How to help your child develop better as a tennis player

There is advice for tennis parents who want their kids to become tour professionals as soon as possible. Parents and tennis players need to remember that the real success in tennis not how kids play in age 6-14.

Times when 12 years old tennis players won Junior Grand Slam (Martina Hingis), 16 years old Olympic Games (Jennifer Capriati) and 17 years old Grand Slams (Michael Chang, Maria Sharapova and Boris Becker), that times are gone forever. Today average age to reach top 100 is 25-26 years old for men and 23-24 for women. The very big problem for many good junior tennis players is overtraining. When I look at advertisement of many tennis academies and see offered schedule like 25 hours a week plus tournaments on weekend, I feel no good. When we came to America, my kid began to attend a summer camp at a tennis academy. I was very surprised that kids played on the courts for six hours a day. Then I knew better a system of work of many academies, and understood that in many cases that extensive schedule is developed for high price determination only. It is easier to charge a parent $800-1200 a week if a business (tennis academy) provides 25 hours of training a week. But wait, for that money you can have 12 hours or more of private lessons with a very good tennis coach. And the results will probably be much better. Of course this is highly dependant on what exactly you are trying to improve at a given time but in general terms, i find this to be accurate.

My advice for tennis parents who send their kids for six hours a day for training. Take a racquet at your hand and go to the court playing during six hours tennis session. Quality over quantity. Periodization. Player development plan. Tennis parents and players have to learn what all these definitions mean. The foundations of modern periodized principles were developed in the former Soviet Union. In common words, periodization includes periods of intensity training, competition, and rest. It is very important to understand that rest is a part of whole training cycle. It helps to prevent the injury, burnout and fatigue that lead to impaired performance. Even if tennis requires more short-term adjustments in the periodization plan than other sports, it’s stil very beneficial to have one.

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