When to pull the plug

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by crosbydog, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    My 11 year old has been taking privates once a week for a year now from the relatively best coach in our area. We have shlepped down to Florida a couple times for her to take 4 lessons with a name coach. She qualified for her section's sweet 16 tournament in the 10's after Playing a year but now in the 12s she can only beat mediocre or younger Players. After spending a ton of money on 3 lessons with a name Florida coacher his week she again beat a mediocre player and a 10 year old, 4th and 5th seeds, in a Local Florida tournament until she lost in the back draw semi finals to another mediocre player from Venezuela. So my question is when do you pull the Plug and move on? She is somewhat driven and does want to improve and says tennis is her sport. (she does volleyball too for the camaraderie but can't make the select teams) Is she washed up in tennis at 11? Is she doomed to mediocrity because we live in the ******* and there are no good coaches? Except the #1 G12 is from Ohio :-(
     
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  2. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I think some soul searching needs to be done...

    What do you mean by pull the plug?
    If she loves it, why move on?
    Do you believe her level of play has stalled because of where you live?
    What are her goals for tennis?
    Are her goals aligned with your goals?

    Doomed to mediocrity is a bit strong in my opinion. If my kid was mediocre in something that he/she loved, then they're a champion in my book.
     
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  3. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    Pull the plug = stop throwing good money after bad
    Her goals are to be a pro and recently to play in the Olympics
    My goal for her is for her to qualify for a
    national tournament and eventually be #1 in her age group (whenever)
    The "best" coaches in my area don't give the rapid fire feedback of a Rick Macci and her current coach's best two students are "just" top 50 boys 14 and top 90 girls 12s. I do think the coaching is less than stellar but my spouse is knowledgeable about tennis technique but that hasn't helped. I'd move to better coaching but until she dominates in her district then her sectional...
     
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  4. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^This is exactly the kind of thoughts processes that burn kids out on sports or extracurricular activities in general. Sometimes even school.

    ^^^^This is what motivates kids to get better. Focusing on improvement and learning, effort and having a good attitude about what they are doing often pays off in the long run. 11 is young and playing more than 1 sport is a very good idea up through 14-16 or so.

    If my kid loved an activity, continued to improve, even if it was at a slower rate than I hoped for, I would do my best to support them. I suggest finding more info about what motivates athletes and people in general from first hand experts. Check out Dr. Allen Fox, Dr. John F. Murray and Jeff Greenwald to name a few. Remember, everyone improves at different rates. I'd rather see my kid mediocre at 11 and motivated to continue to play and at 18 be closing in on their potential, still improving and have and appetite to play college tennis. So many kids who were superstars at 10, 12, 14, 15 etc. are no where to be found on the tennis scene at 17 and 18.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
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  5. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I find myself getting caught up in the now sometimes and feel some of what your feeling.The best way to do it is keep thinking big picture.As long as shes improving every day and enjoying it then keep going.My daughter lost earlier this summer to a girl she beat 6-0 6-0 last year.I was devestated!!!I let myself get caught up in the now.Try not to worry about the losses just keep trying to improve everyday.GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
     
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  6. MomTennis

    MomTennis New User

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    As a parent it is always a goal that your child should be the best but....

    the key is what is your child's goal - that is the important factor and then you as a parent should support her in reaching that goal.
     
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  7. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    Thanks for the input - I have read Mental Tennis by Allen Fox and learned a lot. I will try to look at the big picture and think long term
    :-(
     
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  8. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Read the book Mindset.It is written by Carol S Dweck.
     
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  9. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    She is 11 and wants to be a pro/Olympian. Good for her to dream big. An 11 y/o has no concept of how big the world is, you probably do. It's a parents job to support and encourage. It sounds like you do both now to a bit of an extreme. Realism is setting in.

    Her goals will change over time. If her improvement curve stops sloping up as rapidly, she will figure it out. When she is 14ish, she'll probably meet some college players that will encourage that route. Then you support and encourage that next goal.

    As far as the money, be creative in finding another 4 week project next summer. Put her in a college camp for a week or two. Try one down south and another closer to home. Who knows, she might like those better. Experiment with another pro or club near home and see if another coach inspires her more.

    Lots of options, have fun with the journey!
     
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  10. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    There it is right there
     
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  11. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    I think Girls 12's can also be particularly frustrating. Lot's of pushers, moonballers, etc. If you are concentrating on building her game for the long run, she will lose some(or more) matches to to players with weaker fundamentals who just have more match experience, etc. Bang you head against the wall stuff. That's stuff that's hard to learn from any amount of lessons, just need lots and lots of matches, sanctioned as well as practice matches.
     
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  12. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Crosbydog......I think Aloha pointed out a good point. Success in G12s does not mean much in developmental term, especially if your daughter wants to be a pro.
    I have a couple of suggestions to add. First, you should make sure your daughter understands what the pro development path involves, amount of hard work, dedication over several years, etc. Also let her know that the chance of reaching her goals as a top pro and Olympian is pretty slim.
    Granted that you already had Macci evaluated her and he saw no major flaw for a pro potential, if she is willing to put in that kind of work then you should give it try.
    I am sure you read and did a lot of research on US women pros. Many recent pros I've seen or read about would be home schooled, play tennis several hours/day from middle school on. Many families did bring them back and forth for good coaching, private academies or USTA center in FL and trained full-time when they were a bit older. Look up Christina McHale, Lauren Davis, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys etc. It is good that you are cautious and gauging how and when to proceed. If she continues to progress well, you should give it a try. It looks like you are not having Serena or Sharapova but she might be one of the above names. McHale is in this Olympic, you know.
     
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  13. NetNinja68

    NetNinja68 Rookie

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    It's really all relative. We as parents we want our children to be the best, yet just when we think they are, someone pops up around the corner who seems more talented or gifted at the same age. I have a 7 yr old daughter here in the Atl area who just started competing in the 10&U's 4 months ago and made it to the state L1 qualifier where she actually won some matches. Currently she is 38 in the state and I've found myself pressing her to execute more drop shots, volleys and slices in her recent matches only to abruptly put myself in check and celebrate her victories while minimizing her losses.

    The toughest but most crucial challenge is managing your own expectations and remaining positive to your daughter. At the end of the day if your girl is not giving it real effort or focus and seems to have hit a plateau, don't be afraid to take some time away from tennis...I wish I had a silver bullet solution for you but unfortunately I don't. Whether you decide the time & $$ is not in balance with the results or not, in the end all will work out for the best if you properly manage your personal expectations...Good Luck!
     
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  14. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    pull the plug on what? you spending money or her enjoying the game?

    If she loves the game, never pull the plug. Now if the cost of private coaching or travel/tournaments is the issue, definitely pull the plug on spending. If she loves the game she will figure out how to become a great player herself. Hitting the wall, ball machine work, play with local club 'seniors' etc.. Lots of ways to become a great player without playing tournaments or private coaching.
     
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  15. dirkpitt38

    dirkpitt38 New User

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    I don't know how many times I get caught up in now, even when my son did an underhanded serve match point down. Wanted to pull the plug then but watch his second match and he played like I know he can.
     
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  16. decades

    decades Guest

    your goal is for her to be #1. not for her to be the best player she can be. kids are really extensions of the parents, aren't they?
     
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  17. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    One of the better players in our area pays for almost no coaching. He will play any junior or adult any time on any day. He doesn't have parents that have the means to pay top dollar. But he is such a good kid that several adult players in the area have helped him out. One donated his 4 racquets, another gave him a used stringing machine, a club hired him to work the pro shop, another is paying half of his 2x a week clinic fees. All his mother is left with is tournament costs.

    There is a lot to say for "figuring it out on your own". This kid has proved his motivation and the community has paid him back for it. I take some pride when I read his HS tennis results in the paper and see how far he has come along.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
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  18. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Really great responses here. Very good advice and opinions indeed.
     
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  19. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    There is a lot of room to improve when you are 11 years old. There is almost no reason to take an 11 year old to Florida for private lessons with X coach who is supposedly the best. I used to love destroying those kids who came back from a summer spent in Florida with Big name tennis camp.

    In your area there are likely good coaches. If your coach isn't playing out real games and sets with your kid they probably aren't any good. Every real point is an opportunity to learn. Your kid may not be working hard enough to become number 1. I knew people who played 8 hours a day as kids to get their national rankings. I think too many parents think that skill can be bought. People can be born with talent but it takes years of hard work to get up the rankings.
     
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  20. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    I strongly agree with the above. Years ago when I played more often, I was at or above the level of the majority of the local teaching pros. I would offer to pay them their hourly rate to play a match and get declined again and again. I was always happy to work with the local juniors helping them, giving them equipment advice, strategy advice, playing out tiebreakers. I never took money from anyone and we all did what we did for the love of the game. Plus I have a day job that pays well. A ranked 11 year old may not be good enough competition to play matches with adults but there may be local top players who wouldn't mind mentoring someone just because they love tennis.
     
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  21. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    Coaches do not make a tournament superstar tennis player. Read the biographies of some that have made it! William sisters coach was their dad who learned about tennis from watching TV matches. Andre Aggasi in his book "Open" did not credit Nick for anything that made him a great tennis player! Now Brad Gilbert is the one that help Andre not Nick!

    A superstar tennis player has the desire to win at all cost and the tennis talent to do it - in that order! Coaches probably can guide but cannot produce a top player; but it is the player who either wants it badly to commit all energies to that task.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
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  22. C_Mayer

    C_Mayer New User

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    Jesus. The kid is eleven years old. If you pressure your kid too much im sure she will quit due to lack of fun. And dont forget that she will become a teenager soon, and if she doesnt like what she's doing then, i can almost guarantee you she will quit.

    The best way of learning something is by having fun with it. Sure, you need to work hard but its very important to have fun at the same time. At eleven your not able to control your form of whatever. There will be up and downs, everybody has. I dont see the point of having a super coach for a eleven year old. I promise you that high level players or 'regular coaches' at the club can teach her how to play. In my opinion you can start going after the big coaches when the people around just cant help you anymore.

    Just because people like McIlroy and Djokovic by many did succeed at a very young age, doesn't mean that everybody can, and you can still be successful even if your not world no. 1.
     
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  23. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Kids get enjoyment from knowing they tried hard, learned something and improved something. This is the foundation for growth in most all endeavors and for long-term interest and continued participation.
     
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  24. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    Every great player had a superb coach. The Williams' sisters had Rick Macci. Agassi was around a wealth of tennis knowledge his entire life: remember Segura tried to do what Gilbert eventually accomplished. Talent without training and knowledge is useless.
     
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  25. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I agree 100%!!! I would say every great player has had great coaches because i belive it takes a village to raise a champion.
     
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  26. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    I could give a long winded reply to this but to cut a long story short, it sounds like your in this for the wrong reasons
     
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  27. DB_Cooper

    DB_Cooper New User

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    Yes it does take a village to raise(train)a child.

    However, The Villiage Idiot will disagree and find any and all excuses to justify the means but generation after generation has come up
    With a solution for this Idiot. It's called ostracization

    Do any of the REAL people contributing to this board recognize the tone of a certain Number1poster that appears to have been or is currently being ostracized. Ouch…probably touching on the trigger of a touchy subject. Lmfao. Gotta love the adoptive nature of a plagiarist of print and thought.
     
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  28. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    DB_Cooper...have you been found... or are you just returning after the hiatus with Tom Terrific????
     
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  29. C_Mayer

    C_Mayer New User

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    Yes, but they wont try hard or enjoy something unless they are having fun. When something becomes a "must", you will automatically loose interest. The will of getting better must come from within, otherwise you wont give 100% or dedicate yourself enough to it, tennis in this case.
     
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  30. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    True they need to hit a Scooby-Doo targets, balloons, play basball tennis and around the world every once in a while, etc. I really think where the fun gets taken out of it is when all the focus (from mom and dad) turns the results, winning and losing.
     
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