Originally Posted by nightfire700
So I have a 9 yr old learning tennis for 2 yrs now - first 1.5 yrs was pretty much for fun but last few months he has become serious about it and infact even ended up as runner-up in his first inter-academy under 10 tournament last week. The problem (or confusion) I have is that his coach is fairly laid back and believes in taking it slow and steady without undue pressure. My son does 4 days a week training with two 1-hr group sessions and two 2-hr dedicated sessions with matches. I liked that approach too but during the tournament last week the kids who won the under 10 and under 12 were from another academy and they performed at a totally different level and I could see that their coach was very aggressive. The kids had very well defined strokes unlike my son who has good placement but pretty loose strokes. His coach has never been aggressively focused on refining the technique or fixing foot-work errors. While it seems going aggressive might be a better approach, I am confused as my son started roller skating at the age of 4.5 yrs and had a similar laid back coach. Later around the age of 7 we moved him to another coach for advanced training but the coach was aggressive and within 3 months my son lost interest and left the sport to move to tennis.
So I wanted to understand what people generally follow with young kids? Go all out and work aggressively or just allow the kid to take things at their own pace?
Every kid will be different, but as kids get towards 10,11,12, the "fun" is in being good. They know by this age that it's no fun to lose will put in work to get better. I don't know what expectations, goals, etc you have for your son or how good he wants to get, but my advice is to pick up the pace without making it a "job".
I recently had my 10YO in a program that was too laid back. A clinic consisted of some feeding and then match play while the pro texted on his phone every 5 seconds. The kids had fun goofing off, but there was no intensity or improvement going on. So I found a coach that he and I really like and is intense and is working to make him better. The result? In the last 4 months he has improved in almost every facet of the game, is winning more in match play, and wants to play more and more.