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Old 08-20-2013, 04:53 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 449

Originally Posted by BMC9670 View Post
There seems to be a growing chorus of grunting, screaming, fist pumping and c'mons in the juniors these days. While I think they are simply emulating the intensity of their favorite pro, they may not realize too much of it can backfire in a match and leave them emotionally spent.

I observed a good example of this in my sons 12U match this last weekend. My son is competitive, but fairly stoic on the court. I've had to teach him it's good to let some intensity out at strategic times in a match - when he needs an emotional pick-up, on a key point, end of a set, etc. In this particular match, he played an uber-intense kid that screamed on every shot and yelled c'mon and fist pumped on every point won (including my son's UEs and DFs - not cool in my book). On one point at 2-2 in the first set, my son hit a second serve into the net and the kid yells "Yeah! Double-fault, I'm up 30-15, C'mon!" at the top of his lungs.

Well, this went on for a while and my son wins the first set. Second set starts out the same, except, as my son pulled away, this kid had no where to go emotionally.... except down. And he went down hard. By the end of a pretty competitive match, he was a wreck. I think he could just not sustain that intensity over the course of a 2 hour match. It's like a sugar high that comes to hard crash.

Often overlooked, I think coaches and parents should teach court behavior as a part of strategy. Players, especially young ones, need to learn to use their intensity and emotions to their advantage over the course of a match with ups, downs, and momentum changes. Thoughts?
With some exceptions parents have abdicated their parental responsibility when it comes to junior tennis. At the very least they tolerate junior's racket throwing, bullying, and bad line calling. In many cases they tell junior to use "make up calls", fake injuries, etc. It is a disgrace and can have nothing but bad consequences, long term.
coaching32yrs is offline   Reply With Quote