Sports psychologists for juniors?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by momtogrif, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. momtogrif

    momtogrif Rookie

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    My husband and I were joking that we should hire a sports psychologist for our son. At first I thought it was a bad idea, but I'm thinking that it might be just the right thing for him, although I don't know much about the profession and if there is anyone in the Phoenix area worth the money. My son was very frustrated with himself after a tournament this weekend. He says he kept playing too safe because he was nervous and if he tried to 'go for it', he would over hit and hit the balls long. So, he chose to keep the ball in play and took 50% pace off his shots and got his rear handed to him in the process. He had 2 matches go to a 3rd set and he lost both of them. He says he doesn't know how to calm his nerves and he says that he gets more frustrated with himself as the match moves on. He says he doesn't understand why after a year of playing tournaments that he still gets so nervous and plays like a 'pusher'(his words, not mine). So, I was also wondering if there are any techniques or phrases I could use with him to coach him? Books? Or, is a sports psychologist really a good idea sometimes???
     
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  2. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Perhaps try the book approach first. Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert and an older book called The Inner Game of Tennis by Tim Gallwey would be good places to start.
     
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  3. momtogrif

    momtogrif Rookie

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    We have the Brad Gilbert book. I've highlighted parts of it for ds to read. He reads it but can't seem to apply it(his words again). I have to remember that he's only 11, right?LOL! I think my big issue with him is that he's not as competitive as some of the kids out there. Last weekend I was told by a tennis parent from CA that the courts would eat my kid alive and that it will kill his spirit. She said (while my son was playing her son) that my kid is too nice and that he's not mean and tough enough to compete with some of those CA kids. Yet, she also said that because he's so nice that he will disarm his opponents and may take a bit of their edge off.
    She's right to some degree. My kid will go out there to try and make a friend. He refuses to see an enemy on the other side of the court and so he disarms the more aggressive players. I can't ask my kid to change his personality, right? I would love to find a way to help him make his personality work with him and for him on court. He LOVES playing tennis and he loves tournaments. Yet, he doesn't seem to LOVE playing to win. Don't get me wrong: he loves to win, but he just doesn't have that competitive "I'm going to beat the crap out of my opponent" presence to him. And, because of his personality I wonder if he ever will?
     
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  4. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Personally, and this is just me, I like that your kid has the nice guy mentality. I mean it will get him far in life, I think he just needs a little pep talk about getting what he deserves, you know?
     
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  5. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Could be. Everyone can use all the help they can get. If one buys into a long term athletic development model and accept tennis as being a late specialization sport, an 11yo boy would be completing the "learning to train" stage and preparing to enter the "training to train" stage. "Learning to compete" comes in a couple years.

    In my opinion, sanctioned competition is the best training one can get. I remember times learning (and retaining) more in one competition than in a week of regular training. But for an 11yo, an overemphasis on outcome at the expense of skill development may be counterproductive in the long run.

    With the whole family on the same page, there is a lot less personal frustration and the ability to identify and achieve specific performance goals in all activities.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
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  6. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Tennis is a game. To pathologize it because you grotesquely characterize him as getting "his rear handed to him" is disturbing and you need to reassess your values as to what is important in life. (A reasonably sensitive parent would have noted that "he lost, it's not the end of the world.") If he has problems with confidence or assertion that extend into other areas of life (friends, school....) a psychologist is a reasonable idea. If not, YOU need to accept that tennis is a game.
     
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  7. amtennis

    amtennis Banned

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    What you have stated here doesn't appear that he needs a psychologist at all! That seems so overkill to me. Better money spent would be on better coaching or a good academy where he can get good match play. His lack of confidence in his game is from too many errors. Have a good coach look at his technique and strokes. Also - he (and the parents) need to be patient.
    It could take a couple of years before he's fully comfortable in tournaments.
    The practice matches will help also.
     
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  8. notennis

    notennis Rookie

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    This would be a case where mommy and daddy need the Psychologist as it is very easy to read between the lines as to what is going on in this situation. If the kid lacks confidence it is because of the way he has been brought along. Time to reaavaluate yourselvs..........
     
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  9. tenniscrazed

    tenniscrazed Guest

    Actually a MFT is likely the best. The best coaches in the world understand that they are not just coaching the child.
     
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  10. dirkpitt38

    dirkpitt38 New User

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    My 10 year old son has been going to a sport psychologist for about 4 months now and I have seen a big difference on and off the tennis court. His issue has always been every point is life or death. Losing a game should not mean you do not win another game for another 8 games, becuase you can't get over one game. He also has issues if someone constantly questions his calls. A ball that is 2 feet out is out. It has also helped me in my tennis game. It is very expensive but I am hopeful it will help him in tennis and other aspects of his life.


     
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  11. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    I believe a fellow who does that just won the French Open.
     
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  12. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Actually that is not the way Nadal plays. Nadal goes after every point with all his energy, that is true. But that is 100% different than mentally obsessing over every lost point and letting it effect your game which is what the poster said his child does.

    Nadal, like all top players, almost always forgets the last point and moves on.

    Huge difference than what that poster was saying his kid does.
     
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  13. Valetennis

    Valetennis New User

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    Consider the book Vision Tennis by Michael Zosel. Keeps mental training in a story format. I think even at 11 your son will find the players recognizable! General Sport Psychology information that might help would be under Richard Suinn, Seven Steps to peak Performance. Geared to all athletes, Dr. Suinn was the head os Sport Psychology for US Olympic committee. If those don't work, maybe a few visits or consultations with either a specific Sport Psychologist or a practitioner who teaches performance anxiety management. The quality of the folks who call themselves Sport Psychologists varies widely..ASK for their qualifications!
     
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  14. notennis

    notennis Rookie

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    Very true.........And I'm sure without a question of a doubt Uncle Tony was not seeking a sports Physcologist at age 11 for Rafa when young Rafa lost matches or points for that matter. Like I said before, based on the body of what was posted it is the parents who need the schrink....Oh, BTW I'm of the opinion that at 11 years old maybe inspiring them with a great film or movie with gladiators, etc. would be a good start. I'm afraid some of the books mentioned on here could be difficult to roll out to an 11 year old too fully understand. Again, parents need to look in the mirror first and foremost...
     
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  15. Valetennis

    Valetennis New User

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    A Sports Psychologist rarely engages in what would fall under the "shrink" category. Rather they might work with a player on energy management, emotional control, visualization, positive self statements, and other techniques that have little to do with the typical perception of how Psychologists operate.

    I also an wondering how the jump was made that the parents need to see a Psychologist. I read the post as genuine concern for how their child could compete better. To ask for opinions, from this august group, if Sport Psychology might help does not indicate a pathological state to me. If I say I got my rear end handed to me does that make me pathological with regard to myself? Wow, quite a leap folks.

    To me, mom's request is no more indicating an overbearing parent then one who might ask: "My kid can't get their second serve in. Do you think a pro might be able to teach them how to hit a better second serve?"

    Did Nadal need a Sport Psychologist? I don't know, I'll bet that Spanish federation had them available! Maybe the local teaching pro can teach competition skills just fine, maybe just more competition (tough it out approach) will work, maybe consulting with a specialist will help. I think mom's requests for direction are very appropriate.
     
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  16. notennis

    notennis Rookie

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    My perception of the post (get my rear end handed to me) and than following up with "we don't say this to him", etc. Is a clear indication the parents most likely could have been at fault from up bringing (coddeling). Now they want there kid to be a tiger and raised a lamb. Anyway, you interpret what you want, thats fine. It sounds to me like you are a spoon feeder as well based on your over educated philosophies which quite frankly sound weird...

    The answere to the question of "how can we have him compete better" would most likely fall in the category of starting from scratch and the parents not being involved which is next to impossible........
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I wish I could afford one of those life coaches.
     
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  18. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    A life coach could have done me a lot of good 20-30 years ago, but I'm afraid it's too late for me now.

    Do you think a life coach could help the OP? Do they cost more or less than a sports psych?
     
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  19. EP1998

    EP1998 Semi-Pro

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    Cant believe how much people are attacking the OP. Well I guess I can. Anyway....

    Lots of good posts in this thread amongst the attacking posts. I think many players overlook the mental aspect of the game and dont realize you have to train this just like everything else. Finding someone to help with that isnt any different than finding someone to teach a service motion. And just like the physical and tactical, some kids have it easier with the mental.

    I've been to a sports psychologist. It helped me a great deal. It is really just another member of a support team and if you have the resouces, I would highly consider it. You can always send your son to an academy for a couple of weeks that offers counseling as an option, then you mix it in with the tennis. He just needs more experience playing and maybe to learn some different tools to cope with what happens on the court both internally and externally.

    Something else he can do is start a journal. There he can keep track of practices, match analysis, training sessions, weight room work, feelings etc. It can be helpful to review it and see your progress and also fun to look back on later. I had sections to keep clippings from tennis and fitness magazines too. My "mental" section was the biggest - probably five or ten times as large as the section on "forehands." For me the strokes came easily, keeping it together on court was another matter.
     
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  20. Valetennis

    Valetennis New User

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    Should be less, the trick will to be to find someone who first knows what skills will help and can teach skills that work in a competitive setting. Having a tennis background shouldn't be mandatory but would certainly help.

    A friend of mine is a life coach who can teach these skills quite well and does. He also competed on the ATP tour, so he knows the competition part of it. He actually gets more "touchy feely" than most Sport Psychs I know. He is nowhere near the OP.
     
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  21. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Chapter 11 of Bollettieri's Tennis Handbook has a lot of good info regarding age appropriate guidelines for athletic development. But when he disses the American and Canadian models ( circa 1995), it's not clear to me whether he's dissing himself or saying he's different.
     
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  22. momtogrif

    momtogrif Rookie

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    Ok, I have debated on whether I should bother to respond to you but since you have chosen to personally attack my parenting when all I wanted was an answer to a question, I'll explain. I didn't ask you to critique or criticize my parenting.

    My son was born with a lack of oxygen to his brain as he got stuck coming into this world and it was too late for a c-section. I nearly died giving birth and he suffered some neurological conditions due to that situation. We have run the gamut of doctors, counselors, naturopaths, specialists, neurologists, etc. I am so blessed to have a healthy and physically capable young man on my hands. We have not coddled him, we do not pander to him, but we do have to protect him because of his anxiety disorders and because we are his parents and that's our job. Tennis has been a saving grace for my son. It has given him confidence and many of his anxiety issues have disappeared since he started competing.
    All I asked for was: is a sports psychologist a good idea or are there any book recommendations. Yes, I did state that he 'got his rear handed to him' but those were his words and he sometimes gets very distressed when he loses to someone 6-0, 6-0 when he knows he could have gotten more games off the kid because they've practiced together before. It comes down to his nerves on court and to the expectations he places on himself. I'm usually just happy that he's competing. You have no idea what we've been through as a family.

    As an aside: When he was playing at the Quiksilver tournament(which was a great tournament for him, he won his first round, got thrown into consolations and won his first round in a 3 set match) a man from a relatively new clothing company was watching his match. He told me that he's never seen a kid who is so polite, behaved, and well-mannered on court. He gave me some paperwork for a sponsorship program that they have for kids. It's based on rankings and performance at tournaments and the better the kids do, the better the discount on their packages. Yesterday, my son got an email that they've accepted him into their program and sent him a contract. Now, I know that this really isn't that big of a deal. It's just a discount on clothing but to him it was HUGE. He was recognized for his good behavior and invited to participate in a discount program. He's only been playing in national tournaments since January of this year. Next time I post questions on this board I'll be sure to give our life's history so that I can't be condemned and criticized, thanks.
     
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  23. milesm

    milesm New User

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    Try Craig Manning

    Craig is a former tennis player and college coach and has a PhD in sports psychology. He has his own consulting business now and works with athletes at Brigham Young and around the country. He has worked with my kids and I have learned a lot from him.

    http://visualizeone.com/

    Good luck.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have heard of only a few people who can afford them. High-level executives (either on their own money or paid by the company as a developmental expense), small-business owners, sports stars, movie actors, and the like. Life coaches are involved in every aspect of your life and so cost a lot. They are not once-a-week psychiatrists.

    I like the idea, but I could never afford it. Look at it this way. In most cases, if you want to learn tennis, you don't get that knowledge from your parents, friends, or relatives. Same for your profession. I am not including some exceptions, like sons of tennis players. Yet when it comes to life, all you really got is your network, plus some TV and movies and books, and religious guidance. Much of that may be dysfunctional and biased, based on individual opinions, not your happiness. Parents are the first coaches, but they can only do their best given their limitations, economy etc and are again only one viewpoint.

    So who is really coaching you about your life? Anyone at all?

    Yet that is more important that tennis or your profession.
     
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  25. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Very true mom. Whether the question is about homeschooling or tennis academies or anything, we have posters who give judgments rather than answering the questions.

    Thankfully if you go through this thread there are some posts that just give helpful books or Drs. names.
     
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  26. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    how much do you push him? i know at a young age i was pushed hard(baseball and soccer) i always felt like if i didnt do well i would let everyone down.
    even with me playing tennis for 2 years i feel nervous in matches and dont go all out. and as the match goes on i get more and more upset im 17 btw.
    i also think that an 11 year old doesnt need a psychologist because it will put more pressure on him to do good. like hey mommy and daddy are paying a lot of money to make me better so if i hit balls out or in the net they will be upset

    you need to tell him that no matter what he should try his best and that if he messes up big whoop. do what it takes to have fun, by having fun you get better.. and after a loss dont go to the courts the next day to work on things. ONLY if he wants to. thats what i hated most, after an 0-3 day going out to batting practice.

    this is what i think coming from a former youth athlete. and i remember it well since it wasnt that long ago.
     
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  27. notennis

    notennis Rookie

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    Questionable advice. All those reasons will be why this youngster does (not) succeed.
     
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  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I did not get into tennis until I was 14 years old and did not play tournaments until I was almost 15. The exact same thing would happen to me as happened to your son. I'd play great practice matches with my buddies and then I'd enter the tournament and be so nervous that I'd turn into a pusher.

    I probably played 20 tournaments before it finally changed. I had just lost to a seed 0 and 0 with my pushing scared style and was in a consolation round. My pushing ways had finally broken me. I was so sick of losing like that I said I'm hitting everything just like I do in practice no matter what. I'm just going to go for it. That match I played great, yet still lost. But it was not a loss at all because I have never let nerves get the best of me since then.

    Here are my 3 cents:

    1. He'll eventually play enough that it will just go away. You get more comfortable each tournament you play so let him play them a lot.

    2. The goal of playing the tournament is not about winning or losing. The goal is to play like you practice.

    3. Wait a few years before you consider a sports psychologist.
     
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  29. heartman

    heartman Rookie

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    Let your kid develop his commitment to the concept of competition at this time. He can play tennis for fun, take private lessons, and learn match strategy without worrying about whether a sports psychologist is needed. Losses are just as important as wins at this point in time. Both are valuable outcomes - both can provide opportunity for personal growth and maturation, on his terms.

    Let him be a kid - reading your post makes me think he's an early teen, at best - make sure he's fundamentally sound, and let him be a kid. The mental toughness he develops will be due to his commitment and dedication to tennis and the thrill of competition, not to his mom & dad.

    Back off, Barbie.
     
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  30. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    You are way out of line with your last sentence.
     
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  31. papatenis

    papatenis Semi-Pro

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    Mom,

    I've been there, hard not to get caught up in your childs tournament matches. Usually after a long day of watching my kids tournament matches, I think I'm more physically and mentally tired then they are.

    Best advice, spend the money on your childs strokes, mental lessons came help when they are older.

    Heartman, I hope you were not serious with your "back off Barbie" comment.
     
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  32. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Back off, Rookie poster.
     
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  33. trojankid

    trojankid Banned

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    You are and Idiot , Im sorry i should not call you that forgive for being honest.
     
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  34. heartman

    heartman Rookie

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    Raw nerve then...exactly why was my last sentence out of line? Are you telling me I'm wrong, or implying that I'm just narrow-minded? God knows a tennis pro needs the parents to pay the bills from instruction...

    This oughta' be good...

    And to the original poster, just how old is this kid?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
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  35. momtogrif

    momtogrif Rookie

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    HAHA! I actually laughed at the Barbie comment. Quite frankly, I'll take that as a compliment. I have the blonde hair and height but I'd love to have her figure, LOL!
    Seriously, my son is almost 12. And, if you read the whole thread and see a post further down you'll know why I was asking about a sports psych. I'm not trying to go overboard, I want to do what's best for a child with neurological issues. If I thought it was such a wonderful idea I would have signed him up with someone already, all I wanted was opinions about it and if anyone found it to be helpful with their own children. At least some folks on here have given me an honest answer and their own experiences, too.
     
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  36. heartman

    heartman Rookie

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    Well, there you go then. Let's hope he's still enjoying tennis in 5 years, and that his neurological issues have come under control - maybe even fade away.

    Ahhh, perspective, the never-ending accountability factor.
     
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  37. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Momtogrif: Here is some advice on the mental aspects of tennis. A lot of parents and coaches talk about how winning is not that important at a certain age, that we should focus on development and winning will come later as a result of development.

    The problem is that most kids have no particular goal besides winning when they step on the court. AFTER the match, parents will often say that it does not matter that they lost, but BEFORE the match the kid has been given no clear goal.

    At your son's age, I was giving my youngest son ONE goal per match, or even per tournament. For example, after a frustrating point, he was to go to the back fence, turn his back on the court, take a couple of slow, deep breaths, tell himself honestly "That was a frustrating point," and then tell himself that the point is over and it is time to focus on the next point.

    Before the tournament, I would emphasize how important it was to learn this, and I would tell him that if he actually did this, then the tournament was a success. And I MEANT it. When he came off the court after a win, I did not congratulate him about the win, which sends the message that all that talk about how winning was not the most important thing is a bunch of nonsense. After all, if it is the first thing the parents talk about, then it is the most important thing! Instead, I would calmly ask him whether he used the new mental technique. The answer was usually along the lines of, "Most of the time, but not always. Sometimes I let the previous point get to me." Then I would say that it takes time, but I would point out that he was already seeing the benefits.

    What I emphasized to my son was that you build your tennis game one piece at a time, and there are a couple hundred pieces. His coach was working on lots of pieces called technique, and I was going to work with him on some mental pieces (and so did his coach). If he mastered one technique, we would go on to the next one. For example, when he mastered letting the previous point go, then there was the mental emphasis on not rushing his second serve, because impatience and rushing was leading to a lot of double faults. When that piece was mastered, it was on to the next item.

    You would be amazed what about 2-3 mental improvement will do for his enjoyment of the game, and his results will follow as a side effect. You can also move on to pure technique goals, like your goal for the whole tournament is to practice a certain stroke or stroke pattern.

    The basic problem is that coaches and parents say that development is more important than winning, but the first question or comment after a match or tournament is always about the results. In the education world this is called "the hidden curriculum," the actual things that kids are picking up on and learning even though they are not part of the official curriculum.

    If a kid steps on the court and the goal is not winning, then what is it? If the kid cannot answer, then the hidden message is that winning is the thing. When you ask your kid what would make this next tournament a success, and he has no answer besides winning a certain number of matches, then he will not overcome the mental hurdles at age 11.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
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  38. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Thank you for one of the best and most valuable posts that I have ever read. Amazing post sir.
     
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  39. Don't Let It Bounce

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    Well done, well done, well done. I am confident that your approach will benefit your son throughout his life to a degree and in ways that dwarf even what it does for his tennis.
     
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  40. heartman

    heartman Rookie

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    And the question we present after the match becomes paramount to on-court performance, personal growth and discovery - "How do you feel you played today?". The issue of winning/losing is part of the equation, but assessment of preparation technique/activity is best addressed through players opinion, and coaches critique. Simple discussion relative to goals established prior to contest should be as objective as possible - subjectivity can lead one into the emotional component, which may not be the best place due to the players age.
     
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  41. T-ennis 888

    T-ennis 888 Rookie

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    If you don't mind me saying you almost seem to be excessively worrying about your son being a nice guy. Looking back I remember this guy who played and won a few titles in the 90s...I think his name was Sampras :). He was a genuinely nice guy. More recently another nice guy called Federer has been pretty much the most successful player of the last 10 years and he will likely finish his career as the most distinguished player of all time. The current FO champion, who will eventually (if not now) wear Federer's mantle as the world's top player is also a nice guy. What distinguished these guys them from their peers was their will to win and mental toughness and it was ancillary to their being nice individuals.

    I can speak from personal experience when I say that the will and ability of your son to win (at anything and not just tennis) are very separate from the side of his personality that makes him a nice young man. Don't try and change that side of him as its a quality that will serve him well throughout his life and not just 10-15 years if he makes it to be a professional player. Rather work on developing his mental fortitude and will to win on while he is on court. He'll thank you for it in the long run!

    On a side note, I genuinely wish your son (and your family while supporting him on the way) all the luck in the universe during his career - may he be very successful.
     
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  42. momtogrif

    momtogrif Rookie

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    I second the thank you! I truly appreciate the perspective and suggestions. And many of the other points that were brought up afterwards. It's true: we(coaches and parents) tell them that they need to work on technique and that they just play their best, but in the end we look at the result at the end of the tournament. Mental toughness can be taught, I do believe that to some degree but it takes practice. The suggestions along this thread have been very helpful.
     
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  43. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

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    My son saw a sports psychologist on many occasions...it seems what they tell the kids, although it may be the same information we try to give them as a parent, seems to sink in better coming from someone else.

    Also, take a look at http://mentalemotionaltennisworkshops.com/, you should sign up for his e-mail newsletter.

    Frank worked with my son for years and he is awesome!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
    #43
  44. flat

    flat Rookie

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    ClarkC's point is amazing. It connected some dots for me, I now understands better what need to be done next.

    I knew about the over emphasis on winning, but had no way to overcome it. Imagine you bring your kid home/see friends/call grandparetns after a match, what is the 1st question they always ask? Before you start criticizing, imagine you didn't go to see the match, what is the first question you ask your kid/spouse when they call you to tell you what happened?

    I tried so hard to not ask about the result, but that lasted only like 3 matches...just too hard to not ask. I need to focus on another goal, and remove the hidden agenda.
     
    #44
  45. dirkpitt38

    dirkpitt38 New User

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    Just wanted to follow up on my experience with a sports psycologist after this past weekend. My son played his first tournamnet since Feb and had 3 good matches. Lost in the 1st round but in almost all the games he was up 30-love but just could not finish, started plaing very conservative when up. Kept a positive attidude, took his time between points, kept his racket when not playing in his left hand, and did a lot of breathing excercises. This is what the pyscologist wanted him to do. 2nd match he won was very focus and played a lot better. 3rd match he lost but it was a real test for him. The other kid was a moonballer and rallies were long. One I actually counted 43 hits. My son has always struggled aganist this type of play and I only saw him really lose it mentally for 1 game.So over all a very positive sign. Only thing I can say is I wished my son was a little bit more focused when getting to a tournamnet. Seems he always goes in with a smile and wants to joke around with his opponent before the match. I kind of feel sorry for him because I can see a lot of his opponents are there to play not socialize.
     
    #45
  46. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I have reread his post a few times. An all time great post.
     
    #46
  47. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    At the age of 11 or 12, it may be a little early for this, but as he gets into his early teens I think you should get him to a gym & begin a strength training program. Ask your kid's pro for a referral to a gym and/or trainer. Personally, I prefer spending 20 bucks a month on a gym member ship than 100 bucks an hour on a shrink.

    Kids naturally develop self-confidence from a strong body as they will subconciously know that their potential has been physically raised. After 3 or 4 months of strength training, the body will start to do things that it wasn't physically able to previously. That's an empowering event in a person's growth.

    And if that doesn't help, the worst thing that will happen is he gets a better looking body when he's 14.
     
    #47
  48. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    An 11 yo can certainly start training several times a week with body weight and medicine ball movements. Flexibility/mobility enhancing movements are also timely and helpful. Regular gym visits are a good habit to develop.
     
    #48
  49. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    True Mike53...bodyweight excercises should be started in the early stages of development to help with coordination and balance. A kid should be able to do proper push ups and sit ups by the age of 6.

    Gymnastics between the age of 3-5 will benefit a kid greatly as they start to play other sports more seriously. Soccer is also great for footwork.

    I was more referring to intensive weight training...dead lifts, cleans, jerks, etc. I wouldn't want a kid before middle school doing this type of core work...or anything with dumbells & barbells really. However, by 14 this should be the type of workouts an athlete should be able to perform with proper technique.
     
    #49
  50. momtogrif

    momtogrif Rookie

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    Good points. I used to be an aerobics instructor and taught yoga for 4 years. I took classes in kinesiology for those certifications and I know the basics of strength training. Unfortunately, ds won't listen to ME(I'm mom, what do I know?). I did have him get with a personal trainer at the PT place down the street and I liked his program. He works with kids a lot and can design a plan for my kid that tailors to his sport. They did slides on a board to work on side to side balance and strength. He did core work with a medicine ball, he did shoulder and arm work with light weights, and LOTS of footwork drills. Ds was sore for 2 days after an hour with this guy. I just haven't committed to it because of the cost. Many of the exercises I could have him do at home since I have the equipment. I just don't have the time on my own to make him a plan. If he asks for it someday, I'd definitely find the time, though.
    Also, I'm thinking of putting him in swim lessons at our club. His strokes are unbalanced and I thought that some good swim instruction and then some time in the pool mastering those strokes will do a lot for him for his arm strength. And, our neighbors kids are taking a boxing class and really enjoy it so I thought boxing might be good cross training for him, too.
     
    #50

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