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What's New in The Midwest in 2012
USTA College Information Session at the ACC Tournament
Changes in the Tar Heel Qualifier
What's New in The Midwest in 2012   2012 has brought many new changes for junior competitive tournament players. National USTA has made significant changes to the tournament schedule which have reduced opportunities for many. Meanwhile, the Midwest USTA has responded to the requests of players and parents with several notablechanges: • Midwest now "owns" the elevated tournaments (Levels 1-5); this should ensure more consistent standards for tournaments, including:
o No matches starting before 8am
o 12 hours guaranteed between matches from one day to the next
o For 14s, 12s, and10-and-Unders, no matches start/resume after 9pm
o For 16s and 18s, no matches start/resume after 10pm
• Efforts made to better distribute elevated tournaments (Levels 1-5) geographically (53% in Michigan and Ohio, down from 71%)
• All events begin on Saturday
• There are elevated tournaments during all holidays, so less school is missed
• New 2-day 32-draw tournaments added
• Many more doubles added, most with a one-match consolation
• All are Feed-In Consolation
• Boys and Girls 10s compass draws added
• Concurrent events of different levels held on same weekend, allowing players to sign up for both Let us know your thoughts on these changes....join our Facebook community!  
USTA College Information Session at the ACC Tournament High school players, parents, and coaches are invited to attend a College Information Session hosted by the USTA on Saturday April 23rd at the ACC Championships, held at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary NC.
Changes in the Tar Heel Qualifier Changes in the Tar Heel Qualifier We have found information about the 2011 Tar Heel Qualifier changes posted at on since the first of the year but know that some folks are still just finding out. We encourage you to make a regular stop at from time to time as that as forum is used to distribute the most information. But, in case you have not visited the site or have and have questions, please read the following.
What are you really practicing? PDF  | Print |  E-mail

fistI write this article after coming off the court in 22 degree weather. Why? We are having a ridiculous cold spell that is affecting the entire country. We just had players return from the Winter Nationals, Southern Indoors, and various state events. We had staff meetings, parent meetings, and discussions with players about their results and what could have been done differently either tactically and strategically.

The conclusion for the most part was that there was not enough match play in preparation. Our son/daughter have all the tools they just do not use them. Should I be surprised! Our attendance on our match play weekend was small at best?. "Did you prepare in every way possible?"

At what stage when a player returns from an event a little down does the coach get to say "Did you prepare in every way possible?" The students never miss private lessons, they never miss match times in events, but they do not choose to play practice matches.

Why do players not play practice matches? Friends? Not important? Not enough time in the week? Rather take a lesson? No player wants to beat their friend. How about if you play someone that is not your friend? How in the world can match play not be important when all tournaments are match play events? How about skipping one day of group and playing a full blown 2-3 set match. We talk about mental toughness until we are blue in the face. We talk about shot selection and making adjustments until the end of time. We talk about raising intensity, speeding up and/or slowing down matches. We talk about learning from our opponents. We talk about matches in events, but we do not break apart a match to learn in practice, we break apart a match from an event.

...a player must decide what to do when “IN A MATCH.”

Then when it comes down to it we do not practice it. We practice patterns, attacking, defending, rolling, pushing, driving, and volleying. All of these skills are important but a player must decide what to do when IN A MATCH. We do not practice what most parents, coaches, and players blame most of their results on, failure to handle the pressure. How do we expect our players to execute in pressure situations when they do not practice in any pressure situations? We run our program where players who win move up and those who lose move down. We have players battle harder just not to move down in practice then in a tournament when the stakes are advancement through the rounds. Why? Could it be we practice in this environment? The players train in this environment and therefore are seasoned on how to compete for rotations. What if players added match play to their workout? Would they be seasoned to compete for the whole match? I believe they would.

We expect our players to be mentally tough for an entire match, but we only train them to concentrate for a 10 minute rotation. That does not sound like training in the right environment. Concentration like a forehand is learned and applied. We must apply it in practice.

Please players, play matches, work on mentally competing longer and your tournament results will reflect the changes.

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Last Updated on Monday, 18 January 2010 19:51
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