US Tennis Needs More 'Insane Parents'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2009 4:30 PM CDT
Venus Williams.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The next US tennis star will not be the product of a national training push, Huan Hsu writes for Slate, but rather of “crazy tennis parents.” The United States Tennis Association plans to spend $100 million in the next 10 years, but that’s not how it’ll find the next Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras. “What separates the best players from their peers isn’t superior teaching,” Hsu writes. “It’s maniacal devotion.”

Tennis dads might not be nice, but they are effective. “The approaches of these tennis tyrants may have been objectionable,” Hsu writes. “Nevertheless, these parents had a plan, and they stuck to it.” And it works better than the USTA’s approach, which hasn’t produced a Grand Slam champ since 1986. The easily teachable sport means parents “can read a book, watch a few videos, and give capable instruction.” And ensure victory.