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-   -   Mindset of a champion? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441921)

WoodIndoors 10-02-2012 11:31 PM

Mindset of a champion?
 
My player, 9 years old, started a year ago, likes to hit hard, wants to win every single point in practise. She runs like h.ll to reach every ball. Real fighter.

Now she says she wants to start playing tournaments. My plan is to postpone that until her game is "ready" enough. But she says she can't wait to start competing because she wants to win 'real matches' and also because she's "soo eager to make the other girl cry for losing her".

Should I try to convince her that that's a wrong motive to play tennis? That tennis is "just a game"? It seems pretty important to her

jgmellor 10-02-2012 11:41 PM

Let her play.

Rina 10-03-2012 03:10 AM

Let her play a novice tournament, see how she does and take it from there.

ga tennis 10-03-2012 04:35 AM

If she wants to play let her play. Just make sure that she knows its not about wins and losses right now its about doing it right and improving every day.GOOD LUCK!!!! It sounds like you got a got a good one.

Soianka 10-03-2012 05:24 AM

Quote:

"soo eager to make the other girl cry for losing her".

Not so sure about this.

widmerpool 10-03-2012 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WoodIndoors (Post 6932695)
But she says she can't wait to start competing because she wants to win 'real matches' and also because she's "soo eager to make the other girl cry for losing her".



Sounds like a healthy mindset.

TennisCoachIN 10-03-2012 06:10 AM

My eight year old really wanting to start playing tournaments this summer and I was okay with it as long it was not all about winning or losing, but making steady improvement in her game. She agreed and has kept to her word.

I would say let her play. Please make sure to hold her accountable for whatever goals you have her playing tournaments (fun, work hard, etc..).

Have Fun... some of the best memories of my life our during the car rides and lunches with my daughter during these tournaments :)

Number1Coach 10-03-2012 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WoodIndoors (Post 6932695)
My player, 9 years old, started a year ago, likes to hit hard, wants to win every single point in practise. She runs like h.ll to reach every ball. Real fighter.

Now she says she wants to start playing tournaments. My plan is to postpone that until her game is "ready" enough. But she says she can't wait to start competing because she wants to win 'real matches' and also because she's "soo eager to make the other girl cry for losing her".

Should I try to convince her that that's a wrong motive to play tennis? That tennis is "just a game"? It seems pretty important to her

Teach her to be super respectful off court and never try to change her attitude about destroying the competition that is a great mindset ,nurture it as much as possible , the only time my player is to show kindness on the court is if his competition gets hurt other then that he is there to crush them .

Best to you and your kids

Rina 10-03-2012 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 6933061)
Teach her to be super respectful off court and never try to change her attitude about destroying the competition that is a great mindset ,nurture it as much as possible , the only time my player is to show kindness on the court is if his competition gets hurt other then that he is there to crush them .

Best to you and your kids

I have to agree with this sentiment when it comes to my son. He is the nicest kid, truly, I have another child, and seen many kids, and my own child makes me very proud by being nicest, kindest boy you'll meet. But, it drives me crazy on the court when he does this constant applauding to his opponent. For example he played a kid and my son was up 5-2 and this other kid started changing scores, saying no it's 30-40 for me, not 40-30 for you... Then he called every close ball out, and bunch of parents and my son saw it was in. In the end my child loses and he was still applauding cheaters good shots!!! I am not saying he shouldn't be nice, but it is costing him many matches.

Number1Coach 10-03-2012 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rina (Post 6933329)
I have to agree with this sentiment when it comes to my son. He is the nicest kid, truly, I have another child, and seen many kids, and my own child makes me very proud by being nicest, kindest boy you'll meet. But, it drives me crazy on the court when he does this constant applauding to his opponent. For example he played a kid and my son was up 5-2 and this other kid started changing scores, saying no it's 30-40 for me, not 40-30 for you... Then he called every close ball out, and bunch of parents and my son saw it was in. In the end my child loses and he was still applauding cheaters good shots!!! I am not saying he shouldn't be nice, but it is costing him many matches.

Start teaching your son to be business minded out there ,most will say it needs to be "fun" hogwash , start by explaing he is out there working for points and the win is his paycheck and any kid cheating is a shoplifter in his business and no one applauds a theif they must be treated harshly !

Once again a gentleman off the court ,all business on the court and if he needs fun take him to Disneyland or a beach or park .

Best to you .

Surecatch 10-03-2012 10:01 AM

Match experience is invaluable. To me there is no such thing as waiting for the game to be ready. Once she can keep from getting blown off the court, get her in there if she wants to. Match play is an important component of the development process/learning curve. Learning to win is not always as easy as learning the strokes and the strategy.

Tennishacker 10-03-2012 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surecatch (Post 6933391)
Match experience is invaluable. To me there is no such thing as waiting for the game to be ready. Once she can keep from getting blown off the court, get her in there if she wants to. Match play is an important component of the development process/learning curve. Learning to win is not always as easy as learning the strokes and the strategy.

It's common knowledge that juniors at the top of the 10 & 12's rankings usually disappear once they reach the 18's.

If you allow a junior to compete without the proper stroke foundation, winning by just keeping the ball in play, then you set them up for failure, regardless of how mentally tough they are.

10ismom 10-03-2012 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WoodIndoors (Post 6932695)
My player, 9 years old, started a year ago, likes to hit hard, wants to win every single point in practise. She runs like h.ll to reach every ball. Real fighter.

Now she says she wants to start playing tournaments. My plan is to postpone that until her game is "ready" enough. But she says she can't wait to start competing because she wants to win 'real matches' and also because she's "soo eager to make the other girl cry for losing her".

Should I try to convince her that that's a wrong motive to play tennis? That tennis is "just a game"? It seems pretty important to her

As long as she already mastered the basic sound technique, necessary strokes, serves, and mentally capable to compete, I don't see why not. You can try putting her in tournaments as a part of learning. I would suggest that you do not overlyemphasize on winning and losing. Not competing for points or build up ranking esp. just after a year of tennis in her case. Make sure to stress on testing her skills, strategies, emotionally, etc in tournament matches as part of her development.
She seems overly competitive already wanting to make the other girl cry. Coming from another competitive sport...perhaps? Competitiveness is quite a good quality to have. As a parent please know that tennis is an individual sport. Be ready to support her. She is as likely to cry when she loses. My 13 year old cried with a surprised loss the other day. Very rarely now but still happened. She was upset that she played poorly and should have won. Match experience is as important as good technique, IMO. Cannot have one without the other.

BMC9670 10-03-2012 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WoodIndoors (Post 6932695)
My player, 9 years old, started a year ago, likes to hit hard, wants to win every single point in practise. She runs like h.ll to reach every ball. Real fighter.

Now she says she wants to start playing tournaments. My plan is to postpone that until her game is "ready" enough. But she says she can't wait to start competing because she wants to win 'real matches' and also because she's "soo eager to make the other girl cry for losing her".

Should I try to convince her that that's a wrong motive to play tennis? That tennis is "just a game"? It seems pretty important to her

I would use the serve as a guide. If she's able to serve correctly and get a decent percentage in, then go for it. Conversely, if she's going to double fault 2 points away every game, she's not going to be very successful and it might backfire. If she's as competitive as you say, set a goal, like when she can correctly and consistently get 7 out of every 10 serves in and at least start the point neutral, good to go.

Also, don't squash her competitiveness. It's a good thing. If she's not "ready" to play competitive matches, use her competitive fire to set goals for her to get there through practice points, sets, or matches.

Lastly, I agree with Number1Coach (did I just say that, Brad?!:)) when people say it always has to be fun is "hogwash". When they are little, 5-6, then yes, it's hit and giggle, while bringing them along. When they get towards 10-12, the fun is in being good and winning. That takes work and you can enjoy the work. It's a sport. You try to win. That's the point. At the same time, you have to teach them how to win and lose the right way.

Good luck and feed that fire!

Oz_Rocket 10-04-2012 01:38 AM

I've recently had to go through this with my son. He just turned nine and has only been playing since January this year. He has very good hand eye coordination and has progressed well but has some obvious weaknesses in his game. I was a bit reluctant because almost every other kid has been playing for at least a year longer than him and most are a year older. But he plays a very aggressive and strong game for his size so between his coach and myself we thought why not see how he goes.

We did a lot of expectation management and set some ground rules with him:

1. Chances are you will lose most of your matches so be prepared for this. It is not about winning or losing but finding out your weaknesses and improving them more quickly than you would just being coached.
2. Play your naturally aggressive game and while defensive shots in response to goods shots from your opponent are okay, always play to win. Go for winners, deep shots in the corners, cross courts and drop shots. No pushing.
3. Weaknesses in your game will become evident very quickly. Accept that fixing this may take some time but it will make you a better player.
4. Try to identify where your opponent is weak and target this. Are they bad at backhands? Do they get put off if you approach the net? Start to think strategy.

So far he has only played one round robin tournament but it went well. Lost all four matches as expected but won 25% of the games and took well over half of the lost games to deuce. He was really let down by lazy footwork and unforced errors so we are working hard on these but he played a very aggressive game and hit a lot of unplayable winners. Forehand passing shots, backhand cross court shots and drop volleys. He just isn't consistent enough yet.

So my advice is provided you can keep her ambition in check go for it. The moment she drops her bundle and isn't learning from her mistakes it will all become counter productive. And unfortunately that is what from my limited recent experience seems to happen more often than not, particularly with girls.

Also to me there is a distinct but important difference between a burning desire to win and a desire to make your opponent cry at losing. You just can't define success in sport by the reaction (or lack of) from your opponent. Don't get me wrong, if you can win every game to love then do so. I want my son to have a strong desire to win. But one of the best bits of advice I received as a junior was to only concentrate on what I could control. My technique, my preparations, etc. The moment I started to try to control stuff like the weather, the condition of the court or how the other player reacted I was setting myself up for failure.

Woolybugger 10-04-2012 07:09 AM


WoodIndoors 10-04-2012 02:18 PM

Thanks for your invaluable comments!

BMC, your advice to use serve as a guide makes sense to me. I think I won't let her compete before she can master that well enough.

That "make the other girl cry" stuff...well, that made me wonder also...So I asked her if she could explain why she'd like that and for an answer she mumbled something like 'I want my opponent to really feel my good game'

I think it may have something to do with our practise habits where, besides spending majority of time learning the right technique, I make her play points with her brother so that there's either some 'prize' for the winner but even more often some appropriate "humiliation" reserved for the loser - like singing loudly some (stupid) popsong while jogging around the park (which 'punisment' she and her brother have always decided together) ...

But I'd be more than happy to hear more (following #1 coach) of your ideas how to raise a kid with a mindset of a winner?

WoodIndoors 10-04-2012 02:48 PM

=====double post=======

tennis5 10-04-2012 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WoodIndoors (Post 6932695)

........she's "soo eager to make the other girl cry for losing her"....



Quote:

Originally Posted by WoodIndoors (Post 6932695)

.........but even more often some appropriate "humiliation" reserved for the loser



And when comparing American tennis academies to Russian academies,

you state -

Quote:

Originally Posted by WoodIndoors (Post 6932695)

...is not the optimal situation for American tennis...

Those regular kids, using same facilities, hanging out...

In Russia, there' s no rotten apples...

I often wonder where these kids come from who clap and holler for their opponent's double faults or when the opponent falls.

Got it. Now I understand the mindset.

widmerpool 10-04-2012 05:45 PM

OK, this has to be a parody thread.


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