Originally Posted by Mikeadelic
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.
Has it paid off? I don't see immigrant children at the top of the US ranks now. Isner, Querrey, McHale, Vanderweghe, Sweeting ...........
Don't know about Vania King - whether she is second generation or not.
It is about talent. Agassi had amazing hand-eye coordination. Sharapova is 8 feet tall. Would have been a different story if she was 5' 5" - all the immigrant -motivated drills would have gotten her some college scholarship, that is all.