Archive for February, 2012
There are several possible paths to playing college tennis. What works for one player may not work for another. As tennis parents, we have to learn as much as possible about our player’s options and try to help them navigate the proper path for their particular situation and needs.
A big thank-you to Dennis and Danny Bruce for sharing their journey with ParentingAces . . .
In the spring of his junior year of high school, Danny started getting letters of interest from about 20 or 30 college tennis coaches. Most looked like form letters – the coaches were fishing, looking to build their prospect list. Coaches have their wish list of players, and players have their wish list of schools. It’s great when the player and the coach are on More >
My son has dreamed of playing college tennis since he was 9 years old. That’s the summer he first went to tennis camp at the University of Georgia. That’s the summer he got to be on the court with not only the head coach and assistant coach but, more importantly for him at that age, the guys who actually played on the team! He came home from that first 5-day experience with a new-found commitment to tennis and a goal that has stuck with him ever since.
So, as any dedicated Tennis Parent would do, I started educating myself about college tennis and what it takes to get one of a very few coveted positions on the team. I read articles. I spoke to parents who had already been-there-done-that. I googled NCAA and read up on the rules. More >
Parents and coaches, please watch this short clip from Dr. Jim Loehr on the importance of sportsmanship.
Dr. Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist, CEO of the Human Performance Institute, and author of 15 books including his most recent, The Power of Story.
Jim Loehr’s contention is that managing energy, not time, is the key to sustained high performance. At the core of Dr. Loehr’s training system is the understanding that the stories we tell ourselves represent the single most powerful tool we have for managing energy and achieving any important mission in life. The right stories mobilize us to make tough values-based choices that lead to expanded growth and the wrong stories disengage us.
Dr. Loehr possesses a masters and More >
Another week, another local Southern Level 3 tourney, another alternate list. But, this time there’s a possible out – DOUBLES!
Even though my son registered for both the B16 and B18 singles for this weekend’s tournament, and even though he’s on the alternate list for both, he still has an opportunity – we hope! – to play doubles. This tournament is one of a handful that is offering both singles and doubles to the kids, and, even if you don’t get into the singles draw, there’s a very good chance that you could get into the doubles.
There’s a hierarchy for being chosen to play in the doubles draw, though, as follows:
1. Teams with both players entered in the singles
2. Teams with one player entered in singles and one alternate
3. Teams More >
For those of you trying to follow the extensive back-and-forth between Wayne Bryan, father of doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan, and Patrick McEnroe, Head of Player Development for the USTA, I have included links below to all of the communications I have seen to date. If you know of additional letters and/or emails and/or articles, please post a link to them in the Comments box below.
I would like to point out that there have been some extremely well-though-out comments made to many of the original posts, so please do take the time to read through them as well.
If you are the parent or coach of an American junior tennis player, I think it is imperative that you educate yourself on what’s happening with our governing body and the More >
My son and I both learned a very valuable lesson this week. Unfortunately, it involved a nasty case of food poisoning (we think), but, hey, sometimes you have to suffer in order to grow, right?
Wednesday was the first scheduled match of my son’s high school tennis season. He didn’t know if he would get to be in the lineup as a first-year Freshman, but he was so excited at the prospect of playing for his school. He was coming off a great tournament win the weekend before and was working hard to be ready to compete.
The Tuesday before was Valentine’s Day. Since my hubby was out of town, I figured I’d fix a dinner for my son and myself that wasn’t one of hubby’s favs – Shepherd’s Pie. We had a nice dinner followed by home-made chocolate More >
When I first decided to write this blog, I made a promise to myself that I would steer clear of self-congratulatory pieces praising my kids (and myself) for their accomplishments. However, today I’m giving myself a “pass,” so please bear with me!
The path to success is usually pretty twisty and hilly – there are good days and not-so-good days, days where you’re on top of the world and feel indestructible and days where nothing goes your way. When your kid is on that path, and you’re just the observer and facilitator, it’s a tough place to be. You have to watch as your child struggles with failure, struggles with losses, struggles with injuries, struggles with self-doubt – all the while, continuing to love them and encourage them toward More >
Playing up is one of those controversial topics in junior tennis. Should my child play up? If so, when should he start playing up? Which tournaments? How many? Should he keep playing his own age group as well? Ask 5 different coaches, and you’ll get 5 different answers!
What I have learned is that, as your child gets older, it becomes more important for him to establish a good ranking early in his age group so that he can actually get into the higher-level tournaments (see Life In Limbo). Since many of the tournaments will admit a certain number of players from the younger age group, it’s good to take advantage of that opportunity to play up and earn some ranking points, especially as your child gets closer to his official aging-up More >
When I was a kid playing junior tennis, everyone I knew had a set doubles partner. You practiced together, you played tournaments together, and, at the end of the year, you had a doubles ranking together.
One of the highlights of my junior tennis “career” was winning the state high school doubles championships as an 8th grader. My partner and I had played together the entire season and had helped our team get to State. In the doubles competition, we had beaten girls much older than us to take home the big prize. I still have that trophy sitting on a shelf above my desk. I’m still very proud of that accomplishment.
Today, it seems that doubles has become the ignored step-child of junior tennis, the afterthought. USTA awards only 15% More >
My son had a rough day on the courts today. He played a practice set against a kid he has beaten the last several times they’ve played. Today he lost.
I could tell the moment he walked up to the car that something was wrong. I asked if everything was okay. He answered, “Not a great practice today, Mom.” I didn’t bite. I just put the car into “drive” and headed out of the parking lot.
A few seconds later, he told me that he had lost the set and had played really badly, but, that, on the bright side, he had put Super Glue on a nasty blister on his finger, and it masked the pain so he could hold his racquet. Okay, he’s looking for something positive to salvage his afternoon – that’s a good sign.
But, the cloud of the loss quickly More >