Not Enough Hours In The Day!!

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by ga tennis, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I am getting frustrated!!! My daughter goes to public school and doesnt get home till after 4;00. When she gets home she is usually tired from a long day at school. All of her tennis friends are homeschooled. She usually practices around an hour and a half a day and tournaments on the weekend. Im just concerned that with her going to regular school she is not getting enough time on the court. I wanna put her with her academy full time but cant afford it. So my question to you guys is do you think an hour and a half is enough for a girl that just turned 11????
     
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  2. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    according to all of those studies, yes.

    But then you read stories like this:

    http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2012/03/sac-state-coach-azarenka-wasnt-kidding.html

     
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  3. WARPWOODIE

    WARPWOODIE Rookie

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    I've read many of your past post and you struck me as someone with a lot of money:oops::)

    But as to your question, 1.5 hours of practice, 3-4 days per week should suffice. Quality practice time over quantity. Mix it up with drills (fed balls, work on mechanics, practice serves), practice matches with older/level based players, one on one coaching with personal coach. Don't worry too much what the other kids are doing or what their results/rankings are. The pressure is on them (the homeschoolers) later in their journey when return on investment doesn't add up. Be patient, it's a long journey, and your kid could be a late bloomer.
     
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  4. TCF

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  5. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I know ALOT of girls like this. I just feel like we need more but its so hard when she has been at school from 7:30 to 3:30 :( Her little mind is exhausted!!!!
     
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  6. TCF

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  7. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Two words...

    Hell yes! 8 hours M-F and tourneys on weekends is more than enough, if at least an hour of each 1.5 is intense and well programmed.

    I have been pondering the practice quality and schedule issues for my 10 year old. He has academy from 10 hours per week M-Th, they are diligent about warm up and warm down (25 minutes total), and well programmed in terms of keeping players moving for the remaining time. Once I was confident on that front, I thought about where the gaps remained. Nutrition and sleep, not lack of court time or practice was my conclusion. I gotta get expert on home cooked meals and enforcing bedtime and naps.

    GA - perfect the off court stuff that contributes to health and performance. This will allow your charge to be intense with the limited time she has. You can make a decision on academy a little later after you assess all the alternative remedies.

    Fulltime academy may lull you into thinking everything is being handled.

    p.s. My charge is in public school. Between 2:40 and 4pm is home work, snack, decompression/(nap he won't take) and drop off to Ferriera/Bareis which runs from 4-6:30pm. He is dog tired at conclusion.
     
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  8. Soianka

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    Could you work out some sort of barter with her coach/academy with you donating some coaching hours to the academy for reduced tuition for her?
     
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  9. Ash_Smith

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    Without wishing to sound glib...enough for what?
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Why and for what?
    For playing junior tournaments, it's adaquate.
    For winning state tournaments, it's not close.
    Some sacrifice is needed. Why spend 6 hours at home? Dinner takes one hour, homework maybe 2...maybe more if they're not smart.
    That still leaves plenty of time for more tennis and sleep by 10.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Tired from a day at school?
    Something is wrong with her. Or she's exxagerating to get out of homework or practice.
    Every athelete I know went to school from 8-3, went to practice from 3:30 to 6, and some like me went to work from 8-11PM, napping during transport times.
    Swimmers practice morning and afternoons, and most have jobs.
     
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  12. WARPWOODIE

    WARPWOODIE Rookie

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    Good point...these are indicators that the kid may not be into tennis as much as the parent.
     
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  13. TCF

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  14. TCF

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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I've heard that, funny.
    Had girlfriends with kids that age, and currenlty g/f's nephews that age.
    Don't you believe it. There playing with their computers and texting when you think they're doing homework.
    Yes, homework takes a real 2 hours. Maybe 3 if they're slow.
    Texting and playing video games takes more than 3 hours a day.
     
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  16. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    GA, I'm in the same boat (but my daughter is 12). There is no clear cut answer (I've accepted this). We spend about the same time per day on average (1.5 hrs.; 5-6x per week) as you do and we make it very structured and focused (quality over quantity). Many times we have no choice b/c we live in a snow state so getting indoor courts is very difficult b/c the clubs reserve the courts for adult play (that's how they make $) . . . talk about frustrating :)

    I've come to realize that because there is no playbook, no one has all the answers, and no one knows the exact ingredients of the elite athlete (we know elements, but not everything and not to mention luck and a sprinkle from God), we developed a customized program specifically for my daughter based on what keeps her leaving the court with a smile. For example, we don't play excessive number of tournaments b/c she doesn't like it and she said, I need time in-between to work on my game. We don't put her on the courts for 3-4 hrs. per day b/c that turns tennis into a chore for her and it impacts her school (she is straight A's/Dean's List and she is very proud of that). We always choose school before tennis . . . finals tomorrow, no tennis today :)

    We don't chase points but play enough so she can qualify for good level tournaments. After that, let the chips fall where they may. The academy route is a non-starter for us and, fact is, they haven't produced much lately either. There's so much crap out there . . .
     
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  17. TCF

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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Did you read the OP? She gets home at 4. It can happen based on whether she uses school bus, public transportation, or gets picked up by a parent at a certain time.

    This was the main reason we moved into a condo 2 blocks from school when my son entered high school. It is a 5 minute walk.

    I know kids who come to the club at 3:30 after finishing school at 3. It requires good traffic and small distances, and eating something in the car.

    School is different from when you were a kid. Classes are exhausting as the demands are more. Competition is much higher since your days.
     
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  19. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    Yes, it's interesting but no clear cut answer either way. 5-6 hrs. a day doesn't guarantee success and 2 hrs. per day doesn't guarantee failure.

    I don't get frustrated that much anymore because there's so many unknowns and this is just a game of "trial and error." If a family goes "all in," I hope to god it works but honestly (and the math bears out), 99%+ of those juniors will be looking for jobs and in this competitive global economy, so I hope they have many advanced degrees in addition to living on the court . . . however, as we know, many do not, and we never hear from them again.

    This is perhaps the most morbid of all sports (or close to the top). My goal is to not have tennis ruin my little girls life. It's a very delicate balancing act. I wish success to everyone as we all go through this crazy junior tennis world.
     
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  20. TCF

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  21. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

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    If she gets home by 4, why not a quick snack, nap, and hits the courts at 5 or 5:30 and finish around 7-7:30, home for dinner and an hour or so for homework. If she is getting a good 1 1/2 of drilling, hitting everyday she can keep with the others.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not really here in CA. The homework is very controlled till high school. Starts from 15 minutes a day in Kindergarten and maxes out at maybe 45 minutes in the 8th grade, with many times the homework already "completed" in school.

    High school 9 and 10 were also easy. Maybe 1.5 hours max. But now in the 11th grade with APs, it is up to 2.5 hours (max). And weekends too.

    Very manageable indeed.

    As a side note to you parents: Singapore which has the largest short-sight problem in the world has done research and figured out that excessive reading (due to homework) till the 5th grade is a key factor. After that it does not seem to matter. You will notice immediately how many kids in Singapore wear glasses. So, please do not burden your kids with other than the minimum mandatory homework in elementary school. It is bad for their health, and does not help at all later. No one really cares about academic performance in elementary school.
     
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  23. TCF

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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Depends on the weather if 7pm is still a playable time.

    But of course it is feasible. But is it enough to compete against kids who are home-schooled/charter schooled/academy schooled whose time is explicitly managed for tennis? Maybe to get into high school team. But maybe not enough for college scholarships or turning pro.
     
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  25. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

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    Depends where you are in CA TCF, many of my students have loads of school work plus the work their parents give them, have had students that have taken SAT multiple times before they are even in high school, although I do live in a highly competitive educational area.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Same here. They are called CST (California Standardized Tests) and were a by-product of NCLB. It means students are taught what is required very thoroughly as the school's funding depends on that, but on the other hand it has failed where the funds are lacking in general. Testing does not turn a bad situation into a good one, just shows it is bad. Many schools have been penalized for their poor API scores but the reason is really the demographics - schools can't do anything about that. Which means that NCLB has also been a nice excuse for the school districts to ask for more money.

    The standardized tests also mean that teachers have become like corporate employees. Polite but distant, no wasted words, and no digressions into side topics. In other words, no memorable, eccentric teachers you loved or hated. They do their job like robots, they go home.
     
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  27. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I bet you are in the Bay Area.
     
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  29. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

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    Well she is only 11, ramp it up as she gets older or add more time if she can handle the load. I have a student who has one 2hr lesson with me and sets up the rest of his week with partners (one is recent college D1 that I set up) and he continues to climb ahead of full time students here in NorCal. Parents of the full timers always ask his parents where does train, and they can't believe it.
     
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  30. TCF

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  31. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

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    Yes sir, and my wife is a teacher.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is becoming like that here in SD, but somehow my son landed up in the "loser" school district (which is the biggest one and caters to the widest and toughest demographics, as well as more affluent areas like ours). My colleagues have all "fled" to the smaller more affluent school districts north of here where the high-value real estate is. The competition there is getting out of hand, with students taking PSAT or SAT multiple times, taking SAT coaching, more than 10 APs, etc. We try our best not to get our son into that "group."

    But people say we should have moved to the affluent school districts long ago and made a mistake by not joining the rat race.
     
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  33. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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  34. ga tennis

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    Thanks for the responses
     
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  35. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Right on! Kids are clever at hosing gullible parents. One parental check of the computer history or cellphone sent items/inbox can do wonders in reducing future homework time.

    The few school systems I am familiar with provide estimates of average homework time. So if parents are concerned that homework is taking too much or too little time, there are at least rough benchmarks to go by. If junior is significantly exceeding the average estimated times, there may be a learning/study issue to deal with................or something more mundane.
     
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  36. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    I have resigned myself to the fact that my 11 y.o. won't make big improvements until school is out for the summer. She is routinely up until 11 pm doing homework :-(
     
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  37. ga tennis

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    She doesn't have a cell phone or computer. :(
     
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  38. ga tennis

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  39. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    Sure most of them do not but still play and practice. First they do it to please their parents, then to protect their ranking and social status and finally they realize that they can cash in on college acceptances/scholarships. So it is a complicated love/hate relationship.

    Sureshs, girl's tennis field is very shallow. Semi-talented girl absolutely can get a tennis scholarship practicing 10hrs/week. More talented/athletic girl can get a scholarship to a ranked D1 team on this schedule. Majority of 5&4 stars and even some blue chips go to regular school and do not practice more than 12hr/week. During school breaks/summer they are obviously training more - 20-30hrs/week.
     
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  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Regular school followed by rigorous summer camp seems to be an option. I read about a high school girl who went to Bolliterri every summer and came back in fall with a significantly increased level of play.
     
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  41. db10s

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    I'm 14, I get picked up at 3:00, go home, get changed, etc... And play from 4-6 and spend an hour in the gym. I miss one class, so I take one online course.
     
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  42. BMC9670

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    Something is really wrong with this picture. Is she playing hours of tennis and then homework?

    If she plays tennis first, try switching it to encourage concentration - if she completes her HW she can play tennis. Too many kids will do the fun thing first and then belabor and procrastinate with the homework.
     
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  43. Tree_All_Day

    Tree_All_Day New User

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    hey guys..

    when I was younger I would have the same problem.. I would be crunched on time but hit for an hour or two each day until late middle school.

    What made my dad really keep my attention on tennis was that he always reminded me of how much potential I had. Tell them that if they work hard than the sky is the limit. That pushed me to become a really good player.

    Keep in mind that once you get into highschool, a lot of times you can get out at 12:30 ... I am a junior and since freshman year I have had a 0 period and went to school from 6:45 - 12:30 and went to a tennis academy and could play for 3+ hours, leaving plenty of time to hang out and do homework.

    Another way to make it not sound like a chore for your kids is instead of telling them.. "ok time to play tennis" ... ask them on the days you play with them "do you want to go play tennis" as if its up to them. after a year or two of saying "yes" to "do you want to play tennis" they will think that they are the reason they are playing which will develop a true love for the sport.
     
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  44. Chemist

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    Nice to hear some feedback from juniors:). Very good suggestion too!

    GA - I dare to propose that you send your 11 yr old daughter to live with TCF's family in the spring break. She will get to hang out with two Eastern EU girls and TCF's 8 yr old; trust me she will develop a true love of tennis after they hit 10 hrs of tennis everyday!:) After that she will want to train more and she will want to beat her little brother (on tennis court) every day:):evil:
     
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  45. rptennis

    rptennis New User

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    GA Tennis

    It's true that there is no real blue print on this. For me, it comes down to what goal your family and your daughter have for tennis. From my experience, the only way for my daughter to become the best tennis player she can be, 2 hours a day was not near enough. My daughter stopped regular schooling at age 14 and focus on tennis training full time. Simply put, she had too much work to do on her overall game and we could not do it in a two hours window everyday. As an example, her forehand took us over one hour daily to work on the fundamentals and it took probably a good two years before she could use it consistently in tournament play. To add to this, my daughter played a full time traveling schedule since she was 14 so regular schooling was out of the picture. Again, this works for us because my daughter bought into the process and this is not recommended for everyone. My son was trained the same way and he quit tennis cold turkey when he turned 15. He attended regular school.

    Her tennis schedule for the past 5 years has been up at 7am, footwork, roadwork and strength conditioning from 8am to 11am. Lunch and online schoolwork from 11 to 2pm. We hit the courts from 2pm to 6pm. This is the normal schedule the weeks without tournaments and we did this without fail.

    On another note, if you don't have a good coach to work on the fundamentals properly, a full time schedule is no more than time wasted for your daughter. I have seen full time tennis academies that look more like summer camps for kids to have fun than a serious tennis training program.

    Good luck!
     
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  46. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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  47. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    Hey TCF - how many spare bedrooms do you have? I'll send my daughter down too!
     
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  48. TCF

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  49. Pro_Tour_630

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    I know how bad you want to send your kid there and sacrifice but I would advise not to for now. Even the director kid with all the training and all the genes and surroundings may not be like the other two 10 year olds but then again she was injured, I could be wrong, please correct me. The other two girls that I saw are on a different level in terms of intensity and focus. It has to come from inside. The kid is either athletic or not. They either eat/sleep/drink tennis or not. Even if you surround your kid with the best players that are motivated and driven, if your kid is a little less motivated they are not all of the sudden going to be obsessed by tennis. My 10 year old boy has been training since age two in tennis to please me. His younger brother who is 7 is training harder just to be better than his older brother. He is training for himself, a goal has been set by himself. He hits against the wall for three hours on his own, jogs around the house for a long time, does push ups sit ups jumps rope, etc..... . I asked him what are you doing?!?!!? he said I am going to be better than my brother I am going to be the best player in the world. This poor kid has been neglected on the sidelines picking up our balls yearning to play tennis, I must admit I did not give him that much attention at first. Now he is on the court and I can not get him off the courts, big difference in tennis development.

    I am sure your girl and my boy will come around and be passionate and intense about tennis like you and I. How does she feel about homeschooling and training there full time right now? Ask her that question, ask your wife that question. Maybe you can say, ok let us try this for one year and see what happens but then you might lose the house and your job if all of you get uprooted. I hate to see a breakup in the family for tennis. In our area we had two kids who tried homeschooling in an academy in FL for one year. The father stayed behind to work and keep the house while the mother went down with the kids. They all came back a year later and said it was not worth it.

    You are a great player (you can beat that 150 ranked player who took a set off of Agassi) just hit with her for now and keep your mouth shut,,,,,,,,, easier said than done. :) when she is 12 or 13, you have to make big decisions and accept either she is going all in or not, if not then it is not the end of the world, she will be fine.
     
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  50. TCF

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