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Recruiting 101
Assessment at a Young Age Could Save Your Child's Tennis
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This article was prompted by an increasing number of parents over the years contacting me for a truthful assessment of their child's tennis. It is not so easy to receive the truth for some, so I am here to give you the truth. Many parents get very excited when their 12 or 14 year old is obtaining excellent results. Does it mean that the child will go on to do great things in tennis? Maybe, but in many cases the real answer is no. The strategy of spending money is easy, because as long as your child is winning, everyone is happy. However, you may not be so happy in the later stages of your children's junior career when they need to peak to get into a great school.

Todd Widom says that the best junior tennis players have learned how to train
courtesy, TW Tennis
The essence of what I am getting at is if you think your child is having great results, be prepared to keep investing in his or her playing career. The issue is that you want your child to peak when he or she is 16 to 18 years old, and what you must face is the reality that your child is going to require the necessary tools to attend a great university or maybe play professional tennis. Just because your daughter is winning does not mean that she has the necessary foundation and tools to play great tennis in her last couple of years of junior tennis - which is when it matters most.

The younger divisions of junior tennis are for learning and developing your game for when you are older. What parents must understand is that their children should be learning how to train, compete, construct points, have a great attitude, and be mentally prepared. There is no time to be trying various strategies, or going from academy to academy. You will lose precious time, and no child has that luxury. Certainly, if an academy or coach is not working out, then a change is required, but due diligence and research is required to find the right coach.

When a person gets an opinion from a doctor that they need surgery, he should get a second opinion. The same holds true in tennis. When a student is looking for a new coach or to improve on something in his game, he should interview coaches, obtain a second opinion, and select the one he feels will get them to the best place in his game.

In addition, when your daughter is figuring out what college she would like to attend, she should have a list of schools, research them and visit them. I counsel many kids and their parents on these issues. You are making a financial investment in your child's tennis, and your child is making a commitment to tennis. In addition, coaches are making an investment in your children and their tennis careers.

What I keep seeing over and over again are junior tennis players not peaking from sixteen to eighteen years old, and this is not only a very significant problem, but it is also a costly mistake the parents absorb financially and the player absorbs physically, mentally and educationally. Even though each case is different, what I can tell you is that the majority of kids do not have the solid foundation required to play at higher levels of tennis.

As a coach, mentor, friend, and teacher to my students, I make sure that all aspects of what creates a strong and solid foundation are set into motion from day one. This is the only way I know how to do it, and I am not merely a coach. My business actually started this way as parents were panicking that they had spent all this time, effort and money, and at the most important juncture of their children's junior tennis career, their children were faltering, their foundations were cracking and their dreams were quickly dissolving into thin air. Do yourself a favor and get your child assessed by someone experienced so that you will save yourself major headaches in the upcoming years.

 
 

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About Todd Widom

Todd Widom is a former 18-and-under Super National champion, two-time All-American at the University of Miami, and former Top 200 ATP Professional in both singles and doubles. He has continued his passion for tennis, and is owner of TW Tennis, South Florida's top small group/private tennis training geared exclusively for the high performance junior, collegiate or professional tennis player. You can find him online at TW Tennis and he may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].
 
Page updated on Monday, November 06, 2017
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