US tennis performance


I have particularly interested in the reaction to the poor performance of American players at the Australian Open. The hue and cry is similar to what I have seen in other sports over the years as other countries caught up to us. Success in sports is not the exclusive domain of the United States. Many other countries are taking a much more systematic approach to the Long Term Athletic Development process than the US. I have written several different times in this blog about the decline in youth fitness and lack of physical education. That is the foundation for any kind of athletic success. You cannot build a house without a foundation. In our local paper this morning tennis guru Nick Bollettieri offered up some of his opinions. It was what you expect from a guru, quite self serving. His idea was to bring back the past, get kids younger into academies and play more tennis! To quote Bollettieri “We had them at a young age and never ran out of ammunition. We should be concentrating on players who are 11, 12, 13 and 14 years of age.” I had the opportunity to consult at a nearby academy several years ago (Not Bollettieri’s but modeled on that) and it was ridiculous. The kids were on the court up to eight hours a day. It violated all principles of sound training and motor learning. They were just repeating errors when they were tired. When that was done then they were supposed to strength train or do ‘speed’ development. It was borderline abusive. For all of this the parents were paying in excess of $20,000 a year. Needless to say the players who have talent and survive are good. Contrast this with other countries that are systematically developing their players. They work on coordination and specific fitness. They observe the influence of growth and development. Folks this is a problem that transcends tennis. Look at basketball it is much the same.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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