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gameboy 07-16-2012 12:37 PM

Fun vs Form
 
I have a 10 year old daughter that I have been teaching how to play since she was 6. During summer, she spends 90 min each week day at a clinic held at my club. It is a pretty popular clinic with about 50 kids aged from 10 to 16. I like the fact that she gets to play everyday and have fun with other kids.

HOWEVER...

Her form deteriorates remarkably fast when she is playing in the clinic. Her stroke becomes flatter and flatter and her serves become nothing but a flying pan.

I spend the weekend to straighten her out with her strokes (and footwork), and stress pronation on serves, but it is pretty futile as it all unravels during the week.

I understand that the clinic is mostly about kids having fun and they don't spend much time on forms. It is mostly king of the courts and few drills. During the king of the court, kids end up just pushing the ball back (because they are trying to keep the balls in) and generally, other kids' forms are lacking to say the least.

So, the question is, do I just let her have fun and give up on trying to keep correcting her form? It is just getting me frustrated and it is showing during our time together. Or should I pull her out of the clinic and just keep working with her myself?

I don't know what I should do. Some advice will be appreciated...

MarTennis 07-16-2012 01:17 PM

Talk to her...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gameboy (Post 6731272)
I have a 10 year old daughter that I have been teaching how to play since she was 6. During summer, she spends 90 min each week day at a clinic held at my club. It is a pretty popular clinic with about 50 kids aged from 10 to 16. I like the fact that she gets to play everyday and have fun with other kids.

HOWEVER...

Her form deteriorates remarkably fast when she is playing in the clinic. Her stroke becomes flatter and flatter and her serves become nothing but a flying pan.

I spend the weekend to straighten her out with her strokes (and footwork), and stress pronation on serves, but it is pretty futile as it all unravels during the week.

I understand that the clinic is mostly about kids having fun and they don't spend much time on forms. It is mostly king of the courts and few drills. During the king of the court, kids end up just pushing the ball back (because they are trying to keep the balls in) and generally, other kids' forms are lacking to say the least.

So, the question is, do I just let her have fun and give up on trying to keep correcting her form? It is just getting me frustrated and it is showing during our time together. Or should I pull her out of the clinic and just keep working with her myself?

I don't know what I should do. Some advice will be appreciated...

...about being different. That she has skills others in class may not have yet and that it important or cool or awesome if she could be an example to the others, by playing like she learns. It is a delicate conversation. When you practice with her, remind her in the lightest way possible to show off her moves at the clinic and to resist playing like the others. Good luck Dad. Keep her in the clinics, but keep practicing with her.

Alohajrtennis 07-16-2012 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gameboy (Post 6731272)
I have a 10 year old daughter that I have been teaching how to play since she was 6. During summer, she spends 90 min each week day at a clinic held at my club. It is a pretty popular clinic with about 50 kids aged from 10 to 16. I like the fact that she gets to play everyday and have fun with other kids.

HOWEVER...

Her form deteriorates remarkably fast when she is playing in the clinic. Her stroke becomes flatter and flatter and her serves become nothing but a flying pan.

I spend the weekend to straighten her out with her strokes (and footwork), and stress pronation on serves, but it is pretty futile as it all unravels during the week.

I understand that the clinic is mostly about kids having fun and they don't spend much time on forms. It is mostly king of the courts and few drills. During the king of the court, kids end up just pushing the ball back (because they are trying to keep the balls in) and generally, other kids' forms are lacking to say the least.

So, the question is, do I just let her have fun and give up on trying to keep correcting her form? It is just getting me frustrated and it is showing during our time together. Or should I pull her out of the clinic and just keep working with her myself?

I don't know what I should do. Some advice will be appreciated...

I feel your pain.

My daughter started semi-private lessons at the age of about 4 and progressed very nicely. Her fundamentals were great. She was a sponge, you show her once the right way to do it, she soaked it up and it was great.

At about 8, she started playing team tennis with much older kids(12's) who didn't have her form. Unfortunately, she was sponge and soaked it right up....

I finally puller her out and found a much smaller group with a 3-1 or 4-1 coach ratio and no more than 10 kids at a time. She gets grouped with three or four other kids with that have similar ability.

This balances her need for "socializing" while avoiding the things you mentioned above. The large groups really set her development back quite a bit, we are now trying to undo a lot of bad habits she picked up.

I really suggest you get her out of that environment as soon as possible.

gameboy 07-16-2012 04:01 PM

Aloha, you are reading my mind.

She used to have a BEAUTIFUL stroke. But, she ends up copying the way how everyone else does it in a group environment.

But I do hate to pull her out of the clinic...

TeflonTom 07-16-2012 04:32 PM

if tennis aint about fun it aint worth playin

we all play tennis 2 enjoy ourselves. sounds like thats exactly what ur kid is doin

i would rather my kid be havin fun than learnin good form. if form is that important, keep workin on it with her outside class

pullin her out of the clinic where she is obv enjoyin herself might b a good coachin move but it would b a terrible parentin move

Alohajrtennis 07-16-2012 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TeflonTom (Post 6731831)
if tennis aint about fun it aint worth playin

we all play tennis 2 enjoy ourselves. sounds like thats exactly what ur kid is doin

i would rather my kid be havin fun than learnin good form. if form is that important, keep workin on it with her outside class

pullin her out of the clinic where she is obv enjoyin herself might b a good coachin move but it would b a terrible parentin move


Like I said, I didn't remove my child completely from group tennis, I just moved her to a different environment where there was a better balance between learning and "fun". You just need to find the right environment, it sounds like they place she is now is not working. My daughter got over it real quickly and in fact enjoys it more becuase it is more challenging. A lot of the "fun" in the large groups comes from kids horsing around becuase they are bored/unchallenged.

It may cost more but will be worth it.

Alohajrtennis 07-16-2012 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gameboy (Post 6731754)
Aloha, you are reading my mind.

She used to have a BEAUTIFUL stroke. But, she ends up copying the way how everyone else does it in a group environment.

But I do hate to pull her out of the clinic...

find a more challenging environment /group, somewhere with a better balance.

TeflonTom 07-16-2012 05:18 PM

Fun vs Form
 
dood forget 'balance'. it aint school. tennis is ABOUT fun. if the kid is enjoyin herself then the clinic is 100% successful

if the kid is bored n wants more challengin tennis then pull her out. if she's happy leave her there. simple

bein good at tennis is overrated. Makin new friends n havin fun is impossible to overrate

Alohajrtennis 07-16-2012 05:53 PM

Good advice dood. My daughter has fun playing video games and watching mindless Disney shows and eating chocolate ice cream. I think we'll just give up on the tennis and have her sit in front of the TV all day eating ice cream. Afterall, who needs balance ? How many kids you got Tom ?

TeflonTom 07-16-2012 06:10 PM

Fun vs Form
 
typical tennis parent u are

I aint talkin about balance in life. Of course nutrition, socialisin, gettin outside n exercisin are important. But she's doin all those things at the tennis camp already!

tell me, y should u sacrifice her enjoyment of playin tennis with her friends to get a bit better?

we r all amateurs. the ONLY reason we play tennis is 4 fun. the kid sounds like she's lovin the camp

sounds like tennis is 100% successful in this case

pkshooter 07-16-2012 06:29 PM

Take her out of the class, I resent the fact my parents didn't care about my tennis. Aloha sound like he knows +1 on the semi private classes, playing more serious tennis also gives a sense of accomplishment at least for me it did/does.

klu375 07-16-2012 06:42 PM

I had the same dilemma when my daughter was 10 and I could not find a decent clinic so she ended up without clinics. Just privates and tournaments for a few years. She lived. She had enough social life outside of tennis.

TeflonTom 07-16-2012 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by klu375 (Post 6732112)
She lived.

we're settin the bar high I see

klu375 07-16-2012 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TeflonTom (Post 6732056)
typical tennis parent u are

I aint talkin about balance in life. Of course nutrition, socialisin, gettin outside n exercisin are important. But she's doin all those things at the tennis camp already!

tell me, y should u sacrifice her enjoyment of playin tennis with her friends to get a bit better?

we r all amateurs. the ONLY reason we play tennis is 4 fun. the kid sounds like she's lovin the camp

sounds like tennis is 100% successful in this case

You realize that this Section is called Junior League and Tournament Talk and it is about kids who aspire to play tennis tournaments, right?

ClarkC 07-16-2012 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TeflonTom (Post 6731948)
dood forget 'balance'. it aint school. tennis is ABOUT fun. if the kid is enjoyin herself then the clinic is 100% successful

No, if the clinic is fun AND challenging AND promotes good form, then it is 100% successful. If it is fun and not challenging and promotes bad form, then it is only partially successful. How successful? That depends on priorities, and it also depends on alternatives. Is it the only way she can have fun? Or is there another clinic that would also be fun but would promote better form?

100% is an absolute term. If you put ZERO weight on everything besides fun, good for you. If others put at least a little weight on other factors, that does not make them bad parents in comparison to you.

TeflonTom 07-16-2012 08:07 PM

at 10yrs old, good form is a bonus

any parent who pulls a kid out of a clinic where they r havin fun n makin friends just cos they think they could be learnin better elsewhere has got screwy priorities

Tennishacker 07-17-2012 01:19 PM

Reason her strokes break down is that they have not yet been grooved.
If her strokes are not grooved yet, then they will break down at anytime, tournament play or workouts.

Chance of making the pros is less than .0001%, chance of playing college, 80%.

From what I've read, she does the workouts 5 days a week for 90 min. each day?

My suggestion, work on grooving her strokes 3-4 days a week, and let her "ENJOY" the workout the other days.

It's a long, long road to the 18's/college, let her have fun, competitive tennis is a lonely, tough sport.

gameboy 07-17-2012 02:55 PM

My goal is to get her started in tournaments when she turns 12, and my long term goal is to get her to be a high school all-county level player.

I am not counting on her playing pro nor even college.

But I would like her to have a really solid foundation. It is true that her foundation is not grooved and that is why is it is breaking down. But is this something I can fix later once the clinic is done or is this something I need to stop right away?

chalkflewup 07-17-2012 03:30 PM

Are her goals the same as yours? My parents never set my athletic goals as a kid.

Tcbtennis 07-17-2012 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gameboy (Post 6734047)
My goal is to get her started in tournaments when she turns 12, and my long term goal is to get her to be a high school all-county level player.

I am not counting on her playing pro nor even college.

But I would like her to have a really solid foundation. It is true that her foundation is not grooved and that is why is it is breaking down. But is this something I can fix later once the clinic is done or is this something I need to stop right away?

I faced something similar years ago when my kids first started tennis. At first they took private lessons once a week on the weekends and then I would take them to the park myself twice a week so they could work on groundstrokes. I would make sure they would do exactly as they were taught by the coach. After several months they went to the Summer Camp offered by the coach. They went every morning for the entire summer. Since I work I didn't see any of their training. Once the school year started again and they began going to the after school tennis program where I would watch them train, I saw that the form on their groundstrokes were completely gone. My daughter was slapping at her forehand. My son was now using an extreme Western grip and was hitting every forehand off his back foot. I was not happy. I felt as though my kids had wasted the entire summer since they had to now get back to the basic level they had before the summer started. But they had a great time.

Long story, short. We started back at private lessons and we were able to easily get them back on track. However, I realized that no one but me as the parent cares enough about my child to make sure that they do the best that they can in whatever they do. Since then I'm at my kids training 99% of the time. I listen to everything the coaches say and make sure my kids are doing it. They've returned to the Summer Camp for the past 5 years but we still go to the courts as a family so I can make sure that their tennis is still solid. By now their strokes are definitely grooved and they're at the point of making sure everything is consistent.

I don't know if I even answered your question but I guess 1 summer won't destroy everything.


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