Jack Sock's past & future?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by hound 109, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. mojojojo

    mojojojo Rookie

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  2. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I think guys like Sock have special gifts and their actual road in juniors isn't that important. Playing up, down, being a year older, younger, playing fewer tournies and more opens, playing even more juniors, playing tennis less and playing soccer more as a kid....none of that would have changed Sock's end result of simply being a rare talent.

    With a guy like Sock his talent would have risen even if he had done things slightly different. He had the right ability and the right coach to design his game, thats all that mattered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  3. mojojojo

    mojojojo Rookie

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  4. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I think it can lead to just the opposite. A boy who is dominating is more likely to cruise, not work as hard, not develop his strokes, get a false sense of his ability. And when he reached the upper levels get blind sided.

    I just don't think the specifics of Sock's actual path mattered since he was a rare talent. But for every Sock there are many other boys who play the being older than most they play against game and end up dead ending.
     
  5. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    How exactly do you play in your age group and get to have an advantage in age? So year after year they let Sock play in the lower age group. Are you serious?
     
  6. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    They are saying that since he will be 19 soon and many high school seniors are 18, he was "a year older than most guys he played".

    The problem with that logic is twofold:

    1. In regards to USTA the age group cut off is the same for everyone. Every boy can play in the 16s or 18s until a specific time before their 17 or 19th birthday. So Sock had no advantage unless others choose to play up. Thats not his fault, it is theirs for playing up and many timnes ducking the pressure of competing in their own age group. If anything defending your age group, even if you are older than the opponent, is harder due to the pressure.

    2. In regards to TRN class, we know lots of boys are held back. Plenty of seniors in there who are 18.5, 19, 19.5. Even a few who are almost 20. Sock is not the only older senior in there.....but he sure is the best! Of course Sock is not included in the rankings once he went pro.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  7. PED

    PED Legend

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    A lot of it has to do with the month cutoff for an age group. Malcolm Gladwell did an entire piece on that theme regarding Canadian hockey. All the best stars were born in X month, so they were effectively a year older than the others, played better, got better coaching.....etc.

    Which comes first, the chicken or the egg. In Sock's case, FLA was right, he's talent is so strong that he was always going to do well.
     
  8. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I read that research. Good point, birth month can help in sports. I was born in late November and entered into school a year early. So I was always 9-12 months younger than my class mates. I does make a difference in sports.

    But how would that apply to the USTA? A cutoff date is rolling based on birthday. All boys can play the 16s until the same time before their 17th birthday. All boys born around when Sock was could do what he did.

    To me it does not correlate. Its one thing to be entered into school a year later or earlier. But the USTA's rolling cut off based on birthday eliminates that. The only way for other boys to be younger than Sock by a year in USTAs is if they decided to play up.
     
  9. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    I don't understand how you can even consider either one of them going to college, Harrison is 66 this week.

    I have a lot of respect for your posts as u seem to know what you are talking about. But these 2 kids did not even need to think about college.
     
  10. mojojojo

    mojojojo Rookie

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  11. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    ^^its funny how all of the americans are caught up in the TRN rankings.

    the USTA should really know they are failing when people dont even go by the national rankings anymore!!
     
  12. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

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    Thanks Clark.

    I would think that any coach that has a kid who is quick, is a decent athlete, & has good hand eye skills.....should be teaching an all stroke/all court game.

    Do most teach strictly baseline grinding &/or baseline bashing? (What does Boca or IMG teach?)
     
  13. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

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    I like this.

    & this kind of confirms what I have been observing at the higher levels of B12s. I see the best kids (for the most part) being solid & consistent & patiently working on point construction. Few errors & smaller "green lights".....(aka "pushing" by many). Even in the semis & finals of national tournaments, i see this.

    I also see these same kids "playing up" in 14s & 16s in other tournaments & letting it loose. Bigger green lights & lots more volleying (even swinging volleys). The same kid is DEFINITELY playing a different game. I believe (& agree with TCF) that a kid (even an uber kid)....should balance his tournament schedule by "playing up" often if he can hang with the older kids.....but also to play ranking tournaments in one's own age group. (Way more pressure playing in a tournament with a # 1 seed on your back than banging with guys 2-3 years older with lower expectation.)

    Based on TCFs comments & the Penn alum's comment, I'm guessing that Sock (& many blue chip players) start off as (perceived) pushers & round out their game as they grow & age?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  14. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Well, we have to remember Sock is only 18 years old. Thinking back when I was 18, if I was given a choice between going to college or playing pro-tennis. I would have chosen professional tennis. You are only young for a short while and it is a very short 10 year window to make it in the pros. He does have some bonafide tennis talent that he can improve on. I don't blame him or his parents for 1 second to chose the pro-tour. It's worth a good try and he has a chance to make a darn good living at it, even he doesn't reach the to 10. He can always go back and re-group and get the college education later in life and still at a young age, 30 is still very young to pursue another livlihood. At age 18 pursue your dream!!
     
  15. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I agree with you 100%. Please understand the context. A poster was implying Sock should have gone to college while saying Harrison played up and has an advantage going pro. I took this to mean that he thought Sock should have gone to college while Harrison went pro.

    I would have advised both to go pro! But what I said is that if you flat out made me choose who should have gone to college more, I would have picked Ryan simply because he needs to mature emotionally. Purely hypothetical scenario of "if you HAD to choose" one to go to college over the other.

    But in no way do I think Harrison made a bad decision. He is doing just fine!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  16. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    How many gold balls did Neilly and Fugate win?

    My understanding was that Fugate messed up and accidentally destroyed his amateur eligibility, as opposed to actually intending to turn pro. Gotta watch those sponsorship deals, however small, when you are an amateur.
     
  17. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Late September birthdays in much of the nation are expected to start school so that the student turns 18 in September of 12th grade, exactly as Sock did. This was discussed in another thread, with references. Your whole discussion is premised on the faulty assumption that Sock graduated a year late.
     
  18. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    True, but let's not let the facts get in the way of a good whine, especially a whine based in jealousy.
     
  19. egilgrim

    egilgrim New User

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    But how did he mess up his amateur eligibility? Sorry, but I just do not understand how a contract can destroy that?
     
  20. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Good point. Back when he graduated in May he would have been close to 18.5. Had he entered a year earlier he would have only been 17.5 when he graduated.

    Graduating high school at age 18.5-18.75 is certainly not super strange or a nefarious plan to overpower the competition by being an older man! Pretty standard stuff these days.
     
  21. BSPE84

    BSPE84 Semi-Pro

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    MJ was right, it certainly didn't hurt in Jack's case. Tough sport and kids dead end for A LOT of reasons. Proves or disproves nothing about the advantages of being held back.

    I know of two prominent college coaches close by who hold their own kids back and and have them play in their natural age group. These guys must know something :).
     
  22. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    As Clark said, he was not held back so the entire premise is wrong. He graduated at 18.5. Kids graduate from 17.5-19.5 depending on lots of circumstances. Sock was maybe 6 months younger than some opponents, 6 months older than others.

    His case is nothing like those we once profiled for TRN where 2 boys turned 20 weeks after graduation. Sock was right in the middle of the average age for his class.

    'It' didn't help or hurt Sock because there is no 'it'. He had no age advantage. The playing up or not playing up thing is also wrong. He played the best tournaments and boys in his age group rather than playing up to play weaker boys.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  23. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Jack Sock is in a league of his own, and the age thing is not relevant.


    But, in other parts of the nation... the cut off is December 31st.

    ( I never heard of the Sept. cutoff until I read these threads).

    So, if you have a fall birthdate, you graduate when you are 17.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  24. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I was late November, so was one of those who graduated at 17. But Sock at 18.5 falls right about the average for graduates.
     
  25. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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  26. The_Expert

    The_Expert Guest

    ok..cool. thanks for the link. I read somewhere there was inappropriate activities. I guess reading and knowing are different.
     
  27. Pro_Tour_630

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  28. PennAlum

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    You mistakenly inferred something I was not implying. My point is we and Sock doesn't know if he can make it. He is simply choosing the path less chosen, going for the brass ring. I'm pointing out that there are certain risks to his decision. If he doesn't make it to the top 75, the jokes on him. With all the tour expenses, you don't make a great living unless you are consistently top 75. Sure he can go back to college but where? His grades suck and he is ineligible and he has to pay for college. If he is a bust, he probably feeds tennis balls at some club in Kansas. These choices are made not without risks. At this juncture you and everyone else thinks he's a can't miss. Donald Young was a can't miss and received even more accolades than Sock. So far he hasn't made it. Young's hands are better than Socks's and he is so much quicker than Sock. I've seen them both play since juniors, Young since he was 15 and Sock since he was 16. I never thought Young would make it big because his stroke production was loopy without force. IMO Sock is not quick enough, doesn't move well. These attribute do not show themselves as critical flaws in juniors but are major stumbling blocks in the pros. So if I don't agree with you then you're right and I'm wrong? WTF, we are all expressing opinions here don't take yourself too seriously.

    I would love to see any American make it. I have been going to to US Open for 30 years and I especially like seeing the up and comers in the juniors and the qualies. You can tell in 15 minutes who is not going to make it. I admit is is harder to tell who can make it but a lot has to do with the "it" factor, to be able to hit big shots in big point situations under pressure. After that in the men's game, movement is a major consideration for success.
     
  29. PennAlum

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    BTW, FWIW, Christina McHale grew up with my son and at the age of 12, Christina had the "it" factor. Very focused, very speedy and an intense hard worker. I introduced Collette Lewis, who writes the zootennis blog, to a 13 years old Christina McHale at the 14's Easter Bowl at the old Riveira in Palm Springs. I said to Collette, keep an eye on her, she's going places." She's already made it and she's going to get better. When we saw her on Court 17 wining her first round, my son and I thought that she improved every facet of her game over the last 2 years. It good to see one of our own do so well on the tour. She texted my son after her win to thanks us for coming to see her match as she noticed us in the stands near her parents. Great girl, nice family. She was so focused we didn't know if she saw us because we didn't want to disturb her concentration.
     
  30. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    You're still implying that he should have gone to college and that those that go to college are always successful and a pro tennis player is only a success if they crack the Top 75 in the world or failure if ranked 76 or below. You're also implying not making it on the pro tour will be something that superior educated folks will laugh at, and that you know enough about his H.S. grades to know that college after pros is not an option for him and the contracts he's signing now will not set aside money to help him pay for college and that feeding tennis balls is for losers.

    You are an oracle. Donald Young not making it has everything to do with poor advise and work ethic and not loopy strokes. Donald Young is not finished "making it"

    John Isner was too slow when he came on the tour, David Ferrer had no power when he came on tour and Jergen Melzer was a mental marshmallow. They all made their biggest impact after age 24. You are not taking into account the ability to improve. Only Christina McHale seems to be one with the ability to improve.

    I pointed out two examples of tennis juniors turned pro who went back to college, Martin Blackman and Scoville Jenkins, but you appear to be overlooking that. I'll give you another example, Brian Baker's junior career was cut short by injury, he also went back to college after the pro tour.

    Personally, if I was a tennis teaching professional I would be offended of your view of the profession.
     
  31. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    First of all, I must be honest. I find most Penn Alumni to be blowhards and too full of themselves, and your posts pretty much confirm that. Just the fact you needed that as your screen name says it all.

    Anyway, if you knew Donald Young since juniors than you would know what I saw and what others saw and what Nick B. went public with several times.....Young had the THINNEST BONE STRUCTURE that anyone had ever seen on a kid that successful. Nick is on record telling people that even though he was winning Grand Slams as a junior that he was going to struggle in the pros until his body had some more years to mature. And those predictions were 100% accurate.

    Sock has a different body type than Young. And if you think he is slow you have no clue about tennis and athletes. Sock is a 'Larry Bird type' athlete....he is deceptive. He is doing things a lot faster than he appears.

    Second....ever hear of ANTICIPATION. That is what the greats have, that is what Davenport had, that is what Sock has. ANTICIPATION and reading the opponent allows a less than world class speed tennis player still get to balls and win at a high level. Davenport used her amazing anticipation to cover that she was not as fast as many she faced. Sock does the same and gets to balls in plenty of time.

    Lastly you have NO CLUE what Sock's other talents are. So he didn't get top grades....maybe he has a great business mind and a great networker. For all you know he could quit tennis tomorrow and have a huge career in another area.

    You are jealous of him, you little old tennis boy buddies sons were jealous of him in juniors....and that negativity is causing you to post ridiculous nonsense on this topic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  32. PennAlum

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    Sock's attitude on school grades were revealed by his coach. Your very limited examples of Blackman and Jenkins are the exception, not the norm. There are 50 times the stories going the other way that no one writes about. No one is writing stories about, Michael McClune, Robert Yim, Devon Britton and on and on or Timothy Neilly who beat Donald Young at the 2004 Orange Bowl which some people consider a more competitive field than Kalamazoo as it's combatants are worldwide.

    Yeah, it's all fun and games now when you receive wild cards and everyone calls you a can't miss until you actually have to make a living at it long term. I know a lot a tennis coaches with dreams faded and they are grinding out a living feeding tennis balls and their bodies can't take it as it starts to break down as they get older. The lucky ones get a sweet job as a country club head pro banking good money in an affluent neighborhood. I'm pointing out a realistic picture not a glamorous view of what can be. Just saying.
     
  33. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    You are not using objective analysis. You glow over McHale who is a nice but very limited player who has zero chance of ever being a top 20 player.

    Yet you crush Sock who many tennis experts say has a freak natural ability that may some day be harnessed into an great player with top 10 potential.

    Its hard to take a guy seriously who thinks McHale has a bright future because his son knows her and Sock will be a failure. Thats just living in bizarro world.
     
  34. PennAlum

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    We agree to disagree, we just see different things. You for one who dismisses anything USTA High Performance says are now confirming the USTA coaches' vaulted opinions on Sock are correct because they concur with your own views? What a laugh. NO it's not because I know McHale, it is because of her physical and mental attributes. Both Sock and McHale are the same age. McHale has already beaten Woz, Kuznetsova twice, Azaranka and Bartoli. She has accomplish so much more at the same age. These are future prospects, you cannot "proove" yourself right. McHale has already made it, Sock has yet to. And I did not imply she would be top 20, you inferred it once again. I implied that she can make a living at this game. I didn't crush Sock, just saying I don't think he will be top 20 and the next big American that you and everyone else projects. Don't take it personally if I don't agree with you, lighten up. Peace out already.
     
  35. PennAlum

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    TCF, BTW, FWIW, I personally know a lot of juniors who have turned pro in the last 4 years who I don't think will make it. Knowing them well does not color my view of them making or not making it.
     
  36. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    you can't compare wins like that for mens and womens. Not the same!
    BTW.nBoth D Young and Sock will be successfull IMO.
     
  37. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Exactly. Oudin had plenty of wins over named players, including Sharapova....what does that mean? Nothing. Teen women get wins over name players all the time, girls mature faster. But McHale has limitations and simply does not have the talent to be a top player.

    Sock on the other hand may never be a top player BUT has that special talent that makes it possible.

    In the roller coaster high stakes world of pro tennis.....Sock has a chance of being either great or just good....McHale has a chance of being very good, but never great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  38. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    If you want to imply that your anecdotal evidence is the rule and my anecdotal evidence is the exception, then I guess you need to find an authoritative reference on how many school systems in the USA have one cut-off date and how many have another. There are thousands of school systems in the USA, and none of us has more than a tiny sample size of personal experience.

    I grew up in Dallas, Texas, where the cut-off date was September 1. I have raised kids in Virginia, where the cut-off date is September 1. I recognize that other locations are different. Is there a dominant trend nationwide? Who knows? But I don't post anything that makes false accusations based on my two locations of experience.

    On another thread, some clown accused a player from JAPAN (!!!) of being held back or incorrectly listed because of a November birthday. Really, how expert is everyone here on the cut-off dates in JAPAN of all places?

    I return to the conclusion that I reach on most of these junior threads: There are a lot of whiners in this country. Other kids have an unfair advantage, the ranking system favors other kids and hurts their kid, etc., etc. The whiners of the world are not the great achievers.

    Back to Jack Sock: The USTA uses birth months. The month that Jack Sock turned 13, he had to play tournaments against players who were one month away from turning 15, in the USTA 14 and under nationals. Ditto for the transition from other age groups upward. He went out and won anyway. Maybe he should have stayed home and whined on the internet instead.
     
  39. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Great post. I think part of parenting is to tamp down the natural inclination for kids to whine, and grow up into whiners as adults. I treat eliminating whining with the same importance as having a great forehand. You have to be proactive from the time they are toddlers in order to minimize the whining tendencies. Tons of hugs and I love yous and boo boo kissing....just no whining allowed!

    I allow no excuses for bad bounces, bad calls, heat, too tired, etc. Sometimes things go your way, other times not.

    Its interesting that we only hear from those parents whose kids lost to a 'pusher' or a 'cheater'. Yet not one parent of a pusher or a cheater has ever posted here.
     
  40. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Great stuff! You both nailed what has been bothering me here of late. Whining and excuses from parents are traits pasted on to their kids. All of which is very limiting to maxing out ones ability to perform and improve, not just for today but more importantly over the long run, on the court and off the court.
     
  41. Erman

    Erman Rookie

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    You know what's funny, my son just received an apology message from a kid he played 3 times that hooked him badly. My kid lost to him twice but this kid would conveniently forget actual game counts, points played and just make the most blatant calls. His father one time was telling him to "knock it off" and it continued. Now I thought he was maybe doing it to only my son but apparently most of the young men playing him pretty much knew he was cheating and bottom line, the coach kicked him out of his academy.

    I've never heard of that happening. The kid is still playing and in the top 30 or so in the state but I'm just shocked that this kid is so pathologic that his coach won't take his money. My son thanked him for the note, but still dreads playing this kid. hahahahahaha.
     
  42. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Quote ClarkC:
    If you want to imply that your anecdotal evidence is the rule and my anecdotal evidence is the exception, then I guess you need to find an authoritative reference on how many school systems in the USA have one cut-off date and how many have another. There are thousands of school systems in the USA, and none of us has more than a tiny sample size of personal experience.

    I grew up in Dallas, Texas, where the cut-off date was September 1. I have raised kids in Virginia, where the cut-off date is September 1. I recognize that other locations are different. Is there a dominant trend nationwide? Who knows? But I don't post anything that makes false accusations based on my two locations of experience.

    On another thread, some clown accused a player from JAPAN (!!!) of being held back or incorrectly listed because of a November birthday. Really, how expert is everyone here on the cut-off dates in JAPAN of all places?

    I return to the conclusion that I reach on most of these junior threads: There are a lot of whiners in this country. Other kids have an unfair advantage, the ranking system favors other kids and hurts their kid, etc., etc. The whiners of the world are not the great achievers.

    Back to Jack Sock: The USTA uses birth months. The month that Jack Sock turned 13, he had to play tournaments against players who were one month away from turning 15, in the USTA 14 and under nationals. Ditto for the transition from other age groups upward. He went out and won anyway. Maybe he should have stayed home and whined on the internet instead.

    [/QUOTE]


    What I stated in my post above.....
    was that the age thing is not relevant to Jack Sock.

    [Originally Posted by tennis5
    Jack Sock is in a league of his own, and the age thing is not relevant.
    But, in other parts of the nation... the cut off is December 31st.

    ( I never heard of the Sept. cutoff until I read these threads).

    So, if you have a fall birthdate, you graduate when you are 17.


    In regards to anecdotal evidence, the entrance age cut-off dates for kindergarten are not uniform across states as evidenced by various comments on this board.

    Six states have cut-off dates between Dec. 1 and Jan. 1.
    Thirty-five states have kindergarten entrance cut-off dates between Aug. 31 and Oct. 16.
    ( And another website listed a lot of the states above going to November 30th)
    Three states have cut-off dates on or before Aug. 15.
    Another six states leave the entrance-age question up to local district decision.

    You started this whole cut off in response to the Japan boy by stating
    "Students born in November of 1996 are expected to be in the 9th grade this year in the typical USA school system. If you disagree, please post a link to the guidelines of a school district that say otherwise."

    And yes, in Virginia, in your state, the age cut off is Sept 30th.

    But, guess what... rest of the country is not Virginia.

    Which I was just pointing out.... but that according to you is whining.

    And the whole age issue started as someone questioned a kid from another country coming here and playing with his age...
    (Oh that must be a rare event.....)

    I am guessing you are in the camp with the 20 year old son who graduates high school.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  43. tennis5

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    What would the title of the thread be?
    Proud Parents of Cheaters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  44. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Can't really comment back, as according to you I am always someone else on these threads...
     
  45. ga tennis

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    I think one of the reasons little kids cheat is because the parents put to much emphasis on winning.
     
  46. ga tennis

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    Oudin and Sock in the mixed doubles final.Great job!!!!
     
  47. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    503
    Wrong, I am a proud parent of a former pusher who really enjoyed being attacked. When I asked her a few years ago why she played lake that she said "I like to see their face when they finally miss".
     
  48. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
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    1,290
    Thanks Klu375 for your comment.

    But, I think there have been a lot of comments about cheating on different threads.
     
  49. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    In the first round Christina almost lost to a very average pusher ranked 134 in a tight 3 setter...
     
  50. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    Thread reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's _Outliers_

    I have noticed a local trend where parents hold back a promising young athlete (6/7/8th grade) for a year and send him back to school a year older and presumably bigger/stronger. Highly successful but then again, the kid's were going to be good anyway....
     

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