To present “new” information designed to strengthen the fidelity of the USTA’s mission for sanctioned junior tournament tennis which is that of providing a safe competitive youth sports environment while also serving as a catalyst for developing “life skills.”
To make such information accessible to the “global” junior tennis community
To quote Albert Einstein, “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the level of thinking that created them.”
Such wisdom is the driving force behind this website whose sole purpose is that of sharing information with the “global” junior tennis community that may offer “new” solutions to “old” problems related to USTA sanctioned junior tournament tennis. Research related to junior competitive tennis per se is no new phenomenon. In fact, research initiatives enacted by the USTA in recent years has led to noticeable changes designed to improve the overall quality of the sanctioned junior tournament experience on a number of levels, something I applaud as a USTA certified official of 35 years. One of the most significant initiatives took place in 2019 in the form of a USTA commissioned study conducted by the University of Central Florida (UCF). Key findings that emerged from this comprehensive investigation extolled the positive benefits of youth participation in competitive tennis while also revealing some shortcomings that serve to weaken the fidelity of the USTA’s mission.
When this website was launched in 2018 my aim was to draw attention to how behavioral, developmental and environmental underpinnings either stimulate or inhibit the trajectory of competitive tennis participation as a safe and life-long youth sporting experience. This aim appears to be substantiated by UCF’s findings, pointing to concerns regarding socialization, (parent) education, player development, burnout and dropout as well as antisocial behaviors e.g. cheating. Further, findings revealed an absence of “safeguards” to offset the potential for such negative experiences inhibiting player progress and impacting retention. Lastly, an overemphasis on results outcome i.e. winning was found to supersede the “global” developmental needs of juniors.
Junior Tennis Research examines the above underpinnings and contains articles offering “new” solutions to “old” problems associated with junior competitive tennis. These new solutions are couched within a framework centered on specific behavioral and developmental theories. My aim is to generate a “new” level of thinking with adults associated with junior tournament participation which may strengthen the fidelity of the USTA’s overarching mission for competitive tennis being a safe and life-long youth endeavor.
Master's degree in Education
Current USTA certified official (38 years)
Former ATP/WTA tour official
(12 US Opens; 3 Davis Cup Ties)
Former ITF White Badge official
Former NCAA D-I college tennis coach
Former USPTA teaching professional