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Flat Top 11-05-2011 08:22 AM

Raising a tennis playing kid
 
Hello. My first post.

I have a 12 yo son who learned tennis from his school teacher last year, now in love with the game and getting pretty good. I was never a tennis player although played a little as a kid. Never got addicted to it, was not even watching tennis on TV. Now we are glued to Tennis Channel daily, watched FYB videos and bought a ball machine. Enrolled him in group classes. Told him that school is number one, tennis is for fun. He says it is the other way around, haha.

How much tennis would you have a kid who wants to do it all the time have? When do parents know that it is worth entering them to academies? For every kid who went that route, how many should have just stayed in school? A kid can always argue that how would we know how good he could be if we did not give him the full support that pros got when they were kids. Thank you.

Soianka 11-05-2011 09:00 AM

I don't think you should limit how much he plays so long as it doesn't affect his school work.

If he loves tennis and wants to play, then by all means let him play.

If you can afford a good academy or good coach, then definitely do that.

BaboFan 11-05-2011 10:08 AM

I'd say academies aren't the best thing but finding a good private coach, sigining him up for usta tournaments, and finding good players or friends to hit with frequently is the best way. As long as he can keep up the straight As its good. But I've found with my son that you can take away tennis as a punishment and they'll be devastated.

Flat Top 11-07-2011 07:23 AM

Thank you for the replies. Any ideas how many kids are in tennis as their career path and how many actually make it (make money in competition)?

BaboFan 11-07-2011 07:52 AM

Starting at 12 he can get really good as in pro coach and go far in open tournaments (BC I did) but pro and winning the opens are very hard

andfor 11-07-2011 07:56 AM

Starting late may be a blessing. I'd shoot for playing college tennis. Many kids who start the game between 4-8 years old and are superstars in the 10's, 12's and even 14's lose interest and fall off in the 16's and 18's.

hacker 11-07-2011 08:13 AM

My son is almost 12 and has been playing USTA tournaments for a few years. Plays 5 times a week. He wants to drop other sports to concentrate on just tennis. I'd prefer he stick with a couple sports, but school is still number one. He's a good tennis player, but there are some REALLY good young players at these tournaments. I'd see where your sons skill level is in tournaments before thinking about academies. As others have suggested get him in a Jr program with a good Pro Coach.

andfor 11-07-2011 08:32 AM

There's a lot of good books out there to help coaches and parents with their athletes. Here's just one of many. http://www.humankinetics.com/product...g-3rd-edition1

BMC9670 11-07-2011 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flat Top (Post 6102575)
Thank you for the replies. Any ideas how many kids are in tennis as their career path and how many actually make it (make money in competition)?

I think many kids (and their parents), maybe millions, dream of making money as a competing professional players in tennis, but the reality of the sport is very, very do. Many make their living as teaching professionals, but making a living as a player is extremely hard as only the very top echelon actually make good money.

SoCal10s 11-07-2011 11:03 AM

if you're lucky and do everything right .. high hopes would be that he gets a nice tennis scholarship at a good d1 school.. after that it's up to him...

Tennishacker 11-07-2011 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 6102907)
I think many kids (and their parents), maybe millions, dream of making money as a competing professional players in tennis, but the reality of the sport is very, very do. Many make their living as teaching professionals, but making a living as a player is extremely hard as only the very top echelon actually make good money.

It would be safe to say that less than 1% of junior tennis players go onto making money as a pro.

Tennishacker 11-07-2011 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoCal10s (Post 6102926)
if you're lucky and do everything right .. high hopes would be that he gets a nice tennis scholarship at a good d1 school.. after that it's up to him...

Agreed, if you child loves tennis, make college the ultimate goal, for reaching that is still very difficult.

BMC9670 11-07-2011 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 6102907)
I think many kids (and their parents), maybe millions, dream of making money as a competing professional players in tennis, but the reality of the sport is very, very do. Many make their living as teaching professionals, but making a living as a player is extremely hard as only the very top echelon actually make good money.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 6102957)
It would be safe to say that less than 1% of junior tennis players go onto making money as a pro.

Ha... just realized I left out an important word in my post... very, very FEW do.

TennisFan2Day 11-07-2011 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoCal10s (Post 6102926)
if you're lucky and do everything right .. high hopes would be that he gets a nice tennis scholarship at a good d1 school.. after that it's up to him...

+1........

Flat Top 11-07-2011 01:03 PM

Thanks for the replies. Really useful.

Number1Coach 11-07-2011 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flat Top (Post 6103211)
Thanks for the replies. Really useful.

If your going to do anything remember one thing if your in America, there are no limits , make your dreams your goals and never shoot for 2nd best "college".

Be in reality though measure up your kid , will he have size ? is he smart ? does he possess common sense ? will you and your wife be completely involved ? Dad and Mom are the guiding force behind your child's success not a coach or academy not even the child !

Be ready to sacrifice your lives to reach the goal as a pro , keep your circle tight and small not to much outside influence . Never listen to anyone who does not have proof of their own success.

Best to you and your child.

BMC9670 11-08-2011 04:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 6103699)
If your going to do anything remember one thing if your in America, there are no limits , make your dreams your goals and never shoot for 2nd best "college".

Be in reality though measure up your kid , will he have size ? is he smart ? does he possess common sense ? will you and your wife be completely involved ? Dad and Mom are the guiding force behind your child's success not a coach or academy not even the child !

Be ready to sacrifice your lives to reach the goal as a pro , keep your circle tight and small not to much outside influence . Never listen to anyone who does not have proof of their own success.

Best to you and your child.

While this outlook is absolutely necessary for anyone who wants to make it to the top of professional tennis, the facts are that very, very few do, regardless of their own or their parent's intentions. It's simply math: only 10 men and 10 women can be in the top 10 at any given time, and if you don't get there, you don't make the really big money. This makes the odds of getting there, no matter the talent and drive one has and sacrifices made, extremely long. The OP asked the question of how many actually make it and this is the reality, not pessimism. Dream big, go for it, but have perspective and never look at an education as "second best".

TennisCoachFLA 11-08-2011 04:39 AM

The answer to how many actually make money in tennis? The estimated average costs to be a professional tennis player has been calculated at $140,000/year.

http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/U...0Pro%20FAQ.pdf

So look through the ATP money list and how many make $140,000 plus enough on top of that to make a living? 75 or so?

So about 75 guys make good livings at tennis would be an educated guess. How many are on the career path to tennis at any given time is impossible to answer though.

Remember lots of guys can 'go pro' and enter low level tournaments that offer purses. But earning $600 in a low level deal a few times per year is not making a living at tennis.

BMC9670 11-08-2011 04:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCoachFLA (Post 6104107)
The answer to how many actually make money in tennis? The estimated average costs to be a professional tennis player has been calculated at $140,000/year.

http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/U...0Pro%20FAQ.pdf

So look through the ATP money list and how many make $140,000 plus enough on top of that to make a living? 75 or so?

So about 75 guys make good livings at tennis would be an educated guess. How many are on the career path to tennis at any given time is impossible to answer though.

Remember lots of guys can 'go pro' and enter low level tournaments that offer purses. But earning $600 in a low level deal a few times per year is not making a living at tennis.

And the cost to get said players to that level over the course of their junior career? I think you had estimated that at one time as well.

BMC9670 11-08-2011 04:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 6103699)
If your going to do anything remember one thing if your in America, there are no limits , make your dreams your goals and never shoot for 2nd best "college".

Be in reality though measure up your kid , will he have size ? is he smart ? does he possess common sense ? will you and your wife be completely involved ? Dad and Mom are the guiding force behind your child's success not a coach or academy not even the child !

Be ready to sacrifice your lives to reach the goal as a pro , keep your circle tight and small not to much outside influence . Never listen to anyone who does not have proof of their own success.

Best to you and your child.

Just look at the two BOLD statements in this post. What a contradiction! This from a guy who states on TV that he was kicked out of high school, never went to college, has had no success with a pro tennis player as of yet, and stakes his entire future on the shoulders of his son. So, who would you listen to?


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