Parents who waste untold thousands on coaching

Mac33

Professional
#1
I've seen many very young kids around the ages of 9 to 12 getting one on one coaching twice or three times weekly!

Now this is not cheap!

Sure some of them are good players for their age,but honestly the odds of getting a financial return are realistically zero or very close to it.

Also,parents who get their kids coached are also likely to come down hard on them when they coach them themselves - from my experience anyway.

At that age I'd just let them hit the ball over the net as many times as possible and not get them bogged down with technicalities.
 
#3
There are a few delusional parents out there who think that they're "investing" in dance lessons, or tennis tutelage, or gymnastics, and who really can't afford to do so.

But most of the pre-teens getting that kind of frequent, high-level instruction are country club kids whose parents have the disposable income to spend on a hobby.

There's a reason you can go to almost any area and see that the regional high school team rankings are sorted by per capita income. The money for lessons is mostly being spent by the people who can afford it without worrying about rent.
 
#4
The kids who are getting that kind of coaching should be playing in regional usta ranked tournaments. At my club where I teach our academy programs for the 8-11(academy I) and 12-16(academy II) kids re required to be USTA ranked inside the top 100 and maintain the ranking throughout the year.

Ontop of spending for the academy some of these kids have private lesson 2-3 times a week. I think some parents are aiming for a tennis scholarship to college by the time they get to that age, some of these parents I'm not sure about

*edited for PittsburghDad since "USTA Mid-atlantic is offensive to him*
 
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#5
I've seen many very young kids around the ages of 9 to 12 getting one on one coaching twice or three times weekly!

Now this is not cheap!

Sure some of them are good players for their age,but honestly the odds of getting a financial return are realistically zero or very close to it.
Parents do it for all sorts of reasons but the ones that do this can usually afford it (I'm sure some get sold up the river at academies and stuff though).

Also,parents who get their kids coached are also likely to come down hard on them when they coach them themselves - from my experience anyway.
This is a real issue. Kids being pushed too hard for the wrong reasons. I know the types I think you have in mind: the rich, type A personalities that try to force their kids (as an extension of them) to be the best at everything and the kid probably has private tutoring at home afterwards to get into some fancy expensive cramming school.

At that age I'd just let them hit the ball over the net as many times as possible and not get them bogged down with technicalities.
Then you are making sure they'll never reach a high level of play unfortunately.
 
#6
This is a real issue. Kids being pushed too hard for the wrong reasons. I know the types I think you have in mind: the rich, type A personalities that try to force their kids (as an extension of them) to be the best at everything and the kid probably has private tutoring at home afterwards to get into some fancy expensive cramming school.
Reminds me of a joke:

Two Chinese men are chatting in a restaurant.
Chinese father: My son just come back from the doctor.
Chinese friend: Is he OK? What doctor say?
Chinese Father: He say doctor tell him he have hepatitis B
Chinese friend: Really? What you say to son?
Chinese Father: I say, "Hepatitis B? Why no A"
 
#7
What's the point here?

I buy USDA Prime steaks, and I suppose I could eat Choice cuts.
I pay $6 to play on the nice public courts when I could play for free on the high school ones.
Some people own nice cars and still get to places exactly the same as people driving cheap ones.

Overall, academy and coached kids are the top hitters at high schools and account for almost all the college prospects.
 
#8
I'm pretty sure most parents look at it as an investment on their children's happiness and development. (If they want it that is)

But that's some good parenting logic you got there man. Has a kid, must be a money machine or fail.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
#9
Reminds me of a joke:

Two Chinese men are chatting in a restaurant.
Chinese father: My son just come back from the doctor.
Chinese friend: Is he OK? What doctor say?
Chinese Father: He say doctor tell him he have hepatitis B
Chinese friend: Really? What you say to son?
Chinese Father: I say, "Hepatitis B? Why no A"
hahahahaha
 

norcal

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#10
I'm pretty sure most parents look at it as an investment on their children's happiness and development. (If they want it that is)

But that's some good parenting logic you got there man. Has a kid, must be a money machine or fail.
Well OP wouldn't bother immunizing his kids against diseases either, go figure.
 

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#12
I've seen many very young kids around the ages of 9 to 12 getting one on one coaching twice or three times weekly!

Now this is not cheap!

Sure some of them are good players for their age,but honestly the odds of getting a financial return are realistically zero or very close to it.

Also,parents who get their kids coached are also likely to come down hard on them when they coach them themselves - from my experience anyway.

At that age I'd just let them hit the ball over the net as many times as possible and not get them bogged down with technicalities.
My 14y/o son gets lessons once a week. He has USTA regional Champs ranking in the 50s and is #3 singles on the HS varsity team as a freshman. To get higher than that, you need to have more coaching as well as more drills and match throughout the week. Our goal for my son was to join the varsity team and enjoy the HS experience. That's it. That's our return on the investment.

My daughter is 10. She is in drills class. We get her a private lesson once in a while to help her get over a bump in her technique. We try to keep it fun for her. When she wants to get more serious, hopefully we can support her.

#1 and #2 singles on the HS team probably gets multiple coaching sessions and drills/matches 5x a week. They have regional rankings of 5 and 17. They will most likely get college scholarships for tennis or at least get accepted to a school because they'll play on the team. They will have spent more money on junior tennis than the scholarship is worth. They invested because a) they can b) they want to support their kids as much as the kids want to push themselves. One of the kid is very smart and has always been in accelerated programs. They are just wired to be the best.

We're not talking about some parent forcing some unwilling kid to go to private lessons. These kids want to win and they want to beat everyone. The parents just so happens to have the means to support them.
 
#13
There's a reason you can go to almost any area and see that the regional high school team rankings are sorted by per capita income.
Huh? I thought lessons are for pathetic suckers who are trying to buy talent.....
According to TT, all you need is a video and raw athletic talent. You can't ever buy skill, all just wasted money for those scammer coache$$$$
Remember how M.Jordan would be a 7.0 within 15 mins. of picking up a racket?
 
#16
I've seen many very young kids around the ages of 9 to 12 getting one on one coaching twice or three times weekly!

Now this is not cheap!

Sure some of them are good players for their age,but honestly the odds of getting a financial return are realistically zero or very close to it.

Also,parents who get their kids coached are also likely to come down hard on them when they coach them themselves - from my experience anyway.

At that age I'd just let them hit the ball over the net as many times as possible and not get them bogged down with technicalities.
It's a waste of money. I tell parents all the time, YuTube can make any parent or kid look like a great coach!! Man, I wish we would have had videos for free when I was playing, I think twice a month for privates is enough or maybe just group lessons. Great post too!!
 
#18
Sure some of them are good players for their age,but honestly the odds of getting a financial return are realistically zero or very close to it.
So what? o_O

If you really think that most parents want to pay for sports classes because they think their kids are going to be pros I have a special deal on a bridge for you!

:D
 
#19
To an extent I think that I agree that tennis can be an expensive sport to invest in.

With that being said, there are also an extreme amount of benefits to taking lessons. Joking or not, the internet and YouTube do have a lot of instructional videos out there but nothing will replace actually going out there and getting out on the court.

First and foremost, even if the parent has extreme knowledge on the subject, the child parent dynamic is one that will more often than not lead to either a wall in development or a drop in interest. Parents and children do everything together and so if one wants tennis to be a priority, having a 3rd voice may be nice. If the parent is too focused on tennis, it often goes hand in hand with pushing the child a little too hard and if a parent isn't focused enough, going fishing (as an example) may eventually become just as fun to do with dad as tennis used to be.

Pretty much any parent, though there are some exceptions, will tell you that their child will likely take instructions better from an outside voice rather than themselves. This is the case even if both parent and coach are teaching the exact same thing.

Parents also want their kids to be active and tennis
lessons can be a good investment health wise for the reason. This is not to mention that parents have their own lives and if you really want your child on a routine, scheduling weekly or bi-weekly lessons is a great idea. This leaves no room for excuses as to
why the parent may be "too busy" this week to get their recreational time in.

There are so many other reasons why placing kids into tennis lessons can be a great investment but my post would turn into a novel if I were to keep going.

Some families also travel the world more than others, spending thousands on plane tickets while other children grow up to be that adult who has never been on a plane before. Any family I've come across who spend as much as you mention here can afford it and would be spending their money on something else if it weren't tennis so there's not much of a point in saying it's a waste of money.

I teach 2 year old kids myself and why I may not place my own kid in tennis lessons at the age of 2, I actually think ages 8-12 would be the perfect time to get started with lessons.
 

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#21
There are a few delusional parents out there who think that they're "investing" in dance lessons, or tennis tutelage, or gymnastics, and who really can't afford to do so.

But most of the pre-teens getting that kind of frequent, high-level instruction are country club kids whose parents have the disposable income to spend on a hobby.

There's a reason you can go to almost any area and see that the regional high school team rankings are sorted by per capita income. The money for lessons is mostly being spent by the people who can afford it without worrying about rent.
I can assure you I don't have the income that the top ranked junior parents do. They are in another world.

But we as a family have decided to invest in our kids. My hobbies are put on hold while the kids are at such and such stage. My boy has 4yrs left before he leaves the house. Less than 2yrs before he drives. I intend to provide him with everything I possibly can to get the fullest enjoyment out of his teen years; that includes varsity tennis as well as varsity swim. He's also a straight A student. Sure if we didn't nudge him, he would spend all day playing Minecraft. So I think there is a good balance point of support vs letting him pursue what he wants. Right now, he wants to contribute to wins for his team. And organized drills classes, plus private coaching sessions, plus USTA tournaments is what will help him with HIS goals.
 
#22
I can assure you I don't have the income that the top ranked junior parents do. They are in another world.

But we as a family have decided to invest in our kids. My hobbies are put on hold while the kids are at such and such stage. My boy has 4yrs left before he leaves the house. Less than 2yrs before he drives. I intend to provide him with everything I possibly can to get the fullest enjoyment out of his teen years; that includes varsity tennis as well as varsity swim. He's also a straight A student. Sure if we didn't nudge him, he would spend all day playing Minecraft. So I think there is a good balance point of support vs letting him pursue what he wants. Right now, he wants to contribute to wins for his team. And organized drills classes, plus private coaching sessions, plus USTA tournaments is what will help him with HIS goals.
Hey, what's wrong with Minecraft? ;)

It sounds like he's enjoying it and that's ultimately what's important [apart from the "life lessons" and learning about work ethic, etc.].
 

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#23
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. USTA junior rankings are arbitrary. Chase points, cheat, pushing, results in a top 100 USTA ranking. Less aggressive personalities are also at a distinct disadvantage as far as arguing calls, etc. at that age. And some kids are early maturing, other later maturing as far as their bodies. No way on earth should a certain USTA junior ranking be a requirement for any program.
Unfortunately this is the only way to recognize an individual's effort levels in tennis. You can either enter a few tournaments and win a higher percentage. Or enter a ton of tournaments with a few wins to gain the same ranking. But it all equates to experience and the ability to win some matches; by luck or otherwise.

What other way would you measure a juniors skill level? Would it be a one and done sudden death match with someone? Would it be looking at their footwork and strokes during a practice rally?
 
#24
I can assure you I don't have the income that the top ranked junior parents do. They are in another world.

But we as a family have decided to invest in our kids. My hobbies are put on hold while the kids are at such and such stage. My boy has 4yrs left before he leaves the house. Less than 2yrs before he drives. I intend to provide him with everything I possibly can to get the fullest enjoyment out of his teen years; that includes varsity tennis as well as varsity swim. He's also a straight A student. Sure if we didn't nudge him, he would spend all day playing Minecraft. So I think there is a good balance point of support vs letting him pursue what he wants. Right now, he wants to contribute to wins for his team. And organized drills classes, plus private coaching sessions, plus USTA tournaments is what will help him with HIS goals.
Haha..I went the other way. Spent a lot of money on my kids sporting activities, because that's what they were interested in at a younger age. Even used to coach my older one's basketball team all the way till 8th grade. However, once they reached a certain age ( 7th and 9th grade), and I saw the passion dwindling, I let them be. I told them...I'm not spending any more money if the passion is not there. They're always free to go out and play with their friends at the nearby park. Now, if they want to stay home and play video games so be it. Gives me more time to go out and practice my serve. I've wasted enough time on them :) Now will take care of myself.
 

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#25
Hey, what's wrong with Minecraft? ;)

It sounds like he's enjoying it and that's ultimately what's important [apart from the "life lessons" and learning about work ethic, etc.].
I don't play it. But he and his buddies have been playing it for years connected via Skype. As long as he takes care of his responsibilities, he can have his gaming to unwind.

Tennis tournaments have really helped him to mature by facing adversity and learning how to overcome them; that includes pushers, bad line calls, taunting, you name it. He's also able to maintain his sportsmanship attitude amid all this selfish baby-pacifying crap these juniors engage in.
 

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#26
Haha..I went the other way. Spent a lot of money on my kids sporting activities, because that's what they were interested in at a younger age. Even used to coach my older one's basketball team all the way till 8th grade. However, once they reached a certain age ( 7th and 9th grade), and I saw the passion dwindling, I let them be. I told them...I'm not spending any more money if the passion is not there. They're always free to go out and play with their friends at the nearby park. Now, if they want to stay home and play video games so be it. Gives me more time to go out and practice my serve. I've wasted enough time on them :) Now will take care of myself.
Absolutely. I told my son if he doesn't have a passion for tennis and doesn't give 100%, I'm cancelling all his organized programs and lessons and I'm gonna buy me a Harley.
 
#27
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. USTA junior rankings are arbitrary. Chase points, cheat, pushing, results in a top 100 USTA ranking. Less aggressive personalities are also at a distinct disadvantage as far as arguing calls, etc. at that age. And some kids are early maturing, other later maturing as far as their bodies. No way on earth should a certain USTA junior ranking be a requirement for any program.
If these kids are playing these tournaments its either because A) they need to keep their ranking to stay in the academy program or B) Their parents end up controlling which and how many tournaments they need to be playing. Ontop of tournaemtn play these kids are already taking privates 2-3-4 times a week ontop of the academy 2x a week. It gets expensive but majority of the parents understand their kid has to keep playing 1-2 tournaments a month. If they lose their raking outside of the requirement then they are simply out of the program until their ranking comes back up.
 
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PittsburghDad

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#28
What a TERRIBLE way to run a high performance "academy" for 8-14. Focus on rankings and even requiring them to keep in the program??!! Oh my. 1) Get your guy's heads and priorities checked. 2) Refund those parents that you convinced you had ANY clue that you knew what was best for their kid.

You can not chase points at that age. Not for the kids sake and DEFINITELY not for long term development. My daughter is ten. She would qualify in either the 12's or 14's in your "requirements". But we have committed to 14's only. For a handful of long term reasons. And nobody cares about rankings.

This is the problem. Not always the $. It's the complete lack of competence you get for that $.

I took my kid out of an "academy" she was scholarship at. You can't trust these people. Because they don't even know they are limiting the kids. They mean well.
 
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PittsburghDad

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#30
Unfortunately this is the only way to recognize an individual's effort levels in tennis. You can either enter a few tournaments and win a higher percentage. Or enter a ton of tournaments with a few wins to gain the same ranking. But it all equates to experience and the ability to win some matches; by luck or otherwise.

What other way would you measure a juniors skill level? Would it be a one and done sudden death match with someone? Would it be looking at their footwork and strokes during a practice rally?
You're kidding right? The lack of common Sense in kids tennis is overwhelming at times.
 
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PittsburghDad

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#31
The kids who are getting that kind of coaching should be playing in regional usta ranked tournaments. At my club where I teach our academy programs for the 8-11(academy I) and 12-16(academy II) kids re required to be USTA Mid-Atlantic ranked inside the top 100 and maintain the ranking throughout the year.

Ontop of spending for the academy some of these kids have private lesson 2-3 times a week. I think some parents are aiming for a tennis scholarship to college by the time they get to that age, some of these parents I'm not sure about
You say Mid-Atlantic. Ok. There's not even a debate on who's doing things the best in that corner of the States. They aren't doing what you are doing. They know better. Stop making kids chase meaningless points to stay in your program. Go develop talent and drive properly. What your program is doing is lazy and incompetent. Ask around.
 
#32
You say Mid-Atlantic. Ok. There's not even a debate on who's doing things the best in that corner of the States. They aren't doing what you are doing. They know better. Stop making kids chase meaningless points to stay in your program. Go develop talent and drive properly. What your program is doing is lazy and incompetent. Ask around.

I'll edit it just for you since you seem to be taking some offence to it. just stating that to be in the academy you had to meet requirements. If you see it as a way to grab all the $$$ from parents possible then so be it, I'm not going to argue
 
#33
Yes. Ball practice is the main thing at that age. Spending hours on the court and hitting consistently. But an hour or two a week is also necessary to give the children a guide and show them their mistakes, or show them proper mechanics etc if they're not doing it correctly or efficiently. At the end of the day it's a matter of the child ending up like Djokovic or Federer with proper stroke mechanics and good footwork, or ending up like an unorthodox player like dolgopolov.
 
#34
I can assure you I don't have the income that the top ranked junior parents do. They are in another world.

But we as a family have decided to invest in our kids. My hobbies are put on hold while the kids are at such and such stage. My boy has 4yrs left before he leaves the house. Less than 2yrs before he drives. I intend to provide him with everything I possibly can to get the fullest enjoyment out of his teen years; that includes varsity tennis as well as varsity swim. He's also a straight A student. Sure if we didn't nudge him, he would spend all day playing Minecraft. So I think there is a good balance point of support vs letting him pursue what he wants. Right now, he wants to contribute to wins for his team. And organized drills classes, plus private coaching sessions, plus USTA tournaments is what will help him with HIS goals.
You sound like a great parent. I come from a middle class family and had opportunities to try sports others less fortunate might not and had real talent in skiing but since I was 'just a kid' I was left to teach myself and got the cheapest used equipment. I genuinely believe I could have been a reasonable ski racer but never got the chance because like tennis you need good instruction young. As soon as I got a career started I blew my paychecks on the best equipment and best instruction and at 33 'm still improving well but will never be what I could have been.

The "return on investment" language from the OP makes me shudder a bit. Giving your kids a chance to be the very best they can be is a "return".
 
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PittsburghDad

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#35
I'll edit it just for you since you seem to be taking some offence to it. just stating that to be in the academy you had to meet requirements. If you see it as a way to grab all the $$$ from parents possible then so be it, I'm not going to argue
It may or may not be a way to grab $$$. You know that, I have no idea and am not commenting on that.

I'm saying that it is incredibly amateurish and incompetent to be basing your admittance to your "academy" on USTA rankings. That's a joke bro. And any legit junior tennis person would tell you that. Check out the best practices in your Industry. As either you or your boss should have done. Nobody cares about rankings. Your doing the tennis equivalent of kindergarten GPA.
 
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PittsburghDad

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#36
I'll edit it just for you since you seem to be taking some offence to it. just stating that to be in the academy you had to meet requirements. If you see it as a way to grab all the $$$ from parents possible then so be it, I'm not going to argue
I'd also bet that you're talking a bit of rubbish and don't realize you said something that ridiculous. You're talking about letting kids 8-11 into your "academy" based on "rankings". Who's ranking 8 year olds chief? You got some super secret tennis blue book?
 

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#37
You're kidding right? The lack of common Sense in kids tennis is overwhelming at times.
I'm not sure what you are referring to in lacking common sense. For what?

There's a club that everyone rotates through that has a minimum requirement of top 80 ranking for their top class. The lower classes only require that you are regularly entered into USTA tournaments. This forces a cooperation between the coaches and the students. The students are required to seek out tennis outside of the class and to get match experience. This helps them understand why they are doing drills and such and puts a competitive edge to their work-out. They are also working out with like-minded players. The bottom line is, many families seek out this club to enter their competitive player to work out with other competitive players. I see this as a great stepping stone. I also see the limit to this as their curriculum is weak on drills.

Our club is a little different. We don't enforce tournament participation as much as we should. We stress a lot more drills. Our kids have great looking strokes but may fall apart in a match because they lack mental toughness which can only be learned through match experience. We're trying to adjust our program to enforce more match participation within the club and through USTA tournaments. There needs to be a good balance of both drills and matches.

I'm not sure what beef you have with USTA participation, but it's the only level playing field where kids from different clubs, regions, countries get together to play against one another. How else would you know how you stack up against many junior players in your area?

I'm sure there are bad techniques and line calls. But they have to learn to work through that. My son has played against bad line calls and I've advised him that he needs to learn how to deal with that; be fair and stick up for what's fair. Conversely, he has blown up at his opponent for what he thought was a bad line call and it wasn't. I've seen a skilled 10y/o that played up in the 12U make horrible calls, have tantrums on the court. But we ran into him a year and a half later and he was very fair with his line calls and he was so much better at keeping his emotions in check. My son has also gone through a huge maturation process through USTA participation.

Life is not all roses and butterflies. Learning how to deal with adversity is one of the reasons I feel tennis is good for my kids.
 
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#39
Tournament, Academy, Elite, Academy II, Team, isn't that all marketing? Our club uses level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Doesn't have the same ring to it I suppose

There are clubs in the area that have high performance classes. I don't even know what the minimum requirements are since I can't even get close to affording the fees.

My son started at age 9. Apparently that's late to be a top 10% player. Those kids started much younger. They either had parents that coached or had access to high performance programs.

And 10% of what? What bar are you going to use except USTA ranking?

I'm not advocating rankings for an 8y/o. But I bet if you were in a high performance program, your 8y/o is playing 12U Advanced tournaments.
 

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#40
BTW, after my son's private lessons, a family brings two of their kids for their private lessons. They are 5 and 6 y/o. They do drills classes twice a week and a semi private lesson once a week. My guess is by the time they are 8, their parents may decide to seek out another club that has a more high performance program if their kids are wanting to win.

If they just enjoy playing, then they don't have to go to a high performance program. They can just stay at this club, play with their friends, enjoy the sport, get onto the Varsity team in HS and be a 4.5 player as an adult. Cool.

Our level 1, 2, 3 programs don't mention USTA tournament participation. But 4 and 5 has some language about it to get more match experience to further their tennis progression. Level 4 and 5 students are typical junior high and some high school. There are a few elementary age kids. But they are the exceptions.
 
#41
thats how our academy works while others function differently. Don't shoot the messenger; I was juat trying to add some insight and how our academy functions to address the OP's post.

I also believe and understand that there are other ways to address this.

We do 50% drills on all variety of shot and point construction drills and 50% match play with weekly class tournaments that mirror their tournament requirements. Outside of that the more technical 1 on 1 is addressed through private lessons
 
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PittsburghDad

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#42
I'm not sure what you are referring to in lacking common sense. For what?

There's a club that everyone rotates through that has a minimum requirement of top 80 ranking for their top class. The lower classes only require that you are regularly entered into USTA tournaments. This forces a cooperation between the coaches and the students. The students are required to seek out tennis outside of the class and to get match experience. This helps them understand why they are doing drills and such and puts a competitive edge to their work-out. They are also working out with like-minded players. The bottom line is, many families seek out this club to enter their competitive player to work out with other competitive players. I see this as a great stepping stone. I also see the limit to this as their curriculum is weak on drills.

Our club is a little different. We don't enforce tournament participation as much as we should. We stress a lot more drills. Our kids have great looking strokes but may fall apart in a match because they lack mental toughness which can only be learned through match experience. We're trying to adjust our program to enforce more match participation within the club and through USTA tournaments. There needs to be a good balance of both drills and matches.

I'm not sure what beef you have with USTA participation, but it's the only level playing field where kids from different clubs, regions, countries get together to play against one another. How else would you know how you stack up against many junior players in your area?

I'm sure there are bad techniques and line calls. But they have to learn to work through that. My son has played against bad line calls and I've advised him that he needs to learn how to deal with that; be fair and stick up for what's fair. Conversely, he has blown up at his opponent for what he thought was a bad line call and it wasn't. I've seen a skilled 10y/o that played up in the 12U make horrible calls, have tantrums on the court. But we ran into him a year and a half later and he was very fair with his line calls and he was so much better at keeping his emotions in check. My son has also gone through a huge maturation process through USTA participation.

Life is not all roses and butterflies. Learning how to deal with adversity is one of the reasons I feel tennis is good for my kids.
Calling USTA results "the only way to judge an individuals efforts" is what I'm referring to. That's uninformed nonsense. I have been getting up at 530 AM for years because the courts are cheaper and we can get two hours in before school when it's snowing out. Not sure I need your treatise on how to judge effort or result. Go tell a parent spending gas money on Sally's tennis because the kid loves it they can't be in this "academy" because they couldn't afford the L3 that would have given them the points for the "acceptance ranking" of this academy.

Go tell them "sorry. I don't know how else I should judge your tennis effort". What planet do some of you live on?

Go ahead. Base your 8-14 old "academy" on USTA rankings. Your going to need NASA to handle all the moonballs.
 
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PittsburghDad

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#44
thats how our academy works while others function differently. Don't shoot the messenger; I was juat trying to add some insight and how our academy functions to address the OP's post.

I also believe and understand that there are other ways to address this.

We do 50% drills on all variety of shot and point construction drills and 50% match play with weekly class tournaments that mirror their tournament requirements. Outside of that the more technical 1 on 1 is addressed through private lessons
You have a terrible policy regarding admission to your Academy. You are putting a pointless, counterproductive, arbitrary, skewed towards privilege requirement in front of kids and parents in a sport filled with them. Don't equate that with "just a different way of doing things". That dog doesn't hunt.

And you work there. You aren't a messenger. You are a representative. And trying to present this nonsense as accepted practice. It's not. And I've been around the country at some very high level Academies. Some in your area. They would tell you the same about letting kids into your "academy" based on USTA rankings.
 
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PittsburghDad

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#46
I'm not sure what you are referring to in lacking common sense. For what?

There's a club that everyone rotates through that has a minimum requirement of top 80 ranking for their top class. The lower classes only require that you are regularly entered into USTA tournaments. This forces a cooperation between the coaches and the students. The students are required to seek out tennis outside of the class and to get match experience. This helps them understand why they are doing drills and such and puts a competitive edge to their work-out. They are also working out with like-minded players. The bottom line is, many families seek out this club to enter their competitive player to work out with other competitive players. I see this as a great stepping stone. I also see the limit to this as their curriculum is weak on drills.

Our club is a little different. We don't enforce tournament participation as much as we should. We stress a lot more drills. Our kids have great looking strokes but may fall apart in a match because they lack mental toughness which can only be learned through match experience. We're trying to adjust our program to enforce more match participation within the club and through USTA tournaments. There needs to be a good balance of both drills and matches.

I'm not sure what beef you have with USTA participation, but it's the only level playing field where kids from different clubs, regions, countries get together to play against one another. How else would you know how you stack up against many junior players in your area?

I'm sure there are bad techniques and line calls. But they have to learn to work through that. My son has played against bad line calls and I've advised him that he needs to learn how to deal with that; be fair and stick up for what's fair. Conversely, he has blown up at his opponent for what he thought was a bad line call and it wasn't. I've seen a skilled 10y/o that played up in the 12U make horrible calls, have tantrums on the court. But we ran into him a year and a half later and he was very fair with his line calls and he was so much better at keeping his emotions in check. My son has also gone through a huge maturation process through USTA participation.

Life is not all roses and butterflies. Learning how to deal with adversity is one of the reasons I feel tennis is good for my kids.
I have zero beef with USTA participation. You said that not me. USTA has been great for us.

I take issue with "coaches" who would run an "academy" basing admission on USTA rankings. And you offering that USTA rankings is the "only way to judge an individual's efforts." I've been very direct here.

I come from the city. I play on ****ty public courts. I have a ten year old taking doors off ranked 14 year olds. I get up at 530 after getting home from work at midnight. Thanks for the "life ain't roses and butterfly's" lecture on the importance of competition. I had no idea.
 
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#47
Calling USTA results "the only way to judge an individuals efforts" is what I'm referring to. That's uninformed nonsense. I have been getting up at 530 AM for years because the courts are cheaper and we can get two hours in before school when it's snowing out. Not sure I need your treatise on how to judge effort or result. Go tell a parent spending gas money on Sally's tennis because the kid loves it they can't be in this "academy" because they couldn't afford the L3 that would have given them the points for the "acceptance ranking" of this academy.

Go tell them "sorry. I don't know how else I should judge your tennis effort". What planet do some of you live on?

Go ahead. Base your 8-14 old "academy" on USTA rankings. Your going to need NASA to handle all the moonballs.
Why do you want your child to be part of a program that you don't believe in. Get over it and move on.

I'm just stating that there are a lot of clubs that have programs that cater to recreational and semi-competitive juniors. These clubs introduce fundamentals and try to make tennis fun. They don't have USTA as a requirement. They do have basic strokes and techniques requirement to advance to the next level. Promptness to practice, players attitude, attentiveness to coaching, love of tennis, etc. are all encouraged.

Then there are clubs that are geared for competition. They are high performance oriented. These probably have USTA participation as part of their requirements to ensure the students are playing outside of the program and are at a level that the program caters to. They are looking to cater to kids that are seeking State Championships, college scholarships and in some cases, pro.

If not USTA participation, then how will they get the competitive match play they need? If you only play matches within a club, you only get to experience a very narrow band of players. By going to an open competition, then you are playing against a wide variety of opponents.

Playing against and beating junk and moon ballers are all part of the progression.

Again, it's not the only way to measure. But it is one that is most readily available. If you don't like the admissions requirement, why do you want your child to participate? Take your hard-earned money and go spend it at a club that caters to your philosophy. But no need to bash a clubs admission requirements if they are geared towards a certain philosophy.
 

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#48
I have zero beef with USTA participation. You said that not me. USTA has been great for us.

I take issue with "coaches" who would run an "academy" basing admission on USTA rankings. And you offering that USTA rankings is the "only way to judge an individual's efforts." I've been very direct here.

I come from the city. I play on ****ty public courts. I have a ten year old taking doors off ranked 14 year olds. I get up at 530 after getting home from work at midnight. Thanks for the "life ain't roses and butterfly's" lecture on the importance of competition. I had no idea.
My hat off to you for your dedication to support your child's tennis. Apparently whatever you're doing is working.

Where are the matches that your child is beating ranked players? That's great if your child is that good. You don't need USTA to tell you that.

My son played against an older boy that had little USTA match history. They played a tough match that went to super tie-break. Was he any less of a player because he didn't play USTA? No. Apparently his club had a high performance program that didn't require him to have a Champs ranking and he has done very well.

Like I said, some of the clubs that require the ranking, I can't even afford. So I really have no interest. There is a municipal club that has an affordable "high performance" class that has a USTA rankings requirement. Basically, they provide a venue for already good players to play with other good players. I think their curriculum is weak. But if match play is something you need, this is the cheapest place for it. My son has gone through it. And it was just what he needed at the time.

Many high performance players go through several different clubs and coaches to gain the insight and experience of different philosophies. If you don't agree with their philosophy, then that's not the club for you.
 
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Deleted member 23235

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#49
I've seen many very young kids around the ages of 9 to 12 getting one on one coaching twice or three times weekly!

Now this is not cheap!

Sure some of them are good players for their age,but honestly the odds of getting a financial return are realistically zero or very close to it.

Also,parents who get their kids coached are also likely to come down hard on them when they coach them themselves - from my experience anyway.

At that age I'd just let them hit the ball over the net as many times as possible and not get them bogged down with technicalities.
late to the convo... but seems like you're making a big presumption about "waste"
Sadly my kids don't play tennis, but they do play instruments, and take lessons 2x/week... similar cost to tennis instruction.
i have no delusions about them playing professionally at carnegie hall, or getting a scholarship,... but to me it's an investment in them, in general...
besides music, they learn discipline, performing in public, meet friends also dedicated to improving, etc...

now if i were leveraging all my assets on a "pro" or "scholarship" pipe dream, then, yeah, i'm an idiot.
 
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PittsburghDad

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#50
Bro, stop writing novellaa on simple things. My kid wouldn't be within a nautical mile of a joint like yours. You'd beg though.

Once again, you stated that you didn't know how to judge an individuals effort in tennis outside of USTA rankings. I asked if you were kidding because honestly I assumed you were.

You then started writing manifestos and telling me about the importance of competition. Thanks.
 
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