This is very encouraging news. My son is now 9 and has been playing tournaments for 6 months now and he has won only 2 matches and countless losses because he plays as you described when you were at that age, not worrying about winning and getting points, only trying to hit winners and trying different shots, basically not match smart. I oringinally had told him to play well and not focused on winning. For a while I had doubts if my advice was the right thing to say and possibly start having him focus more on winning but now I'm convinced we're doing the right thing. I think he like experimenting with his technique and doesn't cry or care if he wins or loses, I'm ok with that. Thanks for a great feedback! Hope to see you in a tournament in my area soon!
Originally Posted by fpeliwo
First of all I didn't play tournaments until I was about 9, or maybe even 10. He seems like he's played quite a few, so he's definitely ahead of me in that regard. He's also a lot more consistent than I was. I used to go for winners and rush the net a lot so I had a lot of unforced errors. I hit the ball harder than he did, especially off the backhand. He probably would have beaten me at that age.
I don't remember exactly how much I practiced at his age, but I think it was anywhere from 1-5 times a week.
I wasn't always the best in my age group, had trouble winning matches that I "should" have won based on my level, partially due to the lack of match toughness. I didn't have enough tournaments on my schedule back when I was younger. I've won u14, u16, and u18 nationals, and made finals of the 12s, but until I was about 16 there were still guys my age ranked ahead of me sometimes.
I don't remember ever playing with the softer balls. I'm quite sure I've always used regular ones.