The reason why I have always had a dig at the Industry we call 'tennis coaching' is because I don't believe it is run by our Governing Body Tennis Australia with any real thought. TA make bucket loads of money each year yet the way in which they choose to spend it leaves a lot to be desired.
The funding issue is beyond comical because it keeps topping up the bank accounts of current and ex players who really don't require it or more to the point, don't deserve it.
Former Aussie Tennis Pro Richard Fromberg just recently had a bit to say on his site in regards to Tennis Australia.
"In my opinion, tennis in Australia is in desperate need of some major structural changes. The sport is far too expensive for most families".........
That was just part of a recent post from Frommie.
He's very correct.
One thing I have always stated on this site of mine is the fact that tennis coaching is a 'free for all' of epic proportions where nothing is regulated and nothing is sacred, nothing is off limits.
I believe TA are responsible for this.
Recommended private lesson fees.
Tennis Australia recommends that Tennis Australia coach members charge between $60-$80 per hour (inc GST) for a one hour private lesson. The experience and qualification of the coach will impact on the hourly rate charged. This price range is a recommendation only. The individual coach member is free to determine what hourly rate to charge for private lessons.
So why is this TA ? Who came up with the price for a one on one hour session and why is it that an individual can charge what he or she likes ?
Frommie is correct, the sport is too expensive for most families so what do they do ? They steer their child to AFL or Basketball. It's why the success rate of tennis is minimal because of the minimal numbers playing due to the cost, pretty simple really.
I have stated in the past on this site that tennis coaching needs to strictly be held at tennis clubs and not schools because of the fact that tennis clubs need to be THE place to play tennis at. The reason for this is also simple.
If tennis coaches take their programs to schools it will strip the tennis club of future members because if a kid gets enrolled to play at a tennis club right from day one it will become a venue for the future for that particular child.
A school tennis court holds no esteem or future for a budding player. A tennis club requires members to survive. By taking a program to a school just down the road from a tennis club it is taking potential members away from that club all for the sake of 'convenience' though I suppose it's the way of the World now days.
So why does TA allow school programs to take place just down the road from a tennis club ? Not sure, you will have to ask TA that one but as I have stated on more than one occasion, if every local tennis coach took their program to a school instead of the local clubs then how will that build or maintain a tennis club ?
Not once did I ever ask a local school if I could coach on their grounds, though others did, less than ONE KILOMETRE from our tennis club. Did our numbers drop ? Significantly. Do I blame the peanut who asked the school if they could commence before and after school coaching on their courts ? No.
I blame TENNIS AUSTRALIA for allowing it to happen.
Just like TA says things like ''The individual coach member is free to determine what hourly rate to charge for private lessons', it is also fairly obvious that Australia's governing body of tennis is allowing the sport to be run by individuals with no thought for the future of the game, just their pockets.
Nothing is sacred, nothing off limits, as long as TA receive their $200 plus per year from their thousands of 'qualified' tennis coaches then each one is free to do whatever they wish to do to run their programs wherever they choose and however they choose.
I explained on this site that a while back each local tennis club in this area received a letter from TA in regards to their competition, the ATPCA ( Australian Tennis Professional Coaches Association ). The letter expressed concern that a competitor had come in to the Industry and was training budding tennis coaches to become future coaches of the sport here in Australia.
So where is the problem TA ?
If your system ruled the courts of this Country then surely you would be churning out champions on a much bigger scale than you currently are. Do I have a point ?
Here's the twist in this rather comical saga.
Certain TA coaches who swore by TA and their programs and who wrote in various newspapers around the State of WA ( which I have read and which I have kept clippings of ) are now paid up members of the ATPCA as well as Tennis Australia.
Interesting isn't it ?
Hypocritical ? Maybe just a little.
I love dissecting this sport. I feel like a Professor at a University cutting open a rat so everyone can see what's inside......
PART 3 TO FOLLOW