Coaching Juniors During Matches

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by truetifoso, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. truetifoso

    truetifoso Rookie

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    I apologize if this is a post topic that's already been discussed. I did a search based on the words in the title of this post and didn't find anything relevant.

    I'm just wondering why coaching juniors isn't allowed during matches. Talking to juniors while playing in real match situations would be a huge opportunity to teach these kids valuable lessons during a match. I'm not suggesting that parents and coaches shout things out during play, but why can't they be coached during changeovers?

    After all, coaches in the NCAA have the freedom to do so.
     
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  2. monomer

    monomer Rookie

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    I don't know why there is a no-coaching rule. I have wondered if it is because it would put many kids at a competetive disadvantage. The wealthy parents would bring the coach to every tournament. Most could not afford this. In some cases the parents could coach but many aren't equipped to do that. In college both teams have equal access to coaching.

    But that is just a guess.
     
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  3. Oz_Rocket

    Oz_Rocket Semi-Pro

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    Maybe I'm old school but I still see tennis largely as an individual sport with a big mental component. To me it is all about problem solving and a contest of both mind and body.

    I wouldn't want players in the middle of a chess or scrabble game to be coached as it would seem like cheating and the same should go for tennis.

    And as the parent of a 9yo who has just started playing tournaments and competitive matches a few months ago I feel that I have ample chance after a match for myself or his coach to do a proper debrief. So when he walks on to a court in the next hour, day or week he is just that little bit wiser and has had a chance to digest what he needs to learn.
     
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  4. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    happens all the time despite the rules.

    one match my kid came back from 0-4 to 4-all and opponent turned to dad and said, "Dad I need help!" and his dad promptly rattled off in a foreign language.

    it's impossible to enforce the no-coaching rule.
     
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  5. Flat Top

    Flat Top New User

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    Agree. Since the juniors is supposed to help develop future champs, maximize the learning opportunity. Perhaps up to the 14s so they also learn eventually to think for themselves.
     
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  6. WARPWOODIE

    WARPWOODIE Rookie

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    I believe the USTA rule allow for a player to talk/receive coaching when players split sets, before a third set or tiebreaker in lieu of third set. Personally, I like the rule as it is. However, there is a lingering issue with foreign speaking players....I can't tell or detect if there is actual coaching going on, or just a "come on" in whatever language.
     
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  7. kme5150

    kme5150 Rookie

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    This topic always reminds me of when my son was playing a tournament and at every change over the guy sitting next to me would talk to the guy sitting next to him in Spanish. Little did I know that he was actually coaching his son who was sitting in the chair right in front of him. With every change over this guy would start talking to his buddy louder and louder, almost yelling at him. There were even times during the match that I had to ask the guy to keep it down because the boys were playing. My son beat the player 0&0. After the match my son told the dad, in Spanish, that if he was going to coach his son, he should make sure the other guy doesn't know Spanish. The look on all of their faces was priceless. We laugh about it now but at the time it wasn't very funny.
     
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  8. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    That's classic! :) Good for your son not to let him know until it was over.
     
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  9. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    That is just downright hilarious.

    I feel that it would be difficult to tell if coaching is going on in less common languages, like Arabic. After all, Spanish is one of the top 10 most common languages, and chances are someone knows enough to tell if coaching is happening.
     
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  10. BirdieLane

    BirdieLane New User

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    It changes the sport. There is no question you could help a player with some coaching. But as it is now, our sport greatly favors a player who can think for himself and keep self motivated for every point and doesn't need somebody else to tell him to hustle, not give up, change tactics, etc.

    In tennis, players try to break each other over the course of a match. And by break, I mean tactically, mentally and/or emotionally. It changes the game if a coach is there to protect/shield a player from these breakdowns.

    I like it how it is. I like that tennis a game that you must find your own way, start to finish.

    You can play a million practice matches and coach/stop play all you want. But official matches are truly one-on-one and it's something that separates tennis from every other sport and I'd be sad if it changed. (and in fact, I think its sad and embarassing and actually demeaning that the WTA has oncourt coaching while the men eschew it.)
     
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  11. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Most of serious juniors are playing, looking to college tennis.

    In that context, I think coaching should be allowed in junior tennis, just like in college.

    It would defuse the tension between parent and their child.
     
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  12. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    It does change the sport, sort of like changing the compression on the ball so they don't bounce as high or changing the dimensions of the court. I think allowing coaching a changeovers for younger age divisions would be a positive change in line with those changes. Some kids just learn differently from others, and for those who the strategic element doesn't come easily as it does to others, there is no substitution for relatively immediate feedback that match coaching can provide. With younger kids, going to them after a match and trying to get them to recall a point or game to discuss what there strategy was or how it could have been different can be sort of futile in a lot of cases.
     
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  13. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    as a coach of juniors and a parent of a tournament junior (I won't coach my own kids) I just want to say this post made my day.

    just fantastic, I would have LOVED to be there for that!

    lost count of the number of times I have seen a parent calling out to their kids in something I don't speak...
     
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  14. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Although I don't think there are any changes in the near future, I think coaching between sets should be allowed up to and including the 12s, then none thereafter. At the younger ages, there is a lot to be developed/learned and I think it would help raise the level over all. Just an opinion.
     
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  15. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Coaching is allowed in some Junior Team tennis and School team tennis matches during changeover. I think it is helpful for kids to learn strategies and help them improve faster. These juniors compete in a team format so each team has 1 or 2 designated coaches.

    For an individual junior competing in a USTA sanctioned tournament, not every junior can have a coach or his/her parent cannot coach therefore creates an unfair edge for the opponent.
    IMO, coaching allowed during changeover especially for a young player will definitely help them learn and progress faster.

    To setup practice matches with coaching or get young juniors to play team tennis (and get your local JTT coordinator to allow coaching) for these players will definitely help them grow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
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  16. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I beat this kid in a tournament whose dad was subtly coaching him from behind the fence in Russian the whole time - too bad he didn't realize until after the match that I understood every word...:lol::lol:
     
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  17. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    The dad really did not trust his player's ability....too bad. Still have the attached umbilical cord with the dad!!! What age group? You should have gone to tell the ref. embarrasing him.
     
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  18. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    This will probably sound funny, but this was an open mens event. The “kid” was in late teens and I was in early 20s. I entered the tournament just for fun because a friend wanted to play doubles together. I liked the kid (he had a unique game) and I was winning anyway, so I said nothing about the dad’s coaching. I had a nice chat with the kid after the match.
     
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  19. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Wow!!....at some point, his father/coach has to let it go. His son should know how to troubleshoot by his late teens. Dad still wanted him to have an edge and tried bending the rules.
     
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  20. Oz_Rocket

    Oz_Rocket Semi-Pro

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    I personally have no problem with this at the U10 or possibly U12 level provided it is fair for all participants. In fact they've just introduced a national U10 teams competition in Australia that does this. They take the best 32 kids in each state, place them in teams of 4 each with a designated coach and play a round robin tournament over 5 weeks to help choose a final team of 4 boys and 4 girls from each state to compete during the second week of the Australian Open.

    The format for each tie is 50 minutes of continuous singles, 10 minute break then 50 minutes of continuous doubles. Some kids ground away and barely completed one set during the time while others were beaten 6-1, 4-0. During change of ends the designated team coach (not parents or regular coaches) could take the kids aside and talk them through possible strategies and matchplay.

    It worked very well and because the make up of the final team isn't based purely on results, there is no disadvantage to kids who needed little or no coaching because the coaches know who they are and I imagine that actually counts for them.
     
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  21. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like a wonderful idea. We need to incorporate the (fair) coaching opportunities more in the young players' match play here in the US.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
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  22. dr. godmode

    dr. godmode Rookie

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    No I really hate when kids get illegally coached. The great thing about tennis is that it's just 1 on 1 and you have to get through it all yourself. Coaching during a match can unfairly change the outcome of a match and I have lost because of it. I go through all of my mistakes with my dad after the match and I still learn a lot and it improves my match play.
     
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  23. Oz_Rocket

    Oz_Rocket Semi-Pro

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    I thought it was great idea too. What you are doing is taking the top few hundred U10s in the country and placing them in a very competive but structured environment where their strategic tennis skills can be developed in a fair way.

    And while you can play all the practice matches you like and get coached on strategy it just isn't the same as when it is done at a proper tournament played against a large number of high quality opponents. Something that usually you never get a chance to do (and rightly so).

    There is a bit more information at:

    http://www.tennis.com.au/competitions/super-10s
     
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  24. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    No coaching during matches. It is a chance for kids to stand on their own and not be directed by adults. It will help them grow up to be stronger people. Isn't that the reason we play sports?
     
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  25. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Well if that is the rule for sports then what about every other sport ? Football coach, basket ball coach , soccer coach, volley ball coach ,ect.
     
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  26. TenAll

    TenAll New User

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    That's what makes Tennis different and special. Other sports don't have the kids officiate their own match either.
     
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  27. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    It's one of the things, but not the only thing. Its also one of the things that turn what could eventually be exceptional players away from the game at an early age. some kids are just not ready to deal with isolation at a very young age. For under 12's, coaching can sometimes be as simple as a hug and some reassuring words. Yes, they have to transition to real rules sometime, like they have to transition from green to yellow balls.
    And there are other sports where kids officiate there own matches, such as golf.
     
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  28. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    What I would like to see is more coaches coaching during practice matches, as opposed to looking at their phones! So, today two coaches per 3 courts, and kids are playing matches yet nobody is correcting, instructing or criticizing. They do it sometimes, but not a lot, and that is when I think parents aren't getting what they are paying for, nor are the kids getting proper attention. And this is elite training program but not their best group of kids. Maybe that is why?
     
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