BBC article about foreign players -
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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BBC article about foreign players

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 05:09 AM
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Re: BBC article about foreign players

great find...thx for the link

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: BBC article about foreign players

well I just went to Zootennis and it was there dunno how SHE
found it
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 02:38 PM
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Re: BBC article about foreign players

BBC article would appear to be one take on the issue.

Here is another... I have highlighted the part that was about int'l players as it is towards the end

From Player to Coach to Administrator: An Interview with Erica Perkins of the USTA
by Colette Lewis, 27 December 2010

Erica Perkins of the USTA has experienced college tennis from the perspective of a player, a coach, and now as an administrator. Senior manager of junior and collegiate competition in the USTA's Player Development department, Perkins describes her responsibilities as "anything that pertains to college tennis within the USTA."

Raised in the Pacific Northwest by a tennis family, Perkins caught the tennis bug from her older brother, and had a racquet in her hand daily from the age of two. Describing her junior career as "low-pressure," and her status as "one of the better Northwest juniors, but not outstanding," Perkins knew she wanted to play college tennis in the Pac-10. She dreamed of playing for the University of Washington, but although Perkins was a four-time state high school champion, she was not offered a scholarship there, so she accepted an offer from Washington State University.

"It ended up being a great fit for me; I got a lot better at tennis," says the 31-year-old, who qualified for the NCAA individual tournament three times. "I probably overachieved for my ability level. It was a really positive experience and I went to a great school."

While redshirting for medical reasons, Perkins, a history major with a minor in French, began work on her masters degree in educational administration, with an emphasis in athletics.

Accepting the head women's coaching job at Georgia Southern immediately after graduation, Perkins finished her masters, and after two years at Georgia Southern, became assistant women's coach at William and Mary. After two years there, Perkins was named head coach at Michigan State University, spending two seasons in that position before joining the USTA in 2008.

During the Dunlop Orange Bowl, I sat down with the Boca Raton-based Perkins to talk about her job and the USTA's involvement with college tennis.

Colette Lewis (CL): What are some of the projects you've been working on?
Erica Perkins (EP): The USTA has the Summer Collegiate team, the Pro Tour transition camps, as well as some of the advocacy-type programs, like the Campus Showdowns and the Campus Kids' Days. I also do a lot of communicating by Facebook and Twitter, and I end up writing a lot for the website, whether it's Q and A's with players or writing up releases.

CL: Your title includes junior tennis. How does that figure into your responsibilities?
EP: My two junior events are probably two of the best in the world - the US Open juniors and the Dunlop Orange Bowl. My contact with juniors other than that is when I go out to the sections and speak to junior players and parents about college tennis. My junior interaction is mostly when it has to do with college tennis, which also includes when we bring the junior national teams to play at the colleges.

CL: I see you on the road a lot. How much do you travel?
EP: I'll have to look up the final count, but I'm pretty sure I've been on the road over 100 days (confirmed as 103) this year.

CL: Do you like that aspect of the job?
EP: When I first started, people in the office would say, oh you travel so much, how do you handle it? But I had gone from traveling every weekend with a team, so I felt like it wasn't that stressful at all, because I only had to take care of myself. It's a lot of travel, but everything I'm doing is so exciting and so positive. I may get on a plane to go to an event and be like, oh I'm in an airport again, hello Delta airlines, and I have that feeling when I start to travel, but then as soon as I get onsite at an event, interacting with college coaches and players, or junior players and their parents, by the time my job starts, I don't even realize that I've traveled. It's probably similar to a lot of people who love what they do, but travel a lot.

CL: What's your typical day like when you're in Boca?
EP: My office is on the third floor of our training center in Boca. It's a pretty fun atmosphere there, because you've got the combination of administrative staff like myself and coaches mingling and interacting. I do a ton of work communicating on the phone and through email and Twitter and Facebook, so there's a lot of writing during the day. I wouldn't say I work on one project then the next, then the next. It's pretty fluid. If I get an email from a college coach who wants to hold a Campus Showdown, I'm going to walk them through the steps to get their event going. The next phone call might be from a college coach, who works with one of the best American players, to talk about getting them a training opportunity to come down to Boca, and then talking to one of our coaching staff to make sure that happens.
I work with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association staff on a daily basis on a number of our programs like Campus Showdowns, Campus Kids' Days, and Campus QuickStart. Obviously for the USTA title sponsorship of the Regionals, Small College Championships, Wheelchair Championships and the hosting of the National Indoors, we worked hand in hand with David Benjamin and his staff all fall to make the first year a success.
There's also usually one event looming that I'm constantly working on, but the day-to-day communication I get is pretty varied.

CL: Do you spend much time on the court?
EP: No - playing or otherwise. A couple of times when I first got there, I helped (USTA National Coach) Kathy Rinaldi out with a camp, which was pretty fun. And sometimes when we travel with the national teams, especially the girls, I'll get out on the court and help as needed. At the camp before the Napa event, I was out on court one day, running the guys through drills, and they were actually listening to me.

CL: What are your favorite parts of the job?
EP: I really like working directly with the coaches and the players. With the coaches, being a resource for them, helping them do their job. I did that job for six years, and it's a very, very difficult job, one that a lot of times one person can't do, and often two or three people can't do everything that they want to do. So I love being able to help.

And I think it's really fun to give opportunities to our best American players. Over Thanksgiving we had eight guys in, and it's pretty fun to come to work and have eight of your best American college players out there working on the courts. They cherish the opportunity to come to Boca to train and work with some of our national coaching staff.

CL: What is your least favorite part of the job?
EP: There needs to be more time in the day. College tennis is such a great product that it has now almost gotten to the point where there's so much work to be done, I can't always get it done in a full day. That's probably the biggest challenge.

CL: Patrick McEnroe started his position as head of Player Development shortly before you joined the USTA. What is your perception of what's happened since he took over?
EP: Everything's really positive; it's a positive work environment. Everyone feels like they're part of the team. You've got people working some long hours, but everybody's so passionate about tennis and about what they're doing, it makes it all worthwhile.

CL: What have you heard from college coaches about the USTA's college tennis initiatives?
EP: The coaches are very free with their ideas and suggestions, but also with praise. A lot of the feedback has been very positive, and the suggestions have been very helpful in shaping any future programming we're going to do.

CL: What's your take on the number of international players on U.S. college teams?
EP: If you actually sit down and look at the numbers in each division and at each level, it's probably not as big a problem as some people perceive it to be.

On a personal level, I played on a team where I was the only or one of two Americans for all of my years there, and I had an incredible experience, and it's probably the reason I got so much better. I have friends from all over the world and I grew up quicker than maybe I would have on another team.

On a professional level, and this is what I tell parents and players when I go out and speak, it's college coaches' jobs to make their teams better. I don't know many coaches in the country who don't go out and recruit American players first. There's very few. If they're graduating their No. 4 player, it's their job, if they're doing their job well, to bring in a player that's better than the one graduating. So if they strike out on the Americans that they're interested in, they've got to continue to do their job. So I have no problem with college coaches who are doing the work and out recruiting American players.

I think it's our job as Player Development, and I think Patrick, Jay (Berger) and Ola (Malmqvist) would agree with me, to get more top American players, to increase that pool for those college coaches.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Re: BBC article about foreign players

Perkins coached at Georgia Southern!?? I went there last year before I transferred to Ohio State!

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Re: BBC article about foreign players

On some level, I feel for the schools who can't compete with schools such as Stanford, Florida, or UNC for American talent. To keep your job, you are forced to recruit internationally. I am ok with an international student IF the student is really there to study and get a degree. I'm opposed to coaches recruiting talent just for the sake of getting a good player. If the recruit wants to get a free education and play tennis, then I don't care where he or she is from.

I think this rule will help distinguish those foreign athletes who want to get an education, as opposed to those who just want to play tennis.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 06:10 PM
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Re: BBC article about foreign players

Form who is the #1 rule breaker when it comes to violating posting rules here I predict will be reprimanded again.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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Re: BBC article about foreign players

Both sides have merit. If there are more and bigger rewards for American families in terms of scholarship money, then the market will adjust, and the pool of American talent will increase. And it is true that playing against international competition increases the skills of our US talent, and being with them on a team can give a broadening life experience.

I believe the six month rule will roughly level the playing field. No longer will the Europeans have two bites at the apple, and get to try to be a professional and upon failing get four more years of training and education as a scholarship athlete. And the american players, will more often be competing against their true peers.
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