Raising a tennis playing kid

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

  1. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    From what I saw he has these papers called "Tennis Prospect Sheets" from a lot of nice schools , one from up in Northern Ca. somewhere in a city called Palo Alto another from the state where Chicago is some from Texas also Fl. but there is this thing called Desire and Goals and that trumps even these great institutes .
     
  2. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Of course it will be done online on airlines around the world. A bloody nose can build character also but so can having to walk stadium stairs after a loss ,one your mouth was running in a disrespectful way. Rogers dad blooding his nose paid off in a great way .
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  3. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    I don't think I did a good job in explaining what I meant.

    Yes, to pushing to work hard and excel at school. This is not an optional activity.

    Yes, to pushing to do chores at home, as that makes a son/daughter a better future spouse :)

    I am talking about kids who are on the fence with a sport, and dad is pushing them...

    I think for outside activities, the desire has to come from within.

    Instead, I see a lot of pushing from the dads, an example of that would be the the kids don't want to play a tournament every weekend and they are pushed into it.

    Or, they didn't do well at the tournament, and they get verbally abused for it.
    And that I see all the time....

    And I won't touch your last paragraph, as once you mix politics in.... some of the people I dislike on this board, well I might actually like them :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  4. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    .......................
     
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  5. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    I highly doubt it is fabricated. I've seen these "institutions" clamor for far lesser players year after year. And DB is still two years away.
     
  6. petepoyry

    petepoyry New User

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    I think I agree with your posting. Like Slice bh´s which I wish were written by me.

    But which makes this complicated I´ve found that most of my kids´s school friends spend their afternoons playing videogames or just laying around. That´s the culture.

    In five minutes my son is calling and asking if he could go to spend some time with one of those friends. Instead of going to hit some balls. With me. Which is not scheduled or anything but weather looks nice and we´ve used to do that on fridays.

    Should I let him go with his friends? If that´s what he wants.

    I know he likes tennis (like basketball and soccer etc). But if I let him choose he will probably select quite often hanging out with those passive friends instead of practise. They are good kids though. They are also doing nice things together, playing drums etc. But sports? Never.

    ----
    edit: He just phoned. And asked. I said no, come home instead and we´re off to hit some balls. He sounded very disappointed.

    Am I a good dad or a bad dad now?
     
  7. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you on building character through discipline and hard work, although these two scenarios above are very different. By all accounts I've read, Fed was punished for repeated bad behavior and disrespect, not merely losing. A parent or coach absolutely has to build into a player that losses are overcome through hard work, but simply punishing losses is a slippery slope, especially at young ages. Obviously in your case in hasn't, but it can backfire. IMO, a player that plays to win is better off than a player that plays not to lose.
     
  8. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    When my daughters friends call and want her to come play I let her go.I tell her that we will practice when you get home.She knows that the days she doesnt have drills or private lessons that she has practice with me for an hour and a half.Many nights we dont even start until 8pm.She loves tennis but at 9 years old she also loves playing with her friends. Your a good dad!!!! You want whats best for your son!!!!
     
  9. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Your neither good or bad your a great parent who has done the math on how your kid "spends' his time , "time is money " and as a parent "one who guides a loved one "well done I commend you .
     
  10. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    A schedule/routine can help as well. Let them play with friends and be social, but plan ahead so they get a sense of balance. I should mention that my 9YO only practices 3 times a week, but he looks forward to every one. I've heard him answer the phone and tell friends he can't come over today because he has tennis, but he can tomorrow. It gives him some independence as well.
     
  11. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    It's a tough one because he certainly should have free time to just be with his friends. Every second shouldn't be filled with structured activities. It will make him resentful of tennis if you make it a "job." He's a kid, so he shouldn't have a job. If he goes into tennis each time being disappointed, I don't think you are going to be able to keep his interest in the sport once he becomes a teen.

    On the other hand, of course you shouldn't let him just sit around doing nothing.

    I wonder if you could somehow get him involved with hitting with another kid of his age and skill level (or a bit higher skill level) sometimes on the days when you would usually hit with him. He might be less disappointed doing it that way and he'll have peer pressure to improve his tennis game rather than peer pressure to sit around playing video games.
     
  12. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    GA that is boarder line abusing your daughter (not enough sleep) just kidding :) if I start playing with my 9 year old son at 8pm ( which is when he sleeps BTW) during school days for 1.5 hours, by the time we come home which is around 10pm ( 15 minute drive at least, packing and unpacking gear). The kid is still wound up by the time he sleeps which is maybe around 10:30-11. Kids wake up at around seven to get ready for school so 8 hours may not be enough for 9 year olds (I could be wrong). The evenings 8-10pm after kids are asleep in my case is better spent with the spouse to unwind over a glass of wine. We would get a divorce, If I played with my kids several times during the week until 10:30pm and not spend time with my wife.

    As of now it is too much, between my work/tennis and her work/tennis. What is the point of marriage if we (husband/wife) can not spend quality time together alone:confused:

    Parents have to be on the same page and very clear regarding sacrifices, or else it will be put a dent in your marriage.

    Do not even want to get into financial problems ( too much money spent on tennis)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  13. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Im sure my neighbors think the same thing.My daughter has always stayed up too late.It doesnt affect her at school or with tennis.She gets 8 hours of sleep and I know research shows 9 year olds need more than 8 hours.I kinda use it as motivation.I tell her that most kids are home sleeping while shes out working hard.We have a court with lights across the street from my house.My wife of 18 years knows the importance of her being on the court eveeryday.
     
  14. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    18 years!!!!, now i know why you are out hitting with your daughter all night long, LOL just kiddin :)

    How is her mood? is she energetic? remember we talked about her energy/movement on court? just trying to help out bro

    Anyway, court with lights across the streets, now that is luxury in my neck of the woods, imagine driving 1/2 hour and paying $30 ( which is cheap) an hour per court.

    come to NE an try to develop a tennis kid with these conditions
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  15. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    This is really an easy recipe.

    When my son was small, everyday after school, he played in an organized sport with friends.

    Soccer, Baseball, Football, Basketball and Tennis.

    It was more of a social activity with sports mixed in.

    In elementary school,
    he played baseball twice a week, soccer twice a week, football once a week, basketball once and tennis once a week.

    Every activity had between 6-12 friends in it. Fun, laughing, social. Great.

    On Fridays, we organized his whole grade, 40 boys, and two small school buses would take them to the fields with some coaches. Football in the fall, basketball inside in the winter ( rented a school gym) , and baseball in the spring.

    Then, on Fridays, after sports were over, and it was about 6:00, the boys would end up at a couple of house.

    Weekends, same story, every sports activity, had friends in it.

    If he had friends over when he was younger, they would play videos for an hour, yes I put a limit on it
    ( my house/my rules),
    and then I would take them out to play sports ( would bring tons of gear for them, and they would choose.),
    or if it was raining or bad weather, bowling or an indoor batting cage, or if it was snowing, sledding and building a fort for snowball fights. Get creative.

    In middle school, the kids all played on the middle school teams.

    My son did football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and tennis in the spring,
    and he also played on a travel team that took up a lot of time.

    (He started playing tennis twice a week here in middle school.)

    But, still the kids were organized, and we had a Saturday night basketball get together ( and parents could go out..).

    All of this being together made his grade one of the most athletic grades in the school.....
    all due to a little planning by the parents.

    He is in high school now, and playing tennis full time.

    I think it is a little lonely, not being on a team anymore.

    However, I am glad he had all those fun experiences before.

    And this is important to note, by combining the sports and friends together, they were like big playdates.

    Plus, the fun, social, athletic experiences led to a lot more healthy choices than sitting around playing videos....

    And you sound like a great dad for caring and making an effort to spend time with your son.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  16. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Lets put things into context. Roger smart mouthed his dad and his dad pushed him into a snow bank. But at the same time he was an off the charts tennis talent. At 13-14-15-16 he was dominating all comers, winning junior Wimbledon, considered the best player in his entire country. When his dad pushed him into that snow bank Roger was already a flat out freak talent, a talent with a smart mouth, but a freak talent.

    So had his dad not calmed his smart mouth, Fed might have ended up like a McEnroe....he would have still been a tennis great, just not as loved and civilized.

    Same with Nadal. When Uncle Toni was pushing him, he was beating Pat Cash at age 15. He was a world class soccer and tennis talent as a boy. No one doubted his epic ability.

    All of the top pros you say were pushed were scary freaks at age 13-17. So pushing them with tennis made some sense. Saying the pushing made them into tennis talents is taking things out of context, the talent was already evident.

    Pushing a kid who wants to go to college to forget about it when his results are nothing out of this world.....thats not so sensible. You simply can not push a kid with a ceiling of D-1 talent into being a top 5 tennis player. You can push him into getting the best possible scholarship though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  17. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Ha, we must have been separated at birth. When we lived in Sarasota we could control the lights at the tennis center. We would wait until it cooled off and hit from 10-11 pm. And my girl was 5!

    She has always been a night owl. She used to go to bed at midnight and sleep like a log until 9 am. Now she goes to bed at about 11 pm. But we home school so it is fine.

    Now we do our rallies from 8-9:30 pm.
     
  18. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Agree with all above.

    The problem with using exceptional kids as an example.. is they are the exceptions.

    If your kid is a smart ass on the court, taking away his racquets for a week,
    would probably work better than giving your kid a bloody nose.
     
  19. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Discipline is important, but there are many ways to accomplish it. I think these stories sometimes take on a life of their own. I don't think think Fed's dad made a habit of physically disciplining him this way. If he did, he would have that reputation, given the fame of his son.
     
  20. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    Pretty big difference between getting pushed into a snow bank or getting socked in the nose. First one seems harmless.
     
  21. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    I think little children should be getting 10+ hours of sleep. I think a lot of American kids are sleep deprived and parents dont know it.
     
  22. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    your daughter sleeps 10 hours from (11-9), GA kid sleeps 8 hours, plus the stress (fitting in a box and being told what to do all day) at school,

    study shows 5-10 year olds need 10-11 hours of sleep not 8.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  23. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I have a 6 year old son that plays an hour a day and we hit usually from 6 to 7 everyday.Playing late at night with my daughter gives her time to be a kid after school.Even tho she does strength training 3 days a week and basketball twice a week she still has time for girl scouts and her friends.My wife pushes her harder with school than I do with her tennis.Last year she only missed one question total on the C.R.C.T. We push hard and she responds well.Im so proud of her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE IS A BEAST!!!!!!!!! Yes I am bragging.Why wouldnt I???
     
  24. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    I agree, the evidence is on and off court when they are moody or not energetic, IMO
     
  25. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    six year old plays 5 hours a week from 6-7 with you,

    9 year old plays several times from 8-10pm ( not including privates and clinics another several hours at least) plus 3 hours of strength/fitness and two hours of BB plus,,,,,,getting pushed hard at homework another hour at least and at school, girl scouts over weekend plus possible USTA

    plus working/teaching at school from 7-3 ,

    plus cleaning the house and preparing food, doing yard work etc....

    that would be too much on my plate which would lead to stress and take a toll on my marriage, I guess everyone different. My wife will not tolerate all this, others will.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  26. BSPE84

    BSPE84 Semi-Pro

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    Yep, sleeping is when they grow... and they do everything better when they're well rested.
     
  27. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    We have been very lucky to have good sleepers. My girl has always gone to bed later but slept a solid 10 hours. Never wakes up during the night at all.

    Her best friend is the opposite. Wakes up all the time, climbs into bed with mom to get back to sleep, worst sleeper ever.
     
  28. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Thats great GA. As she enters the tough teen years it is important that she have plenty that gives her confidence.
     
  29. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    TCF if I were to do all the things that GA is doing by the time my son is in his teens I will be Burned out maybe not him.

    Here in NE we were out of everything for 9 days with no electricity, school, gas,water, food, internet, phone etc...., sort of put LIFE in perspective. Clubs businesses lost lots of revenue, kids did not sign up for clinics privates etc.......
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  30. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    You need to move down south.
     
  31. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    His entire country? how big how populated? I guess its perception on a issue like this, Roger had coaching , supportive federation , hitting partners and he had desire and talent.

    The other guy has no certified coaching in his camp , no federation of support , no regular hitting partners till just recently and his coaching is by a guy who never played tennis yet study video to teach him and in this bad situation has been living in the toughest section of the USA and has dominated each age group and been no.1 , the 10's 12's 14's and skipped the 16's and has shot to no.4 in the `18's in 7 months time before he was 15 years of age. So I guess I agree with you looking at who has done what LOL
     
  32. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    for better tennis but I could get hurricanes, tornadoes, and iffy school systems,:cry:
     
  33. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Keep pushing her and keep showing her the ceiling 'The WTA' make that your guy's goal and never settle for 2nd best until you and pushed there beyond your own doings, hey don't get me wrong college isn't a bad fall back plan at all !

    Keep it up you have a good chance ,remember most here in the USA are not willing to put it on the line ,they don't believe in themselve or their kids so you will have a path that few are wanting to try and that will make it easier from here , you just have to compete against other countrys , so go for it .
     
  34. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Yes, he has done very well so far with limited support. As inspirational as that is, all that matters in regards to pro tennis is whether a kid has that rare talent to become a top pro tennis player. The guy on the other side of the net could care less how much support someone had or whether their dad worked 10 jobs to pay for their tennis.
     
  35. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    The odds of becoming a money making pro tennis player are beyond tiny. The days of an Agassi or Williams setting out to produce a top player are long gone. Even Mike Agassi says the global competition is now so high even he would not attempt it today. He said Andre would be playing baseball if he was a boy now.

    Money making pros just happen when all the circumstances of opportunity, talent, luck, injury avoidance, and many others align. You can not will someone to become a top pro. But you can will them to the D-1 level no doubt.

    That being said, I will support my girl's quest 100%. But she will make it only if all the tennis stars align for her which is a long, long, long shot. Thats just the stone cold truth of the matter. (she will never hear that from me though!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  36. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    No argument here but what I like is if your bringing your kid up like Mike did , it's wrong it's child abuse of the mind , cause the guy was crazy and then we turn to his advice to prove our point . My question would be hhmm let me think .
     
  37. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    TCF you make your own path ,making it to the pros is mainly desire and support but mostly desire , you are the one who gives their kid the belief ,support,drive, hunger and all else that it takes.

    Response to your last paragraph .
     
  38. fitmom

    fitmom New User

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    blog for tennis parents by a tennis parent

    i've recently started a blog called ParentingAces that is all about being a tennis parent. i would love for y'all to check it out, share it with your other tennis parent friends, and comment as desired! http://parentingaces.com
     
  39. petepoyry

    petepoyry New User

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    Thanks to you all for your supportive comments

    Major dilemma here is that I´ve heard enough stories like the one told recently by a former athlete who totally dominated his sport for many years, breaking numerous world records, winning dozens of medals etc.

    His dad´s story goes that he had decided when the boy was probably 3 or 4 that one day my son is going to be number one in this sport. In which he himself had no serious backround whatsoever. He started his journey collecting all the material (videotapes, books) ever published...

    He, the athlete told me that during his early childhood it never ever even crossed his mind that it would be an option to skip training. He had practised since he was 4 and he just knew there were no option without even thinking about it (he actually said he don´t remember ever even thinking about it).

    When other kids went playing together after school, he started his daily 3 hours evening training (second of the day). It was completely normal for him.

    He thinks that without his dad´s influence, persuation, pushing or whatever he probably would have just been reading comic books at home after school with friends.

    But he thinks his dad did a right thing after seeing that he has athletic potential at the age of 4.

    Before age 10 he´d realized that other kids were not like him. They were having fun after school but the influence of his father was so strong that even jealously was not an option. Doing something else than practising was so out of reach.

    What was it like, from age 4 to 10, six years, spending 6 hours a day 6 days a week doing something your father had planned? (long repetitive practises, dull IMO compared to great games like tennis). He says it was not fun at all, but not horrible either. It was kind of emotionless, like a routine, just a normal way for him spending his early mornings and afternoons. Something done because it just was meant to be done (which reminds me of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g66pGnbdp4 (read the text..."is tennis for you a game or...?)

    Before age 14 he´d realized that all those hours of training had been done just because of his old man´s "vision", own need to succeed, not because of his own choice of any kind. But at the same time he realized that he was already one of the best of the world at his age and there was a real possibility to succeed if practising hard another 5 to 7 years.

    Which he then decided to do. And that was his first choice (he said that without that realistic possibility to reach the top he´d quit training for sure).

    Have to be said that it was endurance sport so future success perhaps easier to predict compared to tennis.


    I´ve started hitting also with my 3 years old now. After he insisted. He claims to be Nadal (with an orange shirt), and I´m Fedelel (with white shirt), and I´m losing him (well not him, "Nadal") all the time. After a good shot he always remember to to say he won. Me. He won another medal. Him, not me. He win trophies with those power backhands. Not me.

    I´ve never seen a kid who´s so competitive. Which would make him a good candidate. He´s so damn fast with his feet also...

    It´s annoying. He´s annoying. In a way I do not like that idea at all. Maybe I actually hate competitive sport? Isn´t that just the most childish form of communicating with each other? Me me me me...

    I´ve been thinking for some time now that maybe I should try another path if my kids continue like hitting those yellow balls.

    ...maybe I coach them to become the best (!) tennis players they could possibly be, without ever attending any official competition whatsoever.

    So in 2025 there would be a rumor "there´s a guy living at this mountain..."
     
  40. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I think desire and support can get a reasonably talented kid to the fringes, lets say a 300-500th ranked guy or a 150-300th ranked WTA player. Peaking at this level a player might have been better off taking a college scholarship.

    But the only ones who truly make money are top 75-85 ranked players. And the top 5 or so are super stars.

    Getting to the money making level goes beyond desire and support. Its mental and physical talent, injury avoidance, etc. You have several hundred players with equal desire and support, the ones who break through have even more than that. No one can really predict who those kids are, but by 15-16 they better be spanking almost all comers in juniors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  41. BMC9670

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    We've all heard these stories before and we only hear about the successful ones and rarely the ones who don't make it - which is no doubt many more as only a handful can be truly great. If a child shows crazy athletic potential at a young age, I'm all for developing it and encouraging them to follow their strengths and so on, but not to the point of a singular focus, a singular professional goal, etc from birth. I believe it is every person's right to make their own choices in life, not have them made for them. A parent's job is to set them up to have as many choices as possible, not one and done. That's just my opinion.
     
  42. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Roddick says half jokingly says about Isner "you can't teach 6'9". It's true, just like you can't teach some of the innate abilities of the greats no matter how many hours/years you put in with any coach. I think one can get very far with desire, patience, persistence, and guidance, but there is something special that sets the greats apart in any sport.
     
  43. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    You and TCF sing the same new song "New American Thinking " heres the chorus "I am and American it can't be done I am and American it can't be done"! It is really sad we have come to believe this as a nation.

    What sets the great ones apart is the ""desire, patience, persistence, and guidance"" please educate yourself go watch "Beyond the Glory" on ESPN they all had one thing in common, ""desire, patience, persistence, and guidance""
     
  44. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    I see where some of the posters on this Board are home schooling their kids.
    In my humble opinion that is a huge mistake. It is a virtual certainty that none of our kids will make it on the pro tour. I put 3 kids through college and they were also top junior players. They befriended and competed against home schooled kids on the court and in the college classroom. My kids' high school was tough academically. They often studied 3 or 4 hours a night and missed tournaments and practices. There is no way any home school or distance learning program is adequate educationally. Those programs are clearly second rate. They do not adequate educate or prepare students for college. Yes, your home schooled kid may get a college scholarship.They may get into a prestige college. However, they are missing the critical years in developing their thinking and analytical skills. The mental development they lose with home schooling can never be regained.
     
  45. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    When you say "almost all" comers that come along please explain ? Just want to get a clear position on what you believe , cause it was D2 now its maybe D1 when he wins the Zoo next year then what will be the position and criteria ?
     
  46. mojojojo

    mojojojo Rookie

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    ........................
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  47. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,450

    In my confident and humble opinion you are a very ignorant person when it comes to homeschooling and have not done your homework , but thats OK , those that home school beat out everybody when it come to academics , also they are usually the top 8 out of 10 at every national spelling bee .

    My thought is how stupid is a parent who puts their kids in these scum holes we call school were the social is plagued with drugs ,teenage s*x, drinking ,disrespect for the teachers and their fellow peers, Oh I forgot the violence , shall I go on ?
     
  48. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    I agree with you 10000%!!!!!

    That was one of the worst posts that I have ever read on this forum. I did a TON of research on home schooling before undertaking it and he could not be any more wrong.
     
  49. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
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    4,338
    A website called Tennis Cruz once dissected the top 100 ATP players. If I remember correctly, 93 of them were ranked top 5 ITF at some point as juniors, or they had won a junior slam, or they had won an Orange Bowl or were ranked top 3 national 18s. So to answer your question, your student should be aiming for one of these accomplishments in the next year or 2.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  50. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
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    ........................
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

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