Going Crazy

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by grace1918, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. grace1918

    grace1918 New User

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    My 12 year old son is very good during practice matches but is a choke artist at tournaments and loses to very low ranked players. He hits cross court shots all the time in practise but when they switch to playing sets, he starts to hit to the middle. I dont know if that is a mind set but it is driving me crazy as this has been the pattern for 2 years now. We were told that this will change with age and maturity but I don't see that happening. At academy, when they are playing drills, he hits amazing cross courts and this changes the second they change to sets. We have spoken with the coach and coach says that we need to wait it out until it clicks. I think I am running out of patience now...please advise.
    Thanks
     
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  2. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Be patient it will click. Its all part of the process. Some get it before others. Sometimes success too early can be a bad thing. Just be positive and dont judge just teach teach teach!!!! And make sure u tell him when he walks out on court that the most important thing he can do is smile and have fun.
     
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  3. grace1918

    grace1918 New User

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    Thanks, GaTennis! I feel a bit better but is this common?
     
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  4. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Yep.. Hang in there!!!
     
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  5. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Ga is right. It is common for young player to play too conservative. Don't judge.. teach. Hitting down the middle is actually the riskier play. Less margin for error. Easier to attack. Opponent makes more errors when he/she has to move. Teach this.
    .
     
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  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It happened to me as a junior. The more he plays competitive matches that count for something (even just bragging rights), the sooner it will subside. The best way to get rid of it is to play many tournaments. Eventually the tournaments become routine and he will relax and "play his game".
     
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  7. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    One thing that has helped me is to depersonalize the whole process and too take my expectations out of the equation.
     
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  8. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Play cross-court tennis point games. Set up a box in the middle and if his ball lands in it he loses the point. Have fun with it. Be creative. He'll get there.
     
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  9. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    A bit of the same situation with my son, but not exactly, he is hitting cross court as the coach says, and keeps it up in matches, and misses on easy winners when he has a chance! Yes, coach teaches him when to attack a short ball and etc. but his weapon was down the line and now he never does it. I say OK, you are told cross court and that is what you are doing. But, he knew how to mix it up and now it seems like he doesn't know anymore.
     
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  10. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    he's 12. once he becomes a teen you'll find yourself trying to temper his aggression on court. he'll be going for lines and corners every time.
     
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  11. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    First of all, lose the word "choke" from your vocabulary. And hopefully your son doesn't use this word. I h8 that word and forbid my kid from using it.

    "Running out of patience" and "driving me crazy" are not healthy phrases to use when talking about a 12 year old's tennis. It's not surgery.

    My advice is that you take a break from one of his matches. Stay in the car and read a book or go watch another match. And I wouldn't grill him after the match about his win or loss. Be casual about it and if it doesn't drive you crazy, try it again!

    Good luck!
     
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  12. matchplay

    matchplay Rookie

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    my player had issues like this
    finally understood that playing conservative & losing was much worse then playing the way he was taught and losing, eventually began to win playing the way the coaches coached it
    it will change, sooner then you think, maybe not as soon as you want
     
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  13. Chemist

    Chemist Rookie

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    How did he choke? Missing easy attack on short balls or could not move his feet fast enough to retrieve balls? I guess it's latter - its likely that he left too many balls in the middle that were neither deep nor heavy and his opponent just kept attacking them. Like GA said that he would click one day and start to play more aggressive tennis. Well, another approach may be to improve his comfortable "hitting to the middle" game.

    First, he needs to improve his footwork, his fitness including endurance so that he can outrun and outlast his opponents. Second, he needs to practice hitting heavier balls - hard and spins, from both forehand and backhand sides so that he can keep balls deep in the middle. Third, work on passing shot and lobs so that his opponent won't win points easily coming to the net. Against boys of his age, lobs would work most of the times. Fourth, keep work on other shots, serves, slice, dropshot, approach shots, volleys and overheads. During a match, he would hit most of balls heavy and deep to the middle, 30-40 times for every point. Very few kids would have the patience for a "consistency drill" during a match and only a very few top kids are able to attack a ball 6-7 times in a row without missing. He would attack only short and easy balls and may even come to the net a few times. This hard grinding game also works well against better and more aggressive players.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
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  14. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    too much pressure to win. ease off and enjoy the journey.
     
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  15. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Give him consequences if he hits up the middle running sprints , push ups ect. , also demand that he hits cross court during sets and if he misses wide REWARD him even if he loses , once he starts seeing it work he will buy into it but to wait on him to figure it out is a recipe for disaster , try the coaches philosophy with his school work haha.
     
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  16. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Those are good ideas for a coach to do, not always a good idea for a parent.
     
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  17. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Fitness (sprints, push ups, sit ups, etc...) is a requirement for anyone with aspirations of being a serious tennis player. You can teach your kid to enjoy fitness. In my opinion, using fitness as a punishment is an ill advised tactic. Thats not 1970s stuff. And depending upon the opponent, hitting up the middle is often an effective tactic.
     
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  18. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, I've never been able to figure out the motivational value of fitness as punishment. Fitness is a positive (necessary) thing. Why would anyone assign something positive as a punishment? It would seem to establish and reinforce the association of fitness as a negative event.
     
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  19. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I like Brads idea my only thing is its not always the best idea for the parent to do this. I think in Brads unique situation it has worked great with Deit. The thing is is not every kids parents are their kids coach.
     
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  20. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    You have said this twice now. What is the rationale?
     
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  21. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Its VERY important for a coach to have rewards and consequences for player development. My daughters coach has them do suicides burpees and other things to get them to where they need to be.He also has positive consequences when they do it right. I just dont think a parent should do this unless they are the kids coach.
     
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  22. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Im an IDIOT!!!
     
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  23. Chemist

    Chemist Rookie

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    2-3 years ago, the only way for me to "control" my boys was to take their XBOX away:)
     
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  24. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Its seems to me like you want to play good cop, bad cop with your coach. I think it better to agree on philosophy/approach with your coach, whatever it happens to be, and follow it consistently, whether its the coach or its you when the coach can't be there.
     
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  25. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    It was a serious question, I regret you have chosen to respond like this. Anyway, no big deal.
     
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  26. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    No good cop bad cop. I just think it keeps a healthy relationship for you and your child if you keep it fun with your child. This seems to work best in my situation. Every kid is different. Every situation is different.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
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  27. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    didn't we dominate tennis in the70's ? I know its global now ,or is it we are to soft now no consequences ?
     
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  28. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Im sorry. I wasnt trying to disrespect your post.
     
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  29. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    i did it with both my kids , the ex wife thought it was a bad idea and my daughter is going to a small community college and does not have much discipline , does what she wants in life "not many good ones ", but then again the ex wife said she needs to make her own choices starting at 10 yrs old .

    My son has dealt with the consequences and has turned out to be and average player and may have a shot at a D2 college haha.
     
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  30. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Im sorry i thought you were pointing out my repeating myself. I just think it is VERY difficult to be a parent coach. I have seen sooo many chase this dream with their child only to end up with a child that resents them. Just look at Bartolis situation with her father as well as Pierce. If you really think about it tennis is just a game that 1 in a million make a living playing and for how long maybe till their 30??? Then what??? I want my baby to love me and have great memories of her childhood. I dont want her to grow old and hate tennis because of me.
     
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  31. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Nothing wrong with d2 tennis. Some great players in d2.
     
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  32. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Nothing wrong with tennis at ANY level. GGOAT.
     
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  33. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Fitness by definition is a tearing down of the body to build it up , you run you tear down muscle fiber ,lift weights same thing ,its anything but as you call positive.

    You do something wrong "get down and give me 20" , this is something you do to discipline killing machines "military people"so they obey orders and do what is asked of them so they are successful in battle .

    Positive and negative thats when your working on battery's or electricity , you have your terms cross-wired but thats ok .
     
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  34. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Some teach with a carrot and some with a stick. Different countries different customs that's all.
     
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  35. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    OK, so fitness is negative and sloth is positive. Got it. OK?

    Seems the unskilled, undisciplined players will end up more fit, and the skilled, disciplined players will be less fit......if extra fitness work is doled out as a negative punishment consequence.

    How's that gonna help US tennis?
     
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  36. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    missed my point , when you weight lift A. do you tear muscle fiber down, make the muscle sore, make them tired ,drain it of energy ,,drain it of flexibility , increase inflammation?

    B. is all the opposite , so would fitness be a positive or negative for the body ? Answer BOTH you tear it down to build it up and make it awesome , same thing you do with and athlete or you can take him out for a dinner salad with Chalk ?
     
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  37. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    No. You missed mine
     
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  38. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Thanks bro. You're a class act. :)

    Nevermind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
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  39. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    So, he has the tools to hit the ball correctly, but it doesn't happen in the match?

    Couple of thoughts - sports is suppose to be fun for a 12 year old, right?
    But if "you are running out of patience" and "going crazy",
    I think you might be draining all of the fun out of the sport.
    Now, some of the posters here have their kids going pro, so this thought process of "fun for a 12 year" old wouldn't work for them........
    But, if your son is playing for himself and for his own enjoyment, your attitude might kill it.

    He knows what to do..... and he has the tools to do it.
    So, eventually it is up to him, right?
    You brought him to the water, now it's up to him if he wants to drink it.

    I would hope the long term goal here is for him to have a sport that he could play for a lifetime.......
    Imagine he is a grownup in his 40's, 50's ( your'e not around in this picture)
    and he is playing tennis and has a network of good friends and a healthy passion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
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  40. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Have him play some lower level people in some easy tournaments to build up confidence. Go far enough away so that he does not know his opponents. That way he has no expectations of winning or losing.
     
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  41. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Chalk you know I love you , hope you like the dinner salad vs bread and water reference .
     
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  42. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    I have respect for you and still do but please retract this one, your gonna get some on here wanting to give him a trophy without competing kinda like when they gave obama a Nobel and he never did nothing to earn it and he was stupid enough to accept it .
     
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  43. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I know you do brutha. I got your back.
     
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