Play up in age or play up in level?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by tacoben, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. tacoben

    tacoben Semi-Pro

    Jan 7, 2008
    Foggy Town USA
    My 9 yr old daughter has been participating in age 10 novice. With only two tournaments under her belt, she doing pretty well, having come in second place in a recently concluded tournment . Another parent suggested that my daughter is ready for the next level, which is Challenger. However, I would like to keep her in novice for a few more tourneys, but move her up into the next age group in novice, age 12 group. The reason for this is that they play round robin formats where she gets to play a lot of matches versus single elimination (that may or may not have consolation round) in Challenger. Please share your thoughts and/or suggestions on this idea. Thank you.
  2. OleNole

    OleNole Rookie

    Aug 7, 2008
    The most important thing at that age is that your daughter is having fun. I work with the top young players at my club (8-11), and it's so frustrating for me to see kids this age who aren't having fun because their parents have them enrolled in lessons five days a week and they're playing tournaments every weekend. I have one eight year old who has good enough strokes to play for the high school team but has never learned how to win or have fun because he's been playing 12s.

    Surely you know your daughter better than any of us, and it seems your instincts are that she is not ready to move up. I would encourage you to follow those instincts.
    Since getting national or sectional points isn't really a big factor with players so young, I'd keep her in 10's until she ages out, unless she herself asks to play with older girls.
  3. game set match 46 TIMES!!

    game set match 46 TIMES!! Hall of Fame

    Sep 18, 2008
    Reporting the score as two bagels!!
    see who signs up and if its a big tournament stay in her age divison but if she can beat all the players kinda easy then move up but make sure she is having fun :).
  4. tennis24fun

    tennis24fun New User

    Aug 25, 2008
    I would say playing in the same age group (10s) but higher level would be the way 2 go. Playing rookies in 12s in not so useful unless you've mastered the 10s, imo.
  5. william7gr

    william7gr Professional

    May 31, 2008
    Make sure she is having fun and scout out the competition. If you think she has a chance than it seems great for her to move up.
  6. T1000

    T1000 Legend

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm 16 and I play high level 16s and low level 18s. I think your daughter should do the same (novice 12s and challenger 10s) I'm in new england so it might be a different situation
  7. LeftyServe

    LeftyServe Semi-Pro

    Dec 1, 2005
    It depends on her goals, her temperment, and how important she feels about the experience of "winning." Does she understand the age and level system, and if so, is she asking to play the 12's? If she's ambitious and she's asking, and she's got an even temperment, then that might be a good sign that she's ready. But if not...then maybe she needs the experience of "winning" and maturing before moving up. My son is 8 and he started playing competitive tournaments this past March. He had a pretty consistent slightly above .500 record until July, then he exploded and has won 4 out of his last 5 tournaments. After his second win, he was asking to play the 12's. But in the one tournament he lost, he was behaving badly and my wife and I made it clear that he wouldn't be moving up until he showed that he could control his emotions. A month and a half later, and he's doing fine and entered in his first 12's this weekend...As a parent, I'm a little concerned about him advancing too rapidly, but on the other hand it's not good to hold them back either if they're ready.
  8. predrag

    predrag Professional

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
    With young players it is important to keep ration win/loose at aproximately 2/1
    Player should play as many CLOSE matches as possible.
    Winning or losing with bagel or breadstick does not do any good.
    If she is doing well in novice, definitely get her to play Challenger in the 10s.
    Once she starts doing well there (getting into the finals) get here to play challengers in
    the 12s.
    Once she starts challengers, she should not go to novice tournaments anymore.

    Regards, Predrag
  9. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Aug 8, 2007
    This is an impossible question to answer because each kid is a total individual.

    Some kids, especially girls, are more in it for the social aspects. They may only want to play with girls their age, no matter the level.

    You also can not generalize about keeping win/lose ratios at 2:1. Again kids are so unique, some don't care, some do.

    The Williams sisters went a combined 95-4 as juniors. Most talented kids will not be anywhere near a 2:1 win loss ratio. Neither will kids who are just in it for the social aspects.

    I have seen happy tennis kids with 10-1 win loss ratios. I have seen happy tennis kids with 1:5 win loss ratios. Generalizing with kids simply does not work.

    Only the parent can make these decisions, based on their child's unique personality and goals.
  10. Aeropro master

    Aeropro master Professional

    May 6, 2007
    I agree... its better to play against people your own age than people who are older than you... It is much harder physically, mentally, and socially to play in a higher age group.
  11. predrag

    predrag Professional

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I was not generalizing.
    My recomendations are specific for the parent who wants his child as successful as it can be.
    Perspective of a coach is different from parent's.

    For a child to have the best chance to succeed it should not be put in any end of the spectrum.

    Kids who have 1-5 ratio are in danger to get discouraged.
    Not saying that they will be, but they are learining to lose.
    Kids with 10-1 are under the pressure that they should not lose.
    For the kid to keep the healthy attitude it hsould be somewhre in between.
    I dont say it is exactly 2-1. Might be 4-1 for some, and 5-3 for others.
    However, kids need to be challenged enough and not too much in order to keep improving.

    I approach to every child, I work with, as my own and do not play percentages.

    Regards, Predrag


    Oct 25, 2008
    I know many girls who play up if i were you i would play her up in 12s

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