Number of tournaments/matches

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by gplracer, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    How many tournaments/matches are needed for a 10 year old who is in ghe top 100 in his/her section. I see lots of players with over 100 matches. How many are really needed?
     
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  2. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    10 and under was a while ago for me but here was my prescription for my kid at 10.

    - One private lesson per week.
    - 4 days per week, 30 minutes of drills and then play a 1 hour match or a game to make it competitive.
    - Time on court was about 8 hours per week at 9/10.
    - 1 to 2 tournaments per month.
     
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  3. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    If your objective is points, the more tourneys the better.

    If your objective is development, the answer is zero
     
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  4. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    IMHO matches are key to development, but rankings are not. Kids love to play matches. Keep it fun.
     
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  5. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    100 is too many USTA tournament matches. 25-35 is enough. The kids who play 100+ got stuck in a defensive junior style of play that does not work when they get older. Best path for development is a mix of tournament play, hitting sessions, sets with older kids or adults. Play plenty of sets. When he/she plays tournaments move up in age and difficulty at least 1/2 the time.
     
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  6. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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  7. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    100 matches a year.. By the way it was GREAT to get to meet you last week. Your son is a really good player with TONS of upside. Tall,Lefty,and Strong great qualities.
     
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  8. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I'll yield a little if we're talking about a pro prospect.

    But I'm sticking to my guns if we're talking about a generally athletic 10 yr old.

    If tourney matches are fun, fine. Are they needed? I think not. Match play can be incorporated into training outside the tournament environment for 10 yr olds.
     
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  9. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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  10. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Ga Tennis it was great meeting you and getting to see your daughter play as well. She is a great player. She has some really big strokes.

    Thanks for all of the comments. My son would play a tournament every weekend if he could. He loves it. In the last 12 months he has played about 50 matches. The year before that he had played around 90 matches. I certainly want him to reach his full potential whatever that may be. I see some kids playing 130 matches a year. That is a lot!
     
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  11. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    Seriously, I can't help but comment, at 18 months old? By age 8!! If I recall correctly you said your child played her first tournament a few weeks ago? Of course she had fun, she is pleasing her Dad. That is all she was thought to do since she was born. I don't know your child or you, but I know girls pretty well, have my own and she is a Daddy's girl through and through, adores him and he can do no wrong, goes to car shows with him, wants an old Camaro, makes car models with him... Just be careful not to ruin a good thing. She might like tennis, but she clearly loves her Dad, do not make it the same thing and once she is older she will start thinking if you only love her if she plays tennis.(I know I am an overbearing Mom, will get hundreds of comments for saying this.)
     
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  12. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Hey gplracer, remember me? We have similar age/size boys and exchanged some emails a while back.

    Personally, I started my son playing matches before he was ready at 8 and stopped shortly thereafter. We trained and played some team tennis at 9 and 10. Now at 10 1/2 we've struck what seems to be a good balance for him: 1 private, 1 clinic, 1 session with me during the week and a practice match or tournament on the weekends. We're doing only 1 or 2 tournaments per month - some USTA and some round robins / super sets. Not in a hurry to play a huge tournament schedule. Practice matches with quality players works well right now.

    We back this down a little during basketball season, but it's a good balance for us right now and each kid will be different.
     
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  13. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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  14. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    In my opinion you are doing it the right way. Build a complete child, let them have a childhood, from 12- 18 if she really wants to be a tennis star, she can get in the rest of her hours and be right on par with everyone else. You gave her that option by teaching her good fundamentals early, if the bug bites and she wants to do it, she will be ready.
     
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  15. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    TCF, thanks for explaining, that is much different than the picture I got from that brief post. It makes much more sense now and I apologize if I jumped to conclusions. Sounds like a very balanced childhood and you are doing a great job as a Dad.
     
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  16. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Hi BMC9670 of course I remember you. Your son is about the same size as mine.

    I guess it is different strokes for different folks. For my older son tennis did not come easy. He had to really work at it. The 10s were difficult even at the local level. He played a small number of tournaments. We never even looked at the higher level tournaments at that point. He just was not ready. My younger son had a much easier time and beat all of the local players and most of the players he came up against at the state level even when they were older than him in his age group. He is big and just had a much better hand/eye coordination at a young age. My older son has developed it as he has gotten older. In the long run it may even out who knows.

    Do you think in the 12s it really benefits these players who are doing 100+ matches a year in the long run? Or is it not really going to make a difference in the 16s and 18s how many matches a player did in the 12s when he was 10.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
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  17. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    The question that should be asked first is, what's the goal(s) here? And is it the kids goal? Dad's goal? Mom's goal?
     
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  18. mom10s

    mom10s New User

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    My child, also 10, is top 50 in section and plays roughly 1-2 tournaments a month and has been doing this for 2 years. Total time on court for a week is 10-11 hours using a combination of clinics, a private, practice matches and tournaments.

    Tournaments have been invaluable to teach mental toughness - dealing with cheaters, crazy parents, mean kids, tough playing conditions, tight rest periods, bad officials, bad scheduling etc. This is very tough to replicate in practice. Have grown tremendously by dealing with all of these situations.

    Have been to most of the higher level tournaments in the section to expose my child to the environment surrounding the higher level events. Focusing on the process of developing and view playing in tournaments as part of the development process in my opinion.
     
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  19. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Very good question, his goal like many ofher kids is to be a pro player.

    He is playing up in the 12s. Two months ago the goal was to have a high enough ranking in Georgia to get in the southern championships. Georgia is alloted 39 spots and now that he is well within that a new goal should be picked. I plan on putting him in some Bullfrogs this spring. It would ve nice to win some matches in those. The main goal is to keep improving and loving the sport of tennis while doing it.

    Mom10s is your son playing in the 12s as well?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
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  20. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I'm not a coach, but that seems like a lot of tournament matches at that age. I would worry about mental burn out, fatigue... and frankly, if it were me "wallet fatigue".
     
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  21. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Good to hear. Very much the same for us, except my son is not ranked and he wouldn't even be aware of trying to quality for a higher level tournament at this point. I'm more concerned with finding him competitive matches where he can learn all of the valuable things you point out. I've been able to find it without going to a heavy tournament schedule or worrying about points just yet.
     
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  22. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    The problem is there is no one size fits all nor is there a playbook, whether 10 yrs. old or 18 yrs. old. Some kids thrive playing tournaments every week, others like my daughter play less tournaments (12-15 yearly), a lot of practice matches (6-8 per month) and adhere more to a periodization approach to tennis (just like elite runners) . . . space out the tournaments, train to peak at the next upcoming tournament, then back off, recoup physically and mentally, and then get back to it.

    But, our approach, was developed from understanding our daughter (how she ticks, what works for her, what makes her smile, what makes her love the sport, how her brain works, how she receives information, etc.), and this type of evaluation can generally only be done by the parents/relatives or maybe a coach if it's a coach that truly knows the kid, travels with the kid, and is in the trenches but that's generally the parents.

    It's an incredibly delicate balancing act . . . week after week, month after month, year and year . . .
     
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  23. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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