Help! Kid won't bend!

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Le Tenis, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

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    Hi everyone! My 8 year old daughter has been playing for 3 1/2 years and has pretty good technique. The problem is that she doesn't bend and get low enough and it is an ongoing issue. When she does remember to bend the results are amazing but she seems to always revert back to playing more upright. She is exceptionally tall for her age and has a lanky slender build. I'm
    not sure if being taller has anything to do with this ( I have been told by some coaches that the taller ones sometimes have this issue.) We tried using the AP belt a few sessions but it didn't seem to really help. I am worried and hoping that once a non-bender doesn't mean always a non-bender! ;-)
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
     
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  2. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

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    Thank you so much TCF!! I would be very grateful for your input! No one else has replied and now I'm starting to think that my girl is the only one with this issue LOL
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lazy. Have her hit with a wider stance.
    Also, show her some pics of pro women hitting the ball.
     
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  4. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

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    Thank you. I don't think she is lazy because she runs for every ball. The issue is that she doesn't get low enough or bend. I will try to have her hit with a wider stance and show her more pics of pros. Thanks again.
     
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  5. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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  6. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    My 2 girls are 5 years apart. They both started tennis at the same time, 10 yr and 5 1/2 yr old. At the beginning, my younger one did not bend knees as easily as her older sister. She always has her strong core but did not seem to be as flexible as her sister. Part of it, I believe she did not need to bend her knees as much to hit a topspin ball over the net compared to the older, taller sister. When the kid started young it seemed their height was perfect for them to get under the ball and hitting topspin without much bending. As the younger sister got older and taller, she needed to bend more. I pointed out when her older sister bent her knees sometimes almost touching the ground to get the ball. It helped her understand.

    You can videotape your daughter and show her when she bends or not bending her knees. Once she understand the importance of it , she should not have a problem trying more knee bending.

    In term of exercises...... Inline or ice skating (not skateboarding) needs knee bending, shuffling and pushing the ground to glide. Jump roping with knee flexing (not stiff knees) or a spider drill should help.

    http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-do-a-Spider-Drill-27820989
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
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  7. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

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    Thank you GA Tennis. Those are all great suggestions that I will try. I really appreciate it! Thanks again!
     
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  8. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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  9. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

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    Thanks to 10ismom for the advice and anecdotes! It is great to know that I am not the only one who has faced this !!
    Thank you TCF for your advice too. I will be patient and focus on building the strength in her legs!! Seriously all great suggestions and very much appreciated :)
     
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  10. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    I don't know how good this drill is but my daughter's coach used to bring foldable chairs onto the court and have them almost sit in the chair between feeds

    I'm not exactly explaining this correctly but someone else here probably heard of this drill and can explain better.
     
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  11. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Still, she's lazy.
    Takes energy to stay with a wide stance.
    If she get's rid of the lazy, she will have the wide stance that allows her to bend IN BALANCE for the low balls.
    I get to see 8 year olds who play national caliber baseball, and they need to be taught to expend more energy while just waiting for the ball to come to them.
    They, of course, are lazy.
     
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  13. lala28m

    lala28m New User

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    LOL. He's not wrong . Lazy is a harsh word, but he means it's just human instinct to expend the least energy for what you think is the same result. You have to call it out (in practice) every time. Eventually, she'll catch on.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You know little about youth baseball. It's usually community based, starts at age 8, and the best players compete for local, then state, then national status "championship" games.
    Along with your lack of knowledge of youth baseball, you assume a hard working person is never lazy. Sorry dude, wrong assumption!
    EVERYONE is lazy to a point. I'm lazy because I don't care about diction. You're lazy for whatever reasons, I don't know you.
    But I DO know that everyone needs to be reminded to assume an athletic posture at all times, when on the playing field and the ball is in play.....in any sport. Otherwise, the path of least resistance comes into play..ie LAZY.
     
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  15. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    I don't forget to bend down or run after balls. I am just lazy, plain and simple. Next time someone calls me out on this, I'll give your "FORGET and Human Instinct" BS and hope I can slide by! :)
     
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  16. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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  17. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

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    Thanks TCF! You summed it up beautifully. She is definitely not lazy because she does run for every ball, is completely tennis obsessed and is overall a hard working good kid. From age 6 to about 6.5, she worked really hard to "tap the dog" and make other technique corrections that were suggested by a coach in FL. After consistently reminding her and her own efforts, those aspects have become sufficiently ingrained so much so that she rarely needs to be reminded to do those things.
    I was more perplexed about this issue however because she still needs to be reminded quite a bit and we do go through a pattern off her getting low for 5-6 shots and then she starts playing more upright again. I do think after your input and some of the other helpful comments that this is a strength/core issue and one that might just take longer to become ingrained. For a little kid there probably is a lot to remember on each stroke, in addition to the wide stance and maybe I was being impatient! Glad to know that even Sonia K forgot once in a while back then too ! ;-) Thanks again!
     
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  18. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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  19. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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  20. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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  21. lala28m

    lala28m New User

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    It's human instinct to *walk* to a ball you're trying to catch? No. It's human instinct to *run* to a ball you are trying to catch ...and hit it in the most comfortable stance. "they ain't saving energy...they FORGET"? Those are not mutually exclusive events. You forget because your natural reaction is to hit the ball comfortably. It expends much more energy to bend down. Yes, the kid is NOT lazy. It's human nature to expend less energy to achieve a goal: getting to the ball and hitting it over the net. Lazy, like I said, is a harsh word. The correct term is "against human instinct", which in this case, expends more energy, which is why it's against the human instinct.
     
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  22. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    ga... you know I've been a fan, so I say this to help - be careful in setting specific milestones like winning gold balls at a certain age. It's best to focus on constant improvement. You don't know what the next 3-4 years holds, good or bad. You absolutely should be her biggest fan and set high expectations, but it's a little young for specific predictions.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lazy!
    She runs for the ball, expending energy, knowing it reaps benefits if she wins.
    She stands around when the ball isn't in play, because that requires less energy than getting into a wide, athletic stance, and eschews bending for low balls because she's already THERE, and it's EASIER to swipe it at like hockey rather than use excess energy bending ze knees, lowering the torso, and stroking thru the ball.
    Just because she runs for wide balls doesn't mean she's LAZY. She's lazy because she takes the path of least energy expended hitting low balls and prep.
    Lazy is as lazy does.
     
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  24. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

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    For the record LeeD I never said she was standing around when she wasn't running for the ball. She is usually bouncing on her toes as she has been taught. My issue is that she doesn't get low enough in her set up and often when she is waiting for the ball. Not sure how and why you extrapolated that she is standing around. Regardless, it is clear that you don't have much experience dealing with young kids who have this issue..
     
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  25. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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  26. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Does she do any foundation / footwork drills outside of the Tennis court?

    Sounds like exercising legs/glutes more might create a more powerful base and a lower natural foundation.
     
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  27. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Take video & show it to her... This can be quite strong to see. The other is to have her stand on the deuce corner of the court & have her throw a rubber ball (around the size of a basketball or a little smaller) two handed to the other corner of the deuce court. Have a target or be the target yourself, she will not be able to do this simple drill accurately if she doesn't bend her knees, use her hips & release in front of her toward the target. Give it a try ;-)

    EDIT: Here is a simple video for kids (Note... this ball is too heavy for these kids ;-)

    http://www.ehow.com/video_2356995_tennis-core-strength-tips-kids.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
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  28. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Good for you! Keep up the great work. Seeing them grow and improve is amazing!

    My son splits his sports time between tennis and basketball. My daughter hasn't gotten hooked on tennis like he has. She has taken a shine to swimming recently. She plays some tennis and is only 8. We'll see what happens.
     
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  29. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

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    When my son was a youngster he would not "bend"..then we explained to him to not bend his knees but to pretend to "sit on the toilet" ....he thought that was the funniest thing in the world. When he would go to hit the ball (during practice) we would yell "toilet" and low and behold, his knees would bend (and usually he would smile).

    I am not a coach and do not know if it is the tennis right technique but it sure seemed to work for him!
     
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  30. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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