A while ago I promised myself I would write a book so that's exactly what I have been doing. Apologies for not writing on this site much lately. I have posted over 500 chapters on this site over the past three years or so that upset some people who I refer to as 'uneducated'.
I have on the other hand impressed others who have seen some talent in my writing and a theory or two on how the game is played. I never set out to impress anyone on this site, it was more a down to earth take on a sport that is now being organised and taught by people who are not even qualified to stack shelves at a local Supermarket.
If any 'Tennis Coach' has ever taken offence to my writing then I would suggest that they are not in fact a Tennis Coach but more someone who has simply passed a test, not unlike a P Plater who now has a license to drive with experienced drivers on the road. ( As always I reiterate that I do not have a go at real Tennis Coaches on this site, just those who mascaraed as ones.)
There is of course a huge difference between someone who has driven for 20 years as opposed to a newcomer who has just taken down the L Plates yet unless there is an accident the public are none the wiser. But isn't that tennis ?
There are guys and girls who have taught the sport for decades and who have also ventured out of their backyards to either play or coach tennis yet for some reason they are not rewarded by a governing body particularly in our country of Oz.
In fact I see on TA's website there is a recommended hourly 'teaching' rate of between $60 and $80 for 'qualified' coaches. Well that really is giving the average tennis player an affordable stepping stone into the game isn't it Tennis Australia ? How about you take your head outa your backside for three minutes and look at just what that hourly rate does for the sport in general. It keeps it in the hands of the rich, nothing more, nothing less. How is that a rate that can be justified ?
Why isn't there a varied hourly rate for different levels of experience rather than simply the owning of a piece of paper or would that make way too much sense Tennis Australia ? The whole system is abused by people who have passed a course and who cannot wait to join the long queue of 'tennis coaches' making squillions out of conning the public into thinking that they have a system that owns a heartbeat.
I did hear a comment some time ago in regards to a young coach fresh on the scene in the City. Apparently they told someone that 'it's just the going rate' when talking about the price of lessons. I found that to be rather disappointing because there are many levels of expertise in any coaching field yet now they all go under the same price tag when it comes to teaching tennis.
When's the last time that someone stopped to think for a minute just as to whether or not the program they are involved in has a proven formula ? Or does it just look and sound great ? I would suggest the latter would be the most common answer if someone really delved into the nuts and bolts of it all.
How many players are coming through that system at $60 to $80 an hour with results worthy of that price ? Or is it simply one of those programs that has the head honcho talking more about 'the journey' as many do when results are as rare as rocking horse sh.. ? I read that regularly.
When students are winning the papers and social media pages are full of glossy write ups complete with the obligatory quotes from the 'Zen Masters' that include famous lines such as ' We always expected Jimmy to gain these type of results as our training regime has been second to none'..... And so on.
Yet when the results do not happen then somehow that hourly rate has to be justified by talking about 'journeys' and 'the climb', not to mention 'the building of character'. You see great talkers in the sport of tennis should in fact have to cap their hourly rates at no more than $40 an hour because that's just about all that they do, talk.
So in conclusion yes this sport pisses me off because I have despised the way in which it is governed in this country for many years but I also look forward to writing about these sorts of issues in the future as it gives me a dialogue that only a journalist could dream of.
My book will include a chapter or two on just how ridiculous the whole industry is in regards to affordability and accountability that never gets a mention when trying to work out why on earth the sport has a success rate of one in a million.
My book will be a ripper, trust me........