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TO BE, OR NOT TO BE

That is the question. Paraphrasing the opening phrase of the soliloquy written for William Shakespeare on his masterpiece Hamlet centuries ago, international Tennis is facing since recent times, much trouble situations for his worldwide organizations.  Mostly for actual ITF leadership for our area of incumbencies, creating instability, uncertainty and system failures to develop it, for most of the tennis environment and their actors.

 

The meaning of Hamlet’s phrase is putting us to reflect about to act or not to act, to exist or not to exist, to confront, or to let be. For those reasons, the present article was written, to talk and reflect on it. Tennis people have to manifest their worries and actual real situations.

 

The ITF constitution declares on fundamental statements his objectives which they establish, some concepts like:

 

Point 4 (a) Foster the growth and development of the sport of Tennis on a worldwide basis.

Point 4 (b) Perform the functions of the governing body for the sport of Tennis

Point 4 (d) Promote universally the development of the game at all levels, regardless of age, gender or disability.

Point 4 (e) Take such measures as may appear expedient for advancing the interest of Tennis for an international point of view.

Point 4 (f) Promote and encourage the teaching of Tennis.

Point 4 (g) Make and uphold the Regulations for International Team Championships and the competitions of the company.

Many others

 

When father ITF founders create such statements, for sure, like much actual tennis worlds. Believing that our sport has to be developed on many and reliable ways to grow. Creating one environment where MULTIPLIERS are needed to spread the tennis passion around the world and incorporate millions of people to play our game.

In fact, we are talking about leadership at all levels we precisely need multipliers, which increase the value of the sport.  Multiplicate the way of how people can participate in Tennis. Developing positive experiences for each “client-tennis player”, no matter which their level of ability has been acquired.

 

Multipliers make tennis growth.

 

In the opposite corner, precisely are the leaders for in vision, perspective, and results are diminishing the values, the impact, and more importantly, the growth of the game on many different angles. I know that many people in ITF are outstanding persons and professionals. I also know, that Mr Haggerty has good intentions and try to keep his 2015 campaign promises to bring more many onboard during his ITF Presidency. He did it. But the cost for Tennis for that money was too much more. We need to evaluate the results.

 

The decisions taken, creating uncertainty, instability, lack of confidence on the ITF and the actual board. There are hundreds of broken dreams, tennis people worried and, in many cases, angry about years of Tennis developed threw to the trash, inconsistency and many more.

 

Decisions produced that´s situations…

 

When, you diminish the values such as tradition, culture, and tennis environment on each country promoted for the Davis Cup. When you changed the format in a very political and cloudy vote session on past AGM in Orlando. Where more than 30% the countries are against these changes, including a Grand Slam Nation. This not a victory.

 

More, hundreds of tennis players are public manifested are against actual Davis Cup concept.

 

When you diminish the strategical pathway to develop from juniors to new professional tennis players. A situation which was creating division, uncertainty, lack of vision, and hope about what to do, disconnecting your WTT (Good brand by the way) to ATP/WTA.  With a lot of sad circumstances for tennis players, coaches, parents, promoters and tennis people who are too extensive to describe here, but all of us well known.

 

When you diminish the integrity and clearness of the junior tennis ranking, selling rights for one worldwide management company and academy, like IMG, (They can perfectly do their business).  ITF has to be neutral, letting out many other international tennis academies and companies and not publishing a transparent way to the concourse.

 

When you diminish the value of your worldwide tennis representation leadership on negotiation table with ATP, agreeing to take out ATP points in the early stages of professional tennis development.  But not reading that they will create ATP Nations Cup (Today ATP Cup), including 24 nations, which will be held on January. Less of 30 days of 2019 Davis Cup competition in Madrid.

 

When you diminish the importance of participation on Tennis with tennis actors (Key aspect to grow) held in London the “2nd. Tennis Participation Congress” (Another failure, when was the third one, because in the year 2000 on Ricci Bitti ITF Presidency was held the first one. I was there). Bringing, to your speaker’s panel, mostly people from other sports.  Not including people from tennis private industry who are doing massive participation programs on clubs, tennis networks, business and more.  Besides, someone’s from tennis federations. Tennis is plenty of very excellent tennis professionals who can show a successful program actually in place. Bring other sports experts is a good idea but mixed your tennis colleagues. I know that listen to others could be very annoying sometimes. But helps.

 

There a lot more…..When you diminish the strategical role like the sport of Tennis with many more aspect which requires creativity, innovation, vision, sensibility, and a crucial element: common sense. (Difficult when some people surround you without international tennis experiences, and they don’t understand how Tennis works around the globe). Facing challenges on betting, coaches education, promoting the game, participation, international competitions, and others.

 

Importantly, when your lawyer’s team are creating a code of ethics to be ITF candidate — changing some essential rules without clarity and equal opportunities for everyone who wants to compete to have better tennis. Seems it, bizarre situation.

 

Of course, in lawyers’ sands, tennis people have to understand these new codes.

 

Tennis is a sports industry. We need to understand that. Millions of people are leaving professionally day by day, which are being affected for your decisions about the health of the game.

 

If we think ITF like a tennis player, we want a stable, strong, compromised, responsible, open to learn, great vision and mentality, good discipline, reliable, with profound morality and ethics, with self-awareness, great decision making process, humble but confident on himself, and finally who create a team environment.

 

We want a strong ITF. Strong leadership. A MULTIPLIERS OF TENNIS. Sorry, you have failed in the majority of ITF founder´s statements declared.

 

Unfortunately, the evidence shows us that it is not happening right now with actual ITF leadership.

 

That’s why my vote for next election for ITF President is to DAVE MILEY (Next AGM, September 29). A bright, honest, well-known person, excellent development tennis professional, and leader with proven experience and expertise on international Tennis.

 

A lot of people love Dave Miley in that position. We know that. Please read his Candidate Manifesto for sense full ideas about him.

 

I know…I know…!!! Tennis coaches, tennis people, tennis players don’t vote. (Don’t challenge me on that) Only, Presidents of each National Tennis Federation whom in some cases, they have to improve the acknowledge about international Tennis, others they have it. Another aspect to progress in the future. Tennis Leaders.

 

But you know, after 43 years coaching Tennis, working in 5 different countries and developing hundreds of tennis project, I don’t care.

 

I prefer TO BE. To confront. To act. Because life is about to agree with your principles, ideas, and convictions. HEY DAVE, YOU HAVE MY TENNIS VOTE!!!

 

For National Tennis Presidents, think a little about what’s happening around. Talk to your tennis players, coaches, parents. You are responsible. Be not too political following the flock, and vote for the health for Tennis.

 

For you, dear tennis coach, tennis player, tennis parent, tennis promoter, tennis friend, the ball is on your side. Talk about it with your Tennis Federation.  You could talk about what is going on international tennis, how you have been affected by it.  Where we are going like sport, and most important create a real and positive revolution for the health of our game.

 

We need a champion´s mind on board.

 

The ball is on your side; you CAN CHOOSE. TO BE OR NOT TO BE…THAT IS THE QUESTION…

 

ALL THE BEST

 

FERNANDO

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