What sport would you recommend... - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2014, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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What sport would you recommend...

to your niece or nephew, assuming you had one around 7 years old?

Let's say they have shown to be a talented athlete, excelling in baseball, football, and basketball.

Would you put a tennis racquet in his hand?

My brother and I grew up playing baseball, so it was no surprise that he got his eldest son into baseball at a young age, excelling at the sport, not through talent but hard work. As he got into high school, he developed other interests like music and he was highly into academics. He is still good at baseball and still enjoys the sport, but not enough to pursue taking his skill level to the next level.

My niece, few years younger in age than my brother's eldest, was not pushed into any sports, as my brother was preoccupied with his eldest son. Few years ago, I bought her a tennis ball machine. She was a popular kid in the block and her friends helped her play with it. Once she developed an interest in it my brother started to give her lessons and later hired tennis coaches. She's more of a late bloomer, starting around 12 and now she's a freshman in high school, playing varsity tennis, and just now getting involved in local tournaments.

My youngest nephew, around 7 years old has mad talent with baseball, football, and basketball. He not only picks things up very quickly, but he has intense training habits and discipline. He's very popular with all of the parents because they can't believe how good he is in all of the sports he's involved in, often competing against older kids. Personally, I never seen a kid do sprints in the drive way like him, non-stop with such dedication on his own, with no one pushing him. All of the competitive genes obviously went to him. He lives and breathes to be the best.

My brother and I joked that he should put a tennis racquet in his youngest son's hand. At first, he just to use the tennis machine as batting practice but over time that thought is slowly changing, especially as the daughter has been excelling in tennis, so she could help him as well.

Competitively wise we thought that tennis might be his best shot (for my youngest nephew) towards a college scholarship.

My brother hasn't yet forked out college money for his youngest, as he has already with the two eldest. He's paid-off two college degrees through a state program, which is transferable should they receive a scholarship.

Seeing how Divsion 1 schools award many tennis scholarships to foreign players, it seems that more opportunities may arise with Division 2 and 3 schools, but I don't know how strong academically those schools are. I've been too lazy to research it.

We're thinking my niece best chance would be a Division 2 or 3 school, but if my youngest nephew gets into tennis, he might have the best shot playing at a Division 1 school...
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2014, 11:58 PM
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Re: What sport would you recommend...

Tennis is a marvelous sport and I don't regret any of the hours my daughter put into pursuing a college scholarship, but I gotta say, it's awfully tough for boys. 4.5 schollies to be split on a team of 8 or more players doesn't give any of them much. In any given state in the U.S., only at most a couple high-school boys can earn even some scholarship money at a d1 school. (It's more likely that the schollies will go to international or home-schooled kids who are deeply invested in fulltime play and travel.)
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2014, 01:36 AM
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Re: What sport would you recommend...

I agree! It's too tough for boys for hopes of maybe a partial scholarship. Definitely no tennis for an athletic boy. If he isn't really athletic I would recommend tennis. Tennis is the great sport that being super athletic isn't necessarily a requirement for success. Infact being athletic can be a hurdle needed to overcome in the early stages, when trying to teach the really athletic kid good sound fundamentals. Being athletic should be the icing on the cake, but in tennis too often it tends to be the cake for many players and it leaves them with just a mediun level game. But if you can harness the athlete in him, and teach him good sound fundamentals and techniques, then the sky is the limit.

For girls..tennis, tennis, tennis. No brainer.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2014, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What sport would you recommend...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gullytwin View Post
Tennis is a marvelous sport and I don't regret any of the hours my daughter put into pursuing a college scholarship, but I gotta say, it's awfully tough for boys. 4.5 schollies to be split on a team of 8 or more players doesn't give any of them much. In any given state in the U.S., only at most a couple high-school boys can earn even some scholarship money at a d1 school. (It's more likely that the schollies will go to international or home-schooled kids who are deeply invested in fulltime play and travel.)
Wow, I didnít know there was a disparity between girls and boys with only 4.5 scholarships offered to the girls compared to 8 for the boys. With 9-10 players that sounds like only Ĺ scholarship on average to each player. Good to know this upfront as it sounds like a player would have to be a blue chip to stand a chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmanserve View Post
I agree! It's too tough for boys for hopes of maybe a partial scholarship. Definitely no tennis for an athletic boy. If he isn't really athletic I would recommend tennis. Tennis is the great sport that being super athletic isn't necessarily a requirement for success. Infact being athletic can be a hurdle needed to overcome in the early stages, when trying to teach the really athletic kid good sound fundamentals. Being athletic should be the icing on the cake, but in tennis too often it tends to be the cake for many players and it leaves them with just a mediun level game. But if you can harness the athlete in him, and teach him good sound fundamentals and techniques, then the sky is the limit.
For girls..tennis, tennis, tennis. No brainer.
I donít know how to categorize my nephew. I donít think heís super athletic, as heís not real tall, strong or fast. Where he excels is his eye/hand coordination and ability to execute instructions quickly with pinpoint accuracy. For instance, he can bat left handed and right handed, equally well, making good contact and for average. It will be interesting to see how he would do. The challenge now would be trying to fit tennis in as he would have to make some choices.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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Re: What sport would you recommend...

In Men's Sports, only basketball and football have predominantly full scholarships (football 55 for about 80 men). Title IX reduced men's #'s in order to sustain football numbers for which there is no female offset.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Re: What sport would you recommend...

Looking for a scholarship, I'd suggest lacrosse. A growing number of DI schools have programs, especially women's programs, the rosters are pretty large, and the sport is relatively cheap, compared to many others. While a growing number of people play across the country, with numbers in the West and the Southeast rising particularly quickly, the overall playing population is a tiny fraction of the number of people who play baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, etc.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2014, 06:27 PM
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Re: What sport would you recommend...

Play tennis because its a great sport, a sport for a life-time.

Then, maybe or maybe not, put something extra time and $ into training with an eye to a scholarship if tennis actually fits the child's interests and abilities. - A lot of parents though get that choice wrong when they believe a coach who is saying the child could be the next big thing, but the coach is really more interested in the fees.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 2014, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What sport would you recommend...

I would be clueless at finding a good coach.

I think fundamentals are important and to build from their.
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