Pierre Lamarche: “Open Letter to National and Provincial Presidents and Their Boards”

Fri, Nov 9, 2012

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Pierre Lamarche: “Open Letter to National and Provincial Presidents and Their Boards”

Written by: Pierre Lamarche

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***Pierre Lamarche has been an outspoken proponent of Canadian tennis and how the sport should have a major place in the Canadian sport landscape. He believes this lofty ambition can only be achieved through the combination of success on the international professional competitive scene, with the required domestic infrastructure and a true partnership between Tennis Canada and the tennis private sector.

His comments are often taken as critical by those who feel targeted by his questions. His background as a player, coach, and leader [see background] in the sport and coaching industry warrants that his views, which are shared by many others, be given due process by anyone [or organization] who really wants to help Canadian Tennis achieve the proper national status it deserves in the sport community.***

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Dear Presidents,

I ask you, as someone who is passionate for Canadian tennis to please have an open mind as you read the next series of editorials that I will write on our present Canadian tennis system. The game in this country is presently in a healthy situation from a public perception due to the results of a few individuals who have been assisted greatly by Tennis Canada in their personal development. To assume that their success is due to the present system is erroneous. Where we develop our players or how is not important, what is, is that we foster a system which will create many more. This cannot be accomplished without the synergy created by the proper relationship with the sector responsible for developing the players [clubs, academies, coaches]. That synergy must be created by the public sector which should help the deserving players into the transition to future independence as professionals. Nobody owns the players and we are all responsible for developing them. The present emphasis on player ownership to justify the National Center policies simply goes against what is correct and will eventually be seen for what it is: a divisive, short sighted, self justifying initiative by well meaning misguided individuals.

I have been a major outspoken opponent of the present Tennis Canada development system which is based on the premise that players can only be developed at the National Centers by national coaches. The major reason I am against it is that I have lived this detrimental exercise once before. In the late 1980’s, four present Tennis Canada Hall of Fame members joined together to start the All-Canadian Academy in London, Ontario. Ken Sinclair, Harry Fauquier, Lorne Main and myself invested in developing a Canadian option a la “Nick Bollettieri”. The Academy was successful, bringing over 50 youngsters from across Canada, living in London while attending London high schools and training at All-Canadian. Tennis Canada responded to the success of the Academy by creating four major regional training centers which were subsidised. These centers also recruited All-Canadian players and this led to the demise of the program and the club. Major financial hardships resulted for the investors, coaches and staff of the club and Academy. This was the simple result of the public sector competing with the private sector using public sector funds … please tell me you see that this could be a problem.

Much furor arose from these National Center policies, so much so that another Hall of Fame member, the Honourable Francois Godbout, president of Tennis Canada flew to London to meet with our group and discuss these negative regional training center policies. The result was the eventual dismantling of the regional centers, including the program at York University in Toronto. But as a result of the competition, All-Canadian had to sell their club in London and bid to operate a program at the National Center at York University. All-Canadian [now ACE Tennis] operated a private sector company program there for many years, paid going rates for the facilities and was open to everyone. Many national level players opted to train there [Simpson, Kelesi, Nestor, Hy, Jeyaseelan, all Hall of Fame members or candidates] while others like Lareau, Rusedski, Sznajder, Laurendeau, Michibata, Connell [four more Hall of Fame members] trained in their own facilities with their own coaches. No one was discriminated when touring selections or team selections were made. This hybrid of the private and public sector created a system that was cost efficient and provided opportunities to all based on performance and most importantly produced the best results in Canadian tennis history.

The old saying “history repeats itself” applies in tennis as well. For political and financial reasons the concept of a National Center strategy was reintroduced ten years ago. Of course this system was justified by those employed by it as it provides them solid employment opportunities. The development of this strategy was justified on the perceived success of other national associations venturing in the field of player development through operating their own National Center program. A more thorough look will now show that many of these initiatives have been seen for what they are, an arrogant belief that the public sector programs and coaches [who mostly come from the private sector] are better than the private ones. As a result many of these programs have been scaled down or dismantled. The concept of a National Center is good as long as it is used to assist in the development of players, coaches and the system but not in the destruction of the feeder system.

In these articles I will show the pitfalls of the present system and the possible solutions to make our Canadian game better for all. We do not require wholehearted changes, but adjustments, which can only be brought along by the open-minded approach of all those who can effect such change…YOU.

Next week I will start with the flaws of the system. Please read with an open mind, pass on to your board and let’s try building a better system for all of us who love tennis and Canada.

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28 Responses to “Pierre Lamarche: “Open Letter to National and Provincial Presidents and Their Boards””

  1. 1
    bob Says:

    The cost of tennis through private centers are so expensive that only very rich can send their kids to the elite clubs like yours. Lets face it and tell it like it is, your top kids parents are paying more than 15000 per year. this is out the reach of the average parents ability in Canada. So Tennis Canada is trying to make the sport more affordable to the average parents. Many great athletes are not able to play tennis at early ages due to the cost. Thankfully Tennis Canada is allowing the best athletes to compete for spots in the sport and not just the financially gifted! So, what about the gifted athlete that does not have unlimited funds? Too bad for them? You want Canada to be the best, then give these athletes the chance, not just the kids with wealthy parents. Sometimes they may not pick the best athlete, at least they are trying to make the sport more accessible to the average Canadian.

  2. 2
    Pierre Lamarche Says:

    Dear Bob,
    1. Most if not all Academies have scholarship programs for deserving players in need of financial assistance, for example I know as a matter of fact that one Academy provides over $250,000 per year in financial assistance
    2. Tennis Canada assists only kids that a] have been developed in the private sector and b] they feel are talented enough at a very young age. How would you like it if your son or daughter was not selected?
    3. The gifted athletes that decide to stay at home, are loyal to their club, coach and academy and are better than the selected kids do not have the opportunity to have subsidized travel, only the ones at Tennis Canada.

    This is not about rich versus poor, it is about all children of the same ability receiving equal opportunities. That is what Bob you are supposed to get in this country.

    Pierre

  3. 3
    TennisFan Says:

    Bob is so misguided! I know many friends who have kids with Tennis Canada or NTC, they spent more than 15K a year on their kids’ tennis. Yes, lessons with NTC coach are subsidized but those parents have to spent more on other extra tennis costs outside of NTC just to keep their kids in the top.

  4. 4
    Bo Says:

    Some points:

    1. I don’t see anything unfair about a selection that is the result of a competitive tryout. Lots of kids attended the most recent provincial NTC tryout at the Rexall-Centre in September. The parents were excited about the opportunity. Not everybody makes the selection an the parents know this reality and accept it. Most sports are like that. Life is like that.

    2. The extra training with NTC mostly complements the schedule at the local club or academy. It does not replace it. What’s wrong with that? Kids meet more kids and enhance their play. Additional coaching input is often a plus, as in other sports.

    3. And then you have the kids who do not live in Toronto or Montreal. The extra training and exposure to a higher level of play with similar age kids are surely positives for their development.

    4. TennisFan writes that parents with kids at TC spend just as much money on training at the local club as before. If that’s the case, I don’t see any financial loss to the private sector as a result of TC’s activities.

    5. Regarding TC’s subsidized programs, the financial assistance is not really all that great. My calculations show that on an hourly basis for a group lesson the fee by TC is about 18% to 20% less than at private clubs. Not a huge subsidy in my view. Add travelling expenses and the discount has turned into a premium.

    6. Private clubs should be proud that they have produced players that are selected for extra training as a result of a competitive tryout. They should make hay out of that at their clubs by communicating the good news. After all, private clubs achieve financial success with large traffic (lots of players), not through a few extraordinary talents that train there.

    7. How many students/athletes do private clubs lose to the NTC/TC programs every year? Do they lose them or are we just talking about a few extra hours of training?

    Please let me know if I’m misguided.

    Best regards,

    Bo

  5. 5
    tennisdad Says:

    Dear Bob
    I wanted to note that there is a smaller NTC Program for which tryouts are not held. This smaller group of kids receives significant subsidies for the training. This smaller group seems to be a bit of a mystery. How are they chosen? One of the problems is that there is does not appear to be any transparency or justification for the selection of these kids. The other issue that is becoming clear is that this smaller group also seems to have a revolving door. It does not appear that the folks at NTC have a longterm plan other than cherry picking.
    NTC really only identifies talent after someone else (parent or coach) has developed the child’s talent and that talent has translated into objective and measurable success. They do not sculpt from clay. They attempt to refine the work already in progress.
    Food for thought.

  6. 6
    Pierre Lamarche Says:

    Dear Bo,

    I will be writing a series of articles in the coming weeks which will show the flaws in the system and how they can be fixed. Since you asked me to let yo know if you are misguided I will answer you but explanations will be forthcoming in upcoming articles.
    1. Competitive tryout and competitive situations [ tournaments] are two different things. One based on some norms is subjective while the other is based on competitive results which is objective. How do you evaluate desire, commitment, heart?
    2.In many cases such as ours where our players are well trained by national and international level coaches, I do not need complimentary training or feedback from coaches that use to work for us.
    3. You are right and it is obvious that your son or daugther is in the NTC program and that you must come from an area where you do not have the required training environment. To bad you have to spend 6-8 hours a weekend in the car to get your 11 year old the environment he needs.
    4. You dont see the loss of revenue for the coach you leave behind in Sarnia for the national coach. What about the club who assisted you in the development of your boy or girls, how about the other kids your boy or girl played with?
    5. Then why would one of our kids, who is better than kids at the NTC, that gets as good coaching, better competition, right here in his club have to pay a premium and travel [to bad his parents have to work] or else be ostracized from touring opportunities?
    6. Private clubs are tired of investing financial and human resources in youngsters and their families and having them taken away because that is the only way they can access touring by a program that does not care as much as they do and in some cases are not as good as they are.
    7. The development of a player requires proper management, we have lost players and then others follow. Regroupings are great, just not the way they are done now.
    Please read next article.
    Meanwhile I hope you find the right program and coach for your child.

  7. 7
    Bo Says:

    Thank you for your response, Pierre. I will continue to follow the debate.

    Best regards,

    Bo

  8. 8
    me Says:

    Mr.Bob
    1. As parent whose child plays tennis a few years I noticed that TC affordable only to small group of kids for rest is like the forbidden city,so over 90% of kids don’t have any benefit from TC.Even when kids play national parents should pay all costs and even shirt to represent province. Trip to Florida (Eddie Herr, Orange Bowl) is cheaper than National and in some categories Ontario Provincial is more competitive then National.My child for a few years reached National level-big thanks to Coach.Kids who play soccer.hockey,they covered 500/year for injuries,what about our kids?This summer after National I had to pay 2 weeks of recovery from injury…etc,etc
    2. If you check prices any academies out of Canada Pierre’s academy is still affordable and the best we have. I wish we have more people like Pierre,Casey,Coaches who want to help and care like in my case.Of course there are still people in TC,OTA,Academies who care.

    3.I’m average Canadian and I don’t see any affordability in this sport,except the people I already mentioned.

  9. 9
    TL Says:

    Bob said:
    So Tennis Canada is trying to make the sport more affordable to the average parents
    Like :Kasianiuk Maxim,Issajenko Luke …..

  10. 10
    Casey Curtis Says:

    Hi Everyone-

    After reading all of the above I am quite confused!!

    I think it would be a very good starting point to know the stated objective or mission statement for the National Programs other than Montreal- I don’t think I have heard it defined in detail.

    I think it is something along the lines of being a feeder system for the National Centre in Montreal.

    Could someone please tell me how many and which juniors have gone through the Training Centre in Toronto to Montreal or if there are any that we expect to get there soon-as well if you could tell me how many kids have trained at the Toronto Centre in total to this point I would appreciate it- I really don’t know, but I do think it is important in determining how we are doing to this point.

    I have a feeling that a substantial amount of money has been “invested” in the Toronto Training Program and I am quite confident that if it is truly our goal to produce Top Players- There is a better way.

    One thing I am sure of-

    Giving a few subsidized lessons to talented kids is not going to produce any Champions- That takes several years of hard work, one on one from a talented athlete and a qualified and dedicated coach to accomplish.

    Thanks-

    Casey

  11. 11
    Bo Says:

    Dear All,

    The picture is getting clearer. A couple of observations:

    1. The Provincial regroupings are not very productive because they are too infrequent. This year’s Ontario Provincial tryout was in September and the first regrouping is not until end of November. Although the level of play is challenging, the training is too sporadic to have any material effect on long-term player development.

    2. However, if the player is talented enough to make the national squad under TC, then I think it is worth it for the selected athlete. In the U10 category, if my information is correct, this select group trains twice a week for a total of 5 hours (including 1 hr of physical). Again, the quality is relatively high and I think the players benefit from this. The financial subsidy is there of course, but is not a great advantage in my view, for the receiving families that is.

    Will these Provincial and TC programs lead to the development of world-class tennis players in Canada? Maybe too early to tell. So far it hasn’t. But it hasn’t happened in the private sector either, on a consistent and material basis. The reality of playing tennis in Canada is that the athlete has to leave the country and move to Florida, California or Spain by the age of 10-15 if the aim is to become a world-class champion player. Hockey does it at home base all the time, just like Spain in tennis, because the elements are right, the grass root culture is there in player development and coaching infrastructure, lots of tournaments within 100 km of most teams’ home rink, and lots of players and indoor rinks.

    But Canada is making interesting progress in tennis, like in Davis Cup. Maybe there’s light at the end of the tunnel, natural light.

    Best regards,

    Bo

  12. 12
    Pierre Lamarche Says:

    Bo, maybe the picture is getting clearer but I am not sure you are loking at the right picture
    1. Provincial regroupings should be done three times a year to evaluate the kids and provide guidance for the personal coach
    2. If a player is talented enough to make the national squad and is training with us, he does not need to go to regroupings to play with players who are not as good as the one he practices with and with coaches who are as good if not better than the ones at the regrouping. Regroupings are good for players and coaches who dont have a good program or the proper experience.
    3. Milos Roenic was developed in the private sector and is now being coached in the private sector, Wozniak was developed by her father, Dubois, Nestor, Polanski, Pospisil, Mareno, Dancevic,Lareau, Connell, Michibata, Kelesi,Hy where all developed in the private sector with assistance from Tennis Canada…..not by Tennis Canada with assistance from the private sector.

    Pretty soon we might do well in Davis Cup if we sign Jesse Levine to play for Canada.He is from Ottawa but developed in the private sector in the US. You can develop players in Canada as if you say “the elements are right”. That is what we need to address, not a short term solution which affects making the elements right.

    We need to spend our money properly and to maximize our limited resources. A player 10 to `15 can be developed anywhere with good management. Tennis Canada should assist in that development. Then at the age of 15 we should have the right elements in place to help the player through the 15-18 year old transition, through the proper competitive structure.

  13. 13
    Todor Says:

    Hi Pierre I have a 6 year old son who plays in your academy in Burlington for 3 years now.I am confused for his future reading all this.Why should I spend all this time and money for his development and then when he is ready to give him to Tennis Canada to get the glory.I think it should be the opposite.I need the support now not later.Everebody wants Raonic now where were they 15 years ago when I bet his parents were strugling?Reading all this I am afraid for the future.In Canada with all this money there is not proper programs for tennis from the goverment.99 % is left to the parents ambition,time and finances,and then is by Gods miracle a tennis star is born some TC oficial or sleasy politic will make a headline on the parent back.If I am Raonic I will go play for Montenegro they probably deserve it more then Canada.Todor P.S.By the way I still havent seen a long term plan for the future of my son provided by your academy after 3 years investment,leave alone TC which makes some Mickey Mouse trials at ORC second year now for 5-7 year old,which is throuing sand in the public eyes to secretly choose their friends and relatives kids!!!

  14. 14
    The Bear Says:

    Todor,

    Interesting ideas,
    1.Why spend all the money? He is learning the sport of a lifetime, getting healthy, living in a great country. You are right there are cheaper alternatives badminton, soccer etc.
    2. Not proper programs for tennis? Tennis Canada spends alot of money that does not come from the government. They are a great association when it comes to generating revenues and investing in the sport. The question is “Can we find ways to invest that money in a more productive way?”
    3. Raonic should play for Canada, his parents and him have received great benefits from being Canadian at many levels including tennis, from his personal coach to the clubs he played in, from the OTA, from Tennis Canada assistance in his development at the National center for a two year period, to Tennis Canada’s support of his Spanish coach. I would be disappointed if he considered playing for anybody else [which he cant do].
    4. We do not have long term plans for 4-10 year olds but we follow the Tennis Canada LTAD principles go to http://www.tenniscanada.com/index.php?title=player-pathway&pid=1389
    5. I would be glad to meet with you with Doug Burke president of Ace Tennis to discuss your concerns.Please let me know when you would like to meet, we do not want disgruntled clients. We would rather refund the balance of their fees.

    The Bear

  15. 15
    Bo Says:

    Other questions, Pierre:

    1. Does TC have specific goals with the money it spends on youth tennis development? For example, targets for WTA and ATP players from Canada within a certain time period? Canadian players making top 100 within a certain time period?

    2. If you are a Canadian player and 6-9 years old and showing great potential, how much would it cost to develop such a player into a professional? In Europe, the figure is about 1 million euros (about $1.4 million Canadian). How much has it cost so far to make Milos Raonic number 13 for parents and TC (rough estimate)?

    4. If you are a highly talented 6-9 year old player in Canada, where in this country should this player ideally live if the ambition is to become professional? I am asking this question because if you don’t live in Toronto or Montreal, the travelling to tournaments and special training becomes too life disruptive for a young player. (Robert Lansdorp claims he can identify world-class talent at ages 6-9.) Would a young player eventually have to leave Canada to become professional, and at what age?

    5. Why is Spain so successful with male players (currently 12 in top 100)? Should not Canada do what Spain does with male players? Why is the US and Russia so successful with female players (both have 10 in top 100). Should not Canada do what the US and Russia does with female players?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,

    Bo

  16. 16
    Pierre Lamarche Says:

    1. I am sure Tennis Canada must have goals as the ones you bring up
    2. If you are 6-9 years old and have great athletic skills, you should learn the game properly, develop your athletic skills further, have fun with your friends, do well at school and play another sport. No idea on the money required but it is alot
    4. Nobody has to leave at a young age. Anyone can be developed at home if you create the proper training environment. When All-Canadian was in London, Ontario they created national champions that lived there every year. Since they left there has been few if any national champions. We must create better infrastructures everywhere in the country or else you are right you have to be in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver because that is where the best infrastructures and many of the great human resources.
    5. Spain is successful because of its competitive philosophy [emphasis on entry level pro tournaments versus ITF] and because of red clay. Russian women learn on red clay and have accessed the best academies in the world in Spain and the US.Of the ten American girls two are the Williams sisters and the second rank American, Lepchenko #20 is a Russian who just got her citizenship.

  17. 17
    Bo Says:

    Thanks again, Pierre. Why is playing on red clay at an early age so determining of success?

  18. 18
    Pierre Lamarche Says:

    First in studying the development path of many of the worlds top players you see a high correlation with development on red clay.
    Second mental endurance, tactical and technical development, usage of strategy,the development of coordination and footwork are all enhanced by the speed [or lack of] of the red clay courts, the substance of the red clay [slippery and untrue bounces].

    Also there is nothing as beautiful as a red clay court, nothing that shows more you are a fighter as the red clay on your soxs. As you can see I’m partial to it.

  19. 19
    Todor Says:

    Thank you Pierre for the response but I dont understand are you defending TC now?As far as know TC took care of Raonic on age of 17 my question is why they didnt do it at age of 7?I didnt ask why spend all the money I asked why the parents should spend all the money and TC pick the ready product and not suport the kid from early age, later when he shows results it easy to find sponsors.Like the great bulgarian Futbol(not soccer)player Hristo Stoitchkov said”Everewhere I go now they treat me and pay my bill I dont need it now I needed it back then when I was hungry and with no money”.Of course I want to meet with you and Doug and maybe… Robert Lansdorp(it is good to identify the talent it is hard to develop it).I am in Burlington every Tuesday at 4:30-5:30 but I will any time convinient for you.Todor

  20. 20
    Todor Says:

    And also I dont need a refund I need TC to pay % of the fees paid from the parents or to match them $ for $.Why here in Canada there are not people like Ion Tiriac or Nick Bollettieri to sign the kids and sponsor them trough their carier.I would gladly sign with such a person 20-30-40 % from the future income with such a person who pay it forward not after the fact like TC does!!!There is no other way to come up with the 1.4 million Bo estimates above!
    Todor

  21. 21
    Bo Says:

    Bottom line, Pierre, if a player desires to become pro, you need:

    1. Lots of talent and motivation.
    2. Highly supportive parents.
    3. Great coach and program.
    4. Lots of competitive kids to match play against.
    5. Clay courts.
    6. Access to many good tournaments.
    7. Plenty of cash.

    Rafa Nadal had all 7. The Tennis Federation of the Balearic Islands (where he is from) bet on him at a very young age and supported him financially. He has given back a lot since then. Is now building a youth tennis academy in his home town of Manacor.

    Best regards,

    Ole

  22. 22
    Pierre Lamarche Says:

    Ole is right!
    I think his family was quite well off as well.
    Seems like the right mix.
    I wonder if it can be done without accessing a national center?
    I wonder what national center Rafa attended?
    I hope he had a coach with a great coaching reputation.
    Maybe an exile to a national center is not required?

  23. 23
    Ole Bo Axel Says:

    Family had a roofing business. Uncle played pro soccer for Barcelona. Other uncle, his early coach, was a philosopher and coach at the local tennis club. He was allowed to take time away from the family business to train Rafa full time. Family did the driving. Mother cooked. Rafa played, and fished. I think he attended the tennis academy in Palma.

    Ole Bo Axel

  24. 24
    Todor Says:

    Lets all tennis fans and parents move to Spain and leave Canada with its one and only child -Hockey!

  25. 25
    Ole Bo Axel Says:

    Pierre, to optimize long term success potential, I would add to the list the importance of preventing “burnout” (must have fun) and injuries (good technique coaching and resistance training).

    My 8 year old is playing in the U10 tournament at the Niagara Tennis Academy this Saturday. If you are nearby and interested, would be great to meet you.

    Best regards,

    Ole Bo Axel

  26. 26
    Max Says:

    Hi everybody and thanks Pierre for bringing up open discussions where everybody can contribute.

    As many people pointed out, the most critical time is when the player transitions from junior tennis to professional. At this point most people (99%?) take the university scholarship route. When you are talking about success in tennis sport in Canada, are you talking about developing kids who will later on take scholarships and play tennis in the US university competitions or talking about producing professional athletes who will compete in ATP and WTA and represent Canada and who will make this country famous not only in hockey but also in tennis? I would think that everything is OK with university route and many Canadians are successful in getting scholarships in the US. I think that professional route that makes problem in Canada-how many top ATP and WTA players do we have in Canada? Milos Raonic for sure makes us proud and gives hope for many who are thinking to compete at the top. Therefore I don’t see anything wrong in assisting players at this stage of development by Tennis Canada, I don’t understand about cherry picking, it looks like so important to claim who was the most important part in developing the athlete when he is already successful. The truth is that at this transition stage many parents can’t afford the cost of touring.

    About NTC try-out and NTC program selection as far as I know only the best players are selected. In my opinion everybody who got selected worked hard with their parents and coaches and fully deserves their selection. If you want your child to be in sports you already should understand that it is COMPETITIVE- sport is competitive and if you don’t want to compete now how you supposed to be tough enough to get to the top of the sport? It is painful and it is disappointing and still it is rewarding if you could achieve what you want. Life is competitive after all. The selection system can be improved- including the tournament results besides try-out sessions. But for 7-10 year-olds not many tournament results yet.With limited funds you can’t” select “everybody unfortunately. Without competition you can’t be “competitive” at International level, maybe only in Canada.

    You are asking what happens to those kids who are not selected- they will train at their host clubs and their coaches will be happy.

    About taking out players from their home clubs-as someone already mentioned- you can’t own the players. I think that parents should decide where to go and where to train their children because they PAY their hard earned money for private academy programs and coaching. Players are developed by private clubs and parents PAY for these academies. After reading complaints how players are taken out from their coaches I have impression that they train them for free. Parents already spent a lot of money and they have right to decide what is good for their children-coaches are already compensated for their time and work!I haven’t met any coach so far who would like to train my son for free. You are saying that academies provide scholarship money to kids, how many kids at age 6-9 are given scholarships? In fact, the players who already got results and got title (provincial, national) are offered scholarships and private clubs use those players as attraction to their academies even though they didn’t necessarily develop them. I also have impression that all private clubs are so caring and supportive for their players, this is not the case, mostly the money you pay which makes us attractive to private clubs.

    About NTC competing with private academies- NTC takes so few players that it can’t compete with all existing private clubs. All players who trains at NTC center have their own club where they train mainly and come to NTC just for occasional gatherings like Provincial regrouping- once or twice per month. In fact it is required by NTC that all players selected must have their own club and coach to participate in NTC program. If you talk about NTC supplement, they take even fewer kids to train 2-3 times per week and the parents pay for those trainings-off course a little cheaper than private academies. It is called supplement because it just supplements the major training at host club. You are calling for collaboration between public and private sectors- it is exactly what you call collaboration because it is not taking out the player from the host club and provides some competitive opportunity on top of the club training. NTC programs do not replace club training but it helps to bring some top players together to provide competitive environment and these programs are not free.

    Tennis Canada programs are too young and it is difficult to judge at this point whether it will be effective. We can’t deny the results of junior grand slams though. They are not perfect but at least Tennis Canada is trying to bring some changes since the old system did not produce any good players so far ( I mean top 10-20 ATP, WTA players). Private clubs will exist with or without Tennis Canada programs as long as they charge us money for their programs.

  27. 27
    Ole Bo Axel Says:

    Very well said, Max. Difficult to disagree with any of those sound and practical arguments — complete common horse sense.

    Ole Bo Axel

  28. 28
    To Todor Says:

    Todor you are so far off its not even funny. No one is making you put your kid in tennis. Do you know how much competitive hockey costs. Everyone here thinks they are owed something. You think someone is waiting to give your kid a million dollars just because he can hit a ball over the net at 6 years old. Bolletieri would never put a dime into a six year old. He would charge you $500 per hour for a private lesson though. Tennis is an expensive sport. Deal with it. Reality check for everyone. If your kid gets a scholarship consider yourself lucky. There is only 1 Milos

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