Point Chasers

chasers

Many parents of junior tennis players may be too smart for their own good or too smart for their child’s junior tennis development. As I have spoken about in previous articles, radio shows, and social media posts, junior tennis development has no shortcuts. Some juniors may develop quicker than others may, but they go through the process for many years to achieve what they are trying to achieve.

It takes proper management of both the parents and juniors, and communication is key for the well- being of the junior player. Coaches need to help with the scheduling of tournaments because they are really the ones who know if the player is ready to compete or not. Parents should not be guessing or worrying whether their child is technically, tactically, emotionally, or physically ready to be competing in a tournament.

Chasing points around the globe or around the United States does not really do much except take some money out of your bank account. If you are traveling around the United States trying to find the weakest draws, you may do well in some areas where the higher-level players would not like to go. However, when you finally start playing higher-level tournaments such as the super nationals, there is nowhere to hide. Reality may very well bite you in the butt. If you think you are going to fool the college coaches, think again. Their job is to find the right fit for their team, the university, and they very well know the level of player that they are recruiting.

If you have a need as a parent to chase points around the globe or country, something is drastically wrong. The results are going to come when the training and management of the particular player is properly done. If you are worried about your child’s tournament results, I would not try to beat the system by chasing points. I would be more concerned with how your child is going to improve. With improvement come results.

Growing up in South Florida was quite a proving ground as to whether or not you could hang with some top competitors. It was very frustrating to be losing to the same players year after year. If that is happening, the reality is that they are better then you. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but at that point they are better then you. It does not mean that you may not become better than them, but they are better than you if you keep losing to them. You need to improve your skills to be able to beat them. There is no other way. It took me years to beat some of the players that come to mind as I am writing this article. When you do get the upper hand and start beating these players in tournaments is when you know you have earned it and improved enough of your skills to now come out on top. Do yourself and your child a favor and do not scour the Internet trying to find the weakest place to pick up points because it will hurt their development and show your child that you do not believe in them enough for them to be playing the competition they should be playing against. Shortsightedness does not go far in tennis. It is the ones who are in it for the long haul, keep developing, and not cutting corners who are the ones that succeed in the end.

One Comment on “Point Chasers”

  1. Ah … chasing points … hopefully this generates some good discussion. I remember eavesdropping on three college coaches watching a match at girls 16/18 summer nationals in San Diego. The three coaches were discussing various junior players and openly mocking the ones who are gathering up ITF junior points in locations that 99.9% of Americans are unable to find on a map. I kept my mouth shut because I was in violent agreement with the coaches.

    Hopefully you live in a section where there is great competition such that your junior player isn’t the same few people each tournament. In that case why travel except for national tournaments? At some point, whether your junior is winning or losing, s/he will get tired of practicing and playing with the same people.

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