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BMC9670 01-31-2013 10:38 AM

How much to tell kids?
 
My 10YO son is starting to get seeded in 12U tournaments and up until now, I would just sign him up and let him play without telling him who else is in the tournament (outside his training friends), who is seeded, who he plays, how old they are, etc, etc. I just wanted him to play without any mental clutter.

Do you think knowing they're seeded helps a kid's confidence going in or puts pressure on them? Curious to hear thoughts and experiences.

ga tennis 01-31-2013 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 7182504)
My 10YO son is starting to get seeded in 12U tournaments and up until now, I would just sign him up and let him play without telling him who else is in the tournament (outside his training friends), who is seeded, who he plays, how old they are, etc, etc. I just wanted him to play without any mental clutter.

Do you think knowing they're seeded helps a kid's confidence going in or puts pressure on them? Curious to hear thoughts and experiences.

Dont tell him. Depersonalize it!!!

10ismom 01-31-2013 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 7182504)
My 10YO son is starting to get seeded in 12U tournaments and up until now, I would just sign him up and let him play without telling him who else is in the tournament (outside his training friends), who is seeded, who he plays, how old they are, etc, etc. I just wanted him to play without any mental clutter.

Do you think knowing they're seeded helps a kid's confidence going in or puts pressure on them? Curious to hear thoughts and experiences.

You telling or not..... kids talk about these things. He'll know if he's seeded or not.
You shouldn't tell him about his opponents though. However, if you and him could scout the opponent while he was playing on another court, that can be helpful....may be not at 10 yr old but when he is older or playing higher/harder tournaments.

raging 01-31-2013 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 7182504)
My 10YO son is starting to get seeded in 12U tournaments and up until now, I would just sign him up and let him play without telling him who else is in the tournament (outside his training friends), who is seeded, who he plays, how old they are, etc, etc. I just wanted him to play without any mental clutter.

Do you think knowing they're seeded helps a kid's confidence going in or puts pressure on them? Curious to hear thoughts and experiences.

keep it real...if you don't get excited about the fact he is seeded then he won't unless his peers tell him how good he is.That will then be normal peer pressure.
You can explain to him how it is results based etc if he doesn't understand but it only reflects sometimes how much the other kids have played.
They have had more opportunities to win.

A seeding is by definition a number's game but let him know there will always be somebody better...somewhere. Having the seed doesn't mean he is any better or is guaranteed a win.

gplracer 01-31-2013 05:13 PM

I think it depends on the kid too. Tennis is much more difficult for my older son. When he was younger he would automatically think he was going to lose if he knew he was playing a seed. My younger son is always seeded at his age level and now is getting seeded is many tournaments in the next age level. He looks at the draw sheet at the tournament, asks me who he is playing and on and on. For him it does not make much difference.

Rina 01-31-2013 05:39 PM

My philosophy is don't tell him anything. Only to control what he can control, to play the right way, no to push, bounce before serving, that kind of thing. If you say you are playing a good player, he'll over think it and will lose the moment you tell him that, no point in showing up at all. If you tell his his opponent is easy and has no clue you risk your player playing at a horrible level, since why play good? Kids will see the draw and soon enough know who is who, and who beats who, but if you avoid giving too much information in the beginning when they are new to tournaments they will play better and have a mental advantage. After a few months of playing they'll will know who is how, but if they don't know in the beginning it can give them wins that they might not have if they got too much info. I am not sure if this makes sense, sorry.

ga tennis 01-31-2013 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rina (Post 7183389)
My philosophy is don't tell him anything. Only to control what he can control, to play the right way, no to push, bounce before serving, that kind of thing. If you say you are playing a good player, he'll over think it and will lose the moment you tell him that, no point in showing up at all. If you tell his his opponent is easy and has no clue you risk your player playing at a horrible level, since why play good? Kids will see the draw and soon enough know who is who, and who beats who, but if you avoid giving too much information in the beginning when they are new to tournaments they will play better and have a mental advantage. After a few months of playing they'll will know who is how, but if they don't know in the beginning it can give them wins that they might not have if they got too much info. I am not sure if this makes sense, sorry.

I agree except don't tell them not to push tell them to hit full out. When you tell young kids what not to do their brains do crazy things. I remember this summer my daughter went into a third st 10 point breaker and I told her not to miss returns and for some reason in her mind she heard miss returns and missed 5 returns. Funny how the brain works.

chalkflewup 01-31-2013 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gplracer (Post 7183343)
I think it depends on the kid too. Tennis is much more difficult for my older son. When he was younger he would automatically think he was going to lose if he knew he was playing a seed. My younger son is always seeded at his age level and now is getting seeded is many tournaments in the next age level. He looks at the draw sheet at the tournament, asks me who he is playing and on and on. For him it does not make much difference.

I always told my kid he was playing the ball. I know its only a mindset but, eventually it becomes habit.

Chemist 01-31-2013 05:59 PM

Trust me that even a 10 year old knows how to get onto Tennislink to find out who he/she will play, unless this kid doesn't want to know. I always print out the draw and talked to my son about how to play a kid before the match. Tennisrecruiting.net is the best tool to find out how his opponent did if we don't know him already. However, one of my son's friends never wanted to know who she would play. She could not sleep well if she saw the draw. One can usually blame parents for giving our kids too much pressure for winning.

ga tennis 01-31-2013 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chalkflewup (Post 7183413)
I always told my kid he was playing the ball. I know its only a mindset but, eventually it becomes habit.

Agree.... Sharapova is a perfect example she doesn't care who she plays because she is gonna play her game and hit her targets.

Oz_Rocket 01-31-2013 06:31 PM

In my son's first ever U10 tournament his last match of a round robin (where he'd lost the previous 4 matches) was against the eventual winner. He and I had no idea who was who so I just said go out there, play your best and have some fun.

Turns out he gave this kid the toughest match of the tournament taking him to deuce in all but one game, mainly because my son can handle pace very well. A big lesson in not making assumptions as different playing styles can throw up weird results.

5 months on he now knows who is who but I take the approach of not telling him what to do but what are the right questions to ask.

Even though I got beaten last time by this kid, was there anything I thought they were weak on? Where have I improved since I last played them and can I use this? What about the conditions? For a new opponent are they left or right handed? If I've seen them warm up what shots did they hit more sweetly? What is their 1st/2nd serve like?

gplracer 01-31-2013 06:34 PM

I tell my son very little on match day. 6-8 feet over the net, wait for the short ball and put it away. If my son asks about the opponent and how I think he will do, I always say well if you move your feet and play tough you should do fine. Remember winning the day and winning the match are two different things. A winner comes off the court knowing he did his best with what he brought to the court on that day. Some days he can bring more or less than others. The score of the match does not matter. It is the journey not the day. Hopefully 30 minutes later he is saying, "Where is everyone going to eat tonight?"

Chemist 01-31-2013 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gplracer (Post 7183486)
I tell my son very little on match day. 6-8 feet over the net, wait for the short ball and put it away. If my son asks about the opponent and how I think he will do, I always say well if you move your feet and play tough you should do fine. Remember winning the day and winning the match are two different things. A winner comes off the court knowing he did his best with what he brought to the court on that day. Some days he can bring more or less than others. The score of the match does not matter. It is the journey not the day. Hopefully 30 minutes later he is saying, "Where is everyone going to eat tonight?"

Good advice! How do you usually tell him after he splits sets?

nightfire700 01-31-2013 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gplracer (Post 7183486)
I tell my son very little on match day. 6-8 feet over the net, wait for the short ball and put it away. If my son asks about the opponent and how I think he will do, I always say well if you move your feet and play tough you should do fine. Remember winning the day and winning the match are two different things. A winner comes off the court knowing he did his best with what he brought to the court on that day. Some days he can bring more or less than others. The score of the match does not matter. It is the journey not the day. Hopefully 30 minutes later he is saying, "Where is everyone going to eat tonight?"

Slightly off-topic but I was wondering is the 6-8 feet above the net a way to play safe or a demand of the modern game? My son loves to hit as close as possible to the net and most of his shots going within 6-12 inches above the net. His coach has asked him a few times to hit higher but my son is insistent and loves getting really flat barely touching the top-of-net shots. Is this something I should be actively working on as I see more and more advise about hitting higher above the net. He is 9yrs and not very tall at 52 inches.

Chemist 01-31-2013 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 7183432)
Agree.... Sharapova is a perfect example she doesn't care who she plays because she is gonna play her game and hit her targets.

It's her strength for sure. But she lost a few big matches because she only knows or is willing to play one type of game. Serena can overpower her and Li Na can also make her run corners and miss her targets.

Chemist 01-31-2013 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nightfire700 (Post 7183596)
Slightly off-topic but I was wondering is the 6-8 feet above the net a way to play safe or a demand of the modern game? My son loves to hit as close as possible to the net and most of his shots going within 6-12 inches above the net. His coach has asked him a few times to hit higher but my son is insistent and loves getting really flat barely touching the top-of-net shots. Is this something I should be actively working on as I see more and more advise about hitting higher above the net. He is 9yrs and not very tall at 52 inches.

I agree with his coach. A 9 yr old may need to have more net clearance to keep balls deep. Most little kids hate moon balls to their backhand. Older kids usually have low net clearance (1-2' over the net). Ask him to practice both flat and spin shots.

nightfire700 01-31-2013 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chemist (Post 7183619)
I agree with his coach. A 9 yr old may need to have more net clearance to keep balls deep. Most little kids hate moon balls to their backhand. Older kids usually have low net clearance (1-2' over the net). Ask him to practice both flat and spin shots.

Thanks, will try and plant the idea in his brain to practice both :-). BTW, about the depth, he gets good depth and thats our implicit understanding that all balls have to land beyond the halfway point between the service line and baseline and as close to the baseline as possible. He plays regular balls (very few coaches in India use dot balls) on a full clay court.

Alohajrtennis 01-31-2013 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 7183432)
Agree.... Sharapova is a perfect example she doesn't care who she plays because she is gonna play her game and hit her targets.

Play the ball is right, but looking ahead on the draw can sometimes give you an idea of what kind of ball they should be expecting to play. For instance, this weekend my girls playing a girl who hits a pretty good slice back hand, which is not normally the case with 11 year old girls, not something she has to deal with a lot, so she spent a little extra time focusing on that in practice this week, and that helps her confidence going into the match, she knows she is ready.

Chemist 01-31-2013 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nightfire700 (Post 7183641)
Thanks, will try and plant the idea in his brain to practice both :-). BTW, about the depth, he gets good depth and thats our implicit understanding that all balls have to land beyond the halfway point between the service line and baseline and as close to the baseline as possible. He plays regular balls (very few coaches in India use dot balls) on a full clay court.

Your son must be very strong:) He will also need to hit passing shots when his opponent comes to the net. An effective X-court passing shot requires good angle and tons of spins. His flat shot works well for passing down the line.

nightfire700 02-01-2013 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chemist (Post 7183762)
Your son must be very strong:) He will also need to hit passing shots when his opponent comes to the net. An effective X-court passing shot requires good angle and tons of spins. His flat shot works well for passing down the line.

Yes, he has a relatively strong arm (throws a lot of balls around while playing cricket) and good timing, though overall he is pretty small for his age. As for the opponent coming to the net, isnt a flat close to the net more difficult to volley back? I will have to observe more on his X-court returns but I think he uses a flat out shot there as well but he does lack consistency there. Maybe its because of the reason you stated. Having said that is there a need to hit way above the net (4-6 feet) to get good spin or one can add good spin even when hitting relatively flat shots (1-2 feet above net) especially if the player is only 52 inches tall?


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