"Gilbran's quote are, in my opinion, exactly right. They apply directly to the junior tennis world. Kids sports would be so much better off if parents stopped living their dreams through the children. I know it is hard to do, I plead guilty myself. After many years of being an obsessive tennis parent I have reformed. It is much healthier."
+1. I couldn't agree more. I tell my daughter regularly to write down "HER" goals and we discuss what it might take to reach those goals. She can change, modify or alter her goals at any time and we re-adjust what it might take to achieve. I also tell her to make sure SHE is happy. The only exception is school . . . excellence is required (good thing she likes school and gets good grades). Otherwise, it's all her.
Long story short, early this year she told me "daddy, I love tennis but I don't like to playing 3-4 hrs. every day like many others." So we adjusted and her awesome coach developed a program that includes a bunch of 1 hr. high intensity drills and she loves it . . . leaves the court smiling every time.
So I learned, it's about "quality over quantity" for her. For that 1 hr. she is locked in and we maximize each minute. Many of her friends, play 2-3 hrs. a day and many, of course, suffer at school and/or don't have much a social life (not to mention how many unhappy juniors I run across with their parents controlling every aspect of their live and making them stay on the court). We simply developed a plan based on what she wanted and I could less whether that turns into wins or losses b/c she is happy (although so far, she has had good results on the court and I attribute that to happiness).
It may change on day but for now, at 12 yrs. old, this works great for her. I know others are playing much more, and so be it.