA can't implement that overnight and so must, I believe, keep some sort of funding help system in place. But i think it should be their aim, ultimately.

NB Extremely well said, Murray2k9, completely agree.



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I think we're possibly all in agreement that the LTA could look at things differently...I didn't realise funding stopped so early in other countries...to me when the top 100 has an average age of 28/29 at the minute (you'll probably know this better than me) it seems crazy that players get written off at the age of 20/21.

I realise now my comment about 'money outside of tennis' possibly didn't sit well with you - that was more from my point of view - (occasionally cynical gf). Neil would choose tennis over having money every time.

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Maybe Oli is choosing a salary paid career instead? And I don't think he can be blamed for that if he does...

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sherbert wrote:

Maybe Oli is choosing a salary paid career instead? And I don't think he can be blamed for that if he does...


 

No, not at all. It would be a crying shame (for British tennis) but, as you say, you couldn't blame him.

However, I've no idea about his academic qualifications but I would be surprised if he could find a salaried job that offered him the very real possibility of quite soon making about $190,000 a year (to take James Ward's ATP quoted sum, as someone who has been about WR 150 this year, which seems a very feasible aim for Oli in the next couple of years, were he to continue).

 



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This is very true... However, for a lot of the players...particularly ones who are on a bad run of form or are really struggling financially - the temptation of a fairly well paid coaching job is probably quite hard to turn down.

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sherbert wrote:

This is very true... However, for a lot of the players...particularly ones who are on a bad run of form or are really struggling financially - the temptation of a fairly well paid coaching job is probably quite hard to turn down.


 Fitzy being a prime example.

The fact is tennis is a very expensive sport to take on professionally. It is estimated that you need approx. 25K-35K to support each year and only a few are getting contributions towards this and prize money at the lower levels is very poor. 



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Have to say one other thing, Miss Borwell continues to prove herself right when she predicts the outcome for our players.

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sherbert wrote:

This is very true... However, for a lot of the players...particularly ones who are on a bad run of form or are really struggling financially - the temptation of a fairly well paid coaching job is probably quite hard to turn down.


 

Very true. However, your careers' advisor might well say that you'll have 30 years to make it as a decent coach but it's now or never, pretty much, for making it as a player.

Also, to maximise your chances of being a top coach, it is normally better to have more experience and a higher ATP ranking as a pro.

Not always true of course.

As shown by Mr. Trotman, the LTA coach in Wolf's link who is tied up in all this hoo-ha.

Who seemingly was a very promising youngster but never managed to pick up a single ATP singles ranking point as an adult.

Don't believe that you necessarily have to be a top player to be top coach, and the guy may well be a good coach but, frankly, it begs a few questions, especially given the ongoing problems of British tennis and youngsters never managing to move up to seniors . . . and I know his bio says he was injured but he still achieved a lowly doubles ranking so he must have been fit enough to play at some point and still couldn't win a single singles match . . .



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I have to say that when I read this thread and think about Oli's situation, the one thing that springs immediately to mind is the heartfelt piece written by Jamie Baker shortly after giving up his tennis career for a career in banking. It was abundantly clear from that piece that whilst the financial stresses played a major part in his decision, it wasn't the only factor.

I understand completely the argument that other people of similar age in other professions also have financial struggles and we rarely hear about them becuase they are not in a high profile position. But the vast majority of those people still have the constant emotional support of people around them (I am not talking couselling here, just friends together being in the same boat and helping each other through) which is something tennis players often don't have. Playing in UK futures is fine, but once they head off abroad, they can often be stuck in hotel rooms hour after hour, day after day with very little support. It is at times like these perhaps that any small and possibly manageable problems, can suddenly take on new proportions in a players mind because they simply have too much time to dwell on them on not enough support.

Whatever Oli chooses to do, I wish him well. It would definitely be a loss for British tennis, but in the end, Oli as an individual is more important than Oli as an influence on British tennis. He must do what is best for him Having met him a couple of times, he is certainly not unintelligent. Anybody who speaks two languages that fluently clearly has plenty of grey matter upstairs.

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sherbert wrote:

I think we're possibly all in agreement that the LTA could look at things differently...I didn't realise funding stopped so early in other countries...to me when the top 100 has an average age of 28/29 at the minute (you'll probably know this better than me) it seems crazy that players get written off at the age of 20/21.

I realise now my comment about 'money outside of tennis' possibly didn't sit well with you - that was more from my point of view - (occasionally cynical gf). Neil would choose tennis over having money every time.


I actually think this is a hugely important point. If the average age of a top 100 tennis player has increased to 28/29 over the last decade then why are we continuing to stop funding players at 18? Particularly those like Oli, who at 20/21, are already edging towards the top 300. 

Even if it's not full funding, seems odd to stop financially supporting players who are on the right path/trajectory at 18, particularly when everyone agrees the prize money disparity between top 100 and the rest is far too large. 

 



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Very true Bob, I definitely think the social side can be hugely negative and some players never really adjust to a life on the road in its truest sense (Evans seemingly a good example.)

I am glad my comments havent been perceived as too harsh as I do really sympathise with how much effort and stress players must face, but it is clear that our system needs to be massively revamped and throwing money at players just wont work.

I think CD points about the French system was interesting too. I only recently discovered that there are British university tennis rankings (through a link in this site: http://www.lta.org.uk/clubs-schools/Schools-tennis/Higher-education/University-Competition/University-Tennis-Rankings/) yet this seems to be a resource that is massively untapped in the UK. Tennis doesnt seem to be adequately incentivised, but a scholarship system that combined high quality tennis coaching with a good education for a select cohort of youngsters would be far better for our youngsters than forcing them to be shipped abroad (Andy to Spain, Laura to France, Heather to the states etc) to get a good balance of the two.



-- Edited by murray_2k9 on Thursday 28th of August 2014 01:52:31 PM

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LordBrownof wrote:
sherbert wrote:

I think we're possibly all in agreement that the LTA could look at things differently...I didn't realise funding stopped so early in other countries...to me when the top 100 has an average age of 28/29 at the minute (you'll probably know this better than me) it seems crazy that players get written off at the age of 20/21.

I realise now my comment about 'money outside of tennis' possibly didn't sit well with you - that was more from my point of view - (occasionally cynical gf). Neil would choose tennis over having money every time.


I actually think this is a hugely important point. If the average age of a top 100 tennis player has increased to 28/29 over the last decade then why are we continuing to stop funding players at 18? Particularly those like Oli, who at 20/21, are already edging towards the top 300. 

Even if it's not full funding, seems odd to stop financially supporting players who are on the right path/trajectory at 18, particularly when everyone agrees the prize money disparity between top 100 and the rest is far too large. 

 


 

Well, the LTA did not choose, as such, to stop funding Oli i.e. Funding was not stopped because Oli was too old.

Oli and the LTA obviously decided to go their own separate ways, due (in part ? the straw that broke the camel's back?) because Oli wanted to play WImbledon and the LTA wanted him to go get points on the challenger circuit.

If Oli had 'toed the line' presumably he would still be receiving the funding level he got a couple of months ago.

Now who knows if the LTA were being dogmatic and unreasonable or Oli was being petulant and wanted his own way and throwing a paddy ? Or a bit of both?

But people do fall out . . .

NB the 'sports' universities (CREPS) in France are not like the US college system or UK universities - they are pure sports 'universities', nothing else. Their aim is to produce high level sportsman and coaches as well as sports' agents, admin people etc. They're not the same as the Elite High Performance Centres for each sporting federation (CREPS are a slightly lower level) but you don't get a pure academic education too. There are 17 of them in total at last count. If you want to do an academic degree while pursuing high-level sport you can do that too. All unis offer a 4 year version of their 3 year course to sportspeople and musicians if they can prove they are 'high level' This only really gives you free training time though, not facilities, although you'd normally arrange it at a uni next to a 'centre of excellence' centre.



-- Edited by Coup Droit on Thursday 28th of August 2014 02:33:27 PM

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I don't know exactly what happened with Oli, but I do know quite a few players who's funding stopped at the age of 21/22 ... And in some cases these players haven't hit their peak until 24/25.

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