Raising a tennis playing kid

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Flat Top, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Also, he's 15. I just don't see why the dad is so dead set against college. He sure seems to have a beef with educated people as evidenced by his posts here. Why can't he just keep on keepin' on with what he's doing for a few more years, making sure that the grades are OK, then see what makes sense at 17 or 18. Not all players are Nadal or Federer and turn pro at 15-16. Look at Querrey, he was undecided about college until the last minute and decided to go pro and did fairly well. I know BB will not look at Sam as "successful" in his eyes, but even though he's in a rough patch right now, he did reach #17, win 6 titles, and make nearly 4 million bucks so far. A profitable pro, no doubt.
     
  2. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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  3. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    This kid is 6"5" 170, 15 years old? He has been playing a lot of tennis, has a big serve, and live arm? Take him out to the mound and put the radar gun on him. If he is throwing 90 mph and getting the ball over plate-change careers.
    He adds another 2-3 mph over the next 3 years- I guarantee he's worth a minimum 6 figure MLB signing bonus.
     
  4. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    You guys are cracking me up. Baseball scouts have kids in Latin America and North America they have been tracking since age 10. These kids have trained for years. Technique, pitching specific drills.

    MLB scouts have 1000 kids 6'5" who can gun the ball. They gradually select them out year by year for all the super rare attributes that make it as a pro pitcher.

    Hitting a tennis ball has NOTHING to do with pitching. A serve may be a throwing motion but a hard serve has NOTHING to do with how hard someone could throw. Do you think Roddick can throw harder than someone who serves 90 mph?

    You might as well tell this boy to rob a bank and buy as many lottery tickets as he can get. If you seriously think scouts give "6 figure signing bonuses" to every kid who can throw 90 mph, you are nuts.

    "If he is throwing 90 mph and getting the ball over plate-change careers."...well yeah, and if he sprouts wings he could fly. The odds of him being able to do that are so tiny its not worth the gas to drive to the pitching mound.

    There is no reason to think he would have success as a pitcher anymore than saying he could magically become an NBA super star. For all you know he could serve 100 mph yet struggle to throw a baseball to the mound at 65 mph.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  5. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    No man, listen to me. No one is tracking a 10 year old kid as a pitcher. That's crazy. They are throwing 40 mph at that age. 90 mph at 15 is wicked wicked fast. I know my baseball. The teams pay kids who can bring the heat. It's as simple as that. You get it up to 92-93 when you are 17 or 18- some team will definitely throw big money your way. No question. I saw it first hand with my friend's kid- a superb basketball player. Scored 25/ game in high school, conference MVP, 1st team all state. 6 feet even. No D1 school wanted him. Played 1 yr high school baseball, but threw 90 mph. Got Minor League offers with signing bonus.
     
  6. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Now for some reality. Signing bonuses are highly structured and based on meeting certain goals. Everyone and their dads will tell you they got a $125,000 signing bonus. In reality they realize almost none of it because the performance clauses in the low minors are so steep.

    Second...Latin America, scouts do indeed start to track 10 year olds. Not for their mph on pitching, but overall baseball skills. It is a religion there.

    Third....the reason this is silly is because you could pass any tall kid on the street and tell him to clock how hard he could throw. There is nothing about playing tennis that would give this boy any edge in baseball over any other moderately athletic tall kid. The odds of him throwing 90 mph with any accuracy is to silly to even discuss.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  7. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Hitters have a long incubation period. Not pitchers. Too much stress on the arm. Star Little League pitchers develop arm trouble in high school. Tennis players are not moderate athletes- they are at the very top athletically. There have been lots of cross overs from other sports to pitchers. What would make anyone think Scottie Burrell could throw it 90 plus. Nothing. Except he could. And every major league team wanted him.
     
  8. ClarkC

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    When I watch Major League Baseball, the announcers (and the slow-motion replays) focus on the placement of the pitch as being key, regardless of how fast you throw. They show how a pitcher knows that the batter hates a ball at a certain spot, and the pitcher puts it right on that spot. Then the pitcher throws to some other corner of the strike zone, because he does not want to be predictable. Then he throws a change up, then goes back to the weak corner of that batter's strike zone. Amazing placement, and a mind game to boot.

    The hard thrower who is predictable gets hit. The hard thrower without good placement --- I don't know what happens to him, because I never see him on TV. :)

    It is not nearly as simple as throwing 92 mph. When you throw close to your maximum speed, can you still place it in a given corner of the strike zone? Not me. Not a lot of people who are pretty good at other sports.
     
  9. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    Ah finally the voice of reality. Absolutely that's what I'm trying to convince him of. I know he's 6'4" ish and very lanky and I would say he's got loose, live arms.

    He learns technique quickly, and has for "poop" footwork on the tennis court. This makes him a natural on the mound or first base. As a pitcher his lack of physicality won't matter he doesn't have to go up to bat once in his life. In fact he likely won't have to pitch more that 7 - 10 innings a week and could do it until he's well in his 30s.

    If I was a sports manager and someone showed me this kid as a tennis player I'd say "nothing special" but if someone showed me this kid as a pitcher my eyes would open up real wide. I certainly hope Brads does also.
     
  10. Pro_Tour_630

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    what he did at age 16 and 17 is irrelevant to this discussion, DB is still 15

    in that case why did you omit what he did in 2003?

    "In 2003, at the age of 15, del Potro received wild cards to three ITF Circuit events in Argentina, where he lost in straight sets in the first round of each.[11]"

    Heck DB could play in three ITF and lose in the first round

    I was comparing his strokes only in that video and it seems DB were smother, Delpo looked like he did not give a --- while hitting or maybe he was drunk, losing balance.

    here he is at 14 playing cilic who is also 14 , I still think DB has smother strokes than both

    I don't think they had the flu nor were drunk, they were competing

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTkVrlksDus&feature=related
     
  11. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    I think there is a very strong correlation between pitching and serving.

    The question is would he be able to learn to throw a curveball?
     
  12. Pro_Tour_630

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  13. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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  14. Pro_Tour_630

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    video says 11 but he was actually 12,

    the point is lots can happen between 12 and 17, so at 15 DB still has some ways to go.
     
  15. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Come on now. He won the Orange Bowl 14s. He won three futures in a row at age 15-16. Like every top pro, by age 15-16 he was opening eyes with wins on the court. Winning 3 futures in a row at age 15-16 is epic. If DB could win one futures right now I would throw him a parade.

    Smoother strokes is silly talk. They are competing in the 14s Orange Bowl finals, huge nerves, going to hold up a bit on the strokes. You are comparing apples and oranges. Show me DB hitting live strokes in a huge tournament, then compare. Everyone looks great in hitting sessions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  16. TennisCoachFLA

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    Uggg....common sense time.

    Serena and Venus can serve as hard or harder, with accuracy, than almost any male on the planet. Yet Serena and Venus could never throw a baseball 80 mph, let alone 90. Serving 125 mph does not mean you can throw harder than someone who can only serve 70 mph.

    A serve is a basic throwing motion, that is all. A 7 year old can have a great throwing motion. But a basic throwing motion and an elite MLB pitch are vastly different.

    There is zero correlation between hitting a hard tennis serve and pitching well.
     
  17. tennis5

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    Definitely not true.....
    There is a strong correlation between a pitcher with a great arm
    who switches to tennis, and has a great serve.

    Think about it, they pitch with their right arm ( and of course their whole body) and now serving with their right arm.

    The muscles in that arm are already much more developed than the left to begin with.

    TCF - I see a lot of boys who did this already,
    unbelievable pitchers who now serve really well.
    And height range across the board here.

    Coincidence? Statistically, I don't see how it could be.
     
  18. TennisCoachFLA

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    Okay....how Monfils and DelPo 'looked' at 12 or 14 or 16 is irrelevant.

    They were winning at those ages, winning things not expected, competing in Jr. Slams, Dutch championships, Orange Bowls, futures.....and going deep of winning.

    Every top pro was winning....on an actual tennis court....in actual big tournaments, by age 15-16.
     
  19. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Totally different. You switched it. Baseball to tennis? Yup, a great pitcher can easily learn to serve well. Serving is a basic throwing motion.....easy for a pitcher to learn.

    Tennis to baseball....not so much. An easy basic throwing motion of a serve does not mean they can pitch great too.

    Serving is not hard. I see 100 mph serves all the time. The accuracy suffers in many guys, but lots of guys can be taught to serve over 100 mph. Now tell me how many guys can throw a ball 90 mph even with zero accuracy? How many can throw a curve ball?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  20. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Ok, you could be right.

    I only know it going from pitching to serving.
     
  21. TennisCoachFLA

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    I am friends with a guy named Dickie Noles, who pitched for the Phillies. He walked onto the court one time and in 10 minutes I had him serving like a demon. And he had never served before.

    So I agree 100%, pitchers can be great servers.
     
  22. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    You are right on. There is a correlation between serving and pitching. The motion is one. The muscular development of the triceps, shoulder, extensor muscles is two. Development of strong core strength is 3. Leg strength is 4. Does that mean every 6'6" tennis player who can serve 125 can throw a ball 90 mph. Of course not. But would it surprise you to learn some can. Of course not. Of course there is a lot more to pitching than throwing hard and all those other skills would have to be learned. But that's not the point. The point is there is a 6'5" 15 year old tennis playing whiz out there. There are very very few such boys on the planet. If he could throw the ball 90 mph, although it is not likely it is possible given his athletic background, there would be TREMENDOUS interest among MLB scouts. To say the odds of that are the same as winning the lotto is ridiculous.
     
  23. tball2day

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  24. BMC9670

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    All else aside - the math alone makes the odds very long. Just as in tennis - very few baseball pitchers make a lot of money. How many pitchers are in a pro rotation? And don't go to the "active" roster with farm clubs - those guys don't see much of the money in their potential deals. Most don't make it.

    Let's face it. Becoming a pro IN ANY SPORT is a long shot. Becoming great in a sport and making multi-millions is an extreme long shot. It's just simple math - many, many athletes competing for a few spots at the top.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  25. BMC9670

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    I saw some of the Eddie Herr on the webcast. Some great stuff. Why isn't he there?
     
  26. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Of course it's a long shot. We are not talking about becoming a top pro. We are talking about getting the MLB scouts interested. That's a long way from becoming a pro. Also, we are talking cross over from another sport. A couple of people on this Board believe there is a cross over affect from baseball to tennis, but not tennis to baseball. I don't understand that. I woud like to hear why it only goes in one direction. I do agree that there is cross over from baseball to tennis. Many years I ago I played George Foster in a USTA match. He once hit 52 home runs for the Reds. He was unlike anyone I have ever played. For his level of experience in tennis- he hit the ball huge. His racquet head speed was amazing.
     
  27. tball2day

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  28. Pro_Tour_630

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    TCF, you were the one who was saying NO tournaments at 12, 13 , 14 for boys. So why would it matter how big they win at 12, 13, 14 ? :confused: Sorry if I am the only one who thinks no tournaments means......... no tournaments at that age.
     
  29. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Sorry, I didn't get the memo that says there is some magic with the Eddie Herr. When this kid starts playing Futures in 3 years- do you think the opponents are going to care if he won 3 rounds in the Eddie Herr 3 years ago. Trust me- it won't mean anything. His first year, probably his first 2 years, he will get killed in the Futures. It's much more important how he reacts to that, does he learn from that, does he get better from that. The father has the right idea. While I disagree with 1) home schooling and 2) skipping college- if you are going that route you are ZERO concerned with the Eddie Herr and the Orange Bowl- they are not the objective.
     
  30. BMC9670

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    OK - "interest" is different than "I guarantee he's worth a minimum 6 figure MLB signing bonus" posted earlier. Sure, I'll give you interest. But you have to know BB's history - it's #1 or bust. No interest in "interest".
     
  31. TennisCoachFLA

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    I knew you would go there. My main issue is with 7-8-9 year olds who use pitty pats to win trophies and have zero technique. A talented 12-14 year old? I would not rush tournaments, but am in the minority. I also said I would make exceptions for super talents.

    Anyway...in regards to this discussion, DelPo was a prodigy on the court at 15-16, same with Monfils, same with all top pros.

    DB's results are on par with D-1. Some wins vs 50-150 ranked 18s, some loses to 30th ranked boys. Nice, but nothing to skip college over. Night and day from winning 3 futures in a row or a reaching a Jr. Slam semifinals at age 15-16.
     
  32. Pro_Tour_630

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    again not sure why they are playing in tournaments at almost 14:confused: when nerves can break down their strokes:confused:

    I guess BB has to post a video of DB playing in a tournament at 15
     
  33. Pro_Tour_630

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    LOL hahaha :)
     
  34. TennisCoachFLA

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    Sorry, that is not what the evidence says. This dad says he wants a "top pro". He says he has the next Nadal. He is not talking about slugging it in backwater futures for years.

    The road to a top pro, every one of them, is by showing amazing wins at ages 14-17. Makes no sense to bypass the top tournaments as a junior.

    Thee top pros either ruled juniors, or were so good they were winning futures at age 15-16.
     
  35. TennisCoachFLA

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    Please explain??
     
  36. TennisCoachFLA

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    Did that win in the 14s make their careers? No. So their coaches/parents believe in earlier tournaments than I do. So what? Lots of people do not agree with me.

    The bottom line is at ages 15-17 it gets real. Top 16s and 18s it gets real. Boys better be winning big things at 15-17 or the evidence says they will not be top pros.
     
  37. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    You are too dogamtic. There is not 1 route. Blake did not dominate the juniors. You know the Fish story, #14 ITF, one junior slam quarter. Not dominant. There are many others. Bottom line is you go on the pro tour- it all is irrelevant. One thing I think we can agree on. When he starts in the Futures better have high IF quotient (intestinal fortitude). Best he can hope for- year 1 get killed, barely win a match. Year 2-win 1 or 2 rounds at some tournaments. Year 3- make 1 or 2 finals. That would be a major major accomplishment. Of course year 4 he would start all over in the challengers.
    If they aren't ready for that route- and that is a best case scenario- they should have their heads examined.
     
  38. TennisCoachFLA

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    I agree there is more than one way. But in this case, they were taking 12s-14s seriously, meeting with USTA, IMG. Rolling along on a traditional path. Then come 16s after a few losses, they begin the dodge and weave.

    If you are in rural Kansas and have no tennis contacts, yeah, you may have to go a strange route. But this kid is in So Cal, connected in tennis, rolling along with a nice path. Then for no reason other than dodging, jumps completely off the tracks. Just makes no sense to me.

    Think about what you said. Fish...#14 ITF and one Jr. slam quarter....while playing full time basketball, a sport he loved. Thats amazing. If this kid did that while playing only tennis full time it would be amazing. But he is not near that level.

    Blake had all sorts of health issues growing up. So he needed to follow a stranger path.
     
  39. Tennishacker

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    Not necessarily true, at that age most kids are still developing their game. Focus would not be on winning tournaments, but practicing and honing their games in tournament pressure.
     
  40. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Some parents don't care about the so called prestige of those tournaments. My superstar is not playing them, though he could get in. He's studying AP Chemistry. You think I want him in Florida for 2 weeks? Sends the wrong message. He'll play a couple Men's Open Singles. Competition is great this time of year because the college players enter. Also, some ex Division 1 players, and a couple of teaching pros with a few ATP points. No prestige, no ranking points, but good competition.
     
  41. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Of course they are honing their games. Pros always work on their games and add to them.

    I am talking facts, not opinion. At ages 15-17 almost every top pro was top 5 ITF or won an Orange Bowl or won a Herr or won a Jr. slam or was ranked #1 in their age group.
     
  42. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Scoliosis. Wore a back brace most of the time. But not when he played. The 12's and 14's mean nothing. Zero. For boys the real game starts in the 16's.
    Suddenly that boy who was 6 feet at age 13- he's still 6 feet but so are all the others. That kid who won by keeping the ball in play- he's going down 1 and love in the first round at the 'Zoo. My superstar in the 12's and 14's started losing in the 16's. We sat him out tournaments, worked him hard, retooled his game. 3 months later started him back in at lower level events to get comfortable and regain confidence. It worked. Maybe that is what they are doing. Sometimes you have to take 2 steps backwards to take 5 steps forward.
     
  43. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Great stuff coach. I agree 100%, for boys it does not really begin until the 16s.
     
  44. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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  45. Pro_Tour_630

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    gotcha, I was just messing with you

    but that fact still remains that

    "In 2003, at the age of 15, del Potro received wild cards to three ITF Circuit events in Argentina, where he lost in straight sets in the first round of each.[11]"

    He lost three futures events he did not win 3 futures event when he was 15.

    DB is still 15, in a year or two we shall see. you could be right, after all things don't really begin until 16
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  46. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Good post. I finally gave up. We are talking about a specific case of a boy whose has the option of coming in through the front door....if he had the talent. And we keep getting examples of boys born with one leg in Kaxinamstan who had to play men's opens to get a shot at the pros.
     
  47. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Pro....check out that video thread I just posted.
     
  48. Tennishacker

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    Please explain circumstances why he started losing in the 16's.
     
  49. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    I'll try. 1) Not holding serve 75% of the time or more;
    2) Not hitting forehand with enough depth and tight spin;
    3) Not hitting with a plan and purpose, not able to make adjustments, not able to control emotions.
    He was playing like a kid. It took a new coach who is terrific and hard work.
    Now he is playing more like an adult. Playing with a purpose. Exploiting weaknesses. Making adjustments. Before he was so afraid of losing he could not win. Now he isn't afraid of losing so he is free to win. Does this make sense?
     
  50. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    ^^^ The other thing that I don't see mentioned is that if Bollitierri really saw anything special then he would have a wild card to both Eddie Herr 18s, and OB. Clearly because he is here and not there either by direct entry or an IMG w/c they don't see anything either.
     

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