1. For the record, my son is one of those who waited to enter kindergarten. Since he has a mid-July birthday (and is a 3rd child), his preschool director felt it would be in his best interest, academically and developmentally, to repeat the 3-year-old preschool year so he would have that year to form friendships with those he'd be in school with for the next 13 years. We agonized over the decision. Ultimately, though, we based it solely on his maturity at that time and not on academic performance or size.

  2. Appreciate the transparency here Lisa; however, this isn't about kids who started kindergarten a year late. This is about kids repeating 8th grade because of sports. In my section there is a player the same age/grade as my child who is now repeating 8th grade. From a top-100 to a top-10 with a few clicks of the mouse. Why repeat 8th grade? Because the child's game, while successful at the younger levels, will not succeed at the higher levels. The child has just received an extra year to change the game before college. Legal? Heck yes. Is there any integrity being shown? Not a bit.

    • And, David, that's my point - college coaches get to see the actual birthdate and history of the player so they can determine whether that player is showing integrity or trying to game the system. Most coaches will care about recruiting players with good character; some will not. Bottom line: which type of coach do you want your child playing for???

  3. Lisa, I was wondering about this issue and voila! you wrote about it. Where my kid trains, there was some sort of epidemic of this sort at the end of last school year. 4 or 5 kids that I know personally changed their grade and stayed the same grade. I am certain that at least 2 of them did it for better rating as a tennis player. One was eight grader, another is not a junior right now, rather sophomore again, one I am pretty sure did no school work. But, two that are repeating the grade definitely had a bad year tennis wise and I am pretty sure they would've lost at least a star or two if they moved up a grade.

  4. Lisa, I have to respectfully disagree with the reasons give by your preschool director holding back your son an extra year before entering kindergarten. There are numerous studies that show that kids will eventually catch up with the other kids. My son is a late june b-day, so that made him one of the youngest in his class. Yes he had some struggles early on, (especially being a boy), but eventually had no issues with making friends, school work, or socially. He just graduated from college in 4 years, and has found a great job. I know many parents have their child repeat pre-k just to get an edge on sports or academics,

    • Ted, as you well know, each child is different. I'm so glad to hear that your son did well and continues to be successful. I'm confident that our decision was the correct one for our particular child and that he will also continue to find success in whatever he pursues. This parenting stuff is tough, to be sure, and we all make choices and decisions based on what we feel will best serve our child(ren). With Atlanta schools starting the first week of August, we have never had any regrets in choosing to wait that extra year for our son to enter the fray.

  5. Lisa, my post was in no way an attack on you. Rather, it was meant to "call out" those parents that game the system. I live in a very competitive community, I have seen kids repeat pre-k or kindergarten just to increase their chance of getting into Harvard instead of Brown. I have and always will respect you for your commitment to tennis.

    • Ted, I didn't take your comment as an attack. :) I was just trying to clarify why some families may choose a similar path as ours. I think it's important to remember that each area of the country operates differently (just as the various USTA sections do), and what's right for a child in one area may not be right in another. Instead of being quick to judge a family's choice too harshly, I'm hoping - through this forum - that we can all take a step back and look at the many factors that go into these types of decisions then do what's best for our individual child. I stand by my conviction that all of us here are acting out of love for our kids and wanting the best for them.

  6. Here is a situation of a top 40 TRN child who has an October birthday but started school a year early. He even got 27-28 on ACT as an 8th grader. He's held back a semester now but taking online classes in foreign lang. and writing through a prestigious college gifted program. He will graduate in December and could play itf's etc after graduation between jan and August before college. Our fear was that he may not be physically developed enough if he graduated at 17 and may risk sitting out his first year of college or not compete. In that situation he could lose interest and quit. So we made this decision which allows him the chance to still graduate early if he does mature by age 17 which he could by taking a lot of honors classes.

  7. here is the deal....until USTA changes the age requirement to be ITF compliant at January 1 of each calander year there will never be any agreement to this issue. on top of that, until any USTA ranking system allows to incorporate ITF points US juniors will be behind the curve. Bottom line tennis is an international sport and the US needs to attack instead of defend. In the ITF arena the United States can attack

  8. in all honesty the TRN system is not that relevant in regards to the university recruiting systems.....there are more factors in play than how high a kid is ranked in TRN

  9. Following the calendar year isn't relevant to the TRN discussion because it is based on a designated school year and where a player stands in a given class, not on date of birth. The relevant issue in this discussion is whether college coaches take date of birth into consideration when recruiting. In other words, all things being equal, would a college coach prefer a player who's a year younger ("age appropriate," for want of a better term, for a graduating class) or a year older ("red shirted," again for lack of a better term)? Assuming the same grades and same TRN ranking, would a college coach consider birth date? Would the younger player have an advantage over the similarly-ranked player because the coach would think there's greater potential to develop physically and athletically? Or will the player who's a year older have advantages over a younger one (look at how the average age of players on the tour has gone way up)? I have trouble believing the differences, on average, between someone who's 18 and one who's 19, will be that huge. Will there be exceptions? Sure. One of my brothers, who played on the tour, grew almost 5 inches in college, and certainly became a better player. Had he been red shirted and grown before college, would he have had an advantage in college recruiting? Maybe. He still played division 1 on a full scholarship. Full disclosure: my son plays in his regular school year and has not been held back.

  10. I have know of at least 2 players off the top of my head that graduated this year but changed their trn profile back to show they are seniors 2015. They are taking a year off to train in hopes of getting a chance to play at a university of choice. One change the date several years ago and the other just before graduation.

  11. So folks here complained at nausea about foreign players and US institutions giving them scholarships. You think they are 17/18 when the enter college. Isn't the scholarship 4 years no matter when you start? This is an issue NCAA created with the clock starting @9th grade. I have a mid October birthdate and went to college a year earlier than I should have. My mother thought she was doing me a favor but I struggled with maturity thru early grades. Entered college and did well BUT should have been there a year later. My son has late July birthdate and we held him back in 1st grade. Contrary to what TED says kids don't "catch up". They sit in the last part of the pack academically and it leads to behavior problems and slows maturity. Do you want to struggle with forth grade classes that start the foundation for middle school and HOPE they catch up? What is the rush academically and athletically? My daughter is 3 days before cutoff Florida schools. We were told start her the next year BUT she was reading writing well enough and is strong academically with some maturity issues. I will not send her to high school 362 days younger than someone else, unless academically and socially she is mature enough. Her soccer club had her playing up 2 years then we moved her to one year. They were all a grade ahead of her because that cutoff date was 1 Aug. So do they put her with her peers/grade or ability? Her grade she dominated and one kids parents did that = no development. This is not about TRN it's really about the U construct in sports. The U12,U14 ....and the random dates jr sports use for cutoff. The whole compared to your AGE/Grade group not ability thing. UNIVERSAL TENNIS RATINGS is the measure. Issue I have with TRN say you have 2 kids both 12. One plays 14s other plays 12s same success and star rating for all their opponents. Kid playing 14s should have a much higher SOS and rating. I can't see how anyone playing up with success is not rated higher than someone playing their peers. BUT kids playing and doing well in ITFs seem to get rated and they are not playing their peers/age/grade! Lastly no DOUBLES. Kids with proven DBLS success should get a bonus factor of some sort, for all these reasons YES you should REDSHIRT if it gives you a better rating, a true system rating wouldn't see that rating change. If I were a college coach I need 4 years of TOP play, I rate you based on how good you'll perform for those four years. How good is your Tennis because your not playing your grade/peers/age! Have you peaked, are you mature, can you handle class and competition? Not whether your 17/18/19 when I get you.

    • SeminoleG, just want to clear up one point you make. Scholarships are NOT 4 years, they are awarded year by year. Student-athletes have 4 years of eligibility to play college sports IF they don't do something to jeopardize that eligibility such as take more than 4 years to complete high school or take a year off between high school and college.

  12. @ Ted - I didn't mean to dismiss your comments, but rather provide an alternate view. First girls and boys mature very differently you know this. Late birthdays do not mean kids will not "learn" or do well. The issue is the PATH. Imagine a kids self esteem who struggles for much of their academic or athletic career and compared to a kid that has the advantage of 364 days! with success "Solely" based on having 9-10-11 months more maturity. Tennis parents need to get over this. Other sports have been doing this for a very long time and agree or not it is an advantage and take a look @ Bluechip recruits from the other major sports. What about all the kids that take a year off, or go to a Junior college for a year taking halftime class loads. Tilting the odds of success in your favor is the smart thing to do. Having been a 2 sport scholarship athlete I'd say anyone that did not take advantage of having their kid (if they also understand) a year older entering college is not living in reality. Military has countless examples of the Officer entering @ 21 vs the Officer entering @ 25. So once again your that Div 1 Coach who would you rather have, a 17 year old freshman that needs to develop 4 things, or a 18 year old freshman that has to develop 2? Both "5 Star Recruits? How about 2 Freshman both 17 or 2 both 19? If the NCAA really thought this was an issue, they would set eligibility based on BIRTH DATE and they don't, mainly it would put US kids at a further disadvantage and the revenue sports not only like it but believe in the hi $$$, hi pressure environment to perform its is better. One of my best friends is a Scout for an NFL team (PHD Psychology) does all the profiling and testing and if he where in this forum he'd say "What of course, even if they have AP classes and finish @ 16 KEEP THEM AWAY from college campus, what parents see as maturity can mask a lot of flaws when they hit a 50,000 student environment with no MOMMY and DADDY" His favorite phrase- what is the rush, what is the rush.

  13. I normally hate diverging from main topic of a thread, but I'm with SeminoleG when he brings up doubles. I know TRN has considered doubles rankings (it's been a while since that conversation, though). I realize it presents all sorts of challenges, but there are huge differences in singles and doubles ability and a doubles ranking would give coaches a fuller picture (full disclosure: my son has always been a good doubles player, so I confess to bias here).

  14. Yes Lisa BUT the practice of not renewing scholarships is a very recent phenomenon that is seen as Taboo. Would you let your kid attend an institution that had a history or coach with history of saying thanks but "You didn't ....!" Look @ Texas. Football coach dismissed 9 players he will get those 9 scholarships (if there not seniors) back to recruit his kids. Thus his standing will not be affected and he has tha excuse. For 99% coaches will not do this so yes legalize is year to year but practical application is four years. Also there is a whole class of waivers that allow many their four years well after HS graduation if they've never entered college. Antonio - don't think it's off topic since we are talking about how coaches view. I've been told by 2 Coaches for Florida and California kids they can take USTA records and it's clear where they fall out. Kids from weaker sections it's more difficult and TRN is a major tool especially when unable to travel to see a kid. Example a kid that is a Bluechip now was bypassed by this coach because he had little to no DBLS play @ hi level.

  15. Seminole G....with respect...renewing scholarships year to year is not new. it has been going on for at least 30 years. Hate to admit it but i was threatened to not renew my scholarship due to some of the fun I was having some 30 years ago! Antonio...the purpose of changing the tournament cut off date is not make a difference between the 17/18/19 year old player in regards to talent and recruiting purposes when they graduate but to level out the playing schedule a bit and give the college coaches a better idea of where the player stands in regards to grade level and international competition. Right now a player has to play at their age level in the section, up an age level in sectional play to qualify for next years nationals, at the age level for nationals and above the age level for next years nationals and try to carry a ranking for each level. Obviously very difficult to do. If the cut off date is moved to January 1 it would smooth out this process and make the USTA ranking more relevant. Right now the USTA ranking are only relevant for those players who have a birthday September or later as most of the major sectional and national tournaments are played prior to September. But the major benefit of changing the tournament eligible birthday cutoff date to January 1 is it would make all USTA tournaments ITF compliant. The need to get more ITF tournaments in the United States is paramount in this discussion. There needs to be a "Universal Ranking" as someone mentioned or a "USTA Global Ranking" or a "TRN Global Ranking" that somehow combines USTA points from sectional and national play with ITF points in the 16s and 18s. By having a "Global Ranking" this would reduce some of the issues with nationals in regards to US ITF players having to get wildcards to participate and messing up the tournament seeding system. Tennis is an international sport and US tennis needs to accept the international competition and attack. This is one way for the US to attack the international competition yet still preserve the local competition in the United States at the sectional and national levels. One additional note. It may not be the parent's decision to "hold the child back" according to TRN. Often times TRN puts the child in the wrong class based on some assumptions they make and the player falls into a lower class either when the parents correct TRN or somehow TRN figures out the mistake. That being said....Im not against TRN as it is fun and gives another perspective in regards to ranking but it does have its own limitations at the present time.

    • Sasaam - I know it's not new, the practice of NOT renewing IS. The threat has ALWAYS been used. Yes many years ago it was used as a carrot by some very unethical coaches. Very low percentage. Recently 10+years it started with NCAA basketball coaches under pressure take jobs and clean house by not renewing scholarships. I just wanted to give credence to the fact for 99% it is a full ride if they maintain a normal progression.

  16. Another thing I'd like to clarify about TRN . . . when you look at a player's profile and see the schools he/she lists, that doesn't necessarily mean the player expects to receive a scholarship and actually play for that school - it's simply a list of schools the player would like to attend, tennis or not. Also, when you see a commitment listed for a particular player, that doesn't necessarily mean the player is receiving a tennis scholarship or a commitment from the tennis program to be part of the team - it simply means that's where the player will be attending college.

    • Lisa - I assumed that NLI (yes) meant an offer of scholarship was agreed by the Univ and Player, BUT that data is controlled by the subscriber (player) correct?

      • SeminoleG, you are correct that the Offer, Visit Date, and Signed NLI fields are controlled by the player. I had asked Dallas a while ago whether or not TRN verified the information or clarified whether a signed NLI meant the player was going to the school to play on the tennis team or simply attending as a non-athlete student. I also asked if a signed NLI meant the player was receiving any tennis scholarship money. Dallas told me no, TRN does not ask or clarify whether a player is going to be part of the tennis program or is receiving any tennis scholarship money. That said, you can always check a university's tennis roster to verify who is actually part of the team (though there is no information source that I'm aware of to find out if a player is receiving a tennis scholarship). Dallas, if you're reading this and I've mis-stated anything, please feel free to correct me!

  17. To all that are judging: I am sure some parents plan the birth of their child to be in September or October (advantage for Hardcourts). I am sure some parents have their kids wait to start kindergarten until later so they are the oldest in the class (which does provide some social benefits). I am sure some parents forego sports to focus on the violin. I am sure some parents have their kids only focus on academics and have them take special courses during the summer or prep test for standardized tests. And to them I say "more power to you." These are extremely competitive times in every way in every area of society. Who are we to question the decisions of others, when we are free to make our own decisions with our own children. We could have made any of the choices above. A coach I admire once said "you can't hide talent, it eventually finds its way to the top." In the long run, your child is not being effected by the choices of other parents. We are all making the decisions we think are best for our children regardless of whether or not others agree with them. As long as we are making these decisions with a clear mind and objectively weighing the options with the single goal of doing right by our children, no one should judge. ...........but I realize there will always be a few whiners.......and each of us is that whiner from time to time

    • And we are free to lie (and have our children lie) about these decisions, right? We are free to have our children lie to their fellow players, "No, this is really my first year in 8th grade. I was in 7th grade last year." We are free to lie to other parents about what we are doing and why. And I am free to mock your decision and make sure that everyone knows about your total lack of integrity.

  18. Again, I look at and enjoy looking at TRN rankings as it gives another perspective in regards to jr. rankings which is different than USTA and ITF. However, If you are correct Lisa, in that the Offer, Visit Date, and Signed NLI are controlled by the player then that becomes a problem...I hope you get definitive clarification on this issue...but it looks like you are very close now aside from a position statement from TRN. Nonetheless, TRN rankings are still fun to look at.

  19. Sorry, Antonio, I missed your response two days earlier....my point is this...and it is relevant to the thread. There are numerous top players in the United States and worldwide who are home-schooled and therefore making a grade determination is difficult. TRN gives their perspective in regards to ranking, USTA gives their perspective in regards to ranking, ITF gives their perspective in regards to ranking...frankly..the only ranking that matters is ATP. My opinion, right now, is the most relevant ranking for juniors is ITF...and guess what...it is 18 and under! TRN and USTA rankings are irrelevant in regards to ITF...and of course ITF is irrelevant to TRN and USTA....where do you want to put your eggs?

  20. According to my observations the major driver for 5-10th graders to have inflated TRN ranking (by sitting in the younger TRN graduating class) is to obtain discounted training at the "academies" where they train. Also to keep up with the Joneses and scare their opponents. Especially prevalent when kids who have summer birthdays. The parents usually claim that everyone is doing it. It is quite laughable actually.

  21. Ex-tennis parent...with all due respect...you are off base. academies are much smarter than that. an academy will actually look at a kid and want to see potential rather than a rating. i think we need to give more credit to academy coaches than that. kids with summer birthdays...look out...they have a chip on their shoulder

  22. Responsible parent makes an extremely valid point "A coach I admire once said “you can’t hide talent, it eventually finds its way to the top.” In the long run, your child is not being effected by the choices of other parents" the coach you admire is correct!

  23. First Lisa, great topic. So, a couple of observations as we are just about done with junior tennis. ( and this is not a sample size of thousand, but the dozen or so boys I have watched over the years...) And this only relates to Boys - The boys that were held back, I don't think it benefited them academically or in tennis. Academically, they might have had an advantage with their fine motor skills in terms of drawing and writing, but that seems to be less important in today's society. There are no more hand written papers. Socially, the boys were definitely more advanced in lower school, but I would say they also tended to be the ones who got more in trouble ( experimenting with drinking, etc). I don't know why though. Tennis, the kids who repeated 8th grade, I saw a huge jump in their TRN rating. And they were definitely at the top of the pack. However, they also seemed to be the ones who burned out ( got sick of playing tennis) and had more back and wrist injuries ( although, that could be because they were homeschooled and played a lot more hours). So, I think it is a very mixed bag. Doubles - HUGE in college tennis. But, the way TRN is set up it discourages kids from playing doubles as that ranking is not counted in the ranking. So, kids are just focusing on singles.

  24. David- I think you missed the point big guy. You are equivocating the above decisions with deceit/lack of integrity. They are not the same thing. It most cases they are well thought out logical decisions. Do right by your kids, keep your children honest, and you are free to make whatever choices you want. ( as long as they are legal). Your are correct, that you are free to whine about them, but it only minimizes you and directs your attention away from the important activities--getting your own house in order. I have done my share of whining about other's decisions, and have come to realize it is better to effect change where you can and not worry about those individuals that have different opinions. No deceit, no lack of integrity, just clarity of purpose. These kind of gripes are banal. But discussing them in this forum is entertaining. When I hear a post like your response in my head, it sounds like one sibling saying to the other "how come she gets one and I don't?" ----Usually the answer to that question is that the denied sibling made a poor choice. Good luck!

  25. To Responsible Parent, David has a very valid point, but it might not be obvious to the parent.... When a parent has Jr. repeat 8th grade, it does put the kid in a very strange position. And maybe as a parent, you might not have to explain your actions to 100 other parents, ( as you don't interact with 100 parents daily), but when you are on FB or social media or even in a bricks and mortar school, you interact with over 100 kids daily, and the number shoots up to about 300 in a grade. "What happened?" "Why are you in 8th grade again?" "Are you stupid?" "Did you fail?" So, a lot of the kids do end up lying. “No, this is really my first year in 8th grade. I was in 7th grade last year.” ( of course, now the kids really do think Jr. is stupid as they know he already took 7th grade). Or, "I was left back" And this is a rare one, rarely spoken, the actual truth - " My parents want my TRN ranking to go up, so I went back a grade" The truthful statement that the kids know in the heart, and the fact that erodes confidence in themselves. You can tell your kid that they are great over and over again, but actions speak volumes, and your action is saying, "No, I don't believe in you". So, Responsible parent, kids do live in another world ( unless they don't own a computer), and they do end up lying about this in one way or another. And your statement that "well thought out logical decisions are not deceitful" is not a logical argument. Sorry, the best fraud is usually well thought out. You can spin it any way you want.... about David "whining" and "these gripes are banal" or the best, "but it only minimizes you." But, your kid knows the truth. They can look at TRN and ITF and see the birth dates and ages themselves.. You worked the system because you didn't believe your kid could be a 5 star or blue chip with his legitimate birthday.

  26. sasamm, "Academies" actually do not mind, even encourage it. They welcome the fact that their players have more stars. I can name you a number of girls who sat one class behind on TRN until 11th grade and then suddenly became Juniors. Yes, there was a tiny minority who graduated early but the majority of them never really skipped a grade. The good thing is that you do not have to believe me.

  27. Randy- You make a lot of assumptions. First assumption, that we made a choice to "hold back" a child. Secondly, if we did make this choice that it has something to do with TRN. This kind of narrow (TRN centric) thinking only comes from those that don't see the bigger picture in life. TRN doesn't drive decisions in our household. My children don't even look at it. All kids face peer pressure......but mine will not face the kind you are talking about. P.S. Your quote “well thought out logical decisions are not deceitful” is a misquote of what I wrote. Perhaps you should read it again. Credibility lost...........

  28. To Responsible Parent, "It most cases they are well thought out logical decisions." Your words, not sure what "It most cases" means, perhaps you should write it again. Your kids "don't even look at TRN", but are tennis players... As all kids know about TRN, do they not talk to other tennis players? Do they not own a computer? Do they have internet? Do you have electricity? I assume as you are on tennis site that addresses junior tennis.. that you actually have a junior tennis player. Yes, I could be wrong. Sometimes, I see grownups lurking in the playground, and assume they have kids. Your posting comments in section on TRN, and you wrote: "And to them I say “more power to you.” These are extremely competitive times in every way in every area of society. Who are we to question the decisions of others, when we are free to make our own decisions with our own children. ...... As long as we are making these decisions with a clear mind and objectively weighing the options with the single goal of doing right by our children, no one should judge." You are an anonymous poster here, so I wouldn't worry about being judged, but you are truly delusional if you don't think this places your juniors in an awkward position about why they went back a grade. Most kids will judge, and comment. You can play it anyway you want, and tell junior that they are the best junior tennis player in the world, but actions always speak louder than words. You can't bullshit a kid. In the end, they know you didn't believe they could be a blue chip by being themselves. You had to game the system for them to achieve.

  29. Ex Tennis Parent...TRN has limited resources (for some reason) in regards to determining the "grade" of a player. If the player and parents dont care about TRN ranking it is perfectly logical that they drop back a grade at 11th grade because TRN made a bad call...trust me...TRN is off on my kid....my child will drop back a grade on TRN sooner or later...not our type priority...

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