"I do the best i can."
Most of us are just trying to do the best we can with the best intentions. However, I mean this with all due respect, but many parents have no idea or clue what it really takes to be a professional athlete (I come from a family with pro athletes) and the upsetting part is many things much occur that are completely out of your control (you can't buy it and you don't get it just because you have your kids on the court everyday for lots of hours).
Additionally, what does it mean to "make it as a professional tennis player?" I'm a lawyer and I make more money than 90% of the professional tennis players and I'll continue to make that level of income far beyond their tennis playing days. My point is at the end of the day, it is about education. Statistically, you have a better chance of winning your state lottery than making a living at professional tennis.
It's about the experience and kudo's to the original poster as I agree 100%.
GA, I read a lot of "I's" in your response . . . "you" want your girls to make it more than anything. I got the impression you might be driving this more then them. I don't know you so I could be off and no disrespect meant. Again, I know we are all just doing what we can.
I'll admit I tend to be more hands off b/c of my experiences as an All-American basketball player and a dad that played in the NBA and having spent my life around some of the best athletes in the world gives me a difference perspective as to how almost "impossible" it is to make it to the top (again, no one really knows all the ingredients of a professional athlete although we think we do and of yea, it takes a lot of luck).
As my dad always told me, "sports is nothing more than an avenue to school and education. Use sports to open up more doors and opportunities through school. Use sport to set up your life in the real world. If, by the grace of god, you are blessed to ever be a pro athlete, that's icing on the cake."
And the kicker from my dad was when he'd say, "if you excel on the court but don't equally excel in the classroom, you are NOT a competitor. Competitors don't turn it off. When I'd score 40+ points in the basketball game, he'd say, I expect all "A's" on that report card b/c the focus and commitment it took to play that well "better" extend to the classroom."
And, of yea, the biggest smile I ever saw on my dad's face . . . when I graduated from law school."
And, now, I'm a dad and what I remember from my dad is the life perspective. Not once did he force or pressure me to do anything in sports (he did demand excellence in the classroom b/c he understood what that meant in the big picture). I think the junior tennis structure is STUPID and the $ required is also STUPID but I only do it b/c my daughter loves the sport (but she can quit tomorrow). The only reason I support this is the "lessons you learn through tennis" will serve a young girl big time . . . independence, dealing with pressure, speaking out, discipline, etc. It's about those things and not the sport, nor wins or losses . . . wins and losses are by-products.