Do young tennis players/athletes really miss out on their childhood? - TennisForum.com

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2005, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Do young tennis players/athletes really miss out on their childhood?

I have never considered a child who trains a sport for more than 5 hours a day missing anything. I know that when I trained my chosen sport at the elite level I did not feel like I was missing anything. I had friends all over the country as well as friends at practices and training sessions. We were all supportive of one another while developing unmatched focus and drive. Since I loved my sport I did not mind getting up at 5am to train- nor did I miss wasting time in front of the TV or hanging out in some alley "experimenting" or "rebelling" against society. Of course there are some down sides; but surely if managed properly an elite young athlete can have a very balanced and happy life.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2005, 09:55 PM
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I exerciced my sport at a quite high level for several years and when i look back, i might sometimes have had the feeling to have missed out on somethings. Even back then, i sometimes had mixed feelings about my friends from school doing other stuff than me. I never regretted my decision, but for example, a birthdayparty on a free afternoon or during the weekends...i could never go 'cause i was dancing.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2005, 11:41 PM
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2005, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 741852
I have never considered a child who trains a sport for more than 5 hours a day missing anything. I know that when I trained my chosen sport at the elite level I did not feel like I was missing anything. I had friends all over the country as well as friends at practices and training sessions. We were all supportive of one another while developing unmatched focus and drive. Since I loved my sport I did not mind getting up at 5am to train- nor did I miss wasting time in front of the TV or hanging out in some alley "experimenting" or "rebelling" against society. Of course there are some down sides; but surely if managed properly an elite young athlete can have a very balanced and happy life.
I think the issue is, how much time do you also have to devote to academics? I played sports all my life, but it was pretty clear at a young age that my ace-in-the-hole was going to be academics, not sports, even though I planned to go into the arts. Sports was always #3. I had to give up the six hours a day, but it was to theatre and academics, not sports. And I DID feel I missed some things. But in the end, I got to attend two of the world's elite universities, and do Shakespeare Off-Broadway. Opportunities many of my classmates didn't have.

Very few people have the talent and opportunity to do it all. (Which, to be honest, is one of the things that makes Serena Williams so damn annoying sometimes.)

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2005, 11:55 PM
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2005, 12:03 AM
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I think tennis is one of the sports these days were 75% of the time the choice to be a top tennis player is made by your parents and not by you...But that doesnt neccasrily mean you lose out on a good childhood. It has a lot to do with your parents attitude toward the game in conjunction with your upbringing. But you do have to dedicate a lot of time to your sport...

I also think it changes from country to country....in some countrys your have sport academys were you can socialise with other people who live and breathe tennis or whatever sport. For example all the Russians know each other from their formative years, most had the same coach and went to the same club, and have reminded clsoe which is why a lot of them are so tight knit.

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