Archive for June, 2012
My son just spent the past 5 days in Athens, Georgia, at UGA’s tennis camp as he has done each of the last 7 years. It is typically the highlight of his summer. The boys stay in the dorms, order late-night takeout, and spend literally all day on the tennis courts hitting with each other and the UGA team members and coaches. What a life, right?
Some will argue that tennis camp is a waste of time for high-level players, that their time would be better spent in drills or playing practice sets or at actual tournaments. I respectfully disagree.
Here’s what my son has gotten out of seven years of tennis camp (so far):
- A realization that he really really really wants to play college tennis
- An understanding of what it takes to progress as a More >
If you’ve watched any professional tennis in the past couple of years, no doubt you’ve noticed Novak Djokovic’s parents in the stands during his matches – they are the ones cheering loudly, wearing their son’s image on their shirts, standing and fist-pumping after every winning shot. Rumor has it that the King of Decorum, Roger Federer, once told them to be quiet (not the words he used!) during a match with their son. They are the epitome of the hard-core Tennis Parent.
In most junior tennis families, though, typically there is one parent in charge of all-things-tennis and one parent who is less involved. Even in families where the parents are no longer living in the same household, I’ve seen this distinction develop. There is one More >
The word PUSHER is often uttered with disdain and a snarl among junior tennis players. It is the supreme insult to hurl at another player, as in, “I can’t believe I lost to a pusher! I must totally stink at tennis!”
But, really, what is a pusher? And is it such a bad thing to be called one?
According to coach Don Petrine, pushing is a style that one encounters in developmental tennis (and perhaps senior and club tennis). “A pusher uses all your pace on the ball, never generating their own pace, parasitic in nature, and uses it against you. A pusher never tries to end the point with an offensive shot; they just use your pace and hit high percentage shots until you hang yourself, go insane, or make an unforced error. They are usually More >
By now, most of my readers are probably very familiar with the TennisRecruiting.net website. Well, I recently discovered that the creators of the site, Julie and Doug Wrege, live about a mile and half from my house (!), so I figured I would pick their brains a bit about how the site came into existence as well as the way parents and players should be using the information available on the site to their best advantage.
The first thing to note is that Julie and Doug are not now, nor have they ever been, Tennis Parents; that is to say, none of their children played tournament tennis. However, Julie is a very accomplished player and college coach in her own right – she started the very successful women’s tennis program at Georgia Tech – and More >
School isn’t the only place – the Junior Tennis World will give you time off for bad behavior, too! And, yes, I do speak from personal experience.
I haven’t really addressed the whole area of conduct and suspension points on ParentingAces yet, so I figure now is as good a time as any given that my kid just avoided a very close call with a 3-month tournament suspension. I suspect there are junior tennis players who will get through their entire tournament career without ever receiving a code violation or suspension point, but my kid isn’t one of them.
Our state qualifier for the Southern Closed was this past week. For the first time ever, my son knew when he applied for entry to the tournament that he would get in – he had worked hard all year to move his state ranking into a proper position. Now the challenge was getting far enough in the Qualifier to secure a spot in the Closed.
The Tennis Gods smiled upon him with his draw, but it was still up to him to capitalize on some great opportunities to get to the Round of 16 (or further) and get that guaranteed entry into the sectional tourney. It was going to be a challenge, for sure. His track record with “gifts” in the draw wasn’t all that great – in the past, he had often lost to players with much lower rankings than his own, so he More >