Personally I despise face book , i joined it to interact with some friends but i now have 'acquaintances' of friends who want to be my 'friend', i find that just plain stupid. I saw on someone's site a rather funny line , it stated something like " I think you should do this even though i don't know you". What's wrong with this ??! Aren't you two friends ?? One guy has 400 plus friends , i find that funny, I think i have 3 but hey if i was looking for enemies , well that would be a real long list, nature of the game.
So to this site, I love it , my release, a site that has attracted way too much bad publicity but that's all part of having an opinion regarding a sport that i have played since i was a kid . The problem with tennis is that there are many perceptions as to how it should be played , taught, trained or written about. So who is correct ? The person who is teaching is always correct, in their own eyes, they are always right, the consumer will always accept the tuition content.
"My coach is the best , he taught me how to do this and that and he communicates really well, he charges me $80 an hour , he must be good, the proof is in the invoice". If a student is happy to pay that , walk away , feel good about themselves and their game , then that's all that matters. Who am I to say anything derogatory about the whole process ?!
Just as one of my last chapters explored the scoring system of tennis, let's explore the billing process shall we? The perception of a tennis coach is that he delivers a 'professional service', well done Mr Tennis Coach, you are a credit to society. So what about the postman? The fireman? The lawn mowing man? Do they not offer a professional service? Get where i am coming from?
The problem with tennis is this, the perception is that when you are a kid you have the rarest of opportunities to make a living out of it, there lies the problem. So if a kid shows some potential , their parents see it , then the light globe goes off, the coach sees the light globe, the coach charges the $$$. Remember the return of a pro tennis player if he or she makes it inside the top 100 players in the World, a guaranteed 120 grand simply for turning up at all 4 Grand Slams and losing first round , easy money.
The issue with tennis now days however is it's taught pretty much the same way, hit it hard , reduce the errors, remain fit, healthy, focused, motivated, train 5 days a week , pretty simple stuff. So what is going to separate your best from the rest? $$$$$ , that's the only thing that will take a kid from a good player to a really good player, let's look at this.
If a kid shows potential but his parents have no $$$$ then what happens ? They go play a team sport. Remember the coach will not do a lesson for free , he won't halve the cost, he may reduce it , but he won't do it under $50 an hour. A postie makes $24 an hour , before tax, i should know , i was one for around 20 years, i only coached full time for maybe 5 years. So the average wage will see perhaps 3 hours work after tax cover the cost of a tennis lesson that will teach the pupil to hit the ball , what's wrong with this? Much more to tennis than just hitting a ball. Ask the guy ranked 1000, he's a f..... good tennis player. He needs to employ a psychologist to get him inside the top 500.
Why is a tennis coach better than a postman, a fireman or a lawn mower man who deliver a professional service? Potential income, why else? If you get good at tennis you will earn a mil a year, a postie earns 50 grand with a fair chunk of overtime.
Hang on, we are forgetting a couple of things ; A Tennis Coach has overheads , sure he does , Insurance costs around $350 a year, big bucks indeed. Don't forget court hire too, debilitating. So a lawn mower man doesn't have fuel and maintenance costs?
So here's the theory; If you could earn the big bucks from the above mentioned professions, tennis not included, the cost of learning the jobs would be astronomical, would they not? They are affordable to learn because the pay day is average. The potential pay day of a tennis player is rather glamorous , hence the invoice as mentioned and it's why coaches get narky over the whole industry, they believe what they are doing is world beating stuff.
If someone has a shot at them then it's the end of their world as they know it and it's on many face book pages if you don't believe me. The underlying references to their own ego's are rife.
I hate face book but I tell you what , the free entertainment that you can get off some pages are priceless. So my point to this whole chapter?
As the great Andre Agassi once said regarding Yevgeny Kafelnikov's shot at his 'average pay days'......
Take your pay cheque and go buy some perspective, you can work that out.......