Originally Posted by WoodIndoors
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!