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View Full Version : Junior tennis - why subject your kids to it ?


atatu
07-02-2009, 10:20 AM
I'm not being critical, but when I sit down and look at the costs associated with getting a kid really good at tennis, I have to wonder if it is worth it. Don't tell me about college scholarships, with more and more colleges cutting their programs and more kids coming from overseas, that is a longshot. Plus, if you bank the money you need to spend on a kid for lessons, travel, equipment, etc. you can play tuition to any school in the country. Yes, it is great for a kid to be good at a sport and it helps with self esteem, but I've seen more guys hurt by competitive tennis than helped by it. Isn't a team sport more fun, and don't you learn more social skills playing soccer or basketball ? Despite all my doubts, I am letting my 9 year old play his first tournaments this year...

CharlieB
07-02-2009, 11:05 AM
I allowed my son (despite my wishes) to participate in a kids tournament when he was 8. He ended up playing with kids that were bigger and stronger than him. Despite making him discouraged towards tennis, it gave him personal fuel to get better. A couple of years difference is an abysmal difference at that age. Today he is ranked #1 in his category.

It's tough as a parent see your kid struggle but mental toughness can only be attained individually. You can be a good warm-up, social player but a terrible tournament player if you don't learn how to cope with stress. You have to use your instinct with your kids, as not every kid is the same.

Cheers,

Charlie

eeytennis
07-02-2009, 11:07 AM
I'm not being critical, but when I sit down and look at the costs associated with getting a kid really good at tennis, I have to wonder if it is worth it. Don't tell me about college scholarships, with more and more colleges cutting their programs and more kids coming from overseas, that is a longshot. Plus, if you bank the money you need to spend on a kid for lessons, travel, equipment, etc. you can play tuition to any school in the country. Yes, it is great for a kid to be good at a sport and it helps with self esteem, but I've seen more guys hurt by competitive tennis than helped by it. Isn't a team sport more fun, and don't you learn more social skills playing soccer or basketball ? Despite all my doubts, I am letting my 9 year old play his first tournaments this year...

Some of the things that you said are 100% correct. The amount of money that is put into some juniors is insane. Despite the fact that both my husband and i play tennis and want our kids to play as well, there is no way that i would every fork out 50K+ a year for our kids' tennis unless they had a TON of workable talent. However, i don't agree with you saying that competition hurts kids. There are a lot of benefits to competing and playing a sport. Competition as a junior never "hurt" me, in fact i love to compete!

coloskier
07-02-2009, 11:31 AM
I'm not being critical, but when I sit down and look at the costs associated with getting a kid really good at tennis, I have to wonder if it is worth it. Don't tell me about college scholarships, with more and more colleges cutting their programs and more kids coming from overseas, that is a longshot. Plus, if you bank the money you need to spend on a kid for lessons, travel, equipment, etc. you can play tuition to any school in the country. Yes, it is great for a kid to be good at a sport and it helps with self esteem, but I've seen more guys hurt by competitive tennis than helped by it. Isn't a team sport more fun, and don't you learn more social skills playing soccer or basketball ? Despite all my doubts, I am letting my 9 year old play his first tournaments this year...

If they don't start learning about self esteem issues when they are young, they never will. This is one of the reasons why we are becoming less and less competitive with other countries in so many things. Kids growing up now don't know how to handle pressure because they have been raised in a less and less competitive environment, which is not reality once they become adults.

TennisCoachFLA
07-02-2009, 11:40 AM
Why one or the other? Why not let the kids play a team sport or two and also hit the tennis ball around at the local park and enter a few local tournaments.

Then the kids decide what they are more into when they are older.

More guys hurt by competitive tennis than helped...in what way? Certainly not like the scores of former high school football players with concussion based headaches and arthritis at age 35. In what way do you mean hurt?

TennisTaxi
07-02-2009, 11:40 AM
Your "letting" your 9 year old play his first tournament? How about... "My son is playing in his first tournament and I am so proud of him for wanting to get out there and compete at 9 years old?" It is all about attitude, if you don't want to encourage him now, then I would not "let" him play...it is a long and bumpy road, if you as a parent do not see the point then run away from this sport as fast as you can.

The point, maybe your kid will find his passion, learn to think and make critical decisions on his own..and maybe win...for the GLORY :shock:

sureshs
07-02-2009, 12:09 PM
If they don't start learning about self esteem issues when they are young, they never will. This is one of the reasons why we are becoming less and less competitive with other countries in so many things. Kids growing up now don't know how to handle pressure because they have been raised in a less and less competitive environment, which is not reality once they become adults.

I doubt that competitive sports is the issue here. When you compare with other countries, the difference in competition is in education. In fact, the aggressive competition in education comes at the expense of time spent in sports. To add to this, many countries do not give credit to sports in college admissions - it is based entirely on grades and entrance examinations. This makes the colleges even more competitive academically. But it is definitely not sports which is the issue. Not saying if it is good or bad, but hours spent in playing tennis does not seem to translate into becoming a great surgeon, scientist or engineer. It is a nice feeling to say that it does by making a kid "well-rounded" and "confident," but it is not reflected in reality. I would also not go by what successful people say - they will all say that whatever they did in childhood was the reason for their success. That is human psychology.

flat
07-02-2009, 02:05 PM
Not saying if it is good or bad, but hours spent in playing tennis does not seem to translate into becoming a great surgeon, scientist or engineer. It is a nice feeling to say that it does by making a kid "well-rounded" and "confident," but it is not reflected in reality.

I agree with this. It's hard for me to see how competitive tennis translates into other facets of life...when none of the successful people I've worked with in my life are competitive junior tennis players....

In USA, other than a kid being passionate about it and wants to be the best he/she can be, I can't think of another good reason. For all the reasons cited, I think tennis is not a great "investment", as compared to other sports.

TennisCoachFLA
07-02-2009, 03:13 PM
I agree with this. It's hard for me to see how competitive tennis translates into other facets of life...when none of the successful people I've worked with in my life are competitive junior tennis players....

In USA, other than a kid being passionate about it and wants to be the best he/she can be, I can't think of another good reason. For all the reasons cited, I think tennis is not a great "investment", as compared to other sports.

Lets stop for a second and think about this. A lot of tennis kids come from affluent and successful families as it is an expensive sport. Kids from these types of families go to college in high numbers and become every profession that kids from affluent families choose to pursue.

I am sure lots of doctors and lawyers and engineers played tennis as kids. I bet some played no sports. I bet some played soccer. I bet some played 3-4 sports. I don't see any connection between any particular sport or lack of sport and one's adult success.

Tennis teaches fitness, agility, mental toughness, and the ability to make decisions on one's own without a team to fall back on.

TennisCoachFLA
07-02-2009, 03:17 PM
Some folks obviously need a little education in tennis' benefits....especially since this is a junior tennis board for goodness sakes!

By Jack L. Groppel, Ph.D.

Its historic moniker has been the “sport for a lifetime”. But is this really true? According to world-renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines, there is no doubt that tennis is one of the best sports for you to play.

Here are the facts:

1. People who participate in tennis 3 hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death in half from any cause, according to physician Ralph Paffenbarger who studied over 10,000 people over a period of 20 years.

2. Tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism and self-esteem while scoring lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension than other athletes and non-athletes according to Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut State University.

3. Since tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and thus promote a lifetime of continuing development of the brain, reported scientists at the University of Illinois.

4. Tennis outperforms golf, inline skating and most other sports in developing positive personality characteristics according to Dr. Jim Gavin, author of The Exercise Habit.

5. Competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics, inline skating, or cycling, according to studies on caloric expenditures.

With these results in mind, let’s take a look at 34 specific reasons why you should consider playing tennis regularly!

Physical Reasons to Play Tennis

Tennis helps your:

1. aerobic fitness by burning fat and improving your cardiovascular fitness and maintaining higher energy levels.

2. anaerobic fitness by offering short, intense bursts of activity during a point followed by rest which helps muscles use oxygen efficiently.

3. ability to accelerate by practice in sprinting, jumping and lunging to move quickly.

4. powerful first step by requiring anticipation, quick reaction time and explosion into action.

5. speed through a series of side-to-side and up and back sprints to chase the ball.

6. leg strength through hundreds of starts and stops which build stronger leg muscles.

7. general body coordination since you have to move into position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball successfully.

8. gross motor control through court movement and ball-striking skills which require control of your large muscle groups.

9. fine motor control by the use of touch shots like angled volleys, drop shots and lobs.

10. agility by forcing you to change direction as many as 5 times in 10 seconds during a typical tennis point.

11. dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops, changes of direction and hitting on the run.

12. cross-training by offering a physically demanding sport that’s fun to play for athletes who are expert in other sports.

13. bone strength and density by strengthening bones of young players and helping prevent osteoporosis in older ones.

14. immune system through its conditioning effects which promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease.

15. nutritional habits by eating appropriately before competition to enhance energy production and after competition to practice proper recovery methods.

16. eye-hand coordination because you constantly judge the timing between the on-coming ball and the proper contact point.

17. flexibility due to the constant stretching and maneuvering to return the ball toward your opponent.



Psychological Reasons to Play Tennis


Tennis helps you:

18. develop a work ethic because improvement through lessons or practice reinforces the value of hard work.

19. develop discipline since you learn to work on your skills in practice and control the pace of play in competition.

20. manage mistakes by learning to play within your abilities and realizing that managing and minimizing mistakes in tennis or life is critical.

21. learn to compete one-on-one because the ability to compete and fight trains you in the ups and downs of a competitive world.

22. accept responsibility because only you can prepare to compete by practicing skills, checking your equipment and during match play by making line calls.

23. manage adversity by learning to adjust to the elements (e.g. wind, sun) and still be able to compete tenaciously.

24. accommodate stress effectively because the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase you capacity for dealing with stress.

25. learn how to recover by adapting to the stress of a point and the recovery period between points which is similar to the stress and recovery cycles in life.

26. plan and implement strategies since you naturally learn how to anticipate an opponent’s moves and plan your countermoves.

27. learn to solve problems since tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry and physics.

28. develop performance rituals before serving or returning to control your rhythm of play and deal with pressure These skills can transfer to taking exams, conducting a meeting or making an important sales presentation.

29. learn sportsmanship since tennis teaches you to compete fairly with opponents.

30. learn to win graciously and lose with honor. Gloating after a win or making excuses after a loss doesn’t work in tennis or in life.

31. learn teamwork since successful doubles play depends on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and play as a cohesive unit.

32. develop social skills through interaction and communication before a match, while changing sides of the court and after play.

33. have FUN… because the healthy feelings of enjoyment, competitiveness and physical challenge are inherent in the sport.


Summary and Reason #34

Is it any wonder that scientists and physicians around the world view tennis as the most healthful activity in which you can participate? There may be other sports that can provide excellent health benefits and some which can provide mental and emotional growth. But no sport other than tennis has ever been acclaimed from all disciplines as one that develops great benefits physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tennis is a sport for kids to learn early in life. What parent wouldn’t want their children to get these benefits through their growing years?

It’s not too late for adults and seniors too! The human system can be trained and improved at any stage of life.

Here’s the key… you must begin playing tennis now to get these benefits throughout your lifetime. And that brings us to reason #34: Tennis is truly the sport for a lifetime! It’s been proven.

sureshs
07-02-2009, 03:38 PM
Lets stop for a second and think about this. A lot of tennis kids come from affluent and successful families as it is an expensive sport. Kids from these types of families go to college in high numbers and become every profession that kids from affluent families choose to pursue.

I am sure lots of doctors and lawyers and engineers played tennis as kids.

Tennis teaches fitness, agility, mental toughness, and the ability to make decisions on one's own without a team to fall back on.

But I am sure lots of doctors and lawyers and engineers did not play tennis as kids. Most of the successful people I work with and work for never played any sport competitively as kids.

I agree about the fitness aspect. Prevents childhood obesity, sets a tradition of physical activity, etc. But kids were doing this for generations by just playing in the backyard, local park, wilderness, etc., without all this modern structured competitive sports activity costing tons of money.

Mental toughness cannot beat hard work and career skills. And in any case, you can acquire it in many ways. I don't see correlation between playing competitive sports in childhood and showing mental toughness later in life, other than the successful cases where it is a circular argument. IMO, an hour of PE a day in school, combined with spontaneous play activities, walking to and from school or bus stop, and such other activities are more than enough. Used to be that children did household chores and that was their physical activity. In the 19th century, most schools let out early so children could assist in the farm with their parents.

The organized activities industry has created a situation whereby parents feel guilty if they don't get their kids to participate. Apart from the productivity lost in the workplace when the mom or dad is always "leaving a little early" from work, the kids are spending hours a day on something like tennis, soccer, gymnastics, music, karate, etc and are practically asleep by the time they start on homework. That is time that children in other parts of the world are using to lay the academic foundations for their career. (Though I don't agree with it, but that is a different matter). Now the administration is calling for lengthier school hours for parity with the world. Not sure that is good either, but this is the way the world is moving.

Actually, I was responding to a different post. You are correct in what you say. I was saying that lack of competitive sports is totally irrelevant when discussing the competition between US and other countries - in fact, it is the other way around. Competitive sports are widely prevalent among US kids, and almost non-existent in many countries to whom the US educational system is often compared.

TennisCoachFLA
07-02-2009, 03:40 PM
But I am sure lots of doctors and lawyers and engineers did not play tennis as kids. Most of the successful people I work with and work for never played any sport competitively as kids.

I agree about the fitness aspect. Prevents childhood obesity, sets a tradition of physical activity, etc. But kids were doing this for generations by just playing in the backyard, local park, wilderness, etc., without all this modern structured competitive sports activity costing tons of money.

Mental toughness cannot beat hard work and career skills. And in any case, you can acquire it in many ways. I don't see correlation between playing competitive sports in childhood and showing mental toughness later in life, other than the successful cases where it is a circular argument. IMO, an hour of PE a day in school, combined with spontaneous play activities, walking to and from school or bus stop, and such other activities are more than enough. Used to be that children did household chores and that was their physical activity. In the 19th century, most schools let out early so children could assist in the farm with their parents.

The organized activities industry has created a situation whereby parents feel guilty if they don't get their kids to participate. Apart from the productivity lost in the workplace when the mom or dad is always "leaving a little early" from work, the kids are spending hours a day on something like tennis, soccer, gymnastics, music, karate, etc and are practically asleep by the time they start on homework. That is time that children in other parts of the world are using to lay the academic foundations for their career. (Though I don't agree with it, but that is a different matter). Now the administration is calling for lengthier school hours for parity with the world. Not sure that is good either, but this is the way the world is moving.

Actually, I was responding to a different post. You are correct in what you say. I was saying that lack of competitive sports is totally irrelevant when discussing the competition between US and other countries - in fact, it is the other way around. Competitive sports are widely prevalent among US kids, and almost non-existent in many countries to whom the US educational system is often compared.

You are right. I editted that post after you must have quoted it, to say there is no connection.

MIGHTY MANFRED THE WONDER
07-02-2009, 05:12 PM
Given your post-name, what a surprise that blowing smoke up rich folks butts about Jr. and his tennis abilities does not seem too objectionable.

Folks with money and no kids, I guess, go for the speed boats or polo ponies or just go out in the driveway and throw it toward the sky.

I'll say one thing- Tennis bums,lay-abouts, and "instructors" do not dress as sharp and are about 1/2 as witty as their golf counter parts.

Stories about high dollar, high pressure tennis for kids?
Let's ask the Menedes brothers (USTA SO.CAL) for some.

OrangeOne
07-02-2009, 05:28 PM
By Jack L. Groppel, Ph.D.

Thanks for posting.

dancraig
07-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Tennis can change a child's life, for the better.
Consider a kid that is from a lower-middle class family. He or she becomes involved in tennis at the City Parks and Recreation Department level and continues into High School tennis. This child will probably have a new, and more positive, group of peers. These peers will have higher expectations and life goals, and these can and do transfer to the child. They will also get exposure to playing at country clubs and similar venues, with all the contacts that can come from this. These contacts can be helpful thoughout life. This is true even if they never participate in "junior tennis' at the USTA tournament level.

TennisCoachFLA
07-02-2009, 07:19 PM
Given your post-name, what a surprise that blowing smoke up rich folks butts about Jr. and his tennis abilities does not seem too objectionable.

Folks with money and no kids, I guess, go for the speed boats or polo ponies or just go out in the driveway and throw it toward the sky.

I'll say one thing- Tennis bums,lay-abouts, and "instructors" do not dress as sharp and are about 1/2 as witty as their golf counter parts.

Stories about high dollar, high pressure tennis for kids?
Let's ask the Menedes brothers (USTA SO.CAL) for some.

Sorry you have such a negative opinion on kid's tennis and those who teach it. 2 other coachs and I volunteer 15 hours per week in Ft. Lauderdale and teach poor kids the game. We donated the racquets and balls, and spent about 5 weekends rehabbing the courts. After they play, we sit with the kids and gab about all kinds of things. Have heard from several parents that the kids grades are improving and many have lost weight.

All three of us tell the parents of our paying students our honest opinion's of their kid's abilities. We have lost some students for doing that. We also work with the families to fit the lesson costs into their budgets, have cut fees many times as needed.

I have met my share of smoke blowers, but find most tennis instructors to be solid citizens. I have heard of many who volunteer their time just like we do.

I guess we are not as well dressed or witty as the golf pros you know, you are right about that.

in[k]
07-03-2009, 09:41 AM
Just my personal experience:

I am going into my sophomore year in HS, and half of the graduating players are going to ivy-league schools. One of the kids that played first doubles was our valedictorian. Almost all of the kids on the team are in the top 10% of my school academic wise.


And as previously mentioned, there are very few injuries compared to other sports. Tennis improves self esteem, mental toughness, and allows your kids to make some new friends :)

sureshs
07-03-2009, 12:23 PM
Brings us to the question of which physical activities are for life. Is it really tennis? Or is it golf? Or is it swimming?

What about just using the gym, doing yoga, and going on long walks? The old English advice of "walk a mile after supper" kept many men in good shape.

I play tennis because I get bored in a gym and because I like tennis. I picked it up late (at the age of 40) and have managed to crawl into the 3.5/4.0 crowd.

But when I see the incidents of tennis elbow and knee surgeries among the tennis playing crowd, I wonder if it is the right choice for a lifetime. I also see many ads touting clay surfaces as being good for your knees. The vast majority of US tennis is played on hard courts. Why is this not mentioned in that article about tennis? I also know seniors who are afraid of losing their balance, and have switched to golf and swimming. Golf can be a good exercise if the player walks instead of using the cart, and then does not gorge himself with food in the clubhouse.

coloskier
07-03-2009, 08:20 PM
Brings us to the question of which physical activities are for life. Is it really tennis? Or is it golf? Or is it swimming?

What about just using the gym, doing yoga, and going on long walks? The old English advice of "walk a mile after supper" kept many men in good shape.

I play tennis because I get bored in a gym and because I like tennis. I picked it up late (at the age of 40) and have managed to crawl into the 3.5/4.0 crowd.

But when I see the incidents of tennis elbow and knee surgeries among the tennis playing crowd, I wonder if it is the right choice for a lifetime. I also see many ads touting clay surfaces as being good for your knees. The vast majority of US tennis is played on hard courts. Why is this not mentioned in that article about tennis? I also know seniors who are afraid of losing their balance, and have switched to golf and swimming. Golf can be a good exercise if the player walks instead of using the cart, and then does not gorge himself with food in the clubhouse.

The #1 sport for injuries in the world is soccer. Twice as many knee injuries occur in soccer (per player) as any other sport, including football. Tennis isn't even in the top 10 compared to other sports. Unless you walk the course, golf is hardly aerobic, and most courses don't let you walk the course any more due to overcrowding. Swimming can be just as expensive as tennis if you have to swim indoors in the winter. Tennis is the one of the few really aerobic non-contact sports. All these claims about hard courts causing injuries I think are a little overblown. The number 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 players in the world are all hard court specialists and any injuries that they have suffered have had nothing to do with the court (mostly back injuries due to serving). The #1 player has bad knees, and this year proved that it is not the court that is causing the problem, but the number of matches on any court. He was injured on a clay court, before the hard court season even started. I know that this is a very passionate issue for many, but for me personally I don't buy the hype about hard courts, since I have been playing on them all my life and have never had an injury due to the court. At 54 years old I play an average of 3 hours a day at a 5.0 level, and I don't have any problems with hard courts.

momtogrif
07-04-2009, 01:37 PM
I only read a few of the responses but I wanted to state the reasons I have my son playing tennis and competing. First, I want to address the team issue: my son plays on a USTA junior team. They have practice once a week and matches also once a week. It is a mixed team of girls and boys and the kids really develop relationships, etc. His team is going to sectionals at the end of this month and the kids are really excited. So, even though tennis is considered an individual sport by most people, there are opportunities in most large cities in America for kids who enjoy team competition to also play tennis on a team.

That said, I also think tennis has helped my son get over some of his anxiety issues. He used to play flag football and would throw up before his games. With tennis, I don't see that trepidation or fear. He is excited and is cool as a cucumber when he plays his matches. It's amazing the transformation he has made since last year. I think he has a true passion for tennis.

I do not care if my son goes to college, I don't care that we spend money on tennis b/c if it wasn't tennis it would have been piano lessons, acting lessons, travel soccer(our friends spend a fortune for their daughter's traveling), or travel hockey(probably more expensive than tennis), or golf(again, pretty pricey if you travel as a junior). What I want for my child is an appreciation of the mental game of tennis and for him to develop a competitive spirit. If he chooses to play volleyball in the future, than so be it. If he doesn't want to go to college, no biggie either. I want him to develop a habit that he can take into his adult years. Tennis is a sport that you can play when you're 80(we have friends that my husband plays with who are 72 years old and the husband has unbelievable hand-eye coordination thanks to years of playing tennis). Can you play flag football when you're 80? There are only a select few sports where you see people over the age of 60 enjoying and tennis happens to be one of them. I feel like I'm developing a foundation for my child and if it costs money, than that was the price to pay for a healthy, well-adjusted, positive, and active adult child.

What I want to know is why are you lumping tennis into a corner all by itself? Our friends have a son who plays golf competitively and it costs them twice as much as tennis costs us and they have no guarantee of a college scholarship, either. Life is expensive and if we lost our income, then I'd start coaching my child and going to public tennis courts and we'd limit the number of tournaments. We'd find people who would be willing to hit with him and get him some match play. My husband played tennis on a college team with a partial scholarship and he never paid for lessons, never paid for tennis courts, and never played junior tournaments. He was self-taught and improved himself by working with local pros over the summer and helping them run their junior programs. He'd ask those pros for a tidbits of info, etc. He even got a deal with Fischer where he was getting racquets from them. Sigh, anyway sorry about the rant. I just feel that sports are good for kids, no matter what they choose to play.

norcal22
07-05-2009, 08:40 PM
Why subject your kids to it? is this thread some sort of stupid joke

SVP
07-06-2009, 09:22 PM
Why subject your kids to it? is this thread some sort of stupid joke

There should be a minimum age for posting on this thread.

tennismom42
07-06-2009, 09:45 PM
Sorry you have such a negative opinion on kid's tennis and those who teach it. 2 other coachs and I volunteer 15 hours per week in Ft. Lauderdale and teach poor kids the game. We donated the racquets and balls, and spent about 5 weekends rehabbing the courts. After they play, we sit with the kids and gab about all kinds of things. Have heard from several parents that the kids grades are improving and many have lost weight.

All three of us tell the parents of our paying students our honest opinion's of their kid's abilities. We have lost some students for doing that. We also work with the families to fit the lesson costs into their budgets, have cut fees many times as needed.

I have met my share of smoke blowers, but find most tennis instructors to be solid citizens. I have heard of many who volunteer their time just like we do.

I guess we are not as well dressed or witty as the golf pros you know, you are right about that.
My son was born & raised in FL. We put him in a tennis lesson when he was 4. We were so proud to see him beating the 7 year olds. LOL! By age 7 he was getting in trouble. Grades & behavior. Pediatrician suggested sports. Eventually he landed with tennis.

Now fast forward. Tennis regulated him for ADD. His teachers began bragging on his turn-around. Great grades & great behavior. What were we doing different. Answer = tennis!

It's been 10 years now.
We're a family of 7 (5 kids)
Without the assistance from volunteers like YOU & your friend, and scholarships from the district, who knows where my son would have landed.

Tennis has taught him : ethics, discipline, organization, travel skills, planning, strategy, how to handle great losses, how to be humble with great wins, nutrition, balance, conflict resolution, teamwork; he's traveled to 18 states and he's only 18.

He got a D1 scholarship.
Sure I racked up 2 credit cards to get him there. Would he have gotten into that caliber of college without tennis? absolutely not, not even close.

We've been on a $40K journey for 10 years. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I wish I could articulate better, all the benefits of tennis.

atatu
07-06-2009, 10:23 PM
I'm not sure why some people are getting upset by my post, Norcal22 and SVP in particular. I love tennis, I'm a former teaching pro, and tennis has done a lot for me, I met my wife through tennis, and my best friends. At the same time, things have changed a lot from when I came up. Let's be honest, there is a lot more pressure now, you see it with kids blatantly cheating even in the 10's, and there is a lot more money being spent by parents these days. As for all the benefits you get from playing tennis, I agree with them all, but you can get those benefits playing JTT or from rec tennis, I guess what I am wondering about is the benefit of high level junior tennis. When I said I know a lot of guys who were hurt by tennis, I did not mean physically, a lot of guys let tennis get into their heads, that was what I meant.

TennisCoachFLA
07-07-2009, 04:51 AM
My son was born & raised in FL. He put him in a tennis lesson when he was 4. We were so proud to see him beating the 7 year olds. LOL! By age 7 he was getting in trouble. Grades & behavior. Pediatrician suggested sports. Eventually he landed with tennis.

Now fast forward. Tennis regulated him for ADD. His teachers began bragging on his turn-around. Great grades & great behavior. What were we doing different. Answer = tennis!

It's been 10 years now.
We're a family of 7 (5 kids)
Without the assistance from volunteers like YOU & your friend, and scholarships from the district, who knows where my son would have landed.

Tennis has taught him : ethics, discipline, organization, travel skills, planning, strategy, how to handle great losses, how to be humble with great wins, nutrition, balance, conflict resolution, teamwork; he's traveled to 18 states and he's only 18.

He got a D1 scholarship.
Sure I racked up 2 credit cards to get him there. Would he have gotten into that caliber of college without tennis? absolutely not, not even close.

We've been on a $40K journey for 10 years. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I wish I could articulate better, all the benefits of tennis.

Wow...amazing post tennismom42, just amazing. Thanks alot for that.

momtogrif
07-07-2009, 07:07 AM
Wow...amazing post tennismom42, just amazing. Thanks alot for that.

Yes, I agree!!
This is why I love the sport as I see kids grow up and learn that they don't get rewarded for just being on a team, they have to work for it. Sounds like good preparation for life. One of the things that bothers me the most about youth sports today is that every kid gets an award or a trophy or a medal for participation. My sons' flag football team won the season but they got the same trophy as the losing team. He always wondered what's up with that???

In tennis tournaments, the only kids to get trophies or medals are 1st place and runner up. Also, what I love about tennis is that kids play on the same court, by the same rules, with the same code of behavior that's expected of adults on a court. When you step out onto a court, nothing changes (unless you're in a wheelchair and you get a double bounce). The 'constant' on a tennis court is what I love so much about the sport!

raiden031
07-07-2009, 07:18 AM
I wouldn't mind if my 4 month old son became a pro tennis player. I am trying to prepare myself to take him as high as he can go (if he chooses to play tennis), by learning the game myself and getting myself to as high a level as I can to become competent enough to train him.

I have the belief that its possible to become a pro without spending tens of thousands per year to do it, but its really up to me to figure out what I need to do to get him there, since really I as a parent am the only person willing to donate my time to get him there without being paid for it. In addition I need to figure out how to maximize his match experience, without having to travel all over the country and incur those costs.

TennisCoachFLA
07-07-2009, 07:28 AM
I wouldn't mind if my 4 month old son became a pro tennis player. I am trying to prepare myself to take him as high as he can go (if he chooses to play tennis), by learning the game myself and getting myself to as high a level as I can to become competent enough to train him.

I have the belief that its possible to become a pro without spending tens of thousands per year to do it, but its really up to me to figure out what I need to do to get him there, since really I as a parent am the only person willing to donate my time to get him there without being paid for it. In addition I need to figure out how to maximize his match experience, without having to travel all over the country and incur those costs.

I agree 100%. If a kid shows talent there are many ways to get them trained. The physical fitness, agility, strength, aerobics training can all be done for basically free. You can hit with older kids and even adults if the kid is talented enough at any local park courts or club. You can find some Har Tru courts to periodically train on another surface. You can simulate matches.

Frankly, I think the 10-12-14 tourneys are silly in the big picture. The rankings are often manufactured by the parents. Played for fun or socializing, fine. But the results are pretty meaningless.

Once you get past the top 5 or so kids who are truly talented, the USTA rankings and tournaments are basically worthless from a stand point of predicting true talented players. I see these kids play who are ranked 25-30-40 nationally by the USTA and just cringe. #35 is no better than #335 in some cases, mom and dad just can play the tournament search game better. You see kids ranked 15-20 in the nation who have never beaten a top 10 player, thats a joke.

College coaches, along with the pro scouts, will be more than happy to look at a talented kid, even if they don't go near a USTA tournament in their lives.

raiden031
07-07-2009, 07:32 AM
I agree 100%. If a kid shows talent there are many ways to get them trained. The physical fitness, agility, strength, aerobics training can all be done for basically free. You can hit with older kids and even adults if the kid is talented enough at any local park courts or club. You can find some Har Tru courts to periodically train on another surface. You can simulate matches.

Frankly, I think the 10-12-14 tourneys are silly in the big picture. The rankings are often manufactured by the parents.

Once you get past the top 5 or so kids who are truly talented, the USTA rankings and tournaments are basically worthless. I see these kids play who are ranked 25-30-40 nationally by the USTA and just laugh/cringe. #35 is no better than #335 in some cases.

College coaches, along with the pro scouts, will be more than happy to look at a talented kid, even if they don't go near a USTA tournament in their lives.

Yep, when my kid is 10 years old, I don't see any advantage of only playing them against other 10 and 12 year olds and traveling to do it. As long as I can continuously find opponents locally who challenge them, it doesn't matter if they are 60 year olds, 20 year olds, or 10 year olds, it will be a way to measure their progress and keep them improving. From reading these boards, rankings seem to have more to do with opportunity than with actual skills.

ALthough I think a time will come where they need stats on paper. But I won't worry about that until they are at a critical age where college recruiters start looking, or whether they need a ranking to quality for certain events. By that time I will already know whether my kid has what it takes or not and whether the travel costs are worth it.

TennisCoachFLA
07-07-2009, 07:40 AM
Yep, when my kid is 10 years old, I don't see any advantage of only playing them against other 10 and 12 year olds and traveling to do it. As long as I can continuously find opponents locally who challenge them, it doesn't matter if they are 60 year olds, 20 year olds, or 10 year olds, it will be a way to measure their progress and keep them improving. From reading these boards, rankings seem to have more to do with opportunity than with actual skills.

ALthough I think a time will come where they need stats on paper. But I won't worry about that until they are at a critical age where college recruiters start looking, or whether they need a ranking to quality for certain events. By that time I will already know whether my kid has what it takes or not and whether the travel costs are worth it.

Exactly. In fact, unless the kid is going to compete against a top 5 kid in the 12s or 14s, save your money. You would be better off tracking down the top 5 boy and hitting with him in a simulated match than wasting money trying to gather ranking points.

I chuckle at these tennis parents bragging on this board about beating the 35th or 45th ranked 12 or 14 year old, like that is a predictor of anything or even matters at all in the big picture.

But even when he gets to that age, if he has true talent, the big boys will look at him even without the needed rankings to get into certain tournaments. IMG and major D-1 programs don't pay much attention to rankings outside the top few boys. They need to be shown the kid has it, them being ranked 15th by the USTA won't impress them, they need to be sure its the real deal.

SoCal10s
07-07-2009, 08:01 AM
Exactly. In fact, unless the kid is going to compete against a top 5 kid in the 12s or 14s, save your money. You would be better off tracking down the top 5 boy and hitting with him in a simulated match than wasting money trying to gather ranking points.

I chuckle at these tennis parents bragging on this board about beating the 35th or 45th ranked 12 or 14 year old, like that is a predictor of anything or even matters at all in the big picture.

I teach a kid and he never played a Jr. tournament until the 14s and under,he's doing quite well.. he'll get a Div.1 scholarship .. but there are times that I wished he did play those younger age groups divisions to learn certain match management skills.. those kids who grew up learning about how to compose yourself during the match seems to handle pressure situations and a bit differently .. when you get it at a younger age ,I think it sort of stick in your mind ...most of all not to take the lost too hard... in the long run the many losses really wear you down...

momtogrif
07-07-2009, 10:15 AM
I teach a kid and he never played a Jr. tournament until the 14s and under,he's doing quite well.. he'll get a Div.1 scholarship .. but there are times that I wished he did play those younger age groups divisions to learn certain match management skills.. those kids who grew up learning about how to compose yourself during the match seems to handle pressure situations and a bit differently .. when you get it at a younger age ,I think it sort of stick in your mind ...most of all not to take the lost too hard... in the long run the many losses really wear you down...

This is why my husband and I allow our son to play tournaments right now. He has anxiety issues and a tic disorder that can sometimes be troublesome. Tennis is giving him confidence to overcome some of his issues. I think if we would wait for tournaments until he's 14, we'd probably see a very emotional kid who doesn't know how to handle the pressure and the match management. I think for right now, the tournaments are giving him skills that will hopefully carry on into the future, whether he plays tennis later in life or not.

Also, we get our child playing out points and hitting with people of all ages. He's going out to practice on clay courts this week with a friend of ours who is 73!!! He'll hit with anybody and any ability, he just loves the sport!:)

PimpMyGame
07-07-2009, 10:24 AM
My son was very interested in playing and after some coaching the natural progression is to play some competitive matches. Win or lose, all the kids who aren't playing at that time get together and play hide and seek or something. That's when I know I made the right decision because he meets good kids like himself and although he can be pumped up during a match he can let it go and carry on being a kid.

I can't speak for kids who are in a hothouse environment or parents who spend tens of thousands a year on the sport because that's not my situation.

norcal22
07-07-2009, 12:44 PM
There should be a minimum age for posting on this thread.
the word subject can be defined as "to bring under dominion, rule, or authority, as of a conqueror or a governing power."

does that really sound like something junior tennis can do?

SoCal10s
07-07-2009, 01:07 PM
There should be a minimum age for posting on this thread.

actually you are correct but in the opposite .. they should just let kids talk about Jr. tennis and keep adults away.. we are the ones in question..

norcal22
07-07-2009, 01:20 PM
actually you are correct but in the opposite .. they should just let kids talk about Jr. tennis and keep adults away.. we are the ones in question..
Exactly. i was going to say this too but i didnt want to double post.

SoCal10s
07-07-2009, 04:24 PM
. I love tennis, I'm a former teaching pro, and tennis has done a lot for me, I met my wife through tennis, and my best friends. At the same time, things have changed a lot from when I came up. Let's be honest, there is a lot more pressure now, you see it with kids blatantly cheating even in the 10's, and there is a lot more money being spent by parents these days. As for all the benefits you get from playing tennis, I agree with them all, but you can get those benefits playing JTT or from rec tennis, I guess what I am wondering about is the benefit of high level junior tennis. When I said I know a lot of guys who were hurt by tennis, I did not mean physically, a lot of guys let tennis get into their heads, that was what I meant.

I love tennis and I can relate with you on this .. if it was my own kids,I wouldn't get them into competitive tennis,, it's just too hard to achieve tennis goals... I grew up with tennis in my veins so I know that tennis gets in to your head and it's hard to get it out.. but the kids these days are really different.. they seem to handle things and put them in perspective better than my generation did.. most kids that play tennis that I run into, are really well rounded.. they excel in school and most are very self-disciplined because tennis is a part of their life.. if you are talking about those kids in the tennis academies,and those who are home schooled,I can't say... maybe their lives are gonna be screwed up in later years because they only know tennis...

SVP
07-08-2009, 01:19 PM
the word subject can be defined as "to bring under dominion, rule, or authority, as of a conqueror or a governing power."

does that really sound like something junior tennis can do?

Son, check out the title of the thread. It is an inquiry to parents, asking them the question: why subject your kids to junior tennis?

SVP
07-08-2009, 01:32 PM
actually you are correct but in the opposite .. they should just let kids talk about Jr. tennis and keep adults away.. we are the ones in question..

I hear you, son. I argued the same thing 30 years ago against my parents when they tried to put the clamps on me too. Now it's 30 years later, I'm the parent, and I'm seeing it from a different perspective.

The fact that the vast majority of the posters on this thread are parents who are concerned about the welfare about their kids should indicate how important this topic is to adults with kids.

Son, start your thread.

SoCal10s
07-08-2009, 01:36 PM
I hear you, son.

Son, start your thread.

sorry man I think I might be older than you... just past my 1/2 century birthday mark...

SVP
07-08-2009, 01:47 PM
sorry man I think I might be older than you... just past my 1/2 century birthday mark...

52 years of age next month, baby. References provided upon request. Most people our age don't give a crap about this stuff; my hat is off to you. Keep it up.

SoCal10s
07-08-2009, 01:51 PM
52 years of age next month, baby. References provided upon request. Most people our age don't give a crap about this stuff; my hat is off to you. Keep it up.

53 ,... high school class of 1975.. summer months are too boring,too hot to go outside,so I'm killing time on the blog.. waiting for the day to cool down...

SVP
07-08-2009, 01:59 PM
53 today,07/08/56... high school class of 1975.. summer months are too boring,too hot to go outside,so I'm killing time on the blog.. waiting for the day to cool down...

Me too, high school class of 1975. But you have me beat on DOB. You be the older soul. Yet we're in the same ballpark, agewise.

tennismom42
07-08-2009, 07:43 PM
Wow...amazing post tennismom42, just amazing. Thanks alot for that.
you're welcome!

He'll be going to college in the fall, down in the south. Do you ever travel to other states? Maybe his college will compete in FL. What city are you near?

SVP
07-13-2009, 01:27 PM
53 ,... high school class of 1975.. summer months are too boring,too hot to go outside,so I'm killing time on the blog.. waiting for the day to cool down...

Where do you live, Venus? (just joking) Playing tennis in SoCal is bearable in the summer in the early morning hours or at night.

Oh I get it. Palm Springs.

douglas168
07-15-2009, 03:28 PM
Great thread! My son is just starting the JTT path. These posts have really given me a new propective on JTT. Thanks all for sharing your experience.

dancraig
07-15-2009, 03:45 PM
Me too, high school class of 1975. But you have me beat on DOB. You be the older soul. Yet we're in the same ballpark, agewise.

Hello kids, I'm older than both of you.

SVP
07-15-2009, 06:12 PM
Hello kids, I'm older than both of you.

I bow to you, sir. Love the diversity of ages on these boards.

Quite a shock to receive my first AARP application a couple of years ago. It creeps up on you.

dancraig
07-16-2009, 08:32 PM
I bow to you, sir. Love the diversity of ages on these boards.

Quite a shock to receive my first AARP application a couple of years ago. It creeps up on you.

Yeah, I remember when I first got those. I felt like, "these must be meant for those 'old' fifty year olds, not people like me". :shock: