Isabel Wilkerson’s new best seller is entitled CASTE, The Origins of Our Discontent. One chapter describes leadership assignment. A few of her comments are below. Hopefully we will pay attention to the entire book.
Sim·u·la·tion | ˌsimyəˈlāSH(ə)n
imitation of a situation or process
• the action of pretending; deception: clever simulation that’s good enough to trick you.
- the production of a computer model of something, especially for the purpose of study: the method was tested by computer simulation | [count noun] : a visual simulation of a collision | [as modifier] : simulation models will allow researchers to test different strategies.
Think virtual reality, or batting practice, driving range, CPR.
Living on the Atlantic Coast is great … save hurricanes, drunks, and rip tides. Climate warming causes changes that are more volatile here. Recently the numbers of drownings has caused alarm. Particularly rip tides.
At 80 years my surfing days are gone. Offspring and grandchildren are a different story.
We have done a great job locally. More awareness, warning, general education, as to how to avoid this lethal reality.
The old coach/granddaddy syndrome caused me to think about a way to practice how to deal with the strong currents. And while I watched tapes and read and listened, I wondered. Could you not create a situation that trained people in the water. Every one down here knows the fear, even panic reaction, that too often takes over.
Knowing I didn’t have all the facts I went to the ‘net. And found this:
The fire station siren rang all day long. WW11 was over. Clearly a good thing, even for a five year old. Even glamorous . At fifteen one wasn’t quite so sure about Korea. Vietnam became a shaky no. Irag ? Blood and treasure and national debt of a trillion. How many of their men and women and children died?
Or wander around with fewer limbs. Anybody care?
Witnessed the birth of rock and roll. Ray Charles to Dylan to the Beatles. One on Abraham, Martin, and John. Then Bobby.
Sex changes and Sex Changes. Pill to no period, period. Aids period to period.
Every body smoke to COPD. Moonshine to every day wine.
Sports are fun and funny, to now we play for money.
The climate bump, pile on Trump.
Lid off trash can, race crawls out again.
What did we learn, just earn?
Who to ask, everyone in a mask.
Look back, come clean —ask the old ones
what they have seen.
The blog on “The Circle stinger” received more hits than any tennis advice I have written. I certainly didn’t design the strategy itself (see Mr. Nadal )!
As stated in the article, it’s real effect has been to change the first choice of getting to the net from serving and volleying, or attacking the short ball down the line.
It also provided the tactic to make the “swinging volley” a better first choice.
The complete play that has evolved so effectively follows:
- Identify the ball to come in on. Nadal’s lefty stinger crosscourt to the “weaker” backhand pass is so far the best approach.
- Any weak, short or floating return is now a common place for talented, new pros to attack with a full bore swinging volley. Directed away from the opponent.
***3. I caution teachers and coaches to remember there are levels of ability throughout the whole process. Beginners of average ability, most high school players, average club and recreational level players should first perfect the standard volley fundamentals, adding the swinger when level and talent make it an advanced, effective tool.
Even at the highest level of pro doubles, classic volleys are most often best.
I spent a lot of effort on the international issue. Below are some clips, or comments from other related articles. www.tomparham.wordpress.com has these articles and more in toto.
Anyway–to start the new year how about the SIX BY SIX plan? There are six singles players in the standard team format. There are also 6 slots for doubles (2 players per team, 3 teams). How about this: Six of the twelve slots must be filled by Americans
Sixty years ago Carolina won its first national NCAA basketball championship. We watched it on this new thing called TV. UNC beat my Wake Forest Deacons four times in close games that undefeated year for the Heels (32-0). The last one on a buzzer beater by Lennie Rosenbluth. UNC Coach, Frank McGuire observed “…the Baptists and the Catholics were having a swell game when the Jewish kid ended it all”.
This year’s UNC roster was made up of all American players. Three of five solid starters were from our state. Gonzaga listed five internationals on their roster. Someone said there are five thousand international basketball players in the USA.
. I asked Coach Verdieck early on if he knew Dennis Van Der Meer? Not only is Van Der Meer the world’s most prolific tennis teacher, he was very close to my mentor, Jim Leighton. Verdi eck said, “know Dennis”? I taught him 90% of what he knows!”
When I asked Coach Leighton if he knew Coach Verdieck, he said no. I told him of the Verdieck comment about Dennis Van Der Meer. Leighton was appalled, and said he intended to ask Dennis about that!
A couple of years went by and I asked Leighton if he’d asked about Verdieck. Leighton admitted that Dennis had responded, “Yes, that’s probably about right.”
THE USTA HAS COME UNDER FIRE JUSTIFIABLY FOR THE LACK OF RESULTS FOR THE TREMENDOUS MONEY POURED INTO “PLAYER DEVELOPMENT”.
. Five years ago I told all kinds of parents and friends that Title IX would provide tremendous opportunities for our girls, through golf scholarships. In just five years later, I wonder. Have you witnessed the women’s world golf rankings. The number of Korean players at the top is truly impressive. Due in no small part to a frenzied number of young Koran aspirants, putting in the lengths of practice sessions we reserve for school.
How long before we see college coaches bringing in entire rosters of girl golfers, borderline if not pro, from overseas? Tennis blinked and boom, no scholarships left for us.
What happens if internationals usurp collegiate basketball scholarships?
Was Title IX intended to offer opportunities for our women, or someone else? Other sports? Those to come?
MY high school football team, playing in the homecoming game, gave up a quick touchdown. Then we fumbled on the first play on offense. In our defensive huddle our captain concluded, “…we better get a toe-holt on this son of a bitch.”
North Carolina has produced 3 real moneymakers from professional tennis. One,Tim Wilkison, turned pro at age 17. John Isner and John Sadri attended college 4 years on tennis scholarships before going pro. Sadri and Isner both credit college tennis for their success.
From the 1970’s until today, the number of scholarships awarded to internationals has spriraled upwards, as grants for Americans declined in response.
Within this same time period Americans among the upper tier of professional tennis has declined to the point of alarm. Obviously the two are connected.
Scholarships are the only reasonable financial reward for American athletes. Professional tennis as a possibility has proven a particularly unreasonable bet.
American women’s sports have produced two interesting related examples.
Our women just won their third soccer world cup since Title IX (1970). Of the 23 roster members on the USA squad this year, all 23 attended college. My guess is that all were on sizable soccer grants.
Duke University’s women’s golf team finished 2nd in NCAA this spring. There was not an American on the roster.
is it not possible to reserve American monies for American young people? Would the NCAA go to court on the issue? Is it true the NCAA is not a “state actor”, i.e, able to make decisions in the best interest of the organization?
I asked if he’d consider recruiting a player from this state? It was a state funded university, yet with a typical all international roster. His response was “…Oh no! Our fans wouldn’t tolerate a lesser quality of team!” I couldn’t resist noting that there were three non-players in attendance–me, him, and his school’s financial aid officer.
The second speaker startled me and others with his topic. Stripped down, it proposed to bring smaller satellite tournaments for college tennis in America. One panel member questioned where was the financing of these local tournaments coming from? Response: “we already have five million dollars in reserve.” Silence! Who is that sponsor was the question from the floor. I do not remember the name but another panelist replied “that is a gambling outfit in Europe isn’t it?” Yes was the answer. We all seemed a little stunned. And did not bring up the subject through the next several presentations.
As I exited the meeting Coach Kriese stopped me and asked “what do you think?” I was very frank with my friend –“Chuck this is an attempt to bring big time gambling to American College Tennis.” I was then no longer involved with this effort.
THE ISSUE CONTINUES
But the time has come for others to help.
What about a USTA “think tank”. Don’t we have any lawyers? The last I heard a ton of money will find a good lawyer. The USTA got any poker players? I bet there is a legal way. At least run a good bluff at litigation. Bet the NCAA wouldn’t take the football/men’s basketball money to risk on an expensive trial?
I think it is right and legal. But somebody has got to “…screw up some courage”. Only those who love American tennis will do it.
- Few good Americans develop without high school tennis.
- Girls high school teams and girls of limited ability are the most neglected learners and often the most receptive.
- The maturing of our women’s league players, coaches, and administrators is a gold mine of help for high school girls teams. Boys too.
- There are a lot of different ways to help our high school teams and coaches.
- The two toughest teaching spots are developing a working one hand backhand grip for 1. the slice and 2. the advanced serve.
The Men’s singles finals yesterday was Andy vs the Joker. Since 2010 my strong feeling has been that these two had realized the value of the offensive and defensive demands of great drop shots, and worked the hardest at developing the necessary skills.
Yesterday’s rain delay and other duties caused me to abandon my drop shot chart. Over the first several games Novak won 5 of 6 drop shot attempts. He had a wide open down the line pass on the one point he lost. Andy tried two and won both points when I had to miss a lot of the match.
I would love to know the feeling of these two champions as to 1. doesn’t an effective drop-shot have a particularly tiring or fatigue potential 2. as well as a psychological damage that is a corollary weapon.
I don’t think this is going to “back off” any. And I would remind all players that you have to develop defensive quickness, and movement patterns and postures that offset this demon.
Ron Smarr is a life-time coach and a life-friend. I asked him to “coach” me on this chapter on coaching. Coach Smarr has coached many players and fellow coaches. Me included. Recently he was a major help in providing “THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK of TENNIS for every high school coach and player in North Carolina.
Currently we are picking the best of the past instruction, and new and additional worthwhile suggestions since the earlier book. Below are shortened comments Ron offered having read this chapter.
- Never serve at your opponent’s strength on big points.
- Drop shots and topspin lobs are old shots that modern players are revisiting.
- Other than football, basketball and perhaps baseball-other college sports may become “club sports”!
- Serves and groundstrokes up the middle can take angle away from your opponent. And you run less.
- High school coaches and players and teams often are aided greatly by college coaches and local pros and players.
- Coaching is not just about winning.
- Many players are returning serve from way back. Enter the drop shot?
- The closer you are to the net the more you keep the racket head out in front.
- Over- night camps make directors much more exposed to liability.
- One Jerk will and can make things bad for the whole program.
- Movement can make2/3 of the court available to a powerful shot. And avoid weak shots !
******Comment to Coach Smarr: Guess we are now the “old timers”. We should accept improved good changes.
You and I began when the Australians and Californians were the classic models. Borg and other Europeans’ and South Americans added extreme western grips and open footwork. As good or better. Another thing I hear from young pros is the term “swinging volleys”. Maybe they are talking about very high level players. and while these shot are much more powerful, I would suggest that a volley fundamental is placement, or “spot specificity”. And that doubles at any level call for classic styled shortened shots. Watch the pros. Club doubles players, high school kids, and even talented youngsters need fundamental volley technique.
NEW YORK TIMES (March 23, 2021)
“In the last decade or so, UConn and other top programs have increasingly sought players from Europe, Canada, Australia and Africa, as a growing parity in college basketball has made recruiting increasingly competitive. There were four different women’s champions in the four seasons before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 N.C.A.A. tournament.
All four No. 1 seeds in the 2021 women’s tournament — Stanford, UConn, North Carolina State and South Carolina — listed at least one international player on their rosters. South Florida, another tournament team, listed 11, along with a player from Puerto Rico.
UConn (25-1) is seeking its 12th national title with a roster that includes two Eastern Europeans — Muhl, who injured her ankle in the Huskies’ first-round win on Sunday night, and Anna Makurat, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard from Poland — and Aaliyah Edwards, a 6-3 freshman forward from Canada. They are three of only 12 players from outside the United States signed by Auriemma in his 36 seasons coaching at UConn.
“If you don’t have international players, you’re almost behind the ones that do,” said Blair Hardiek, global technical director for the N.B.A. Academy Women’s Program, a development project for international athletes.”
Onions have many layers. Lots of things do. Earlier I cited a letter addressing international men tennis players in small colleges in 1970. Kudzu-like, this layer of college athletic issues has added women.. All divisions of organizations (NCAA,NAIA, JUNIOR COLLEGES,etc.), tennis, track, soccer, race, money sports and non revenue, Nearly all of our arenas.
Again my concern is for “our kids”. Women’s basketball at the top allows 15 scholarships annually. African – American women will lose a lot more scholarship money as this trend expands. An American is eliminated for every international granted a scholarship.
CRY FOR ME–Soloman Burke
My wife is one of six kids. The funniest is Raymond. He is also the best and most consistent beer drinker. We zoomed the remaining siblings today. During the session someone asked a question of Ray, noting there was no beer in hand.
“Haven’t had a beer since November” Ray informed us. Silence. “I do have a periodic sip of wine” he continued. Like what ? was asked.
“Well, we drink a bottle of wine each night. I pour Bev a small glass and I sip the rest.”
‘The Point” at Emerald Isle changes daily. At low tide sand now splits the channel half in two. Wife type viewed it earlier today and mused “I think one could swim over to Bear Island at low tide. Maybe Nancy and I will try that. We would probably need life preservers.”
And SEA TOW. Oops–I could have talked all day and not said that.
My wife’s friend was describing a beachfront property that had a walk-in clothes closet with a dry cleaner’s style revolving clothes rack. When we got home I suggested we could easily this with the clothes I have worn this year (two pairs of jeans, two pairs of shorts, three tee shirts, two flannel shirts and a sweatshirt). This rack would take about one foot of closet space.