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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Kids tennis

This is tennis related but not Pro tennis related so not sure if it goes under General...

Just curious if anyone here has kids in tennis? If so, have you had similar experiences? If not - you can still provide input.

My 8yr old has been playing tennis for quite some time now, and has had the same 'lead coach' as they call it at her club for several years. We had actually approached him because we knew he was strict with his players and it's what my daughter needed. However as of late, things seem to have gone a little too far, could just be my opinion since i'm the parent.

Over the last few months there have been several times where the coach said she was not giving 100% on court, this resulted a few times doing laps, sometimes sitting out for 10 minutes, and sometimes having to leave the court.

Last week she had a 2.5 hour session that went great, after the sessions the coach was positive and said A+ performance today. The following day she did a 1 hour private session with a lower tier coach to work on serve and volley. Her lead coach was there for a few minutes at the start but then left.
After the lesson he was back to get an update from the other coach - i'm not sure exactly what was said - however myself and my daughter got called over and he was over the line angry. He said the performance was unacceptable and not giving 100% was not playing tennis..etc etc...it went on for a bit but basically I could see my daughter holding back tears, a few came out. The following day I had a private talk with the coach that was on court that day and he said he felt bad for her, that he did not expect that conversation. He said a few times when they were playing he had to remind her to be in a proper ready position with racket up doing volleys at the net.

We had another session this morning with the lead coach, my daughter and 3 other boys that play regularly on Wednesdays. She was rallying with one of the boys and the coach started doing some drills with the other two. My daughter and the other boy ended up having to do 10 laps for not running to the ball quick enough a few times. Then 5 minutes later they both got kicked off the court. From what I could see, she was waiting for the other player to get ready - he was watching his two brothers for 10-15 seconds do see what drills they were working on.

Again - my daughter ended up leaving the court in tears as she did not think she did anything wrong, she was waiting for the other player. I told her to go back on court to explain to the coach and his exact response was "I see your point, but see you next week"

Anyways, we hung around for a bit because I wanted to talk to him, so when he came off course I had said that she told me she was waiting for the other player and his response was something along the lines of 'yea I see her point, but it was overall performance and wasn't running at her 100% to each ball"


Any opinions? The wife and I are going to setup a meeting to sit down and have a chat. She thinks he's bullying her, and I do agree to a certain point.
I have no issues with having players do laps if they aren't performing, but kicking someone of the court on a regular basis - I don't see how that can help anyone.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 03:09 PM
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Re: Kids tennis

Simple answer, change the coach. He seems to be over the top and doing more harm than good. But yes go ahead with the chat. That can't hurt.

This being said, I have a friend who has a daughter similar age who is good at tennis. He is always complaining about coaches not giving his daughter enough attention, being more devoted to other kids, his daughter not improving enough because coaches are not doing the right thing, ... You get the drill.

I think he exaggerates a bit is too critical and expects too much from his daughter, but I have never watched his daughter with any of the coaches, so can't really say.

Same here.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Kids tennis

We are leaning towards changing coaches but will see how the chat goes..we are also going to explore some other clubs in the city as there are lots of places to play.

He just seems to be picking on her a lot more lately. She does a group lesson as well on weekends and he's way harder on her than anyone else. I'm not sure if he sees more potential in her so he wants her to work harder, or if he's just being a bully coach.

The only reason we haven't left or changed yet is because for some reason my daughter actually doesn't want to. Even after bringing her to tears we ask, do you want to play elsewhere and she'll say no.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 10:39 AM
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Re: Kids tennis

Thanks for sharing your amazing experience.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:02 AM
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Re: Kids tennis

Not easy to find the right words, but give me a try. On the one hand you should appreciate the insistence of your girl's coach, but on the other hand something goes really wrong if actions and words from the coach force your kid to cry. Appreciation therefor because in general it's never pleasant for a coach to be so strict and hard as you described the situations. And normally his only goal is don't allow to flog off the whole potential. Every single training your girl isn't practice as hard as she can, the training session is done. And surely somewhere else a other girl is going to practice at her limits and makes therefor bigger steps forward.

You should offer some brief reflections. In the past your kid sometime started playing tennis because it was fun. Hitting balls, interacting with some friends, simply having fun. Tennis was connected fully with positive emotions. And because of that your girl wanted to play several times a week. Now things seems to change. The positive emotions are dwindling away. Her self-worth seems to descend because every single training the coach gives her the feeling something is wrong with her. And that's a dangerous situation if you don't want to see your girl throws in the towel, because tennis got to serious from her point of view.

But a conversation with the coach should be the first right step. Find out the reasons why the coach is so strict and hard to your girl and then decide whether this style of coaching is good for the development of your girl or not. You know your kid best. Also try to talk to your girl seriously. Ask her for her motives why playing tennis is so cool for her. Maybe she will surprise you and come with an answer like "in the future i want to be like Kerber". Because if your girl desires to become a pro player, you can sell your girl better why it's necessary that her coach don't accept less than 100% in the training session. But if your girl starts playing tennis just because of meeting friends, having fun together, play together and try to get better, but without losing the most important thing --> Positive emotions, then change the coach.

In the age of 8 it's more important to find a good entrance to sports, because then you will never lose your passion for the whole life. Motor skills should be developed in a playful way in this age group and with as less pressure and expectations from outside as possible. Just trying and find a good entrance to natural learning. Treat the kids like subjects, not like objects. Then normally a good relationship between player and coach will be formed.

Good luck and keep us up to date.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 02:24 AM
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Re: Kids tennis

silvester...which club is this?

do you know any good tennis clubs for kids in GTA areA?>
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 08:47 PM
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I'm new to tennis, but NOT to coaching. In general, most coaches simply try to get the best out of their kids/players. What some fail to realize is that each kid has his/her own personality and sometimes it takes feeling a kid out emotionally to see what makes that particular kid "tick." While Player A may respond better to an old fashioned, hard nosed, spit-and-grit type motivator, Player B may be more responsive to constructive criticism and a pat on the back. I am a "Player A" personality because that's how I was coached both at home and on the field. I took it as a challenge to go to any length necessary to prove the guy wrong and I was a successful athlete because of that drive. At the same time I've known others who have been successful with Player B style coaching. It's all about what he or she responds to better. That's why it's usually better in a multi-coach atmosphere where players can work with and respond to different coaching. If you're going to narrow it down to a single "lead" coach, I would find one who is willing to learn your child and what motivates her. Being able to adapt to your players needs is the mark of a great coach in any sport. Just my opinion of course. Hope that helps!
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