Juniors playing against adults? Opinions?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Fuji, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hey all, I don't think I've ever posted in this section of the forum but I'm looking for some opinions on what tennis parents think of what happened in my last tournament.

    I'm 18 so I play in the Men's draw. A good buddy of mine was the number 1 seed in the 5.0 draw, who happened to get knocked out in the first round. Thus he went into the consolation draw.

    A junior that was 13 years old was entered in the 5.0 draw. (Here in most tournaments, juniors can only play in either 5.0 or Open tournaments, that are not U-18,U-16,U-14 etc.) The boy got crushed in the main draw by a seeded player, and then he got steam rolled again in consolation. (I can't say my day went much better haha!)

    The kid was obviously a bit upset about being blown out twice by high level players.

    Now here's the question: Would you / do you enter your kids in high level competition against adults and why? I remember being a preteen and being quite fragile with regards to my ego, and if I got dominated like that it definitely wouldn't have been a good feeling.

    Any who, feel free to discuss. This whole experience was new to me as I've never seen it before!

    Thanks everyone!

    -Fuji
     
    #1
  2. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    Depends on how mature the player is, and their skill level. For example, the last two u18 tournaments I've been in we're won by a 16 and 14 year old, respectively. If they're good enough and mature enough to handle losses, there's no reason not to have them play up. But playin a kid up who isn't good enough, that's just stupid. Getting blown out probably won't teach them much.
     
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  3. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Exactly what I was thinking. I've played junior tennis and it's a large transition from junior to 5.0. The game is just that much faster/bigger etc.

    -Fuji
     
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  4. TENNIS4FUN2

    TENNIS4FUN2 New User

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    I think it depends on the maturity of the junior player. They will get exposed to a lot more than just tennis playing with and around adults at tournaments, whether the parents are there or not. Same thing with letting 10 year olds play 16's.

    A lot of talking and other BS can go on during a tennis match. Technically, the child has to handle any problems themselves so even if the parents are there, they can't do much. If the child is mature enough to handle someone who may be "bullying" them in the match, then fine, let them play up. If not, maybe the child needs to stay in their age division until they are mature enough. To me, skill or not, this is what's important. :)
     
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  5. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    this would be illegal in a lotta states. reason bein that adults participatin in sportin or employment activities involvin children need 2 pass a criminal background check (2 make sure they aint pedos etc)

    in some states this only applies 2 adults that have unsupervised contact (eg scoutmasters) but in others it applies 2 any contact

    ppl joinin adult leagues dont do so with the expectation they will have contact with kids so they wouldnt get these checks done. most of em wouldnt want 2 either. just more unnecessary paperwork for the benefit of some rat kid who thinks hes too good for kids his own age
     
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  6. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    Age 16 is probably the best time to start if you are doing well in the 16s and 18s already. You need to drive yourself there to be mature enough to play adults as a rule of thumb. I like the interaction and maturity kids need to show with adults. It shows them a different style and helps rid the pettiness of some of the junior matches.
     
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  7. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    A 13 year old playing adults in 5.0 or open is just punishment for he kid. In most divisions they would not be able to touch the ball.

    My local 5.0 players include prior NCAA division 1 players, the better local club pros, some former older ITF players.

    Let the kids practice with adults and play in the appropriate level until their game is mature and they have at least grown to a reasonable size to compete with the men.

    For girls, some 13 year olds may be physically able to play the women.
     
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  8. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    I know a couple under 14s girls going far in womans ITF events but they dont have much competition in their own age group it makes a lot of sense for them.

    I think for most playing open at under 16s will work out fine as long as theyre fairly good, you'll learn a lot from playing out of your depth. If youre at a tournament with juniors and open events and its not going to be too much physically stick them in for both, worst case scenario they get beat 0 n 0 and have a lot to look at and work out why, they also get to see what theyre aiming for however if they mearly got out gunned by a bigger hitter then its probably a waste of time
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
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  9. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    It depends on the level of the junior player. A boys 14s #50 national player is about the same skill level as a USTA men's 5.0 player. At 14 my son could destroy all the men’s 4.5s in our area. He was competitive with most of the 5.0 players.

    In an adult open tournaments my son played at 14 his opponent defaulted after the warm up. My son asked him what happened and he said “I would have to run way too much to play you.” :)
     
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  10. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Haha that's fantastic! Thanks for your input.

    -Fuji
     
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