The Journey!!!

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by ga tennis, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    My daughter just turned 11. Over the past 7 years she has worked really hard and improves a little bit everyday. Its been alot of fun for me watching her grow into her game. My favorite thing that happens is when she has a break thru. Its like she stays the same for weeks then all of the sudden something just clicks and she gets it. This seems to happen at the strangest times. Like last night we started practice and for the first 30 minutes she was in one of those moods in which she was trying to start a fight with me for anything i would say. I got pissed off and told her just go home because she was cutting into my sons practice time out here fussing with me and not putting in ANY effort. Then she said she wasnt going home and i gave her a second chance and she picked up her intensity and looked the best she has ever looked. She had one of those nights that let me know that one day IF it ever becomes her main focus she will be GREAT. For me being her main coach it is such a roller coaster ride. I am trying to get better and not let her practices dictate my mood. I have been guilty of when she has a bad practice and doesnt give 100% i get in a bad mood and dont have a good attitude around her. I know i have said and done alot of things over the past few years that i shouldnt have. I have gotten SOOO much better now because i now realize that my comments and attitude have such an effect on her development. I have always wanted one or both of my children to be professional tennis players. I was really good but not good enough to make a living playing tennis so I guess i am guilty of trying to live my dream thru my kids. I LOVE every minute i spend with my kids and feel truely blessed that god gave me two INCREDIBLE kids!!!! I just wanted to share what i go thru with my fellow posters.FOR ALL THE OTHER PARENTS ON HERE HANG IN THERE ENJOY THE RIDE AND TRY TO STAY POSITIVE THRU THE GOOD TIMES AND THE BAD!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
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  2. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    So true, the times spent with my daughters on court is priceless. We laugh, tell jokes together, best times of my life. My two girls want to play college tennis and I have doubt they will. Lately, the board seems to have become a marketing tool for certain posters. So this type of post is a breathe of fresh air.
     
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  3. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Agree! Great thread, hopefully we can keep this thing going for multiple years. This thread should be about coaching our kids...good and bad! ;-)

    My daughter is 8 and we are starting the "journey," and I have a three year old boy that tags a long with us on the courts. It would be nice to bounce some ideas off people, share some good times and bad ones.

    Looking forward to it!
     
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  4. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Ga tennis: The challege you face is that it is your dream, it may not be her dream. If it is her dream my suggestion is to do everything to support it with one caveat- make her education priority #1 and make that non-negotiable. Don't settle for a second rate education to pursue the tennis dream. You can do both, many do. Most do not. If it is not her dream that is fine- accept it joyfully.
     
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  5. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Our kids are with us till they leave for college. I hope to impart the spirit of sports and competition with my son. To fight through adversity and prevail win or lose. It is a special thing to coach your kids. I cherish it. Every second of it.
     
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  6. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    My wife makes sure of that. School ALWAYS comes first. My daughter loves school. Your right it is MY dream i just wish i could magically make it her dream.:) I have taken her to some of the best coaches in America and my dad says to me why are you wasting your money. He tells me all the time that it doesnt matter where i take her or how much money i spend until it becomes her passion i am just wasting my money. I try to defend my decisions by saying that im trying to give her all the tools so when or if she takes ownership 100% she will have the full arsenal. My father also says that i just need to let her play and not to worry and she will be GREAT!! My son is the exact opposite. I cant get him off the court. I know why he is like that. When he was young he would always ask if he could go hit with me and sissy and i would tell him no because she has to practice. Now he is 7 and he is a BEAST!!! Now i have to be careful what i say because i dont wanna brag too much about him in front of her.This week was the first time i have been able to take them together and do drills and train without them fighting. Its so much better than having to be on court with her for a couple and then have him come over for another hour. It was wearing me out!!
     
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  7. Postpre

    Postpre Rookie

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    gatennis, I'm curious, what has been a typical practice week (hours/days per week) for your girl as she has advanced from beginning to play until today? And for your boy as well? I have an 8 yr old boy and 6 year old girl who I'd like to work with together, but my boy is much further along (naturally). I'm waiting for the day when I can construct a practice that fully benefits both!
     
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  8. Chemist

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    Ga Tennis,

    We have a lot in common. I have been living my dream thru my 16 yr old son as well. Luckily he also has a passion to train hard and improve his game, while keeping up with his school work. I learned how to play tennis by watching TV, reading books... and became a pretty good 4.0 player. But we are spending about $15,000 a year on his lessons and clinics. My son takes lessons from a former ATP player; but he agrees that I am his consultant (well, I am also his driver, stringer, cheer leader; and yes, the only person he has ever consulted after splitting sets). After seeing several top kids in our section are taken to tournaments by their coaches, I asked him a few weeks ago if we should do the same. He told me no and he would not feel as confident stepping onto the court without me around, because I had always been there from Day 1. I had tears in my eyes.

    My son did not start to play tournament until he was 10 and half. He lost 1st round in his first 6-7 district tournaments. It took almost a whole year for him to win his 1st sectional match. 6 months later he won a match in his 1st national open in Flushing Meadow. Last year he did not get into B16 winter national. He will be playing B18 in Scottsdale in a few weeks.

    Like you, I enjoy every minute watching him practice, competing, fitness training or warming him up before his match, discussing strategy, entering every point on Tennis Trekkar, and talking to his coach about his needs for improvement. My friends predicted that I would be really bored after my son goes to college in two years. Well, I surely hope I don't have to fly to watch his college matches.
     
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  9. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    There's no playbook. I agree school is #1 then what makes your kid happy and that's my focus. I carefully pick spots to get involved in her tennis as I leave the tennis coaching/instruction to her coach. My job as the parent is to pick the right coach then let the coach, coach. I pick the right club and program then I let the the folks running the program do their job. I like the pro franchise owners that own the team but let the coach do the coaching and if they aren't happy, find a new coach.

    I can't blend coaching and being a parent so I applaud those that can do it. I also prefer to stay behind the scenes b/c she must own this; she must want it; she must work at it . . . not me. It's her, not me. I had a very fulfilling childhood so I don't need to live through her; it's her life and the job of me and my wife is to raise a happy, caring and productive human being.

    I read up on those parents of professional female players that raised great kids and post-career ended up having happy and fulfilling lives . . . like Kim Clisters (just as an example; happy junior player; mom; wife and one of the best ever).
     
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  10. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    My daughter started off playing just as long as I could keep her attention,then when she turned 7 she would practice about an hour a day with a few tournaments. At 8 I put her in a tennis academy that she practiced at 3 days a week for an hour and a half and got one private a week. She would hit with me the days off. The last year she plays around 8 hours a week plus some tournaments. I found that quality is so much better than quantity. She goes to her coach in Atlanta as often as I can afford. With both of your kids really work on technique and don't be in a hurry to compete, With your 6 year old just be patient and make it fun. When she's ready to go home go home. My little boy just turned 7. He really isn't on a schedule. He might play two hours one day and wanna play soccer or basketball the next. Im taking it slow with him right now. I made him hungry at a young age and I don't wanna make tennis too routine right now.I did it wrong with my daughter I kinda made tennis more work than fun and I'm still trying to fix that mistake.
     
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  11. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Congratulations!!!! Sounds like you did a great job. Your son sounds like a really good player with a love for our great sport. I'm loving every minute of it!!!!! I would have shed many tears if my child told me what your son told you. Good luck!!!!!
     
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  12. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Being a parent coach is VERY difficult. Living in HICKVILLE USA tennis isn't exactly a popular sport. She is the only kid near her age within a 45 mile range that plays tennis. I have to be her coach. I'm not complaining Its very rewarding in soooo many ways.When she split sets in tournaments those minutes talking before the third are priceless.I got your e-mail and somehow deleted it. I got a new phone and am clueless on how to work it.Send me another and we can talk.
     
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  13. Chemist

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    Thanks. He is a great kid, always wanting to improve his games. Good luck to your daughter and your son!
     
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  14. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    How did tennis become your dream? When you were a kid was it your dream also?

    Or were your parents the ones directing you toward tennis?
     
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  15. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Ga Tennis my son is 10 maybe we can get ourvkids together to hit sometime. I do not think you are that far away.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
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  16. rptennis

    rptennis New User

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    Amen brother - you said it right. Enjoy the ride!
     
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  17. Olybel

    Olybel New User

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    Hello to everyone,

    Compliments for Talk Tennis forum and compliments also for this thread.

    My 7 year old son introduced me to tennis half year ago when he brought brochure to home and started with training in local academy. Before that I was rarely even watched Nole games though everyone else in my family is fan of him.

    It is logical that we as a parents have dreams , wishes and hopes for our children. So they have also. It is crucial that kids dreams wishes and hopes are set higher than ours for them.

    There is no use if I dream his Wimbledon trophy if he doesn't.

    As Kahlil Gilbran says:

    ....You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them be like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.....




    English is not my native language therefore I apologize if any mistake is made.
     
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  18. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    YES!!! My new email address is tzilla112701@gmail.com We are about an hour and 15 minutes away from you guys.
     
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  19. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I picked up tennis late. I started tennis at 13. I became obssessed with tennis and played hours a day. In my home town we had a family move there from California. All three of the sons played d1 college tennis. The youngest son was my age and the father helped me out and basically made me a backboard for his son to train against. I had played every sport before then so i had a very good athletic base. By the time i was in the 18s i was number one in GA. My mother never watched me play and my father lived 3 hours away so i had NO parental support. I was fortunate that my mother remarried a man who was very well off. In the 8th grade they sent me to live in Sarasota at Nicks academy. It was INCREDIBLE!!!! I use to watch 12 year old Seles train hours a day. I use to hang out and go swimming at night with A.A. I would get to play basketball with Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Arias. I loved it!!! So no my parents did not push me at all. It was all me. My daughter likes to say daddy you didnt even play tennis when you were my age so you dont understand what im going thru. She is right. Im trying EVERYTHING i can to make her love tennis the way i do. I hope one day she really starts to love tennis but if she doesnt worst case scenario is a full tennis scholarship. THANK GOD FOR TITLE 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  20. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    with all respect to KG, he had no kids so I doubt he knows what is going on with regards to parenting, he had no responsibilities and he drank himself to death.........BTW I am from his home town
     
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  21. Olybel

    Olybel New User

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    KG than wrote this poem as a child of someone which is even better.
     
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  22. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Gilbran's quote are, in my opinion, exactly right. They apply directly to the junior tennis world. Kids sports would be so much better off if parents stopped living their dreams through the children. I know it is hard to do, I plead guilty myself. After many years of being an obsessive tennis parent I have reformed. It is much healthier.
     
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  23. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Our stories are pretty similar.

    Any advice for my (just turned) 8 year old girl? She already tells me she hates tennis (but she hates Math, Homework, cleaning her room, etc also), but she likes playing because she is better then anyone else. We have been playing for a couple of years, maybe 5 hours a week. At times she is amazing, other times she just sucks. Any idea how to make it more enjoyable for her?
     
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  24. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    So GA, you are going to have her play all the way through college even if she doesn't love it? Have you thought about the childhood memories you are leaving her with while you are busy making sure you are living yours?

    I think you should talk to parents of college players and understand what it takes to get there and the life you are subjecting her to, including HER college years, not to mention all of them between now and then. You seem like a nice guy with great intentions, but do you want an older daughter that resents the choices you made for her because of your dreams? It's fine to encourage the love - but you have to be willing to let it go if the signs present themselves or it will be unhealthy for you both.

    I have known many many players (ages 12-16ish) that have moved on from tennis for whatever reason - changing interests, injury, etc., and every one of them has ended up happier in what they are doing now than they ever were with tennis - be it speech and debate, drama, academics, service clubs, or whatever. They have to make their own path. Tennis can be a miserable existence for those whose hearts aren't in it. A player has to give up a lot to be good at it, so the player better be the one liking it. Listening to an older kid talk about how they grew up playing tennis cause their parents wanted them to but never really liked it is a really sad conversation to be part of.
     
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  25. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    She really likes tennis. Im not making her play at all. Im just saying for her to one day be a money making pro she is gonna have to wanna be great from within. Right now she could play for alot of d2 teams and she just turned 11. If she ever didnt wanna play she knows im gonna love her either way.
     
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  26. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    Sounds good GA. I wish you well - it can be a great ride and a wonderful way to raise kids when everyone is on board with the goals.
     
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  27. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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  28. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Cool. I think that will work. I kind of did that, she really hates soccer, so I gave her a choice and she obviously went with tennis.
     
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  29. TCF

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  30. INTO10s

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    Take a listen to a recent radio show on parentingaces .com from Nov 26. The guest was Larry Lauer, director of coaching education & development. He talks a lot about what's being discussed here and offers some good insight and advice that I think you all will fine very useful.
     
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  31. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    yeah his father was a drunk, was in jail, gambled, stole money and got into trouble, never supported his family, then mother took off and went to america on a boat with the kids. MOther died young when he was young so he was on his own and very young on the art gallery streets of boston and new york. Never had helicopter parenting that we see today. Artists and religious figures inspired him.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
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  32. Chemist

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    Have you ever hinted to your daughter that you expect her to be next Sharapova or Williams? Giving her too much pressure? Some kids are more self-motivated or competitive than others. My older son is so different than his younger brother. He also loves to play tennis, but hates to compete. So, he chose to play doubles for his high school team. He is a happy college sophomore. I surely hope that your daughter will continue her love of the game and I wish you would send all of us a note in 10 years that you daughter is on the US Open main draw!
     
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  33. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Nice post. Welcome to the forum.
     
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  34. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Wow. Sounds like you had an incredible junior tennis career.
     
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  35. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    "Gilbran's quote are, in my opinion, exactly right. They apply directly to the junior tennis world. Kids sports would be so much better off if parents stopped living their dreams through the children. I know it is hard to do, I plead guilty myself. After many years of being an obsessive tennis parent I have reformed. It is much healthier."

    +1. I couldn't agree more. I tell my daughter regularly to write down "HER" goals and we discuss what it might take to reach those goals. She can change, modify or alter her goals at any time and we re-adjust what it might take to achieve. I also tell her to make sure SHE is happy. The only exception is school . . . excellence is required (good thing she likes school and gets good grades). Otherwise, it's all her.

    Long story short, early this year she told me "daddy, I love tennis but I don't like to playing 3-4 hrs. every day like many others." So we adjusted and her awesome coach developed a program that includes a bunch of 1 hr. high intensity drills and she loves it . . . leaves the court smiling every time.

    So I learned, it's about "quality over quantity" for her. For that 1 hr. she is locked in and we maximize each minute. Many of her friends, play 2-3 hrs. a day and many, of course, suffer at school and/or don't have much a social life (not to mention how many unhappy juniors I run across with their parents controlling every aspect of their live and making them stay on the court). We simply developed a plan based on what she wanted and I could less whether that turns into wins or losses b/c she is happy (although so far, she has had good results on the court and I attribute that to happiness).

    It may change on day but for now, at 12 yrs. old, this works great for her. I know others are playing much more, and so be it.
     
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  36. TCF

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  37. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    Great thread!

    so who in ga is gonig to the bryan bros tonight? we'll be there!
     
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  38. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    We had a really good night last night. My daughter just turned 8 and she is now really starting to accelerate through the forehand and is crushing it. Man, the forehand is tough to teach. The backhand is her shot, and she rips it, but this was the first time a really saw it with the forehand.

    I did have to make a promise though, I'm not allowed to make remarks on her bad shots or give her tips when she makes a mistake. So I change it up. When she hits a good shot, I tell her, "I like the way you accelerated through on the ball" (or whatever). It's becoming quite a challenge!

    She had so much fun that she didn't want to stop.

    Good day indeed.
     
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  39. TCF

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  40. Chemist

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    I have never seen a single tennis kid who smokes, uses drugs, or drinks. Most of these kids also do well academically. Playing tennis allows my son to meet other wonderful kids, some hundreds miles away. The tough life of tennis training helps him develop better disciplines in time management, meeting commitment etc that will surely benefit him for the rest of his life. It's so true that many Chinese (or Asian) American kids are under so much pressure to perform well in and out school. My boys took piano lessons when they were like 5. They got yelled everyday for not having required practices. All of us, parents and kids were a lot happier after the older one switched to guitar and the younger started his tennis. Both boys were so much into video games and tennis was an effective way of making them stop "the war games". In just a few years, tennis has changed my younger one from a quiet "nerd" to a confident, cheerful, and happy kid. He told me that he has over 1,700 Facebook friends and over 200 Twitter followers.
     
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  41. Olybel

    Olybel New User

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    I have caught myself recently that I produce bad feelings, tears or even anger in my kid while he is playing against me or other kids or training.

    I was often saying: hit it earlier, not like that, now you are slow,late, or similar and I got reaction from him. Then I said to myself: What a hell am I doing? From super calm kid I was making my kid nervous and distracted? For what?

    Then I stopped. I have made peace with him. I told him that I will not say him anything. Not good or bad.
    I told him: Enjoy a sound when ball hits a racket properly, and when that is not happen, next ball will for sure so keep trying.

    More he keeps trying, more he will achieve.It`s up to him.
     
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  42. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Cool, let me know if you find something that works well with your girl, I'll do the same. It will be nice to bounce some ideas off someone.
     
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  43. TCF

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  44. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

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    Did you try using more of a positive reinforcement approach? Instead of saying to late, and that is wrong, your slow, reword it and say that's better way to take it out in front, you moved quicker to that one, keep it up, and also silence like you said.
     
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  45. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The fair comparison is to compare these happy post-tennis kids, to kids who didn't have tennis earlier. It doesn't have to be tennis, but something where they learn discipline, learn to compete, and strive to get better. My bet is that the tennis kids are happier later on than the kids who didn't play tennis or some similar activity.
    Yes, in the end, they do have to pick their own passions. The things they learn when young will stand them in good stead later.
     
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  46. Olybel

    Olybel New User

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    Thank you for suggestions,

    I decided to left corrections and training to his coach.

    I will do fitness and football :)
     
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  47. Chemist

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    You may want to talk to your son's coach often about what you saw in practice or in the tournament matches, the areas that you think your son need to work on. This would make his private more focused and your son would improve more quickly. Most coaches are good at praising kids, but many often pay little attention on the bad habits or weakness or show no urgency to have them corrected. Also we as parents can learn how to coach better and earn our kids trust. Unless one has a deep pocket to pay a coach to tournament, we are the only 'coach' our kids can rely on after splitting sets. After our kids win more and more 3rd set, they would respect and trust us more, or be even more willing to hear our 'coaching tip' in practice. So, make yourself a volunteer assistant coach or like me, a volunteer consultant.
     
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  48. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Tough day today. My daughter go so upset hitting serves that she threw her racket (it slipped out following through when she was over hitting pissedoff) and hit her 3 year old brother in the face and gave him a black eye.

    She is extremely mentally strong and has some sort of OCD. We can't leave the court until she does it right (almost perfect) and she freaks out when there's a ball in the net.

    What a **** show. I've never been so pissed off.
     
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  49. TCF

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  50. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Give a firm warning this time , next time she gets really upset make her 'walk' stairs not run about 50 to 60 x this should crack her if that doesnt work since she has been warned ,walked stairs next is a good old fashion butt whoopin the ultimate 'wake up and smell the coffee'! All those on here that will say that will teach violence dont listen it is obvious she is already shows the tip of the iceberg with the perfection -anger issue .

    Been there been through this , best to you and your child !

    Anger is violence being restrained but soon will express itself !!!!!
     
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