Advice to Parents

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Mitch Bridge, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    The best development scenario is to have two divisions to compete in. If you are strong in your division, also blend in the next higher division to allow yourself more match opportunities and to play against more size and pace. However, too many players play up in their sections and stay up at the national level where they are not competitive. Try to go deep into national draws by staying in your age group, and compete in your age group and the next one up sectionally to help your level of play and add to your match experience. 60% to me is a minimum winning %, and great players are more likely to be at 80%.


    Director/Head Coach
    Southern California Tennis Academy
    Seal Beach, CA
     
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  2. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    I previously wrote this in another section of Junior Tennis , but I thought it would be good to start another thread directly aimed at parental advice for junior tournament players. Picking the right tournamnets and building match confidence is so critical that I thought I would start the thread with this clip.
     
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  3. TennisFan2Day

    TennisFan2Day Rookie

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    Great advice.
     
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  4. highsierra

    highsierra Rookie

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    The question is whether parents and kids have the time and energy to play in more than one.
     
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  5. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    If you can afford it, the best way to choose tournaments is with the coach, I think. If you have a coach who is seriously working with the kid and you know long and short term goals your child is after and at what level he/she is playing coach should advice where and when to play and if to play up. Of course, parents will have to let the coach know what they can afford, take time for... etc and mutualy acceptable plan should be agreed upon.
     
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  6. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    My daughter is 10 and she plays on two JTT teams. One is 3.5 14 and the other is Open 14. She wins 80% of her matches in the lower division and loses 80% in the other. I tell her one team is to build confidence and the other is to learn humility. I'm not sure she understands. Anyway, she knows she learns more from the losses than the wins but the wins keep it fun.
     
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  7. Stardust

    Stardust New User

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    Great thread!
    I.ve had the same thoughts since my daughter is 11 and plays on tournaments for up to 12, but she likes a lot to compete and asked me to take her to some of the 14's events as well. It's technically possible but I didn't know is that good for her. Considering the pros and cons I reached the conclusion that even she loses all her matches in the higher group, it will give to her some more confidence to the 12's... :) Will try next month!
     
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  8. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    "The question is whether parents and kids have the time and energy to play in more than one."




    The time and commitment by the parents to develop outstanding tennis playing kids is huge. All the weekend tournaments, rides to and from practice, financial burden, etc. Tennis is terrific game, but it is very difficult, and the whole family needs to be on board in order for the development to work well in the long run.
     
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  9. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    Your daughter is 11 only. She should play her level, not higher one. As long as there are players around who can beat her in 12's, she is not ready to go up. Do not hurry, wait till she begins to win at least 80% matches in 12s, then move up.
     
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  10. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    If it is a local, convenient tournament in the 14s, and the 12s is going to be weak, go for it! It is not really playing "up". Convenience is a huge factor. If you are playing well in the 12s and winning many matches, plat the 14s satellites events nearby, if you are fortunate enough to be in a large section with a great tournamnet schedule.
     
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  11. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Or even in a smaller section.

    The decision is not irrevocable. There's lots of good advice in this thread and the other one. If anyone does not have a clear view after reading both threads, I say give it a shot to play up.

    Everything to possibly gain and nothing to lose............except maybe some points in the lower age group.
     
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  12. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    Priorities

    The most important focus when you walk on the court for a match is not winning! It is representing yourself well ethically and athletically. How do you appear to the other player and fans? Are your line calls fair? Are you cooperating with your opponent or only being competitive? Are you giving your best effort energy-wise and mentally? Are you composed? Secondly, your goal should be to play your best. Get your game together! Now, only after these two priorities are taken care of should you focus on winning. This will greatly enhance your performance, build respect from your opponents and fans, make your parents proud, and, lastly, improve your winning percentage.
     
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  13. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    That's great advice. I've copied it and emailed it to my daughter.
     
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  14. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    -------------------
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  15. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    I wish kids would emulate the pros with their on-court behavior. You can see the cooperation between the players. They are trying to perform their best, not interrupt the flow of the match because they need the match to flow well to play their best as well. When I was growing up, Borg was carrying himself well, but we were all watching Mac and Connors. These guys were very entertaining and horrible role models. Kids today can watch Fed, Nadal-who doesn't snarl, stare or fist-pump nearly as much as he used to, Djokovic, Ferrer, Berdic, and Tsonga as well as many others and emulate them. There are great role models in men's tennis right now!
     
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  16. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    In the early years, I picked tournaments in our section using the following formula:

    50% of the kids my kid should beat.
    25% of the kids should beat my kid. .
    25% would be a toss up.

    This worked well for us but it gets tricky when you play up. I agree with Mitch in that you have to play in different age groups.
     
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  17. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    It is very difficult to find enough matches to stay competitive with the best players who are playing up to 120 per year with doubles included. the player with the most matches usually wins. It takes a ton of winning to play that many matches in a 12 month period, but it is an excellent goal if you want to excel. It takes a couple of junior divisions,if not high school tennis and adult opens.
     
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  18. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    I can see you and Chalk referred to tournaments in different sections.
    I remembered you noted no consolation in CA but there are lots of sections where consys are available.
    Turned out even many younger kids (8-12) in my section playing close to or more than 100 matches a year (doubles included).

    My concern; "is it too much?, too many available?, are parents/kids going overboard at a young age?".

    I saw one ~11 yo with 197 matches and ~ 9 yo with 172 matches in 12 months period. No doubt, they are great! But including practice drills and conditioning during the week, how much the body (and mind) can handle?
    I might be biased but that girl I saw (at tourns over past few years) just looked aged, unhappy..."just another day at the office" look.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
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