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-   -   Mental of a kid (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455554)

NouKy 02-22-2013 08:34 AM

Mental of a kid
 
Hi all,

I really need advise on the mental or confidence for my son.

He is 12 years old and playing now not too bad, but when he is playing in tournament it is like he is playing only at 40%
4 double faults in the row, easy ball smashed, ...

and he has been playing tournament already 1.5 years, he started 2 years ago.

It seems that he cannot let down this stress sentiment.

I made an experience on him.

Yesterday, we meet people on court and he play with them, and no problem he play as usual.

After that i want him to not do a double fault so i make him make his second serve, which is not bad, he miss some but it is acceptable (on about 10 serves 1 is out).
Then i told him every 10 serves, you can only miss 1, and if you miss you will have to write 20 times "I cannot miss my serve" x number of miss out of 10 => I know I am bad, but i want him to feel that in this game he have something to loose.

then he made 4 double faults in a row, success 1 and then again double fault multiple time, just like in tournament.

I wanted to stress him to the equivalent of a tournament.

Am I in a right track to help him suppress that anxiety or should I stop to do that stupid thing ?

What is your experience.

He is my little one so as all of you we like to see our little to succeed, not forcibly win a match, but just play freely and most importantly play his best.

Thanks

jigglypuff 02-22-2013 08:49 AM

Hitting 100s of 1st/2nd serves with targets every other day for a few weeks will fix this... assuming his technique is correct.

BSPE84 02-22-2013 09:10 AM

You are the problem
 
You are pressuring him. Don't watch, don't give him pointers, and he will get over it.

tennisfan69 02-22-2013 09:15 AM

Stay away from watching
 
Dont watch him play matches, just let him figure out how to get over it. from what you are writing. it seems there is a lot of pressure on him to win and NOT put double faults. take it easy, it may take a year or more to get over it, but HE has to do it, you cannot do it. Train him properly and let him love the game.

Rina 02-22-2013 11:48 AM

The whole time he is serving he is thinking "I can't miss, I can't miss, my Dad is going to be so upset!" Or how he is going to have to write can't miss a serve million times? So, what do you think is making him miss it? He is not thinking about serving at all! It is perfectly normal to play at a lower level at a tournie, it takes a lot of matches to get over it. Sorry to say it, you are not helping it, you are making it worse. What you do in practice translates in a tournament, and if he was stressing on his own, now you added to it. Always tell him play the right way and if you lose even badly I am happy you played your game and stuck with it!

mikeler 02-22-2013 11:52 AM

What the people above said. It took me a few years of playing tournaments to get over my nerves when I was a kid.

NouKy 02-22-2013 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rina (Post 7230766)
The whole time he is serving he is thinking "I can't miss, I can't miss, my Dad is going to be so upset!" Or how he is going to have to write can't miss a serve million times? So, what do you think is making him miss it? He is not thinking about serving at all! It is perfectly normal to play at a lower level at a tournie, it takes a lot of matches to get over it. Sorry to say it, you are not helping it, you are making it worse. What you do in practice translates in a tournament, and if he was stressing on his own, now you added to it. Always tell him play the right way and if you lose even badly I am happy you played your game and stuck with it!

I didn't see it like that, agrh. :oops: :oops:
And you are right, he is still a little boy who like to please to his parent.
Sometime i ask him read this forum, I had to make him read what you just wrote.

Thank million time

I didn't make him write, it was just to make him try to fight his stress.

BMC9670 02-22-2013 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NouKy (Post 7230787)
I didn't see it like that, agrh. :oops: :oops:
And you are right, he is still a little boy who like to please to his parent.
Sometime i ask him read this forum, I had to make him read what you just wrote.

Thank million time

I didn't make him write, it was just to make him try to fight his stress.

I see serve practice in two ways: physical practice and mental practice.

Physical practice is repetition to engrain correct technique. Make sure he is practicing his serve with perfect form, otherwise he is practicing bad habits that can let him down in a tournament. Don't "over practice" in terms of number of serves.

Mental practice is very important and should carry pressure and consequences, however I prefer positive consequences. Here are a couple things I do with my son, who is 10:

Give him scenarios: "you are up 40-30 on match point", and have him serve out the "fake" game. "You are down 30-40 break point, try and save it", etc etc. He enjoys the challenge of trying to win these "games".

Give him positive consequences: If you can hit 8 out of 10 serves three times in a row, you can choose where we go to eat. I've even put a $5 bill on the court and say it's yours if you can hit the next 5 serves.

Bottom line: positive pressure, not negative pressure. In tennis, there are no dire consequences when you lose, but only good ones if you win. It's a game after all.

sureshs 02-22-2013 12:14 PM

How is his technique? If there is a glitch there, pressure will amplify it.

NouKy 02-22-2013 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 7230812)
...
Physical practice is repetition to engrained correct technique. Make sure he is practicing his serve with perfect form, otherwise he is practicing bad habits that can let him down in a tournament. Don't "over practice" in terms of number of serves.
.....
Bottom line: positive pressure, not negative pressure. In tennis, there are no dire consequences when you lose, but only good ones if you win.


For the physical practice, how much server do you do per session ?
We do like 200, is it too much ?
And i try to repeat what his coach teach him, continental grip, motion, follow, ...


And for the mental, yes I took the wrong approach by using negative consequence.

Thanks BMC9670, that's a good advice, I will apply it.

NouKy 02-22-2013 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7230824)
How is his technique? If there is a glitch there, pressure will amplify it.

For his first serve, sometime he forgot the timing, but when he play with his friends and remember the timing, he get a good and fast serve.

His second serve is really bad, because it try to do like his first instead of going up. He goes up but not enough.

BMC9670 02-22-2013 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NouKy (Post 7230835)
For the physical practice, how much server do you do per session ?
We do like 200, is it too much ?
And i try to repeat what his coach teach him, continental grip, motion, follow, ...


And for the mental, yes I took the wrong approach by using negative consequence.

Thanks BMC9670, that's a good advice, I will apply it.

I think 200 in a row is too much at that age. He may lose focus. I'd rather see 50 with good focus and perfect form than 200 loose and unfocused. Try 50, then do some on the mental side later in the practice.

BSPE84 02-22-2013 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NouKy (Post 7230846)
For his first serve, sometime he forgot the timing, but when he play with his friends and remember the timing, he get a good and fast serve.

His second serve is really bad, because it try to do like his first instead of going up. He goes up but not enough.

I don't agree. He can patty cake a serve and make 10 out of 10. Don't think you want that either. There is nothing wrong with a "good" double fault with proper technique.

Rina 02-22-2013 05:55 PM

NouKy,
Thanks for understanding what I wrote. I was a bit worried that I worded that too strongly.

NouKy 02-25-2013 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rina (Post 7231396)
NouKy,
Thanks for understanding what I wrote. I was a bit worried that I worded that too strongly.

No, it is me to say thanks :)

tennis5 02-25-2013 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NouKy (Post 7230325)


Then i told him every 10 serves, you can only miss 1, and if you miss you will have to write 20 times "I cannot miss my serve" x number of miss out of 10 => I know I am bad, but i want him to feel that in this game he have something to loose.

then he made 4 double faults in a row, success 1 and then again double fault multiple time, just like in tournament.

I wanted to stress him to the equivalent of a tournament.

Am I in a right track to help him suppress that anxiety or should I stop to do that stupid thing ?


Someone once wrote on this board,

"Kids love tennis, until the parents ruin it"

I think you know the answer to your own question....

This is suppose to be his fun, healthy activity
( so he doesn't sit around eating chips and playing on his xbox, or later getting high with his friends as a teenager).

Lots of kids quit tennis...
It happens when they hit puberty, look around, and see their friends hanging out at the mall,
and the sport has become un fun as their parents are putting all this pressure on them.

Lay off.... Don't watch his tournaments or his practice matches.
Let him enjoy his sport, so he continues.

Woolybugger 02-25-2013 11:53 AM

kids that play the best tennis under pressure are the ones that play for the love of the game.
kids that play the worst tennis under pressure are the ones that play for the love of the father.

NouKy 02-25-2013 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woolybugger (Post 7235788)
kids that play the best tennis under pressure are the ones that play for the love of the game.
kids that play the worst tennis under pressure are the ones that play for the love of the father.

Hum

Yep I understand and I think there are some case where it is not true
I didn't introduce tennis to him, (I wanted him to do Martial arts :) )
He introduced me to tennis, He was watching Prince of tennis (Manga).

It is just that because i love him, i want him to do the best for whatever he chose.

He is shy, but he never give up no matter what.
Even if he loose, he keep asking me to do tournament and train.
And it is where i am a little loss, I can't stand (but try to change) to see him losing so may be I take a part too much in.

I Remember 2 years ago, when we went to his first Team tennis :)
He was losing to everyone, and cry.
And he told me dad i want to train, so that how i become his ball feeder even the feed is so bad.
And that how i was involve more and more of my time (and money T_T )
Today he play not bad (In sense that i don't play tennis), but still not focus enough.

Yesterday, he asked me to train him to have control and not hit the ball too hard vs hit with more speed.
We trained like 2.5 hours and I had to tell him to stop because I was tired :P and it began to be late.

He is my son so I know him,
His problem is like me when i had his age :P, but i didn't do any sport, just play outside with Friend.

And may be I just don't want him to be as shy as me.
We always want our kid to be better than ourself :)

Hope he will overcome that and play his best :)

Thanks

Chemist 02-28-2013 08:46 AM

I don't see you as a problem for your son's double faults. My son is 16 and he did not play his 1st tournament until he was 10.5 yr old, just like your son. Even though he is playing 18s national events now, he is still working on his serves, because double fault is often the main cause for a tough loss. Here are a few tips that I hope would be helpful.

- Serve practice. We use a bucket that holds about 80 balls. After warming up for 1st and 2nd serves, I asked him to serve 1st serve, followed with 2nd serve. If he misses 2nd serve, he would serve 2 more 2nd serves - alternating serving to the deuce side and to the add side. Do these for 60 balls. For remaining 20 balls may be used as his opportunity for a reward. You offer him a dollar if he keeps his double faults to under 3 (or 2 or 1 or 0). If his 1st serve is in, continue with 2nd serve...

- Serve technique. Don't assume that his coach is teaching him how to serve his 2nd serves correctly. For 2nd serves, the focus is the spin - one needs to hear that beautiful string pops. Search YouTube video of top pros' serves (1st and 2nd) in slow motion. In privates, ask his coach to focus more on 2nd serves.

- Serve Strategy. At 12, he needs to focus on spin and placement. You may ask him to serve only 2nd serves in a few matches so that he would have 2 chances to get a 2nd serve in. Very few 12 yr olders are good at attacking 2nd serves. Also ask him to take a few seconds, like bouncing the balls 7-8 times, before serve his 2nd serve. If he has a long rally in his previous point, he wants to get to his towel to catch a little breath before serve.

- Mental Toughness. If he loses a match because he serves 20 double faults, you may want to focus your post-match discussion on other things, what he did well and what he did not do so well. Don't remind him about the double faults because he already knew it. BTW, continue to work on other aspects of the game. If he can break his opponent's serves easily, he would be less stressful when he is serving. The outcome? He would serve better with less double faults.:)


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