Originally Posted by tball2day
I have known many many players (ages 12-16ish) that have moved on from tennis for whatever reason - changing interests, injury, etc., and every one of them has ended up happier in what they are doing now than they ever were with tennis - be it speech and debate, drama, academics, service clubs, or whatever. They have to make their own path.
The fair comparison is to compare these happy post-tennis kids, to kids who didn't have tennis earlier. It doesn't have to be tennis, but something where they learn discipline, learn to compete, and strive to get better. My bet is that the tennis kids are happier later on than the kids who didn't play tennis or some similar activity.
Yes, in the end, they do have to pick their own passions. The things they learn when young will stand them in good stead later.