tennis is getting soft..

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by SoCal10s, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. SoCal10s

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    #1
  2. ClarkC

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    There's a ringing endorsement of QuickStart/Ten-and-Under-Tennis/whatchamacallit.
     
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  3. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    "He came off the court with a sore shoulder, his hand was callused, he has never had to work so hard," said Donna McKennon, Max's mother, after her son lost a two-hour, 45-minute match. "If Max continues to play with those balls, he'll need shoulder surgery."

    This person is an idiot.
     
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  4. dbordel

    dbordel New User

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    I thought the same thing. I also though about how many will walk away from reading that statement thinking there is truth to it.
     
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  5. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Guess Max should learn to construct points......not just crush!

    Kids get less impact from cushy balls....,not hard balls....common sense!
     
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  6. ClarkC

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    You also get sore from playing a match for 2 hours and 45 minutes at an early age, I suppose. You also decide that the sport is pretty tedious after an experience like that. We are hearing lots of reports like this from people who have been to the new tournaments.

    By the way, is there any evidence that coaches are training 8 year old players on how to construct points in the USA? Is the USTA providing coach training that emphasizes this? Furthermore, should an 8 year old be perfecting strokes and worry about point construction later? How did the great champions do it? How early did they focus on point construction tactics?
     
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  7. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

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    I'm with you, Clark C.

    I'm sure there are people out there who are in favor of it...but we haven't met any. To be clear, the greatest pushback seems to come from coaches and parents who resent the MANDATE.

    For this and a variety of unpleasant experiences, we're thinking about morphing into HIGH-TECH SPORTS. Would love any thoughts, contacts, etc, but please remember to be kind. THANK YOU for your support!
     
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  8. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    I think it is different for all kids. My older son was not ready to construct points or perfect his strokes at 8. That is why we waited until he was 9 to start playing tennis. My younger son was ready to go at 7. Now at 9 he is 5ft tall and 90lbs. Kids do things at different ages. Just because one toddler walks at 9 month and another walks at 12 months it does not make one more likely to be in the Olympics.
     
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  9. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Having to play a 2 hr match would give anyone sore, low or normal pressure balls. Many 10u kids played up in 12U matches last year tournaments using yellow balls were 2 hour matches too. Cushy ball hitting 2 hr still would be less impact than real ball.
    I'd like to remain unidentifiable on this site but I will share my experience with you. My youngest child was in a pilot program with several other kids and their coach used QS and progressive balls before USTA started recommending it for 10 and under. Yes, the coach taught them strokes, and strategies even when they were 8 or 9. My kid learned groundstrokes, volley, lob, slices, dropshots using QS balls. In fact the 2 colored balls help you see your spinning balls better, easier to learn topspin. He taught angle shots, pushing, chip and charge etc to the group. My youngest child was taught with yellow balls before QS. IMO young kids can learn strokes, ball control, strategies faster using QS balls.
    My comment on "Max" implied that if he would have more control, placement, manipulating spins, points could be shorter. My child played some QS tourns then went to regular ball tourns. That was a few yrs ago before mandatory. Transition was a little hard but managable. Kids from the group now play at state, sectional and national tourns and doing fine. Of course, I cannot comment on the Belgians, Henin, Cleijster's experience.
    QS is not that bad but I don't know that mandatory with no options except playing up is right either. If QS was designed to help kid learn technique, tactics faster with less impact of regular balls then..... the usta might push some younger kids to play up too soon ( more impact on their bodies to rally against 14 U), because there is no regular ball tourn for U12s now.
     
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  10. Soianka

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    Yes, this is true. That's a reeaallly long match for a 9 year old.

    Maybe the scoring needs to be adjusted for the younger kids to avoid such long matches.

    There probably needs to be some coach training involved with the mandatory ball switch so all kids can benefit from the above type of training.
     
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  11. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

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    From what I see I understand where that lady is coming from on the shoulder issues. When I see the kids play with the soft balls they have to swing like maniacs and even when they construct points the courts are small and the rallies go on forever. So yes the impact may be less than the normal balls softer balls. So she may have a point if the kids are swinging as hard as they can for 3 hours that may not be good for little kids shoulders and may be worse than swinging slower with yellow balls. I think a sports doctor would need to look at it and see what they think. 10ismom is talking about practices and yes kids can learn different strokes with the slower balls but when you put them into a match they are going to rely on just hitting back and forth. It is easy to teach an 8 year old all those volleys and angles and stuff in practice but get in a match on a small quickstart court and the rallies last forever no matter what the coach showed them in practice.
     
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  12. tennis5

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    I have seen little kids rally for hours in a 10 and under match with moonballs.

    Is it bad on a little one's body to have that kind of long match. Yes.

    Maybe, the little kids shouldn't be playing for that long period.
     
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  13. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

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    I am not talking moonball rallies which can last very long and swings I am talking about these quickstart kids swinging their racquets very hard for hours which may be bad for their arms, we do not know. Moonball rallies are hit with slow swings. Go take a tennis racquet and swing at a yellow ball slow to medium speed for 100 swings. Then swing at a soft ball as hard as you possibly can for 100 swings. Then tell me which bothers your arm more? Swinging your arm at air with a racquet as hard as you can will bother your shoulder more than tapping a yellow tennis ball slowly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
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  14. tennis5

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    Good point.
     
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  15. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    has anyone here heard of ''soft tennis"" it's somewhat popular in asia .. uses a rubber soft tennis ball with no fuzz.,different racket(a bit like a squash racket) but played on a regular size tennis court...
     
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  16. NLBwell

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    Most of them hit the backboard for hour after hour when they were kids.
     
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  17. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    I think I can go on record as having a 9 year old that has been playing green ball the longest in the country in terms of USTA tournaments. And not once did he have arm nor shoulder issues.

    The green ball matches are one set to 6 games no ad. I have never seen a match go over one hour, 45 minutes tops at most, most are under 25 minutes. SO if a kid has three matches in one tournament the total amount played is less than 1.5 hours with a rest period of 15 minutes between sets. He has NEVER developed callouses in his hand in over 1.5 years on green.

    He is now on yellow and his strokes have improved due to the green ball experience. We have 1.5 years of experience on green alone and it has made him into a better player not WORSE.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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  18. Soianka

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    Thanks for the info. Max's mom's story sounded a little suspect.
     
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  19. Number1Coach

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    "I personally believe this is about making more profit, not making better players," he said. "In Serbia, nobody is playing tennis just because they love to play tennis. It's not suitable for our mentality. We're competitive, you don't want to have fun, you want to have success. If you don't have success in four years, you will stop."

    This is a quote from this article ,, I have heard another poster say that if his player wants to have fun he can go to Disneyland or the beach and he teaches the tennis court is all business.

    I would like to point out that TCF says the Spanish and Serbs are the best now and look at their thinking it's the same as Mr.B's.
     
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  20. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    The french and argentinians are best at producing champions, let us look at what they are doing as well.
     
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  21. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I have seen some that are 8 game pro sets, some are two sets to 4 with a breaker in lieu of the 3rd.
    Maybe Max's tournament director went with regular scoring and there were 18 deuces per game with 60 shot rallies. And the balls were wet. And Max was using his mother's Sledgehammer 2.3 with strings from the mid-1990s.

    Me, I'm for the green dot/spot balls or some nice, soft dead soldiers from my hopper.
    I'm fine with three short sets per match.

    Not sure if tennis is getting soft, but America sure is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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  22. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

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    Thats not fair, the lady was willing to give her name and be interviewed. You do not know the style her son plays, how good the other boy was at getting balls back or the structure of the match he played. Maybe ProTour630's child had a different result. But calling this lady suspect is wrong and you have no reason to say that because you did not see her son's hand or ask him if his shoulder hurt.
     
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  23. andfor

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    Based on the facts of how QS is structured it's totally fair to say. Just because it's written in the news does not make it fact.
     
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  24. SoCal10s

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    using the 'soft tennis balls'' you should also change the equipment used to hit it.. if the kids are still using the normal size and weight rackets then they would really need to swing harder to generate enough racket head speed to get any kind of decent results.. so thus blistered hand and hurt shoulder is really not over exaggeration ..
     
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  25. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

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    Very true and I have my doubts now about the tennis experiences of the other posters. I have seen people hit foam balls against the wall where they can swing as hard as possible and come away sore. I have seen bad coaches have children swing full racquets in the air for 10 minutes to show racquet head speed and the kids complain they hurt. I have seen some quickstart rallies at our center where kids hit like maniacs for a long time. There is no reason to doubt what that mother said for a minute. Do I also blame her? Yes, her son obviously should have been trained better but anyone who says she must be lying has no idea about kids and tennis. It is common sense that if a child takes a full size racket and swings as hard as he can for several hours that his shoulder might hurt. Like I said the mom and coach should know better but the end result she talked about is very possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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  26. andfor

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    Where in the article did it say anything about Max using a full sized racquet?
     
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  27. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

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    It didn't but without knowing the details we should not say the mom is lying. It is possible what she said so no need to call her out without knowing for sure. Not a big deal some love quickstart some hate it.
     
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  28. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    Normal size frame are used with green ball so it is not the racquet. The kid has been playing regulation and three setters with no problem before , all of the sudden he loses with his first green and blames the ball, then plays 12 and gets crushed, very typical, seen it too often. Getting surgery after few hours on green is an over exaggeration. The kid lost because he was not used to green, plain and simple, then mom tries to make excuses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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  29. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

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    You don't know any of that you just posted. For all you know he showed up with full size and the director and other player said he could use it rather than forfeit. Rules are bent all the time in these local tournaments. Maybe the two of them were amazing and the rallies were long and full speed swings. None of us have a bit of reason to keep calling the lady a liar. If your child has no issues great but you were not at this tournament and have no idea if she is telling the truth.
     
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  30. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    The results speak for themseleves look them up
     
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  31. andfor

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    Since we are speculating and ignoring the facts maybe the kid played Pee Wee football the day before along with using Pete Sampras full size racquet.

    I think it's healthy to believe everything that's reported by the news until proven otherwise or witnessed first hand.
     
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  32. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    Funny how one would believe the actions/results of one green ball match vs someone who have witnessed 100 green ball matchs over 1.5 years.
     
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  33. Dadof10s

    Dadof10s Banned

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    No one said softer balls are bad or causes these problems wide spread. All I said is that without knowing the details of this one specific thing we should not call this lady a liar. Strangers tall tales have been told than the possibility a child hurting his shoulder swinging a racquet too hard so I don't get what the big deal is. Her story sounds like it might have happened, who knows. I like the green dotted balls and me and my son sometimes use them.
     
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  34. ClarkC

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    Where did it say that he did not use a full size racquet? We are talking about what is possible. When someone says, over the internet from 1000 miles away, that someone's story is suspect, there had better not be any reasonable way for the story to be true. In this case, there is a reasonable way for the story to be true. Unprepared for the tournament, bringing a full size racket, small court, low compression balls, two kids who are backboards, match goes on for more than 2 hours, at least one kid has a sore shoulder. Nothing really hard to believe about that scenario.
     
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  35. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    Sam is clueless in the video "green ball is smaller than regulation":confused:, notice when the arm issue was addressed by WSJ, Tom did not reply, enough said. Like I said the results of the kid speak volume, look them up on tennis link. What mom should have said, the green ball leveled the playing fields where her kid should have won the match had it been regulation, then it would have been believable.

    I have been talking green on these boards for over two years when most were clueless now after one match that happened last week all of the sudden we have experts.

    I am an expert on gear and arm issues. I have been since 2000 when I started posting on these boards more than 10 years ago. I would not let my son play green for 1.5 years in tournaments if it were going to give him arm issues.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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  36. andfor

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    Fair enough. Since anything is possible, along with the full sized racquet theory he could have also played Pee Wee football the day before and already had an arm injury.

    My position is far from unreasonable.

    I'm not saying I totally disbelieve the story about the 2 hour 45 minute match between little kids. I think there's something more and we are not getting the entire story.

    Pro Tour is on to something here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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  37. Soianka

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    I'm talking about the 2 hour, 45 minute match.

    If QS matches are really abbreviated scoring, how in the world could the match last that long?
     
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  38. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You obviously know nothing about tennis and are totally damaging your child by letting a 9-year old hit with yellow balls! You are breaking the rules. HORRORS!!! Don't you know that the USTA knows best and that no child under 11 years old can use yellow balls or they will be damaged for life. They will come and find you and prosecute you for being an abusive parent and a negligent coach! It is far beyond any child's capability to use yellow balls below the age of 11!

    Seriously, though, I know you are very knowlegeable about tennis and I am sure you have done an excellent job with your kid. I don't even have a stake in this game as I don't expect my youngest to be a top junior tennis player and the older two have passed this stage. It just irks me about the heavy-handed way that USTA has gone about this - it's as if they believe that there has never been a good US tennis player before the USTA mandated this and that there is no other way for anyone to be a good player who doesn't follow their way.
     
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  39. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I was upset about them mandating all 10s and level 4 and 5 tournaments to green dot.I got over it and just trained her hard and worked on her technique and feet.She just turned 10 and now it doesnt really matter anymore because now she can compete with the good 12s.I know I said she wasnt playing tournaments till she was eleven but im changing my mind again.This year she will play level 3s or better because SHE told me daddy I wanna play tournaments.Her coach also told me he wants her to play so we can see her compete.NONE of the top 10 year old girls in Georgia are playin green dot.
     
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  40. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    Exactly, ga tennis. NONE of the top 10 year old girls in Georgia are playin green dot.
     
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  41. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    Oh no TCF is turning in retirement :cry: seriously none of the TOP 9 year olds in NE are playing green, they are grinding it with the big boys in the 12's,

    If all the Top 10 year olds are not playing green, then you should not be worried about your kid playing girls that are almost 13 years olds, there are plenty of top 10 year olds that she can compete against, have fun
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
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  42. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    USTA can mandate all they want, this is a free country, you can play up or choose not to participate and work on technique like GA. Unlike in England where you can not play up two years. My 9 year old can play kids that are almost turning 13. He can play in the 14's, matter of fact we are. There is a low level 14 where he gets to crush kids that are almost 15 who just started playing tennis.
     
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  43. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    I am monitoring several (five) top 10 year olds who are ranked in the top 25 in the U12, two of them were on yellow since they started and three of them went FOAM/RED/ORANGE/GREEN for around 5 years, yes they are truly QS veterans. I will know who are the better players in 5 years. But for now I can tell you the QS veterans know how to construct points better and have cleaner strokes than the traditional reg players. This is not a scientific experiment but an observation. If you ask me right now who is ranked higher in the U12? the two that were trained using traditional balls but that does not mean much in the U12 anyway. Hope I can be able to witness all of them progress in the next five years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
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  44. ndtennisfan

    ndtennisfan New User

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    As the father of a 10u girl (she's 8) who started playing on the cusp of the QS push a few years back ... I felt compelled to chime in that I've become somewhat of a convert. She's able to play and rally against older girls with green or regular - but learning spin and mechanics with orange has been invaluable. She's taller than most and so usually has to play against older girls to get a match, and isn't fond of playing QS "tournaments" or on a short court. * however * her coach has done an excellent job showing her that there's nothing wrong with lessons using orange/green. His thought was that until she completely mastered orange, she really shouldn't move on to the next level, wholesale. Plus, I mean ... she's eight. Sort of ridiculous to push her to run around on a full size court at this point. After taking several orange ball lessons, her mechanics are noticeably better than kids who are the same age and playing regular ball. Time will tell ... but I'd have to say that it seems much simpler to explain the fundamentals in this way than treating young kids as though they're capable of handling regulation balls & courts as a top junior or adult.
     
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  45. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I am with you until you mention not running around on a full court. By age 8 you can tell a ton about a kid whether they will run around in the sun and chase balls. You said "pushing her to run". All I can say is many coaches will tell you they would rather have the kid who will bust it at age 8 than the kid with the pretty strokes. So please do not let her feel tennis is about hitting....it is about running, hustling and anticipation. I think you are better off getting them busting it because they can learn slices and angles over the years. Its not that big a deal to teach them all the different shots and strategies at age 8.

    The dynamic I have seen over and over is parents who put lots of time and effort and the kids look amazing with orange balls. But the second they find out real tennis is running and sweating they wilt. Might as well find out early if a kid is a hustler. If not, make tennis just a hobby and do not spend too much money.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
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  46. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    ^^^^^^^^^ correct
     
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  47. ndtennisfan

    ndtennisfan New User

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    She definitely hustles. The problem was that when she played older girls (10 to 12) with green or regular ... that she would quickly abandon form in favor of chasing down balls and making contact. She had some success against players that age that weren't as strong, but obviously was out of her depth with strong 12's. Very tough to strike a balance between fundamentals at this sort of in-between age. She's still growing quite a bit, but soccer & cross-country has helped with footwork. Her coach admitted that some of this is still a work in progress (the regular/green/orange stuff).

    I guess I was more just putting it out there that where before I was pretty much against keeping a stronger junior player with orange ball - even in lessons - now the more I see how she's playing green & regular after lessons - the more I think it's probably a good thing. There are quite a few parents I've seen that just throw their kids into green & regulation because of the stigma of these very low compression balls. Sounds like it may be a different & more frustrating story for 10's and 12's, so I may flip-flop again in a few years...
     
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  48. Pro_Tour_630

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    ^^^^^ correct as well regarding abandoning technique to get the ball.

    Which is why we flip flopped back and forth between green/yellow.
     
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  49. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Good stuff ndtennis, sounds like you are using the tools available and switching up when needed. The different balls all serve a purpose if used in the proper manner.
     
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