Are your kids always eager to go out and practice?

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

  1. highsierra

    highsierra Rookie

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    I find my kid increasingly resisting to go out practice, even though once we get to the court the results are usually good. Wonder what's going on...

    If you have older kids, has this happened from time to time in the past? What did you do to keep him/her going?
     
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  2. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    My son is always looking forward to practicing, he is in the afternoon program(3 hours minimum) and apart from being sick( and even then he wants to go most of the time) he says most days "I can't wait to play." How old is your son? Never had a problem with it, just the opposite, even though he plays almost everyday and tournaments on the weekend, even when he loses he asks to play another tournament next weekend.
     
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  3. Korso

    Korso Semi-Pro

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    My 14 year old loves to put in the time. He usually lasts 2 hours before becoming distracted. My 10 year can take about 45 mins of drills before he is ready to just play some points and games.
     
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  4. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    Don't force your kid to practice if he/she doesn't want to. That'll just make them not want to play anymore, and burn them out even faster. Give them a break if they want to, then when they come back they'll feel refreshed and be enthusiastic about playing.

    Source(s): My, myself, and I.

    Note: this has only happened to me once in 3 years, but when I started playing again a few weeks later I felt great, and I haven't lost enthusiasm since.
     
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  5. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    The only mandatory obligations kids have is school.

    Otherwise, their free time ( after finishing homework and chores) is really their free time.

    If he doesn't want to go, say "ok".

    If he is a boy, he will have so much energy, he will want to play a sport.
    Let him choose it.

    Good luck. I know it could be frustrating if you poured money into this,
    but you don't want to pour more money into a sport he doesn't want to play, and you will both become resentful.

    My guess is a few days off, and if he will want to play tennis again.
     
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  6. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    The part I agree with is the line "Let him choose it"....but it should say let your boy or girl choose a sport.

    I disagree that a kid's free time should be their own. Childhood obesity is rising fast so too many are choosing the coach, TV, internet, video games when left to their own devices. Boys will turn their energy towards video games and eating chips if you let them. I also am confused as to why you mentioned boys specifically and their energy. Girls have every bit if not more energy at that age than boys do and sports are every bit if not more important for them to get through the sensitive years.

    A parent has the obligation to demand a child participate in something. Not forced into tennis, but given a choice between 3-4 physical activities. But mandatory participation in some sort of physical activity. It could be swimming laps, which any kid can do.

    I also am confused when you say the only mandatory obligation a kid has is school. Depending on culture a family could require a kid to pray, attend to younger siblings, hold a part time job, exercise, attend religious services, visit a elderly grandparent daily....you name it. Many kids do much better when much of their time is structured within a family dynamic.

    In Asian cultures for example, it is well know the Tiger Mom dynamic which structures kid's lives. India also has similar dynamics, as do many cultures. If anything, perhaps American kids need more mandatory scheduling through childhood.

    I think the OP's daughter hits a nice ball. I see nothing wrong with him telling her she must either play tennis an hour a day or choose from gymnastics, soccer, or swimming. He should also tell her she has a talent for tennis and she has a chance to be very good if she works hard. He can even explain how scholarships work.

    Stack the deck into getting her to choose tennis. There is nothing wrong for a parent to 'manipulate' a kid into making a wise decision to stick with tennis if the parent's gut tells them to. It is a valuable sport.....teaches self discipline, standing on your own, and for girls the scholarship opportunities are fairly good.

    I do not think parents should just say "OK" every time a kid wants to bail on tennis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
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  7. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I think there should be a balance. Kids need to have "obligations", but that can mean if they choose something, they have to follow through. But they do need "their own time" as well.

    Personally, I believe in creating the environment and family culture that you want and lead by example. My kids don't play video games, because we don't own them. They don't eat junk food, because we don't buy it. We don't make them play tennis or other sports, but they do because we have made it available, encouraged, and do it ourselves on a regular basis. Over time, this tends to determine how they spend their free time. My son prefers to shoot baskets on the driveway or explore the woods behind our house. My daughter likes to do craft projects and ride her bike.

    Lastly, to get back to OP's point, playing too much can get them in a rut as well. Maybe try and mix things up a bit. Do some cross-training, or something completely different for a few days - even if it's not tennis related. A different perspective can be refreshing and motivating.
     
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  8. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    I agree. My overall point is that it is no crime to demand participation in certain physical activities during childhood. And no crime in stacking the deck in the favor of tennis if that is what you instincts tell you is right for your specific kid. But in the end, if they do not like tennis, they do not like tennis.
     
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  9. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Maybe it is not practice your son or daughter is "resisting". Maybe it is you.

    That is not intended as an insult. I see it more as a compliment to your kid who may be showing independence and a desire to practice and compete with peers instead of parents.

    My views most closely align in this thread with CoachDad. I strongly disagree with the poster who says "if he is a boy, (sic) he will have so much energy....".

    Wow. Just wow. Gotta be that poster's personal experience, which is fine. Just can't let anyone try to sell that as some kind of universal truth.
     
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  10. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    My daughter does track. She is athletic, but as a young kid also wanted to do arts and crafts.
    My son never had the ability to sit for hours and do a beading project.

    For us the mandatory obligation is school, and homework.
    ( I listed chores above which could really cover anything )
    My son has a few chores, but does community service each week which eats up quite a few hours.

    Kids are pretty pliable in terms of scheduling activities.
    My son played a sport every day (with friends) for all his years.
    So, I did schedule it for him, and he loved doing it.

    However, once a kid hits teenage years and goes through puberty...
    If they don't want to play sports every day, they won't.
    They might be on the school newspaper,
    or be in a high school play,
    or do the stage work ( paint the sets)
    or be on the debate team or do Model UN
    or sing in the chorus or play in the band,
    or do a combination of the above.....
    It is their free time, and they will choose it.

    My son's free time is spent playing a sport, but if he wanted to write a weekly column for the school paper,
    and be on the debate team, that is his decision.
    Personally, I don't know anyone whose kid is sitting around eating chips and playing videos after school.

    In regards to the OP, I don't know the age of the kid, and he wrote he/she, assumed it was a boy.
    Explaining a tennis scholarship to a kid might detract from the pure spirit of playing the sport.
    I think as a kid, you play sports for the love (joy) of it, not to gain some monetary reward.
     
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  11. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    tennis5....eating chips and watching video games is a metaphor of course for inactivity. The childhood % of overweight kids in the US currently stands at 33% and rising. Obviously we need more activity from kids. And obviously anyone with common sense would conclude a large % of American kids are sitting around and not active enough and/or not eating healthy enough.

    Yours and mine is a disagreement in philosophy. Our family requires mandatory healthy eating and physical activity of all members, including the kids. The choice can be something as pleasant as frequent swimming.

    You say your kids are free to do non active things to fill their time....that is your right.

    As far as this OP, he has a thin athletic daughter who may not be that into tennis all the time. I feel, as do other posters, the best advice would be to give her more choices for physical activity.

    Just like Jewish families, for example, require a certain participation in religious activities while the kids are under their roofs as being healthy for their kids well being....we require physical activity of our kids which we feel is best for their well being.

    There is nothing wrong with having certain things mandatory for kids besides school. All families I know have various mandatory things. Having mandatory participation in physical activity is something extremely important in my book.

    As far as only enjoying sports....that again is your choice. Other families have been quite successful programming sports with the sole intention of getting financial aide for college. Some start that at age 6. None of us should judge. Tiger moms have their successes and failures, as do all styles of parenting.

    I frankly see nothing wrong with pressuring a talented tennis player or violin player to stay in the activity. There are examples of pressuring ruining kids and plenty examples of people who wish their parents had made them keep at something.

    Its a family decision and none of us can judge from the outside.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
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  12. watergirl

    watergirl New User

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    My child is not always thrilled to go to practice but he likes good results at tournaments. He may be a little older and has come to understand that they go hand in hand so he goes and even finds extra time to work on conditioning. No he does not like running but again he understands it is something you do to get the results you want.

    I can only remember a couple of times that he wanted a break. I sent him to tennis camp at 11 and the tennis and other fun stuff they had going on really reinvigorated him. The second time we scaled back the tournament schedule for a couple of months, still kept his weekly schedule but on the weekend he hung around with friends, went to water parks and amusement parks. After a couple of months he was ready to jump back in.
     
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  13. zaxxon1982

    zaxxon1982 New User

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    My kids don't always want to practice. I try to find a balance - sometimes I'll tell them they have to, sometimes I'll sell them on it by reminding them why they do it, and sometimes I'll take their side and we'll do something else. I find that as long as they get one of those special days off from time to time they are a lot more likely to go along with the tell/sell methods and be happy while they're doing it.
     
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  14. Korso

    Korso Semi-Pro

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    Making practice fun and competitive keeps my children into it longer. When I am giving drills I start with the strongest part of their game so they build confidence and end on that too. They really enjoy playing target games and short 2 out 3 games too. I would take a look at the practice progam and make sure it is productive but fun at the same time. When I first started teaching my kids I was gun ho on drilling and fundamentals. This lead to a disinterest after a period of time. Once I stood back and did some reading and research on teaching kids I made the adjustments. Changing the program is always easier than forcing someone to like the program.
     
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