For kids - our future

Egoista

Professional
Any idea how many months or years it takes to teach a kid say either from 7 yrs old and to ten years the game of tennis from scratch?

For example:

1. How many hours a day of regular drills, hitting or training, tennis tips/instruction would the child need in order to progress to a level of a decent player.

2. I know each child is different in regards to their natural ability and learning prowess but their must be some general rule of thumb.

3. Is the best way to begin them at mini-tennis or just some fun games and drills?

Advice would be welcomed...
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
kids before puberty should do lots of different sports and coordinative excercises.
actually, at the age of 7 you can already see a marked difference between
kids who play a lot of sports and physical games and others who don´t

i would take full advantage of softer balls and smaller courts.
don´t worry too much about court time at this stage.
rather make sure they have the best coach possible.
tennis should be fun at this age
 

Bendex

Professional
Any idea how many months or years it takes to teach a kid say either from 7 yrs old and to ten years the game of tennis from scratch?

For example:

1. How many hours a day of regular drills, hitting or training, tennis tips/instruction would the child need in order to progress to a level of a decent player.

2. I know each child is different in regards to their natural ability and learning prowess but their must be some general rule of thumb.

3. Is the best way to begin them at mini-tennis or just some fun games and drills?

Advice would be welcomed...
Ideally they should train/play as much as they want to. If they love hitting tennis balls they can practice for many hours every day and be thankful for it. Just pay attention to their facial expression and make sure to keep it fun for them.

If they're not really into it, they can go to a Red Ball group lesson once or twice a week and still have fun.

Definitely do other sports as well, especially soccer or basketball.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
What's your expectation / definition of decent player - d1 level, ntrp 4.5?

Looking at junior players, they can hang with open level player (former d1 or futures level) around age 14~16. But fundamentals of techniques seems to become "habitual" by the age of 12.

Weekly private lesson and 1.5 hours of tennis (hitting or playing) daily 4~5 days a week seem like a minimum.

Or, you can apply the rule of 10,000 hour to become an expert.

For kids, it has to be fun : )
 

jrs

Professional
Just follow whatever Richard Williams did - he took 2 kids trained them for Tennis and brought them to number 1 in the world. Don't think it's ever been done before - so he must have had a good system.
Not sure when they started training - but I think they didn't play tournaments until late teens - not 100% sure about the details.
 

Bendex

Professional
Just follow whatever Richard Williams did - he took 2 kids trained them for Tennis and brought them to number 1 in the world. Don't think it's ever been done before - so he must have had a good system.
Not sure when they started training - but I think they didn't play tournaments until late teens - not 100% sure about the details.
They were mostly playing adult tournaments and unofficial fixtures with other high level academy kids (Roddick and Serena used to vs each other as kids). Richard didn't want them involved with the junior girls tournament scene.
 

Oz_Rocket

Professional
I've had a few coaches say that if you want a kid to become a competitive tournament player the number of court hours per week they should be aiming for is their age in years. That of course assumes a lot of things like their inherent ability to master the game, compete mentally, etc.
 

Bendex

Professional
I've had a few coaches say that if you want a kid to become a competitive tournament player the number of court hours per week they should be aiming for is their age in years. That of course assumes a lot of things like their inherent ability to master the game, compete mentally, etc.
An 11 year old kid that I was training was doing about 30+ hours a week. His ranking improved dramatically after a year of that, and some great opportunities have opened up. The kid is very results focused and willing to do whatever it takes. Not many kids are like that.
 

Oz_Rocket

Professional
An 11 year old kid that I was training was doing about 30+ hours a week. His ranking improved dramatically after a year of that, and some great opportunities have opened up. The kid is very results focused and willing to do whatever it takes. Not many kids are like that.
We've got a local 11yo girl who is probably top 10 for her age in the world. Don't know the exact hours but she trains on and off court at least 20 hours per week. Same deal she is one of the most driven players I've ever met and will do whatever is necessary.

There will always be those extreme cases but from my own experience the better local ranking tournament players do the min of same hours as their age.
 

doctor dennis

Semi-Pro
An 11 year old kid that I was training was doing about 30+ hours a week. His ranking improved dramatically after a year of that, and some great opportunities have opened up. The kid is very results focused and willing to do whatever it takes. Not many kids are like that.
Wow. 30 plus hours. Does this kid go to normal school or a tennis school? That is lot of hours per week to fit round Normal school hours. I'm not surprised his ranking is going up as not many juniors I know of are getting close to that much court time each week. Hope he continues to do well.
As a lot have said the hours on court should be proportional to their age but it's not an exact science though.
 
yes many different sports for preteens. also any kid can become a good player (say 5.0) if he achieves perfect mechanics but an average athlete with federers strokes will still only be a D2 college player. you need great technique to be a pro but in the end natural athleticism and ability will decide how far you get.

players like nadal and federer have great technique but they are so great because they are world class athletes.

I would not want to kid with average ability to do a hardcore training programm with all the costs it comes at (neglecting school, ruining your joints- yes high level tennis is unhealthy and last but not least money) before I know that he has elite natural ability.

so train a kid well, teach him good strokes, but also have him do other sports and then when you see that he is really good in at least two sports at age 11-12 (federer, nadal and stich for example were very good soccer players at that age and then had to decide) focus all your energy on tennis.
 

Bendex

Professional
Wow. 30 plus hours. Does this kid go to normal school or a tennis school? That is lot of hours per week to fit round Normal school hours. I'm not surprised his ranking is going up as not many juniors I know of are getting close to that much court time each week. Hope he continues to do well.
As a lot have said the hours on court should be proportional to their age but it's not an exact science though.
Normal school, but they don't get much homework at that age. He was doing 2 hours in the morning, then 3+ hours in the afternoon. On weekends he would train longer if there was no tournament on. He would have rest days if he was sore; it was his call. He would give himself ice baths in the evening.

Sometimes when his opponent would come off the court crying, I would tell them about all this to make them feel better. :)
 

doctor dennis

Semi-Pro
Normal school, but they don't get much homework at that age. He was doing 2 hours in the morning, then 3+ hours in the afternoon. On weekends he would train longer if there was no tournament on. He would have rest days if he was sore; it was his call. He would give himself ice baths in the evening.

Sometimes when his opponent would come off the court crying, I would tell them about all this to make them feel better. :)
If he has that sort of dedication that's awesome. Might get tougher as the school work increases though. At this age my own personal belief is school should take priority. Thats my own personal thoughts though. Best of luck to him and I hope he succeeds in whatever he wants. Should go far in life with that dedication though.
 
You should read the book, The Tennis Parent's Bible, by Frank Giampaolo. It really is a great resource that answers all of your questions.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Just follow whatever Richard Williams did - he took 2 kids trained them for Tennis and brought them to number 1 in the world. Don't think it's ever been done before - so he must have had a good system.
Not sure when they started training - but I think they didn't play tournaments until late teens - not 100% sure about the details.
Wiki:

Richard stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when (Serena) Williams was 10, since he wanted them to take it slow and focus on school work. Another factor was racial, as he had heard white parents talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments. At that time, Williams had a 46–3 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked No. 1 among under-10 players in Florida
 

BMC9670

Hall of Fame
Normal school, but they don't get much homework at that age. He was doing 2 hours in the morning, then 3+ hours in the afternoon. On weekends he would train longer if there was no tournament on. He would have rest days if he was sore; it was his call. He would give himself ice baths in the evening.

Sometimes when his opponent would come off the court crying, I would tell them about all this to make them feel better. :)
Great results, but man, talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. Obviously, they put tennis ahead of everything - school, social, family, etc. I have a 12 year old and they do get homework if they are properly challenged - my kids average 1.5 to 2 hours per day - most of which is AP/Honors math and english. My 12 year old is taking high school algebra. Academics are our first priority.

For the OP: My 12 year old plays tennis 3 days a week, 2 hours per session, sometimes more on weekends when there is no tournament. He also plays basketball in winter and summer leagues - 2x per week practice and a game. We as parents do not have high level college or pro goals for his sports, and I coach him - no pro or academy (for cost reasons). That said, he is top 10 sectionally, top 200 nationally and just played in his first national championships. He probably won't ever be a top contender at any level, but is already a better player than most adult rec players. He loves the sport and hopefully will enjoy it for a lifetime.
 
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My son is 10. He did the red-orange-green-yellow progression. It works IMHO.

An hour for each year old seems reasonable.

Now, I live in Boca Raton and half the parents here homeschool their kids and the kids play tennis 7 hrs a day, 6 days a week. So depends what your goal is. And whether you want your kids to grow up to hate you.
 

Egoista

Professional
So according to most people here each child is different and may have different patterns of learning.

The thing is promoting tennis in a new country amongst youth who have never played before and developing a love for the game is a life's goal and I wish they pick it up well and hopefully can progress in the future.

Many of them have watched tournaments and wonder when one day they can play in them ? One wonders how many hours they need to play to really love the game and freely express themselves.
 
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