Is it ever ok to talk to son's college tennis coach?

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by paws26, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. paws26

    paws26 New User

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    My son (I'm a mom) is a junior at a d3 liberal arts college. He played 5-6 singles and 3 doubles his freshman & sophomore year. He loves tennis and works really hard at it always doing what the coach asks. He lost his doubles challenge match yesterday and his coach has told him he will not be playing in an upcoming match. He's upset because he feels as if his assigned partner is not a strong player and would like an opportunity to work with some other guys on the team. When I asked him if he talked to the coach he said - paraphrasing 'yes, but the coach said if my partners having a bad day that's my fault'. I was planning on going to the match, it's a 3 hour drive, but my son is so upset he doesn't want me to bother now. He's still slated to play singles, but may not get the chance if the team is behind, they may just call it. My question is - if I do go to the match - is it ever ok for a parent to talk to the college coach and ask what else their child could/should be working on or ask for any information that he would like to share? Sometimes his coach is not the most open / forthcoming with the players which leaves my son really frustrated on what he should be doing to improve or earn back his spot. What about sending an email instead? I've met his coach several times over the past 2 years and he has in the past pointed out a few things to me he should work on over the summer, but my son's never been on the verge of quitting before. Thoughts?
     
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  2. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    He's a junior in college. He's old enough to take care of his own business.

    Challenging for your spot is a part of college tennis. As a junior or senior you are a known quantity. You've hit your peak. If he's still playing 5-6 singles and 3 double as an upperclassmen he needs to accept that he's a role player on the team and will not be the star. He needs to be a team player and know that there are more players than are spots to play so others need a chance to get some match experience at the lower spots.
     
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  3. Tennis_Stringman

    Tennis_Stringman Rookie

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    Haha, most coaches don't really want to interface with parents after your kid is on the team. They have enough to worry about with the players and winning. Now mind you, most college tennis coaches are incompetent and defensive so when you interface, they will get upset and may take it out on your son. Yes, I know it sucks but what are you going to do? Have you son enjoy college life, get good grades and get a good job. This tennis stuff is way overrated, don't take it too seriously. It will only upset both of you. I am speaking from experience.
     
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  4. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Another thing, complaining about his doubles partner not being strong enough does not look good in any coach's eyes. That's not the attitude you want to see. Obviously if he were with a stronger partner it'd be a better doubles team. Maybe the reason he was paired with that partner is to carry that partner or to help that player develop. If he wants the three dubs spot back he needs to raise the level of his game and, equally imporatnt, help his partner to play better tennis. That will impress a coach.
     
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  5. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    College is a time for personal growth, in all aspects of life. It is when a person needs to learn how to deal with conflict on their own. In my opinion, mom asking the college coach about playing time is completely unacceptable. The only thing I can see coming from it is that the coach will think less of your son and his ability to problem solve.

    Encourage your son to approach the coach on his own and voice his opinion. If he blames the loss on his partner, your son should be the one requesting another challenge opportunity. If your son is an advocate for himself (advocate, not a complainer), it will go a lot further than a comment or email from mom.

    Let it be practice for the real world - in two years what would he do at work if his boss treated him unfairly? Would you really email his boss?
     
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  6. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    As a former D1 Tennis player and a parent with 2 D1 college athletes (Son who played Football and a Daughter currently playing Lacrosse) YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT MAKE THE FIRST APPROACH!!!

    Go to the match - say hi to the coach let him/her bring up any issues. You will find if their are issues the coaches will make a comment and open the door for you. The best thing is have your son step up no matter how upset (this is very hard) and continue to talk with his coach. As he is a Jr it kinda makes it more complicated as you can as a freshmen parent get away with the "how is my kid doing...etc" A Jr already has 3 years into the relationship - Now all of this is moot if your coach is that willing to talk with you and has that "open door" relationship and has done so in the past - In all my experience many many coaches say they welcome parents calls comments...etc but in reality they hate it and it could affect the relationship with your son, Coach could feel he's "running to mommy and daddy crying about playing time" thats poison.
     
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  7. paws26

    paws26 New User

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    Thanks

    Thanks all, all very good advice and it helps keep things in perspective. Some good ideas and thoughts to pass on to my son when he asks me for advice. I appreciate your answers and I will be keeping my thoughts and questions to myself with his coach.
     
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