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"Under-10 Tennis" Curiosity
#1 Posted : Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:18:59 AM(UTC)

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During USO, you may catch some ads running with Agassi & Graf plugging this "Under-10 Tennis". First question is what's "new" about it? We've long had kiddie-sized racquets & under-inflated balls. Get some contractors out to paint some half-sized court lines, maybe?

Thaz so Yankee--your kids can't learn the game, dumb it down. Like that's gonna make 'em competitive with girls learning out in cold Moscow mornings on Spartak asphalt.  Not. Like dreaming they'll turn out more Tiger Woods on minature golf links.

Whatever. But there is one very interesting figure in that ad.  The little animated story-book girl who wants to learn tennis poses in front of the mirror in a classic Suzanne Lenglen sorta outfit. That speaks to how deep they're digging on this problem.

Probably the ONLY time tennis had great MASS interest in the States (beyond the country-clubs) was in fact the 1920s--directed at the figure of Lenglen in particular & associated with an image of the emergent "modern woman". Roosevelt followed up in the 1930s & had WPA built a lotta asphalt public courts--many still in use even now.

LONG before the recollection of anyone engaged with this problem today, see?  Americans are generally fearful of historical process & actively avoid awakening historical memory. The little girl playing dress-up is from way when--a good eighty years ago! What's up with that in a contemporary promotion?

Grabbed my attention, yeah, and MIGHT mean something to Billie Jean, who was once a radical. 

Stay tuned.

"That's the way the world works... right now." --Maria Sharapova at 17
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Valkyre on 8/23/2011(UTC)
#2 Posted : Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:48:22 AM(UTC)

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Very interesting Paul. Some people tend to believe that by dumbing down the sport they will actually discover new talents. I remember the era where the same applied to basketball, which i've experienced first hand. You see back then they used to train kids with a small ball and a very low rim. And ofcourse wonders where happening. Everyone thought that a new era of Birds and Jordans was on the horizon....

Then suddenly puberty kicks in and toddlers had to play with a real ball and on a real court... and yeah...suffice to say, the expectations where not met... at all. Since then I havent seen (thankfully) similar kind of practicing juniors. Lets hope this will not become a trend and people start to realize that a kid is going to become good at something when from a young age, he starts to understand the sport and experience it in its pure unaltered form.

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paul_pipkin on 8/23/2011(UTC)
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