Too Much High School Tennis?

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by Floridian59, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    My son is on a high school varsity team and loves being part of the team. He is a very good and conscientious student. He would like to do both tennis and fulfill his academic potential.

    However, the tennis schedule is more demanding than in the past. His classes are harder.

    An example of the any week in the first couple of months of school:

    Mon: Tennis 2:40 to 6:40 (part of this is class time, part after school, there is a short break in there)
    Tue: Match 4:10 to 7:00 (can go to 9 for travel and just generally running long, not allowed to do homework during matches)
    Wed: Same practice as Mon
    Thu: Match like Tue
    Fri: Same practice as Mon

    Add to this missing whole days of school for some tournaments, and some small weekend requirements.

    Sometimes it is 2 practices a week and 3 matches, or other combinations, but the idea is that much of the school week is taken up by tennis. Even during times when there are no tournaments, there is still the long practices Monday to Thursday.

    Life is not fun when the homework is poured on and tennis takes up so much of your time that you can’t keep your head above water and sometimes can’t finish the work despite late nights and early mornings trying.

    Any similar experience and how you worked through it? Figured people doing college tennis (or looking to do) might have similar HS experiences.
     
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  2. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    In my opinion....

    This situation depends on the individuals including work ethic, mental fortitude, dedication, etc. What type of student is your son? Is he taking advanced classes? This all factors in the situation. However, I had friends who were involved in 2-4 activities and still maintained 3%.

    Right now, I'm taking fifteen hours worth of classes and have tennis practice M-T 2:00-5:00 and F & S 11:00-1:30. As of right now, I'm making all A's in my classes.

    Your son should know that he will be staying up until the early morning to do homework. This always happens to students who are/aren't in any activities. Heck, have your son bring his homework to tournaments when he isn't playing (not homework or projects that require heavy thinking just books to read or straightforward arithmetic and science).

    I hope this helps! :)
     
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  3. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    Thanks for the feedback. He is a very good student taking advanced classes.

    In your post, what I see is that more is being asked of my teenager than a college student. Are you on a scholarship? What was your HS like?

    College: 5 classes, ~17 hrs a week
    HS: 6 advanced classes (not including tennis, it’s the 7th), ~20 to 24 hrs a week

    The only information I’ve found on the internet, it seems like > 20 hours at the HS level are more for tennis academies, not for public schools.

    Generally not allowed to do homework during team match play.
     
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  4. NoChance

    NoChance New User

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    If there is a future in tennis for your son beyond high school, it stands to reason that between school and tennis, that pretty much takes up every available hour.

    However, some high school coaches overdo it. They are usually the ones who are not teachers themselves, and don't see the need for some balance.

    I taught a higher-level HS subject for 34 years, and coached a HS team for 25. I did not have a practice that lasted more than two hours (often somewhat less), and I allowed homework to be done during matches.

    But, that's just me. I felt that tennis was secondary to school. I wanted the players to enjoy the tennis, but I knew that school laid the foundation for future success.

    It's still possible to have some on-court success, though. A handful of my players played D-2 and 3 tennis, and one played D-1. That player is now a D-1 coach. Not bad for a team from a non-tennis area.

    And, I can count a number of doctors, lawyers, accountants, and teachers among my former players, which always pleased me.
     
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  5. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Yeah, academic scholarship.

    Honestly? The HS classes were harder and more demanding than the college classes. I still remember the advanced classes I took. They were no joke and kicked everyone's butt. Essays every one-two weeks, daily quizzes, tedious projects, daily reading, etc. (just for one class). Like I said before, people I know (myself included) overcame this because we banded together and helped each other study and became friends.

    Is your son a freshman-sophomore? He probably isn't used to the demanding curriculum(s). The hardest course I took was in middle school. There was a GT program that was a Texas History/Geography class. That class was about 3-5 times harder than the advanced class.

    Not allowed to do homework eh? I guess the coach cares more about athletics than academics. What a shame. If your son isn't playing or has to wait a few hours, why can't he read Mark Twain?

    I would be very very careful if you let your son go to a tennis academy. You live near Boca? The UTSA academy is in Boca Raton, Florida. It's not getting any good reviews lately.
     
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  6. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    Sounds similar to may high school teams. The good thing is that it only lasts for a season unless you play multiple sports. I remember doing a similar thing in high school, but our coaches allowed us to get some work done between matches if waiting, in the bus, etc.

    In college there is more time for activities and studying when compared to high school. If college tennis is in the future, then maybe it is worth the sacrifice.

    Weekends are off right?

    For some people life only gets tougher. I know plenty of physicians who have worked 24 or 36 hour shifts where they are constantly working and busy, only to get 12 hours off in between shifts.
     
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  7. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    Thanks for your input.

    We aren't looking for tennis beyond HS, or tennis academy. I'd rather he concentrate on academics in college. I'd just like him to enjoy tennis the rest of his life.

    There are a couple hours of required weekend stuff in the > 20 hours listed.

    I'm not sure about the 'season' drgchen mentions, tennis goes on the full school year, just more practices when there aren't matches. It is less time, but still a lot.
     
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  8. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Wait, so he's NOT going to play college tennis?

    Honestly, if he isn't interested in playing in college, why is he investing his time and energy now? Does he have potential? It doesn't sound like anything is going to pay off in the future.

    If I sign up for auto tech classes but don't plan on doing anything related to auto tech, why bother in the first place?

    Academics over tennis? Nothing wrong with that. You can still manage both though.Student athletes are starting to fade away more and more. When he gets into college, there's going to be a lot of students there who are basically going to college just to play their sport. To me, I think this is probably the second worst intention of going to college. That's why I haven't changed my signature. Probably the phrase that means the most to me.
     
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  9. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    That is a problem, a legal problem.

    Bring this up with the district's superintendent and if necessary with the BOE.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
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  10. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    Year round tennis is pretty intense. I guess that in Florida people are more serious.

    Growing up in Southern California we had seasons. Each sport had a three month season including practices and matches. On the off time you could play another sport or practice on your own. I'm not sure if that has changed.

    In Ohio they also have seasons. I believe they are much shorter for weather reasons. Maybe the tennis team only meets for 2 months. I could be wrong.

    If academics are the priority, tennis may need to be put on the back burner at some point. As a parent you very well know of all the tradeoffs in life. In college there is more than enough time to play tennis even if you have a heavy schedule. High school is unfortunately full of busy work these days, not a lot of content, but lots of homework.

    I had to give up competitive tennis and many other things to focus on academics my last two years of high school. It was hard considering that my doubles team could probably have made state champion in those last two years...my partner was not understanding. Instead I played an hour a day with the coach and some highly ranked players. I still enjoy tennis and was able to play at the open level in my young adult years.
     
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  11. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    There doesn't always have to be a pay off in everything you do, other than trying to be as good as you can at something enjoyable, all within reason. Maybe people shouldn't do college tennis unless they can go pro. Maybe pro's should quit if they can't win a slam. On any given HS team the odds of 'pay off' are not good, should they all quit? If we wanted to push academics into the background or make his life miserable, he could maybe get a scholarship. Not gonna do it.

    I feel like at 90% of the schools out there, I wouldn't have this issue. Certainly I don't see this level of requirements at surrounding schools.
     
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  12. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    Yes, too much homework, I'd agree with that. Thanks for telling me about your hard decision. I can appreciate it. I don't want to force it on him, but I can't help but think something like that would be preferable to what we have in store for this year.

    He just like being on the team a lot. Was it more you or your parents that were in favor of this route?
     
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  13. anhuynh16

    anhuynh16 Hall of Fame

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    No offense in any way; but GT texas history was one of the easiest classes I ever took.

    But anyways; OP, does your son go to a high ranked school in florida? Maybe the coach just wants everyone to get better.
    I am a varsity player at a top 3 tennis high school in TX, and we only practice in our designated period time. Only time we have to stay after school is when we have our matches.
     
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  14. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    What part is a legal problem? Not sure what a BOE is.
     
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  15. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    That sounds great! To be top 3 I'm assuming most people have played tennis before they get to HS, probably have lessons/coaches outside of school. Not too many people like that at our school. Maybe the coach is overcompensating for that fact. I'm sure we need some extra practice, just have a problem with the amount.
     
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  16. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Teachers are the deciding factors on how difficult the course is.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
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  17. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Okay, now you're starting to chase rabbits here.

    Anyways, good luck with your situation. I think I'm done here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
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  18. Floridian59

    Floridian59 New User

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    I found an old thread archive from 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' with people giving experiences on court time. Don't seem to have that section on the Tennis Talk anymore.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/archive/index.php/t-408143.html

    Just skimming (long thread), I see most that were spending less time, some spending similar time. These are mostly people in training to play college and wanting to make the pros some day.
     
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  19. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    if he is not going to play D1 college tennis ,then enjoy high school tennis..

    if he has any desire to play D1 tennis then forget high school tennis...
     
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  20. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I was first surprised to learn of this policy but upon reflection... sports like hs wrestling and tennis are team sports. It's not wrong to expect teammates to be watching and cheering. You would expect to see kids in the baseball dugout or football sideline stretched out during math problems.
     
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  21. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    what kind of high school is that? Thats crazy, even the best HS dont do that
     
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  22. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Maybe in your mind but not in my mind, I think tennis is an individual sport (or two persons in case of doubles).

    What irritates me to no end is those boy scout loving, salute the flag, hail to America folks who attack individualism whenever they have the chance by trying to make everything into some social team thing with leaders and uberleaders for the good of the club, school or country.

    Go play baseball or football if you want team sports and please leave tennis alone.
     
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  23. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Regardless of what runs through your mind, HS/College/WTT/Davis/Fed cup is *unquestionably* team sport.
     
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  24. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Huh?

    You are going to be in the minority on this one. HS and college tennis are all about the team. Even the high level USTA kids that decide to play HS tennis say the team aspect is what they like the best.

    If you don't like team sports, why would you even play HS tennis? You have weekly USTA tournaments where it can be all about you.
     
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  25. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Yes we should add cheerleaders before each game as well. :rolleyes:

    And please don't be surprised when US players are not prepared for the individualism required of pro tennis.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
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  26. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    American tennis pros have been playing High School and College tennis since the beginning of the game. Playing HS or College tennis or not has little to do success on the pro tour. Any American you see playing pro tennis on any level has played 99% of their tennis on their own and outside of College or HS team environments. You really don't have a credible point.
     
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  27. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    You are confusing the role of the USTA and private coaches / academies with that of a high school. Preparing kids for a career as a professional is the last think HS tennis aims to do.

    If it is to prepare them for anything, that would be college play - where acting as part of a team rather than an individual is critical.
     
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  28. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

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    If you are worried about his time on court/off court training in high school... he better not play in college. College tennis makes high school look like a joke when it comes to time dedicated to tennis
     
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  29. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    What wacko coach says players can't do homework?
     
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  30. tinyman

    tinyman Rookie

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    It was true for me too. If you were doing homework/reading you weren't considered to be supporting your team.
     
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  31. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Yes we all know how important the team is. HS and college tennis is all about team, team and team.
     
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  32. tinyman

    tinyman Rookie

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    I can't say I really found it to do much... nothing better than some high school kids utterly bored, forced to watch a match they don't particularly care about. Go team. That was my experience at least.

    I didn't try to pursue into college - not that I would have been much of a player, or gotten anything out of it. 10 years later, I'm glad I left it at HS, but that's a personal choice.
     
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  33. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The problem is that schools are giving too much homework these days. There were studies showing that kids who did more homework and had parents involved with them did better in school. Not recognizing the difference between causation and correlation, schools started assigning tremendous amounts of homework. It has now been shown that having a lot of homework, especially in early grades, reduces student achievement. Students now do not have the level of knowledge or even standardized test scores (that are now specifically taught to and studied for) after adjusting for the new scales that students did before the huge onslaught of homework.
    Of course, there are a lot more issues with schools and why even the top kids in schools don't know as much as they used to, but homework is one reason.
     
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  34. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I'm my experience, kids will figure out ways to occupy their time. I'd be happy he is choosing tennis over video games, alcohol, drugs, partying, etc. usually the tennis players are among the elite academic wise. Keeping good company for 20~ hours per week can't be a bad thing.

    I'd worry more if the tennis team had a rep for trouble off the court. I all they are doing is playing tennis, things are good.
     
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  35. Bdarb

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    High school tennis is for a season. In our state coaches can't communicate or organize practices in the off season so at the worst he has to learn how to manage a full plate one season a year. Not a bad idea IMO whether he chooses college tennis or not. If you're not forcing him and he's okay with it what's the issue? Are his grades slipping or something? When I was in high school I played hockey soccer and tennis year round. I didn't have time for what a lot of kids did but whata lot of kids did was play video games or do nothing. It's a team, he's not missing out on social interaction with his peers or something, just has his schedule full. Seems fine to me.
     
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