Originally Posted by Rina
I think it is great to go and hear other perspectives and how different coaches do their job. As to Spanish being better, well, it seems that they are in "vogue" right now. Not so much 10 years ago. I think raising a tennis pro has more to do with parents than national programs. It may be that American parents are too easy on their kids today, or too giving and don't demand as much as parents from other countires. IMO. Also it you look at the parents of some of the US best players(some, not all) they have recent immigrant status. Some are first US born generation. Agassi has an Iranian born father, Sampras's mother born in Sicily, Seles- well she is naturalized talent and born in Yugoslavia. She and her Hungarian coach/father accomplished tons before she even came to us. She grew up in a city 1 hour away from where Djokovic was born in today's Serbia and was even "discovered" by the same coach. Chang-Taiwanese parents. There are of course many US tennis stars that don't have recent immigrant status, but at my son's academy majority of the kids playing have parents that speak English with an accent. Why this is so? No idea.
It would be great if you give us a recap about that they talked about.
Many immigrant parents have something to prove, because they usually start at the bottom of American society when they first get here. I say this because my parents are first-gen immigrants (Chinese) so I understand their mindset. They go above and beyond what the average, fifth-generation American parents do with their kids' development, which is simply dropping them off at the local academy then picking them up a few hours later, completely trusting their training to the academy's coaches.
Immigrant parents make their kids study tennis in a way that no average American parent would, because they aren't usually as well off financially as well-established American families. They expect the same performance without the same financial outlay, and oftentimes they expend a lot more energy and time into actually learning the sport with their kids (see Mike Agassi, Yuri Sharapov, etc). Consequently they know their children's strengths and weaknesses even better than the coaches do, and are extremely quick to create their own drills to either complement the coach's shortcomings or find other coaches who can address the weakness better.
This doesn't mean that ALL American parents are very hands-off with their children's development (see Pat Harrison, Wayne Bryan, Richard Williams, Donald Young's parents etc), but you can obviously see a correlation between their approach/immigrant parents' approach to coaching vs the average American parent.
It's like going to school and doing quality, relevant homework when you get home. The best American players' parents and their immigrant counterparts all emphasize "tennis homework" and are very proactive about doing training and drills away from the coach.