How to get someone to make you their coach?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MarinaHighTennis, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Hey guys,

    I coach tennis at this tennis club and there is this girl who I believe I can take her to the next level. I'm her friend and I'd always play matches with her and I have coached players and I believe that I have had success and that I know exactly what she needs to do to become much better. However, I have coached only 1 tournament player and took him to the semifinals of one open tournament.

    When I was hitting with her one time, some bystander said, "Are you her coach?"
    To this she replied jokingly, "He wishes he can coach a top 75 player"
    and I said "I bet I can coach you to become really good". Then she said, "Hmmm, I'll think about it."

    What can I do so that she can accept me as a coach? I know I can improve her game and that if I do, the results of her would boost my reputation as a coach.
     
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  2. asusundevils1971

    asusundevils1971 Rookie

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    I wouldn't want some child with that attitude. If you can improve her game and take her to that next level and more. Talk to her parents and give her a few free lessons and she what her parents think of you. The worse outcome is you have given her some good information and the parents don't keep you on. The best outcome is they keep you as her coach and will see her improve to the next level and more.
     
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  3. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Go the Harkleroad route, coach.
     
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  4. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    We are good friends haha I know shes joking but also when I play matches with her I know her mom gets really mad when she loses badly. Every match i go up 5-0 each set then she asks me to gift her a few games so her mom won't get mad... I think this plan backfires on my attempts to want to coach her bc her mom probably thinks I'm not good enough... :(

    Maybe I should ask if I can train her for free first and then if there is results, they can pay me?
     
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  5. asusundevils1971

    asusundevils1971 Rookie

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    If you are playing matches with her and going up 5-0. Why don't you talk between points and ask why she played the point a certain way. Then play the next point the same way and ask the same question. Then explain again what were you thinking. If you hit with her then you can teach her at the same time. I still ask when hitting with the head pro at my club who is a former Davis Cup player. I am a coach but he still helps me out with my game all the time.
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Or the Serena-Morataglu (sp?) route
     
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  7. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    She doesn't respect you because you are her 'friend' and 'always play matches with her'. She sees you more as a peer. I've found as a coach you can be 'friendly', but once you become their 'friend' you often lose them--or in your case, never get them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
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  8. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Hmm... this sounds like a tricky situation. I don't like the sound of her wanting you to let her off the hook and donate a few games to her side of the score sheet during your matches. A couple of possible red-flag interpretations:

    1) She's playing to please her mom?
    2) She wants to show improvement without earning it.
    3) Your friendship may make it more difficult to be a decent coach.

    You've already played with this girl, so I wouldn't offer to shift gears and train her for free. If you've demonstrated some proficiency and have something to offer, so be it. I'd prefer to respected enough in a coaching capacity to be compensated for my time and effort. With kids of my friends, I've done a freebie or two, but I try to keep that to a minimum.

    I've coached a few different kids over the years with different ambitions as tennis players. A couple of them had a little too much of a fair weather work ethic to really bear down and get better. In those cases, I suppose a coach can only do so much. Recognizing this early on can save anyone from a lot of frustration down the road.

    I've also had the good fortune of coaching a state champ through her entire high school run and she's gone on to play in college. Different kettle of fish entirely with this one. While the fair weather kids might ask for things like the game donations, this slugger decided all on her own to put in the work - she was serious. I just had to contribute all the insight and energy toward her cause that I could muster. Otherwise, I just had to keep up!

    If you become her coach, make sure that both of you are serious about your roles. You're going to need to communicate on those necessary frequencies that can include the constructive criticism she'll need to help with her development. As for your "sales pitch", you ought to be able to summarize the strengths and weaknesses of her game along with highlights of your plan to develop her inside of maybe a minute.

    Keep us posted, amigo. Good Luck!!!
     
    #8
  9. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Friend zoned
     
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  10. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    It is really simple: simply offer your service and then she may say yes or no. :)

    However you say you are her friend. OK, fine, but if that means more than acquaintance or you perhaps want it to be more than that then no being her coach is not a good idea in my opinion.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What is the age difference between coach and coachee (new word) here?
     
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  12. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    If you coach her you'll probably complicate your relationship. Somethings should just be left as is. Find another promising junior and go from there. If I'm reading this correctly you want to help her partly because she's your friend and partly cause you think it will help you status wise.

    Train someone else. If she see you having success then maybe she'll come to you. Never train anyone who thinks that they are doing you a favor.

    You got to play a little more 'hard to get'. It's your 1st step in understanding women.

    Either way though, if you coach her you'll probably lose her as friend. Might not be worth it.
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sometimes I run into "phenoms" I would like to coach.
    Today, after a drive by on the local courts...crowded, arguments, youth league, and instructors vying for 6 courts, I drove to the old courts up the hill.
    There, old ladies tennis, 2 courts.
    On the wall were two ladies hitting one ball to each other.
    I find out one of them had NEVER touched a tennis racket, while the other hadn't played tennis in 20 years, and never played more than a handful of days.
    The third court opens up, so she the one who never played asks if I would hit a few with her. Her sister rotated in to one of the doubles sets.
    I show this lady a forehand grip...she hit flat backhands perfectly against the wall, but only mishit all her forehands...and proceed to rally from the baseline, after I told her where to stand.
    She hit at least 20 balls back, one bouncers, while I stood 3' behind my baseline.
    After 10 minutes of rallying, she was getting tired, so I asked her to hit a few serves. Naturally, all mishits, no throwing motion, girl motion. So I get her to try a more conti grip, not full conti, but forehand side of conti, and within 5 serves, could get them to bounce 24" high on the backboard, most out of course. Set her feet back of baseline by 18", she'd step forwards with her front foot, and now her serves are POPPING close to in, easy 90 mph, almost like my flat firsts.
    SHE DIDN'T know she had to hit second serves slower than her first, had never stepped on court before! The 11 ladies on the two courts wouldn't allow her to play, because she was a total beginner. They were 2.5-3.0 women.
    Sounds fishy, except she and her sister played women's pro volleyball for over 15 years. I didn't know they had a women's pro volleyball league.
     
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  14. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    I am turning 20 on the 25th of June. She just turned 13 years old
     
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  15. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    She is not a "phenom", there is huge flaws in her game but I guess she is good for her age?
     
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  16. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    13? To me that changes everything.

    If you really want to coach her you need to talk to her parents as she is not in any position to decide on these things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
    #16
  17. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

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    What's her ranking and star on tennisrecruiting?

    I'm reading about her mom, glad mine isn't like that. I would be losing interest and getting frustrated about everything I do if my mom or dad got angry at me everytime I lose a match... and believe me, that happens a lot.

    PS. IF you want to convince her parents and if you don;t have much of a reputation... some steps:

    1. 1 free 30-1 hr session
    2. Lower rates (The average in my town is 45-50 an hour, I would go for about 50-60% of that).
    3. Show them your accolades and what you have done in your junior career

    Those are steps that worked for me at least...
     
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  18. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    @newpball: She is 13 but she acts and looks like a high school student. I thought she was in high school when i first met her.

    She is a 4 star recruit

    Sounds like a good idea. Like I said before, I coached one of my students to the semifinals of an open tournament. So should I just ask her mom that I would like to coach her?
     
    #18
  19. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

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    I teach one 7 yr old and one 9 yr old in my neighborhood. I got the job because I showed them my accolades and how long I'd been playing, and what I could do to help them be better than their peers.

    I do this with the kids:

    1. I charge 18 dollars an hour. A bargain since my town's average cost (even for public park pro) is 45-50. But before I charge anything, I give them 1-2 free lessons to get adjusted to me, and see if I'm right for them.

    2. I always make it a point to be a little more interactive than any other coach in the area. If the kids are playing a local tournament (and I'm not away on my own), I would attend it. It's fun, and for some reason, it boosts their morale.

    My own coach does this with his juniors, and all the high schoolers he coach love this fact. They perform better when he's there for some reason.


    3. I don't know much about that girl, but I've seen college students in the area coach juniors about 5-6 years younger. I've seen some become friends and refer to one another as hitting partners. I don't know if that would work with that mom though.


    But these are just suggestions... it might work, it might not work. If you do get the job, stand out above all coaches by attending their tournaments (this one will work, I guarantee). This will impress the parents and help with the kid's play.
     
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  20. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it and the cool thing is that i am attending her match tmr for the sectionals (she asked me to come) so thank you so much! :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
    #20
  21. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    If you truly care about her development and you want to coach her wouldn't it make sense to gain your trust with the parents?
    And would you do that by letting her coerce you to fake results?

    Oh well, I guess I am getting too old for this world. :)
     
    #21
  22. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    I was in your same predicament 7+ years ago with one of my current students...the only difference is I wasn't asking to be her coach I kind of just fell into it lol. The girl just graduated HS and now has a full ride to a D1 school here in Socal.

    First off I would never manipulate the scoreline just to appease the girl. Over the years playing sets with my student I never let up on her and it took her quite a few years to get games off me. To this day I don't let up on her....because now, as she's grown bigger and stronger, she doesn't take it easy on me....or any of her opponents. We're like family now, but when it comes to tennis YOUR opinion has to carry weight for her/student to take you seriously. This is your craft that you're trying to make some $$ whether it be for your livelihood or some extra cash, so I advise you to take it seriously because eventually she won't take you seriously as you're easily manipulated.

    Much like the girl you are trying to coach, my student also had a mother that was on her a55 a lot of the time, but it was constructive...most of the time. I used the mom to my advantage to get the student to do what needed to be done, to be at peak playing ability and fitness come tournament time as much as possible.

    If you really want to be her coach I would speak more directly to mother or parents. 13 year old minds are all over the place lol. Show the parents not only you play a good game but you can also bridge it to teaching a good game for students as well. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    -Jon
     
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  23. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    13 eh? I thought you were talking about someone much older. Like your age. Parents is the best route to go. Get her parents on board and then you'll find a much easier route. I'd even go on to tell her how you've been fibbing the scores because she's scared of disappointing her. Clearing that little white lie will go miles to helping you gaining their trust.
     
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  24. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    If you want to be her coach...

    Coach her for free: Give her a free lesson. She might just need to SEE that you can help her as a coach, not a friend. Acting as a coach for free for a lesson would give her a preview of what you're like as a coach and she might like what she learns. Then she might tell her Mom she wants you.

    Show you care: I don't care who you are, you want a good coach, but you also want a coach that cares. Try to show that you understand her and can help her learn something specific to her, and not just feel like any other coach.

    Parents: after she shows some interest, go to the parents and make a case for yourself. Sell her mom on the fact that you know what can help her specifically, and that your coaching style will be the one that improves her the most.

    Avoid trying to look like the coach that just wants to coach a good player for the credit. Try to show that you really believe in her, for whatever reason you can think of that's not creepy lol.

    Make the free lesson offer to her Mom and tell her she can decide if she likes you after the lesson.

    If you want it bad enough, go with free, but try to avoid looking desperate and cheapening yourself. Just try to look like you care about her more than money...most coaches don't start out that way.
     
    #24
  25. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Mom is right to believe a 13 yo four-star player is already getting some pretty good coaching.
     
    #25
  26. thisiscrazy

    thisiscrazy Rookie

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    Yeah, that age gap between 20 and 13 is a little big considering how young she is, at least to the fact that you say you are "good friends".

    I would think you need to first, clear things up first with her parents. She is, after all, a minor.

    And then you would need to qualify what "good friends" means and determine if that is compatible with a coach/student relationship.
     
    #26
  27. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Why are you good friends with a 13 year old? Lol.
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Might be good to keep a distance
     
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  29. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Seriously? The fact that you even thought of that....
     
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  30. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Maybe they play Nintendo after Tennis. ?
     
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  31. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    I know.. some people...

    @arche3: Whatever made you think of Nintendo?

    But thanks to those who helped! :D
     
    #31
  32. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I dunno? I play Xbox. Anyone here play call of duty? Black ops2?
    We can start a ttw clan.
     
    #32
  33. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Update:
    I went and watched her sectionals match (which she lost to 9th seed 2-6 0-6) but im just watching the match with ipod on but i hear her mom talk behind me to parents saying, "she doesn't have a private coach, its been 2 years without one and i keep trying to find a good one" over and over. I think she said that at least 10 times. Also her mom would say things how Taylor and Phil Dent refuse to coach her daughter because of something the mom said to them, etc. how other coaches dont give private lessons anymore and how clinic sucks, etc. etc.

    But I just kept watching the match (the girl just likes to smack the ball flat everytime up the middle :-? hence her loss). And i was having 2nd thoughts about wanting to coach the girl bc of mom...

    So after the match ended I went home and I got a text from the girl saying "My mom wanted to say thank you for watching my match and that she'd like you coach me"
    So I guess I'll try it out? But i kinda feel like it might be pressureful so I'm still debating
     
    #33
  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Any insights into how the Dent's academy in Newport Beach is coming along?
     
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  35. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    He doesn't really teach there anymore. He goes to where I coach at Los Caballeros tennis and sports club

    but i don't see him developing any good players... he kinda just stands there. His students hit hard, great serves, but inconsistent and he doesn't really tell them to be consistent
     
    #35
  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Really? His site does show that full-time programs end in June and reopen in Sep. Is that why he is somewhere else?
     
    #36
  37. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Ful rate for sure since they are coming to you. And get a package deal up front. Say 3 months paid in full. Nonrefundable. If they balk refer them to the ttw management group.
     
    #37
  38. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    must be but hes been at los cab the last year. Do you know about his academy?
     
    #38
  39. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Be careful about this student. To me, it sounds like she was flirting with you when she asked you to donate games to please her mom. I'm not questioning your intentions, I'm just saying that she may be too hot to handle. And what about the snide 'he would love to coach me' comment? I'd find someone else to coach. She could end up tarnishing your reputation before you even get started.
     
    #39
  40. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

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    If her mom knows anything about tennis in the first place though, she shouldn't be doubting your ability.

    Look, with all due respect, I don't care how good a 13 year old is, he/she will not beat someone who is 5+ years older than themselves (who has more experience).

    A 14 year old kid in high school tennis (not in tournaments obv) was the no. 2 player for a quickly rising team in our state. A blue chip of the same age is their no. 1.

    The matchups in the playoffs came down to this:

    no. 1 singles: 5 star senior vs blue chip 8th grader
    no. 2 singles: 4 star junior (me) vs 5 star 8th grader.

    They came in thinking they would win. In the end, none of them won more than 3 games.


    Just an example. Especially a girl (no offense) who is 7 years younger cannot come close to beating you.

    So final tip: If she's still alive in the sectionals, make an effort to warm up with her in the morning, and give her strategy tips (a plus if her parents are right there). Make sure to be encouraging too... maybe she would like that enough.

    I would also try to start out gradually. She still keeps her current coach, but maybe you could do like weekend clinics or something like that instead of trying to be a full time coach right off the bat.
     
    #40
  41. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Yeah... there is a little voice in the back of my head worrying about coaching her. I feel like theres a lack of respect and a lot of stubborness. After all, The dents got mad at the mom...
     
    #41
  42. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    You were the one starting a thread about coaching her? Now your not sure? If tennis coaching is your job why won't you do it? I don't get it.
     
    #42
  43. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like the mother can/will be a real PITA...but if you feel you can truly help this kid by all means go for it. It will provide you with some good experience in coaching and dealing with crazy parents. Sounds like the mom was trying to tell the world an excuse why her kid got beat down badly.

    On a side, I always thought T. Dent was a nice guy...dunno if teaching and being on tour has changed him over the years, but when I played him in the juniors he seemed pretty chill and all the other kids seemed to like him as well.

    -Jon
     
    #43
  44. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    when you are 25, she will be 18.
     
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  45. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Please explain.
     
    #45
  46. ProgressoR

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    I'm not sure we will like the explanation
     
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  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have read Corina Morariu's autobiography
     
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  48. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Yeah i think itll be a good experience. Im sure itll teach me to be patient haha
    Anyways, i dont think its Dent completely. He does show a lot of favoritism but maybe something was said out of bounds. The mom is very prideful
     
    #48
  49. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    I've dealt with a very prideful parent a few years ago...and at times undermining what I was trying to coach to their kid. She'd tell me that her girl was going to try out the pro circuit thing and play and dominate in the central and latin american tourneys and all that. The parents have no tennis experience other than through their 2 daughters. I ended up just being a paid hitting partner for her at times, which I was fine with. From what I've heard the kid is burnt out, dropped off her college team, and not playing very much...fell well short of her potential and the parents expectations...poor thing. smh

    Sounds like the mom of "your" girl will definitely test your metal. GL
    -Jon
     
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