starting USTA junior tournaments question

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by arche3, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    a question for coaches and junior parents,

    My 10 year old son will be eleven soon. He is a pretty decent player. He expressed interest in playing juniour tournaments because a couple of his friends compete. My son is competitive with them if not better in practice and fun matches. His friends drive all lover to tourneys. He will be 11 in a couple months so he can play 12 and under soon. What is the advantages of starting 12 and under as soon as he turns 11? Or should I wait till he gets to 12? And really focus on a lot of practice when he is 11,12,13 so he can really compete for the 14U age groups? I think he can be a college player as I was but I don't want to kill him with tennis as I don't have any pro tennis ideas for him even though he beats up on the kids around us. As well he is a very good football player even at his young age and dreams of playing in the NFL.

    I don't really see the value of traveling for tennis tourneys at this age unless there is some very big pluses.

    thanks for any thoughts.
     
    #1
  2. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    He should play some tournaments. Driving or not prob is your choice and if lots of good competition around, you might not need to. Boys and girls this age still are developing their skills and game.
    Playing tournament is different than practice matches because of MENTAL aspect of tennis. I saw many boys and girls who beat players X, Y, Z in practices can't in tourn matches. Play some tourns at this age. Don't overdo it. You both will be happy and not burn out.
     
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  3. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    yeah. The only reason I see is the mental aspect. Match toughness. I think I just need to manage expectations as he improves and keep him motivated to play.
     
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  4. Love10s

    Love10s New User

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    Yes, the mental aspect is huge. It sounds like your son has played other sports, so that will help him. But there's nothing quite like the performance pressure in an individual sport like tennis.

    And by the way, there's nothing quite like watching your own kid perform in a tennis tournament, so it will be good for you to get used to this process as well :) One mom turned to me once, after watching her 12-year-old son eek out a long, tension-filled match tiebreak, and said, "That was harder than childbirth!"

    On another note: Lessons learned from tournament matches--win or lose--are just invaluable experience to help in his development. He'll get to play kids with all different styles: slicer-dicers, counterpunchers, power hitters, all-around players, etc.

    Things make so much more sense to kids after they've seen it in a tournament. "Remember how Bobby kept drop-shotting you?" Stuff like that. Yes, you can do it in a practice, but a tournament is just different.

    Definitely don't overdo the tournaments at this point, but do start playing them. I think it's easier for kids if they get used to tournament play/pressure at a younger age, as opposed to starting as teenagers, when they feel more self-conscious.

    Good luck!
     
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