Guestimation of cost to raise national caliber jr

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by HIGH-TECH TENNIS, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    146
    Have you seen this very thought-provoking topic??? How much does it cost to raise a national caliber junior - from age 8-18?

    Junior Development: $475,776 Price Tag

    Just can't stop thinking/talking about this topic. I saw one of our earliest customers over the weekend and asked his opinion. He thought for a moment and then answered confidently: "About $500K." I asked "How'd you know?" He said "I've written the checks!"

    Of course, I also remember a father who bragged about spending "a quarter of a million in just two years!!!" (OMG) but the one who guessed with such accuracy has "walked the walk" while raising two daughters (present ages 14 and 17) and now he's "talking the talk" because he wishes parents would BE REALISTIC in terms of expectations.

    Would LOVE to hear what others have to say about this very thought-provoking topic! :) We care very much about junior tennis and, as always, the very last thing we want to do is create any controversy whatsoever. Thanks for your support!
     
    #1
  2. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    564
    Sounds about right, anywhere from 25k to 35k a year for lessons, travel, expenses more for those who want the elite training experience.
     
    #2
  3. thepastord

    thepastord New User

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    91
    Way too much for what they end up getting for it........At least $25K- $30K..... I recommend balance above everything. If you happen to have a spectacular over the top talent, who really wants to be a pro, then it could be wise. Bottom line, America is not the breeding ground for that type of talent, regardless of what the USTA claims. Families can obtain a very high quality of tennis with a great balance of competitive tournaments without going overboard. The problem is, parents get sucked into the entire process and end up chasing their tails. Most of the kids end up at endless practices and constant travel. They end up miserable and only outsiders and trusted friend hear about it. Because mom and dad have invested so much money and time, they don't want to disappoint them. Many can't wait to go to college, just to get away from their parents.

    Meet me, the tennis mom, that hears all of it............. :cry:
     
    #3
  4. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    564
    So true, that and looking for the coach that will tell them what they want to hear. I know so many kids who say their parents are crazy and just want to have some fun along the way. One parent in particular has send her son to at least 5 different coaches in the last year or so and he still struggles to win more than one or two matches a tourney.
     
    #4
  5. Frankenstine

    Frankenstine New User

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    91
    We were on that track... But we then stopped once high school came around. When you are trying to compete at a national level, while taking multiple AP/honors classes it gets quite difficult. We ended up spending much less money while still playing a few tournaments and trying to play with local kids instead of clinics, etc.

    Tennis does build character, and I would say it definitely is a good investment if you have that amount of money. Even if you don't play professionally, or get a scholarship. Tennis brings families closer together, and the memories that will be remembered are tremendous in numbers.

    In conclusion, tennis is fun, and as long as everybody is realistic then everything is well.
     
    #5
  6. thepastord

    thepastord New User

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    91
    I am happy to see some folks honestly stating the truth about this subject!:) Too many parents are in denial and it turns what could be a great experience for the entire family into a stressful time. Best to let them develop the qualities that will make them a confident, integrated and best of all, someone who can stand alone and make wise decisions. We have found that if the tennis is approached right it can help to develop a happy situation.

    Our daughter is a senior, a year ahead of time...... She is a great player that many high academic colleges are after. Is she pro material, no, but she has still had opportunities to experience the best parts. In a few weeks she will be playing in a Wildcard Pro tournament. She has benefited from being able to manage a wide range of activities and still maintained a high GPA. A few weeks ago we were eating dinner and the subject of tennis came up. She said she was glad that she plays, and hopes her own child will play someday. Kids need a outside activity to break the stress of academics. Tennis can be good for that, as long as it won't contribute to the STRESS. lol

    You can also develop a very high quality player by establishing balance. The comment made about changing coaches too much happens all the time.... We changed a few times over the 9 years she has been playing. There are antics you need to watch for from both coaches and parents. Again, balance!
     
    #6
  7. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,290
    I pulled this off a USTA question and answer site.
    I am taking off the poster's name, as I am not sure he wants it on this site,
    but he is from California.


    Americans are way behind in the vast tennis world because private lessons and junior tournaments are expensive. Only families with a lot of extra money can afford what is necessary. This is why so few Americans are near the top of professional tennis right now. Men or women.

    European governments pay for their up-and-comers to receive proper training. This is why the Europeans are taking the best college spots too. If you have a lot of money, good for you, otherwise your child will be lost in the crowd just like a lot of other talented American youngsters wanting to get better.

    Obviously the Williams sisters’ story tosses my pathetic views out the window. They are the exception. And good for them. They worked hard for their success.

    Sorry to be so negative but this is the way I feel. Tennis is all about how much cash you have.
     
    #7
  8. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,290
    That is frightening how many times I have heard the sentiment below:

    Because mom and dad have invested so much money and time, they don't want to disappoint them.
    Many can't wait to go to college, just to get away from their parents


    I think there is a lot of guilt involved where the kids feel mom and dad spent money we don't have, so I have to do this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
    #8
  9. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    100
    The sad part is that a lot of parents are bamboozled into spending this type of money because they think that a college scholarship will be guaranteed. Who spends $475K to get something (the "getting" is not entirely guaranteed) worth $150K.. sounds like the worst "investment" in the world.
     
    #9
  10. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,029
    Yeah. It's the journey.
     
    #10
  11. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    Bamboozled by who? I thought bamboozlement was grounds for a lawsuit. ;)
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    Only issue I have is that people are often narrowly focused on these matters. I can't speak for the person who posted this, but it seems that he likes the European government support. The same guy (not this guy, generically speaking here) often will rant against government support for health care or other benefits and how socialism will kill the country with higher taxes (where does he think the European money is coming from?). When it comes to his own children compared to Europeans, he will say that the government should help him with coaching costs.

    Doesn't work that way. If you believe you are entitled to government support and it should not be a free capitalist economy with only the affluent enjoying everything, then same is true for other issues of other people too, which are much more serious than tennis.
     
    #12
  13. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,450
    I highly disagree with all that is written here , as for the Williams they just put in the work few will demand of their children , you allways here the word "fun" involved with our tennis development programs ,,

    Bring your kid to me and the first thing they will hear is "get the smile off your face your here to work" and here is how you will now spell the word fun "W-I-N"

    We need some oldtimers who don't care about feelings and are willing to be honest.
     
    #13
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    More basic reason is that the Williams are either tall (Venus) or strong (Serena). Venus owns perhaps the fastest serve in the WTA and Serena is not bad either, and has a powerful kicker. Their physical attributes are the primary reason for their success. Hard work without the physical endowments doesn't pay off in sports - it is not fair in that way. Even players with less than impressive physiques like Federer have attributes like hand-eye coordination and vision way beyond the average, which are not obvious.

    You must have the raw material first. Otherwise you will be a Vania King maximum (and winning Mixed Doubles Slams is not bad).
     
    #14
  15. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    100
    #15
  16. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    100
    exactly... there's the hit-and-giggle route and then there's the serious-business route. players/parents should know what it takes in terms of $ and time for either route. too many people want to get to the winner's circle with the foot on the brake
     
    #16
  17. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,290
    Sounds like you and DB could open an academy in the future :)
     
    #17
  18. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,290
    To define your word - to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery.

    Yes, that this is the tennis coaches who say to the parents of the kids with no talent that if junior comes to them and plays x number of times, then junior will get a tennis scholarship.

    Really, how do the parents know the coach is a thief, a con artist, bilking for some dough.

    They just leave the coach after the first free evaluation and think junior is the real deal.
     
    #18
  19. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,290
    Lots of good points. Yes, there are bigger social worries than tennis.
    I would start with childhood poverty.

    But, what about the USTA? They are for just a few select kids.

    Problem is they choose them when they are too young.
     
    #19
  20. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    USTA touches a lot more than the high performance kids. If you think otherwise it's because I believe the communication from the USTA needs improvement.

    As far as selecting kids too young is concerned, no way. It's been the complete opposite until two years ago. We need to get to kids earlier and teach them proper fundamentals earlier. It is starting to happen.
     
    #20
  21. Bendex

    Bendex Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,037
    No, there are many big strong African American girls playing tennis, the difference is the WORK. Nothing beats an obsessed parent who does the coaching 7 days per week, and is thinking about what the child needs every moment they're not on the practice court. You can't buy that.
     
    #21
  22. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4,862
    Good points. There are examples of tennis players that don't fit the traditional perception of someone who would make a pro tennis player. The Rochus brothers (short), Cyril Suk (very weak serve), Marion Bartoli (unothodoxed, soft and poor mover) all overcame limitations. I can't speak for the role their parents played. However, I can bet without knowing these players all have two things in common, extreme work ethic and deep desire to succeed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
    #22
  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    I have seen a few juniors make it to the their high school team without any private coaching (only by their father). Then I think the cost is not high if they play only local tournaments.
     
    #23
  24. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Messages:
    83
    Don't you think it is talent and hard work? I do not know if the Williams girls work harder than Vania King. They seem to be able to take months off and show up not in the best shape and still do well while other African American players can be totally trained and not do as well.
     
    #24
  25. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    This isn't just about African Americans. There are hard working people across ALL races.
     
    #25
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    I was talking about necessary and sufficient conditions.

    Hard work is necessary, but not sufficient (when genetics is poor).

    Physical endowments are sufficient - for the Williams at least. The Williams take off whenever they want and seem to do pretty well whenever they come back and play with minimal practice.

    Sounds unfair, but there are talented people who succeed with little effort. Of course, in public they will deny it and claim to be working very hard.

    BTW, I said nothing about race. Isner, Karlovic and Querrey are players who achieve disproportionately to their talent because of their physical attributes. If they had been 5'8", they would be nobodies.

    Same thing with music and mathematics. It has to be inherent inside the person - hard work which is done on top of that should be pleasurable. Mediocre person doing very hard work to excel in music or mathematics becomes frustrated.
     
    #26
  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    They work less hard than Vania King.
     
    #27
  28. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Sorry to be rude, which is not my character, but you don't know what you are talking about or asserting regarding the delta between physicality and tennis skills. Length and strength are not prequisites to world class tennis, especially for women. They surely help, but asserting the attributes as dispositive proof of their success shows a lack of thoughtfully analysis. As for Federer, you are even more incorrect. He is a walking, talking, breathing, heavenly physical specimen. God could not have designed a better tennis physique. Your Vania King example undermines your entire argument. Sorry to be harsh, but I think your missed analysis is pretty harsh also.
     
    #28
  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    Length and strength are not the only attributes. There are many hidden attributes that contribute to filtering out players that you cannot see. The ones you see already have the physicality most others don't - and among them there can be winners and losers. Vania King will actually be physically quite good compared to others of her height. And as I said, which you did not seem to understand, Federer does possess superb physical qualities - and you just come back and repeat it. But a person like Querrey can even stand on the same court as him only because of his height - that is what I mean.

    "You can be anything you want by hard work" is mainly a selling point for people whose livelihood consists of selling dreams - like college admissions officers or private tutors.
     
    #29
  30. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    409
    Sureshs, you've singlehandedly derailed a good discussion about the role of money in junior tennis. Congratulations. Sorry but your arguments are off-topic, and incoherent to boot.
     
    #30
  31. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    It's not how big you are, it's how big you play.
     
    #31
  32. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    503
    Not sure what this exactly mean. How big does Wozniacki play? Santoro?
     
    #32
  33. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,931
    I think the biggest asset that the WS have is that the really truly and honestly believe in themselves and believe that they are better than everyone else.

    There are plenty of talented players who never make it because of the mental/confidence issues.

    As for the other issue, most of the top female players have historically been nothing spectacular in terms of their athletic ability.

    So I would think that self belief and hard work play a huge role in the equation as well.
     
    #33
  34. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,931
    I doubt that. You don't get to the top of the WTA by not working hard.

    I am sure they work MUCH harder than Vania King does evidenced by their results.

    In addition, they really believe they should be winning and dominating everyone.

    Physique is not everything or someone like Amanda Coetzer would have never been top 3 in the world. Someone like Marion Bartoli would have never made it to a slam final.
     
    #34
  35. Bendex

    Bendex Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,037
    They worked extremely hard when they were young. The father drilled them endlessly, then they received funding for top level training with physical conditioners and technical consultants. But it was always the father in control.

    These days they have their own training facility on their property and individual (male) hitting partners who are stronger players than them. During tournaments they're the first ones to arrive to the practice courts for a full blooded practice session, usually with the father or mother still there, calling the drills and yelling at them to hit harder and move faster.

    And yes, self belief is half the battle, but you can attribute that to the Father's drilling in the early years also.

    To get back on topic, the Williams family didn't spend much to raise pro tennis players. They bought some rackets and some balls, found an old court in the ghetto, and worked their butts off. By the time the external funding came in, the foundations were already laid. Bernard Tomic is another example of this type of upbringing (he is not athletic at all BTW, but he was beating adults bigger and stronger than him when he was 12).

    Rich families paying for private lessons twice per week cannot compare to an obsessed parent.
     
    #35
  36. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Great topic,,, thanks for posting.

    Many times, parents walk into our pro shop wanting to purchase a racquet for their child because they want them to take tennis lessons in the hopes of becoming top rated juniors. When they find out the price of the racquet, they typically freak out, saying it is too expensive.

    I always explain to them the racquet is going to be the cheapest thing they buy, and then BRIEFLY go over other costs.....

    1. stringing up to 5-6 racquets a week at $18 a pop,
    2. about 200 to 300 in shoes every two months,
    3. about $30K a year in coaching,
    etc,
    etc,
    etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
    #36
  37. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    The "big" reference is to heart not physicality. And Santoro was one of the best. I miss watching him play. I saw him chop up Djokovic once...magical.
     
    #37
  38. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,029
    Dude, undoubtedly a thoroughly accurate post, but it's incomplete. Clearly, you don't understand America. WHen those sweet familes leave your pro shop, they get back in their BMVVs and drive to Target to buy some plastic crap from China...then it's off to *bux for a $4 coffee. They are just doing what they have been trained to do.

    EDIT:
    Yay America!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
    #38
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    I agree with that one. Like many successful people, they have huge egos and a sense of entitlement that they are superior, whether they win or lose. Serena has much more of it than Venus and that is the root cause of her bad behavior.
     
    #39
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    I don't think Roddick, Fish, Querrey or Isner fit this stereotype.
     
    #40
  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,023
    Stereotypes. I know juniors whose parents pick them up after practice, then they do homework for 3 hours, and ended up finishing HS with a 4.2 GPA and about 10 AP courses. I once read a write-up about the graduating girls tennis team at my son's school, and the minimum GPA was 3.5.
     
    #41
  42. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    100
    Well duh!!! Not many players have the luxury of having knowledgeable (or semi-knowledgeable) parents. I've also seen parents skimp on coaching (by having mr know-it-all) and spend a truck load of money on ranking points without achieving zip... It's percentages not anecdotes!
     
    #42
  43. Bendex

    Bendex Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,037
    Yes of course, money CAN produce a great player. (I don't know about the other two, but Roddick was from a very tennis focused family, who had already relocated so that the older brothers could get the best training.)

    ...but I assure you, a very dedicated parent (or an Uncle Toni) and an old tennis court is all you need from age 4 to 11. I guess if you count your own time as money, it's still very expensive. :)
     
    #43
  44. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    100
    Well said.
     
    #44
  45. Bowtennis

    Bowtennis New User

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    i won an economic essay challenge in my school pertaining to the cost of raising a D1 college tennis player compared to the cost of the scholarship the presumably would get.
     
    #45
  46. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    100
    Can you copy and paste it?
     
    #46
  47. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,029
    Of course. Good, positive side to tennis. I love this. Thank you.

    I was joking about Drak's customers -- the ones who come into the pro shop and leave when they see that graphite frames are over $150. I am sure some of them bristle because they cannot afford it....and they had a $40 metal racquet in mind.

    No if you'll excuse me, I've got to go work hard so I can afford to get a frozen yogurt with my kids for 45 cents per ounce, LOL!
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
    #47
  48. MeggieTennisGal

    MeggieTennisGal New User

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    I was looking through some lists of top junior players. Most of them are from super-expensive parts of the US (e.g., Los Altos Hills, CA.) I'm impressed that Richard Williams was able to give his daughters so much without having mega-bucks.

    My husband and I pay about $150 a month for group lessons for our 11yo daughter, which buys her four hours of coaching a week. Over and above that, my husband, who is a good club player, plays with her and gives her tips when he has time. I don't think my daughter would be pro material even if we could spend $500K on her training, but she has a lot of fun with this hobby, keeps fit and active, and has made some good friends. I don't really have any expectation of getting back what we spend on her tennis. I'll be very happy if it helps her get into a good college.

    It would be nice to have a tennis equivalent of baseball's Little League, but I guess that's just not practical, given the cost of building and maintaining courts, the need for one-on-one or small group coaching, etc.
     
    #48
  49. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    991
    Where I live, they have a Sunday team tennis league that was inexpensive and the my kids loved it.
     
    #49

Share This Page