Family over talent?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by WoodIndoors, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    I'm afraid that the youngest one, age 4, is also the most gifted one...

    He hits against the wall every day...
    challenges me and others to play imaginary GS finals all the time...
    today practically forced me to buy him a sweatband similar to what Delpo used last week...
    have imitated Delpo several days now after seeing him play (big serve and forehand, expressionless)...before that Djoker, before that Fed, before that Nadal...
    shows me shadow stroking motions asking confirmation with a smily face "follow tru is supposed to look like this, right?" (propably after overhearing me teaching others)...
    Practises serve and also volley and slice backhand against the wall daily...
    Pretty fast with his feet after keeping up with older siblings all his life...
    good throwing motion...
    All round athletic ability, skating, skiing, basketball, soccer
    Refuses to lose in anything, cries after losses, blames others for his losses and demands revenge match every time...
    Tells me he is going to play in every GS final and wants to know what surface they are played on, then asking where and when he can start practise on grass...
    His profession will be Tennis Professional so he says,and the second choice is either basketball or - Rugby.
    Wants to have daily discussions why this and that pro player is better than the other...


    I have never asked him to play tennis but quite the contrary, he has very often been asked to play soccer or whatever instead (and not disturb), with a promise to hit with him couple of minutes in the end)...he just have picked this whole tennis thing up by himself

    He is so into tennis that probably I should be very happy?

    Well I am but at the same time, I'm not.

    I'm thinking how his older siblings, who also are very competitive, can handle the situation in the following years if it turns out that they are just average but he is something else (it's too early to tell I know...

    Help, anyone
     
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  2. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    look up the old jan silva threads.

    take it easy and slow
     
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  3. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    High and deep, I will, thanks!

    I'm actually most afraid that I will end up spending too much time with some of them and others end up feeling they were/are not as important to me and become bitter.
    So...not moving to France with him at this point
     
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  4. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    I have the same thing here. Now mine is 10 1/2. He is almost 5'3" with a 9.5 size shoe. He made a lot of friends all over the south. This weekend we are going to his first Bullfrog tournament. There will be about 15 kids there that he is friends with. It will be a blast and we are sure to go to dinner with several kids each night.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Happened with Andre Agassi - elder siblings did not turn out great. Same with John Roddick and Jamie Murray.
     
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  6. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    I have triplets (9) and twins (4). Trips are playing Tennessee tourneys and have under 10 rankings. Twins already know what strokes are, who the pros are, constantly bug me (in a good cute way) to play, and imitate the trips when we go out to play on local courts. Five kids on a court is pretty interesting. If the twins behave we give them a ten minute "baby intermission" and do relay races. Imitation is a powerful learning tool, absolutely amazing the stuff they pick up. I am primary coach for everyone. Luckily I am a former teaching pro and love working with my kids. I could simply not afford to develop players anyway else! We play about 6 hours a week winter for big kids, plus lots of ping pong, and volley work. Little guys play about 10-15 mins. a day and I always leave them wanting more. Summer big kids play about 15 hours a week. We belong to affordable club and there are some good kids to practice with and play matches.

    Good luck on the journey. I am right there with you.
    I wish there was a book out on how to be successful coaching your own kids...
     
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  7. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    I thought John Roddick turned out ok, isn't he a successful coach at Oklahoma?

    What about Murray, what is he up to these days? I think he won a mixed slam at one point...

    That would be an interesting side discussion...how have older siblings of famous players on average turned out....
     
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  8. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Some of this seems a little far fetched for a four year old.
     
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  9. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    not really farfetched. One of my twins ( just turned four) knows all the players and tells me about them all the time. He thinks that Roger Federer is much better than Andy Murray because he has a good forehand with topspin. My other twin wants to go play tennis against Ryoma from the Prince of Tennis because he says that " I can beat him left handed"... He watches the Prince of tennis obsessively. It is cute. Doesn't mean we are going to have world champs.... I just want them to have some balance and lifelong love of the game.
     
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  10. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    But can he hit the snake shot ??
     
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  11. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    If you are determined to treat them equally, not feeling inferior, not being your favorite, you'd better start being sensitive yourself. TRY HARD not to compared them or overly excited on what the youngest one accomplishs at so and so ....age.
    What I have seen is parents getting too excited and compared them so much. Kids are going to pick up on that easily. What makes the youngest proud, will also make the older ones feel like a loser.
    Also be open minded and nurture individual talent. It's impossible for all of your children to have equal tennis talent. If you are open minded, you might find that one kid is great in math, music or a great soccer player instead of tennis talent.
    (Speaking from my experience growing up in a big family, raising 2 kids and seeing what other parents have gone through. Good Luck and enjoy each child's accomplishment!)
     
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  12. GB Tennis

    GB Tennis New User

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    IMO Having older tennis playing siblings is an amazing advantage for a prospective tennis player.... They are likely to have grown up on the court, if the kid is competitive they will constantly be striving to be better and beat their older brother /sister, they have a ready made hitting partner and we parents have learnt from our mistakes with the older kids. Downside = It can be really hard on the older child, particularly if they are close in age (18 months -2years). For your 4 year old, trade on the benefit, don't short-cut on technique and get them used to hitting and returning at the pace of their older sibling asap
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes they are successful - I mean not as successful as their younger siblings.

    And of course P and J Mac.

    Then there is James Blake who was more successful than his younger sibling Thomas.
     
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  14. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    thomas is older IIRC. he paved the way for.james to go to harvard
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I knew I was wrong somewhere ........
     
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  16. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    seems like in most sports (hockey, tennis, motorsports are the three I'm most familiar with), the oldest child usually do not do as well as the younger siblings. parents probably adjust their methods to be more effective and the experience gained with the first child helps them make better decisions. also, being able to train with an older, stronger and better sibling from a young age is a huge advantage for an aspiring athlete.

    Federer and Nadal are the firstborns, but have younger sisters who are not athletically inclined

    Serena has won many more Slams than Venus, though Venus is really a very very good player in her own right who happened to be unlucky in a sense.

    Djokovic is a bit of an exception, in that his younger brothers have not shown his level of success in tennis.

    Murray, Blake, Roddick, Filip Peliwo (who's the youngest of three) fit the usual trend

    Hockey:

    Maurice and Henri Richard - Maurice was 10 years older and a more explosive player, but Henri had the longer and better career overall
    Sean and Chris Pronger - Chris was an all-star defenseman, while older brother Sean was a career minor-leaguer (and the author of a pretty funny autobiography)
    Alain and Mario Lemieux - Alain only played a few games in the NHL. Mario is a hall of famer

    Motorsports:

    Jacques Villeneuve Sr. and Gilles Villeneuve - older brother stayed in Canada and (still) races snowmobiles. little bro went to drive for Ferrari and briefly was one of the best drivers on the planet
    Wilson and Emerson Fittipaldi
    Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez - Both died very young but Ricardo was supposedly more talented
    Aldo and Mario Andretti
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
    #16
  17. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    Sounds great!

    Did you wrote 'the same thing' meaning your youngest turned out to be most into tennis? If so, are the older ones still playing?
     
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  18. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    All of you referring that birth order thing...
    Yes, its interesting what all of the effects are...and also probably innate temperament playes major role here I think, for some genes it's maybe best to be born 1st and for some 2nd - I mean if we talk about competive sport and motivation
     
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  19. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    Sounds great...many ways like our trips to our local courts

    Thank You - and same to you!

    The book...I think you could be quite an expert yourself in 10 years to write it don't you think :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
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  20. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    My older son is still playing. He turned 16 today. He is a good player but does not have as much success relative to his peers. He has been ranked around 65 in our state at best. My younger son was 2 in his age division.
     
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  21. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    Thanks!

    That (bolded) is The thing I'm most concerned of. I think there is enough competition waiting without that. It really makes me wonder
     
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  22. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    Yes...not comparing is something I try to do. This open mindedness is a very good advise, thank you! I really have and try to keep that in mind. I'm wondering maybe tennis has got way too much attention in our family lately.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
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  23. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    May I ask how he has taken his young brothers success, or is something which is not so big a thing because of that age difference?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
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  24. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    It is difficult. There are a variety of reasons for it happening. The older son did less sports when he was younger. The older son has a different body build. The younger son is really large and somehow coordinated at the same time. The younger son is left handed and can touch his elbows together behind his back (try that!) I think as the younger son wins more matches it becomes harder and harder for the older son to win. Our older son is much more conservative and not willing to take risk. The younger son THINKS he could make the shot. He is willing to take risks on the court. Our younger son also has that obsessive personality where he is willing to do the same thing over and over again. This proves to help with a sport like tennis.

    Everyone does somethings in life better than others. I think our older son is more level headed and school is easier for him. Dad is proud of both. Maybe even a little more proud of the older son because he has stuck with tennis even when it was not easy for him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
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  25. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    From what i see the older kids are good, the younger siblings are amazing
     
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  26. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    He has the one truly critical thing that gives a possibility that he will be a great player: He will go hit against the wall voluntarily.
     
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  27. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    I agree completely
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
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