Kids: how many hours court-time a week?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by TheCanadian, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    You can find a coach/professional/academy at every price point.

    I'm friends with many good coaches, I find your characterization of them is in very poor taste.
     
  2. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I don't think it is in very poor taste to express the opinion that the best coaches are parents.

    I don't think it is in very poor taste to suggest that people not waste their time with over-priced, money grubbing operations.

    I don't think it is in very poor taste to recommend that after a kid has reached a certain level that sessions with someone established and who has a good reputation would be advisable

    I don't think it is in very poor taste to observe that if a kid has potential, a national center will pick him or her up.

    Canadian, hope you keep posting
     
  3. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Oh my, we finally agree on something :)

    I think the best coaches are the parents (as long as the relationship is not abusive).

    What I have witnessed is that the coach/parent cares the most and understands their kid's game the best.

    Plus, what a great deal to have someone feed you a bunch of balls for FREE.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  4. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    No we don't.

    I said I don't think it is in very poor taste to express the opinion that the best coaches are parents. I didn't say I agreed with that opinion.

    Parents usually provide the initial spark of interest, motivation, and commitment. After that, show me the parent, then I'll tell you if he or she is a good coach for the child.

    The following is a generalization and subject to all the flaws that generalizations generally have, but here goes anyway:

    At some point in every young athlete's career the parent has to figure out when to "release" the child to the sport. It happens at different ages for the kid in different families. It is the rare exception in any sport for the parent to be the primary coach until the athlete retires.

    One of the most important attributes of being a successful parent/coach, I think, is knowing the right time to release your kid to the sport
     
  5. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Burden of Presumption...

    is currently against the academy business product model. There is enough top flight reference material to get a motivated parent and child a great, not just good, start. If you make it through that hoop you can learn how to find a private coach. Once you know how to play tennis, you can pay a facility/academy on your own terms, if you make it that far.:)
     
  6. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

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    I speak as someone who was the "victim" of an over-priced academy. Additionally my parents, who don't know anything about tennis, paid a mediocre tennis coach to give me daily private lessons. What I needed is practice and practice and match-play. Not pointless daily lessons from a money-grubbing jerk. Result, I quit at 16 and didn't touch a racquet again until two years ago.

    There's so much video and written material out there that even a parent with a passing knowledge of the game can train a top junior and once a kid becomes a top junior, various opportunities will materialize.

    I knew Andrew Sznajder personally (ranked 46 in the world at one point), he's coaching came solely from his father who was perhaps a C player on a good day himself (what did Bolletteri ever accomplish as a player, how about Piotr Wozniacki, or Tomic's father, etc.?).

    Frankly, I will teach my son tennis and see established pros once in a while. I will also use summer academies when he's old enough. Probably in Spain. We will see how things go from there.
     
  7. NetNinja68

    NetNinja68 Rookie

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    What we have conceeded to is that tennis is a business and coaching is a job especially when the student is under 10. Personally speaking, my wife and I have felt in the past that our current and past coaches we're not interested or involved enough with our child's overall progress. Once the lesson concluded, communication was very limited until the next lesson even though my child is well beyond others her age in terms of proficientcy.

    What we now understand is that 1 to 2 sessions per week at $65 an hour is not enough $$ to motivate a decent coach to abandon their other student clientel or quit their day job. These coaches have families and lives outside of coaching and when they are home, they flip the switch to family mode like the rest of us. They see so many "prodigies" come and go, that they become desensitized and aloof when not in the paid session. This is the way they manage their emotions and expectations around their students.

    As parents we want coaches to make over our kids and verbalize how great they are like we do but that rarely ever happens to the degree we want.
     
  8. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Maybe you want this. Please speak for yourself

    I don't want coaches to make over my kid or verbalize how great my kid is. If coaches read this kind of stuff it will reinforce the worst characteristics of bad coaches that many parents have noted.

    So coaches, please do not believe that these things are what all parents and kids are looking for.

    Coaches, you can make improvements where my kid needs improvement. You can leave alone what my kid is doing well. And please don't try to hose me with false praise about my kid's potential or ability........I am paying you (or for those in college, you are paying us) for objectivity.

    Just speaking for myself.
     
  9. Milan

    Milan Rookie

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    The Standard (going by Professionals and current top Juniors):

    Up to 11 Years Old: 8-10 hours per week
    12-13 Years old: 15 Hours
    13-.....: 15-20 Hours
     
  10. Milan

    Milan Rookie

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    One of worst Posts I've ever read.

    National Centre's are often terrible.

    Parents are usually WORST and more often than not mess up student's development.

    You couldn't be further from the truth, really.
     
  11. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

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    You might disagree but just saying it's not true doesn't make it so.

    The empirical evidence suggests most top professionals were coached by parents and come out of national centres. I'm sorry to confuse you with facts.
     
  12. Milan

    Milan Rookie

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    Nadal was coached by his Uncle, an ex Professional.

    Federer had a private coach (NOT federation).

    Roddick had Benhabiles

    Blake had Same coach from 8 (Private Coach)

    Djokovic was at Academy doing Private work with Niki Pilic

    Sampras had Private Coach

    Nick Bolletieri privately coached Andre at his Academy, a direct competitor to USTA.

    Name me any players the USTA have produced???? NONE. Not 1.
     
  13. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

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    I can also give you a much longer list of players who were coached by their parents. Some of your points above are false: Federer did train at a national centre; Agassi's first coach was his father, etc., etc.

    This might come as a shock to you, but the tennis world doesn't start and end with the US.

    You should state your vested interest when you come on in a thread and write obvious untruths.
     
  14. Milan

    Milan Rookie

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    99% of parents who "try" to coach their kids don't know what they're saying. The few who do know, push their kids to the max, and because it doesn't cost anything, they have a benefit.

    I agree to that. But to say don't spend money on coaches just coach them until you get a scholarship to a National Center, that's ridiculous.

    And, I can't speak for Spain's Center (I know they're pretty good), but in America, the USTA is absolutely Terrible.

    In Canada, the coaches at the Federation have to study Tennis like a Physicist studies for their Doctorate, so I would imagine their story is different.
     
  15. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    In ex-USSR and some Eastern European countries the same situation. First go to college for five years, then work as a coach assistant for a couple of years. Here in America, anyone may announce himself a high qualified tennis coach.
    Often parents do not understand huge difference between a good coach and a good player. There are different professions.
     
  16. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    I mean the same situation as in Canada.
     
  17. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

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    I never said that parents should be the only coaches. I specifically said that parents should occasionally consult established, reputed tennis coaches. What I did say is that parents/close family members play a crucial role in the development of a tennis player. This fact is verified by history. The examples are so numerous to support my point that I won't even bother listing them.

    Technique is very important but there are so many great books and videos out there that any parent who has the time and will to train his kids can do it, even if his knowledge of the game is lacking at first.
     
  18. Staidhup

    Staidhup New User

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    Rule number one, a parent should never coach their own child. Yes they can help feed balls, work on mental toughness, only if they themselves participated in high level sports and truly understand what goes through the mind of an athlete. A parent is a child's last and only private sanctuary where they can unload, enjoy that role, as a coach you lose that special role. Let the coach do what you pay them to do, the one that pushes the child, makes corrections, demonstrates what they need to do. At 10 years old to jam tennis down their throat is a terrible mistake, read Andre's book, let them discover and experience all sports. Let them decide what sport suits them best. This garbage about if they don't focus on one sport by 10 or 12 is total nonsense. The key is if they have the determination, discipline, hart, work ethic, and athletic ability, to succeed in a solitary sport. You won't be able to drag them off the court, stop them from training, it's their play ground, in the blood, where they find peace. Yes there are those that are what we call lifers, most burn out early, never live up to the hype, become easily distracted because they don't have that spark and true love for a sport. Support the child in their pursuits, but let them decide what sport to pursue. I see too many parents that have dreams and illusions that are unrealistic for their child to obtain and I see it surface, manifest itself, in the lack of enthusiasm for the sport they have been forced into.
     
  19. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    The MOST important thing is that the kid really wants to be a really great player and wants to put in the work. It's going to be really hard to force a kid to practice when they don't want to.
     
  20. Staidhup

    Staidhup New User

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    Kids are impressionable, constantly strive to receive parental approval, parents need to listen, observe, and let their children's actions speak for itself. As they say go with the flow.
     
  21. SprintCoach

    SprintCoach New User

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    As stated by lot of people on this forum there is no answer to this question or I should say there is no right answer?

    To give a quick background about myself, I come from an athletics background and have been involved in athletics for the past 30 years. As an athlete I competed at an elite level and I have been a coach for the past 15 years. I coach sprinters and also work with tennis players to improve their speed and agility.

    Being athletic does not guarantee success in the tennis court but it for sure helps you to learn the skills quickly and potentially progress faster. Being athletic usually means that the kid is better co-ordinated and adapts to changing situations on the court faster. Also the co-ordination and quickness (at least the basics) are best learnt between 8 to 12 years of age. So question is how much time you want to focus on making the kid more athletic.

    The main issue is the lack of understanding on how to learn an athletic skill and knowing what short comings does the player has to learn that skill. For example I would hear the tennis coach yell at the player ‘Be explosive off the first step” or “use your legs to hit the shot”. Looking at the kid you can see that there is no way the kid can do all that because he is flat-footed and has no co-ordination. So does not matter how much work this kid will put on the tennis court those aspects are not going to be fixed. It has to be done outside off the tennis court. So for a player like that you are better off distributing your time equally between the tennis sessions and off-court practice. And contrary to people’s belief you can improve a kid’s athletic ability. You will not be able to make him a Usain Bolt or jump like Michael Jordan but can definitely make massive improvements in their atheism.

    So in summary continuing to do an activity repeatedly does not guarantee that the player will improve. But understanding what is required to perform the activity and improving those pre-requisites might give you better results.
     
  22. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    Some tennis coaches know nothing about special conditioning for tennis. Some coaches just do not want to send their players (clients) to a specialized fitness coach, because they want to get as much money as possible. That's why these coaches try to use on-court fitness (with very little understanding) and tell to their players that they (coaches) are able to develop all necessary skills. I already wrote that not many players warm-up and cool down in right way. As concerns how many hours court time a week: any organism has its own limits. If a kid trains in right way, using periodization and cycles with a good coach, 12 hours a week on the court till 15 yo, is more than enough + off court fitness and tournaments.
    All these talks about 25-30 hours a week for kids come from:
    1. incompetent coaches, who never studied Sports Science,
    2. academies and coaches who love money more than their players. Parents pay for a coach's time on the court, not for the final results. It is very simple.

    Just look at ITF recommendations, I posted them in my article: http://wp.me/p2iyrR-2W
     
  23. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    I placed one more article about a program for development of a top junior tennis player. These recommendations are based on ITF standards. Everybody who is interested in reading it, can do that on my site. The article is too big to be placed on the forum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  24. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    There is certainly some truth to what you wrote, but it does not fit in all situations. I played junior tennis growing up. If I let the coaching all to the coach it would not be enough. Not only that but one lesson a week for each of our kids is about all we can afford. Maybe if we could do more then my input would not be needed. I let the coach do the work and lead us in a direction. He then says this week when you hit with your son work on what we worked on today. I am also the ball feeder, the driver, the shoulder to cry on, and the friend. I realize that my kids can lose matches when they play their best and win matches when they play poorly.
     
  25. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Well said.

    This is a very common and healthy way for kids to get better at tennis. The average family does not have money for hours and hours of lessons each week or to send their kid to an academy. The coach usually doesn't attend all of the kid's matches so it is the parent that has to analyze what was good/bad about their play.
     
  26. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Sundaypunch you are correct! Our coaches do a great job but most of the time they are not at the out of town matches. They were not at the USTA RTC to see how he compares to the other players either. They have too many obligations to make it to all of those things. There are certain tournaments each year where the coaches go but my kids play in way more than that. I feel the player of the average parent who has not played or has not played much tennis is at a disadvantage. I do take my gopro with me most of the time and it is a great resource to show the footage to the coaches. Well that is after it is edited so they do not have to see much of it.
     
  27. KevinB9986

    KevinB9986 New User

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    Hopefully your kids want to play sports that you are/were good at. Can not rely on others to really have your child's real interest at heart. Also, you really have to have patience with kids. A lot of kids just act goofy at times, and some coaches will not want to put up with someone else's kid acting like a kid. I can think of some very famous players that must have been a pain to coach. I have even heard of some very famous players that you would be surprised on how they acted on the court as children.
     
  28. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Which gopro camera do you have?? Do you like it?? Is it easy to use??
     
  29. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    I have the gopro2. I really like it. It has a 170 degree viewing angle. I do not even have to worry about getting it pointed correctly. I also have a thingy to attached it to the net that I got from here: http://www.mytennistools.com/ I will email you a link to a video.
     
  30. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Thanks..........
     
  31. Eugene Choi

    Eugene Choi New User

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    atleast 2 hours on weekdays and on weekends atleast 3hours so 16 hours at the least every week :D
     
  32. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    It depends on the child but probably 9-16 hours a week.
     
  33. Tennisstringz

    Tennisstringz New User

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    Play a ton between age 10 to 14-- 20 plus hours a week plus fitness. At age 15, if you're near the top of country, meaning blue chip in trn, consider continuing 20 plus hours as a homeschooled or academy high schooler. If youve got a big serve, it takes much less practice. If not, might as well back down to 10-12 hours a week of tennis, plus a couple for fitness and shoot for college only. Any more than that and you're wasting time that could been used on life skills. You can be a national player with 10-12 hrs a week practice, if by national you mean playing in USTA National Opens. If you mean winning Supernationals, you better give up your childhood to tennis.
     
  34. Postpre

    Postpre Rookie

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    At the age of 14, before he attended the Sanchez-Casal Academy, Andy Murray chatted with Rafa Nadal at an international junior tournament. While Rafa (15 at the time) was practicing a lot and playing with Carlos Moya back in Mallorca, Murray (in his own admission) was playing about 4 hours per week. Sure, Murray upped the ante tremendously when he attended Sanchez-Casal, but to think that a kid 10-14 of age must dedicate their entire life to tennis is simply incorrect. If that child has the requisite talent to reach the top, they can get more serious later on and still fulfill their potential.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/te...-Rafa-Nadal-set-Andy-Murray-road-stardom.html
     
  35. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    This is misleading. Maybe he was playing 4 hours a week at that particular time, but your making the assumption he only played 4 hours per week up to that point. He was certainly playing many more hours per week prior to 14. He won the Orange Bowl at 12. No way you do that on 4 hours per week, no matter how athletic you are.
     
  36. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    For my 8 year old we practice 8 hours per week and 1 hour of fitness.

    13 year old around 12 hours per week and 2 hours of fitness. So, it really depends on child and there goals.
     
  37. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    Interesting post and perspective, it seems someone has been down the road. Not sure I agree with backing off just cause of a big serve, but thought your comment on life skills was insightful.
     
  38. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    I suggest a lot less training than people here are talking about. We train 6 & 1/2 hours a week when not playing tournaments and 5 hours when playing weekend tournaments. We have a bunch of 4 stars with that schedule and a couple of TRN top 100. IMHO priorties have to be developing a quality human being first, a quality student second, and a tennis player third. Too many of us, including myself, often lose sight of that.
     
  39. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    After what age? At some point any player in the top 100 trn has put in some serious training. 6.5 hours per week will not cut it for pro aspirations or even very good d1 college aspirations.
     
  40. NouKy

    NouKy New User

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  41. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Maggmaster: You are correct in that 6.5 hours a week is less than the norm for TRN top 50 player. However there are top 50 players who do train only 6.5 hrs per week. Obviously the player has to train seriously and productively. When they play weekend tournaments, usually it is another 6-9 hours of playing.
     

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