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HEAD Gravity Tennis Racquet

1-Question Survey

February 2022

"If you were hired as the new USTA CEO, what would you do

in the first 3 months at your job?"

We had 83 responses as of February 21, 2022.

Here are the answers.

  • Get rid of the wokeness that the USTA picked up over the past two years.

  • Concentrate funds in junior development in the poorer Caribbean section and Virgin Islands District.

  • I would cut back radically the unsuccessful player development program.

  • Immediately get rid of the new tournament software. Let tennis pros have freedom to run tournaments the way they think they should be run.

  • Bring the USPTA and PTR under the USTA

  • Fix the tournament management program so that tournament directors do not loath running tournaments.  

  • Take a vacation!

  • I would promote free weekly tennis instruction for children 10 and under throughout the US. If we want to catch the most talented will need a bigger net. No pun intended.

  • Change the organization into a Grant Based Org with funding generated by the US Open.

  • Have a conference with the Sections to determine what they need; re-establish volunteer relations; overhaul the tournament development program; establish better family oriented programs

  • cut the fat (bloated salaries, unnecessary jobs, get rid of travel for dignitaries); move more money into facilities: courts, indoor, etc and more money into instructors, equipment, programs

  • Reduce head count by 1/3. Eliminate Player development. Reduce top 30 salaries by 50%.

  • Due an assessment of the environment, design,plan and implement. At the same time meet with teams get feedback recommendations.

  • Redirect the USTA funds that come out of Carson so that California kids could one day become top players in the world

  • Review budget items, review the player development program, look at pickle ball vs tennis

  • Re-instate the NOG

  • The USTA has taken over the USPTA and PTR - make it formal merge them under the USTA and eliminate all the unnecessary BS that goes on

  • Focus on running an amazing US Open $$$ and get back to grassroots, community focus.

  • Lower tournament prices

  • Encourage more older level senior tournaments for those who want to compete but find so few ways to do so.

  • If I were hired it would be because the Board, who hired me, would be in full support of my "Back to Basics" business plan, which would begin with the reorganization of an outdated USTA model.

  • Easy, increase membership.. it has been static or dropping for over 25 years… they should be ashamed…if they were profit making everyone would be fired!

  • 1. Create, communicate and delegate to the entire USTA staff and public an actual strategy to grow tennis and have a full game plan from start to finish. Not just tactics like meaningless partnerships that were made with a handshake in a conference room. 2. Review and tighten up all financials and make sure we are responsible and healthy in our fiduciary obligations 3. Cut budget of player development and invest that saved money into more adaptive, inclusive programming as well as more competitive events (futures, ITFs, WTA and ATP events)

  • Rebuild the army of passionate, dedicated volunteers who have always been the driving force behind the growth of tennis.

  • Educate USTA on the real numbers of the sport and let them know that all employment is on a year to year basis

  • 1. Give myself a big raise. 2. Move more tennis events (tournaments, USTA team tennis events, etc.) from other local Florida sites to Lake Nona. 3. Fluff up the budgets for community tennis and player development. 4. Make more parts of USTA's budget opaque and meaningless.

  • Get serve tennis fixed. Talk to every employee and figure out who really does anything and cares about tennis. Talk to every Section ED about grassroots tennis. Evaluate the budget and figure out how to spend more money on growing tennis. Get a consultant that knows something to get Lake NONA on track to at least breaking even. And more

  • Focus on promoting Junior Team Tennis. There isn’t enough focus on the developmental aspect to the game for juniors and JTT is a safe environment for juniors to play.

  • Get rid of the certification pathway and the players development

  • Change the points system and use UTR

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  • I would fire the lowest 20% performers, and put the highest contracted employees on notice that they will not be renewed at the same rate.

  • Work on a partnership between Pickleball/ Tennis to promote more courts in areas that lack them.

  • Institute a program for TEACHERS-- maybe a 4-hour workshop-- that allows them to officially "rate" students (3, 3.5, etc). These teachers could then charge their hourly rate for students to come and get rated for REAL. Income for USTA, for the Teachers, and HUGE relief from the ridiculous practice of sandbagging where 4.0s play in "3.0" tournaments which goes on EVERYWHERE in California. THAT"S why we're leaving for the UTR. Fix this BS "self-rating" system if you REALLY want to promote competitive and recreational tennis!

  • As CEO of the USTA I would begin by saying the quiet part out loud - 1. Tennis has evolved from parks game to country club is is now an elites only sport. 2. USTA will continue to buy tennis clubs (like in the PNW) so we can own the sport. 3. Pay myself 2 million a year and my sidekick Danny Z. 1 million per. 4. We will buy pickleball organizations one at a time until we own that to. 5. Allow cheating in USTA junior tournaments "because everybody does it." 6. Pay the winner of the US Open, men's and women's open winners 5 million each. 7. Turn the National Tennis Center into the largest concert/event center in the NE. 8. Continue to marginalize the USPTA and the USPTR by overlapping what they do. 9. Lease the National Campus to Disney World 10. Buy the Tennis Channel when it goes into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

  • Adoot Pickleball as sister sport

  • Assess the rating system. Too many players cheat. Too many players make sectionals and nationals and are allowed to stay at the same rating levels and therefore other players become qualifiers with no chance at making a national team. Too many players cheat to keep their current rating. It feels like a scam.

  • Fix junior tennis

  • Reestablish focus on player development at all levels. Define the pathway from national to community tennis. Redefine objectives and responsibilities in all positions of USTA staff and volunteers. Then get ready to make changes over the next 3 months.

  • Offer a new incentive deal for certified tennis professionals around the country similar to the Pga… granting access to professional atp and wta events around the country for free.

  • I'd evaluate the present staff if they had the skils/motivation needed to meet the current goals of the USTA. And I'd reach out to Industry Leaders to reestablish realistic goals to grow the game with love so much. So much can be done to help grass roots Tennis growth.

  • Trim the fat at the top

  • Bring together the most successful coaches, instructors who have developed the most successful programs; establish a complete protocol with high school tennis; create a junior high tennis development program.

  • Go around and visit each section and listen to everyone in the field. See what the boots on the ground have to say - good or bad. Basically go on a “listening” tour.

  • Change the focus to growing tennis at the recreational level, which would involve some housecleaning.

  • Buyout UTR and use it as the USTA Rating system, either partner with pickleball and make yourselves the “racquet sports association” OR treat them like a competitor (no in between) Simplify, there are too many initiatives, websites, and the next “big thing” (I.e. Net Generation, QuickStart, youthtennis.com,etc) changes every 2 years so all providers have lost respect for each new USTA initiative. Unify the product delivery system, bring in all section and state staff that are your local sales/product delivery system and train them (&get them on the same page with the same message) like a large corporation (I.e. a pharmaceutical company) would. Oftentimes National puts out something and the local USTA offices either don’t know about, don’t support it, or don’t know how it works. Leave USPTA and PTR alone, don’t try and become their “accreditor” after never serving in that role since their inception. What gives you the right when you’re a completely disorganized organization yourself? The USTA’s involvement has already made the certification process drastically more confusing and difficult. If you’re going to launch a product as important as Serve Tennis was for Tournaments, have it tested by actual tournament directors to get the bugs out before launch. On the player development side, put more effort into supporting local coaches and players instead of trying to funnel top players to Lake Nona

  • Increase funding for US player development; US Open is the national championship and a higher percentage of revenues should be devoted to providing resources to top American prospects, especially those who lack sufficient financial resources of their own. Training and travel expenses should be covered in part by us open revenues to top 200 us men and women. Additionally us open revenues should go to travel expenses for top junior prospects.

  • Follow and Improve what is successful in the past as a tennis association in charge of tournament and leagues and support tennis and grow the game leave coaches associations alone

  • For the Player Development Program, I would hire super-specialists to conduct two-week sessions twice a year in their areas of expertise to teach our talented teenagers. For example, Agassi on return of serve; Sampras on the serve; Mayotte on the volley; Fish on the backhand; Courier on the forehand, etc.

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  • I forgot to give my name and email address a minute ago. Paul Fein -- lincjeff1@comcast.net

  • Finally settle on a jr comp system that doesnt favor the wealthy and keep tennis lily white

  • If authorized by the Board of Directors, I would canvas the country to attempt to determine what the priorities of the organization should be. The canvas would include those already within the organization and those without, all with an eye toward how best to promote and develop the growth of tennis. Then we together would work to implement the priorities.

  • do a swot analysis of everything

  • Go to WAR against PICKLEBALL!!!

  • Build more Tennis Courts!!!

  • Promote USPTA PROs!!!

  • STOP ENDORSING TENNIS WAREHOUSE, TENNIS EXPRESS, TENNIS POINT, ETC. THESE WEBSITES ARE PUTTING THE LOCAL CLUB PRO SHOPS AND SMALLER TENNIS RETAILERS OUT OF BUSINESS. USTA NEEDS TO PROMOTE LOCAL SHOPS AND BUY SMALL TO KEEP THE INDUSTRY ALIVE AND COMPETITIVE.

  • Refocus the organization on Grass Roots tennis to build tennis from bottom up and try to build the trust of the USPTA/PTR to help deliver the product

  • 1. Keep the national & sectional competitive adult player component. Clean up what’s in place and identify ALL bureaucratic paper pushing assholes currently receiving a paycheck & benefits and fire them the first month. Create and implement a new RATING program for players 18 and up. Possibly incorporating a form of UTR or an ITF system. 2. Blow up junior tennis (from 4 -5 year old beginners to 18 national ranked players) and START OVER!! It’s so fucked up, there’s NO WAY to fix it. SOMETIMES the TRUTH is hard to handle. 3. Abandon and shutter USTA PLAYER DEVELOPMENT. Allow private coaches to develop future world class players. Let’s ALL finally admit, there’s a better way to produce healthy and well-rounded CHAMPIONS. The model the USTA has tried for the past 35 years is NO LONGER RELEVANT. Throw in the fucking towel, take those resources and roll out a NEW NATIONAL recreational initiative for adults and juniors. That is the “ SWEET SPOT” of AMERICAN TENNIS……… You’re welcome! Conrad Cowan

  • Cut salaries 25% in Orlando. cut head count by 30%. Eliminate pr0 player group and fund top 200 teaching pros in country to help development of potential stars.

  • Focus more on community involvement and making grants for courts and equipment more available and easier to apply for. Promote the sport more in this way as a beginning.

  • I would make severe changes to the education/certification processes and procedures that the USTA, USPTA and PTR are trying unsuccessfully to implement. This needs to be fixed right now!

  • restructure all the salaries and put a committee together to explore the true mission of the USTA

  • Concentrate funds in junior development in the poorer Caribbean section and Virgin Islands District..

  • Fully fund players development, fix the jr. tournament structure, bring back Net Generation

  • I would replace all transition ball activities with touchtennis. Tennis needs to retain players and implement a fast track to full court tennis. Furthermore, pickleball is a threat to tennis, with tennis players leaving the game for an easier option. touchtennis offers an easy to play game that replicates tennis. Tennis is under threat with the pickleball craze. Don't underestimate this. touchtennis can save tennis.

  • I would push the majority of the funding back to the districts, where tennis is actually played, taught and promoted. The USTA has lost the ideals that tennis happens in a singular zip code, not in a national ivory tower. Eliminate all road blocks to play, count all tennis as tennis, integrate pickle, platform and all racket sports into the organization and become the steward of what the people want. Help create careers in the Racket Sports industry, like what the PGA has done. There is a new title called Rackets or Racquets professionals. Does the USTA represent that in their governance? Do the PTA and PTR know what they are doing? Someone needs to take the lead, look at other industries, that share club houses, and learn how to put a professional plan in place. Tennis looks amateur compared to other sports and governing bodies.

  • Get rid of the deadwood. I feel a lot of hires are there because of connections/nepotism and it's time to start a new chapter. Seek out the world's best and hire and build from there.

  • Understand and get a grip off all the finance and budgeting

  • The first thing I would do is divert the current $ structure and move the $ to our future professional players. I would use a model that a bunch of European countries use. Use scouts that their sole purpose is to find talented juniors. Use those players and find the most talented coaches near their own home example near where I live Craig Kardon and Taylor Dent are in dfw (not make them move away from their families) and pay for their coaching. We need some grand slam champions (male) from the USA

  • Review all the salaries and administrative structure of the USTA, including the US Open operations. Cut the Player Development budget to minimum, 5 person staff would be more than enough in that department to simply observe, follow and support the academies, places and coaches in the private sector that already have a long history of developing top talent, and use those cuts in the budget to: 1. Spend on marketing the scientific and social benefits of playing tennis, and really get agressive after the grass roots market. 2. Create a separate foundation that would be focused to soleley help the top juniors and young pros on a scale base reward system, where they would be obligated to pay back/donate to the foundation certain percentage of their prize money until they turn certain age or achieve certain ranking for a certain period of time. 3. Help the private sector with funds by establishing certain parameters that if a grass roots program meets that they can get subsidies. And last , encourage the sections to reward more collaboration between all the private tennis programs.

  • Eliminate player development and fund families/coaches that qualify with top prospects. Allow clubs more autonomy in running events and tournaments. Provide full transparency of all expenses and income. Grow the game by helping every sector of the industry, including privately owned clubs, member owned clubs and recreational city or county programs. Most important, develop a system that has all sections working on the same game plan.

  • #1 Hire at least ONE non-tennis, businessperson in each department to keep an eye on the poorly qualified jocks running USTA departments/programs; #2 figure out how to get Millennials and GenZ playing, #3 investigate Kurt Kamperman's tenure and those who supported/allowed/enabled it.

  • Allow free membership for everyone.

  • I would revamp the online system and make it easier to find tennis information. Current system is not very user friendly.

  • Hire staff to do the jobs. Committees only as advisory

  • Eliminate some staff at USTA campus, and pro development funding and create a plan to use that $$$ to sponsor lots more ITF 15k, 25k and women’s 60/100/125 k and men’s challengers. Create more playing opportunities for all players. Submitted anonymously.

  • I would cut back radically the unsuccessful player development program.

  • Defund the high performance division and put that money into grass root programs.

  • Revamp the USTA Net Generation policy and hire coaches that have a proven record of teaching competitive players and work to make some USA players that can be competitive on a world stage. Go back to what worked.

  • Get a tennis wall built in as many communities as possible

  • Create an ROG and on campus schools program that actually took the nation by storm launching millions of new players into the awesome life changing aspect of racquet sports!😇😁🎾

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