Quantcast
nodot nodot
Mortal Tennis
June 2004 Article

Contact Greg Moran

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

Get Greg Moran's book Tennis Beyond Big Shots at Amazon.com

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Jelena Jankovic
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Grigor Dimitrov
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Mortal Tennis By Greg Moran


 

Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
Attention All Tennis Parents:
If you're looking for a return on your investment--buy a stock!

Greg Moran Photo
Greg Moran

The other day I was walking around the courts watching a group of junior players in my program take their lessons. The kids were running, sweating and hitting away when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

I turned around and saw John, the father of one of my players. Now John is one of those guys who came out of the womb on a mission. He is humorless, views every aspect of life as a competition and is always, always intense.

"So Greg, tell me," he began looking firmly into my eyes. "How many of these kids will make it to the U.S. Open?" Uh oh, now I'm on the spot. Should I tell him what he wants to hear that, "well, with a lot of work and a little luck, Billy (John's son) could go all the way." Or, do I tell him the truth? I opted for the truth. Looking back into John's eyes I answered, "Not a single one of them."

John stepped back and looked at me as if I'd just told him that his fly was open. "You're not supposed to say that" he challenged. "Sure I am," I replied because "first, it's the truth and second, that's not why they're out here." I then recited the following passage I found in an article by Joe Dinoffer. I'll let Joe take it from here:

"Probably no junior that you know personally will reach the highly glamorous position of being ranked in the top fifty singles players on the professional men's or women's tours. Among regular junior and collegiate tennis players in the U.S. this elite group constitutes a scant 14 individuals out of 5.1 million players, almost as small a percentage as winning a lottery.

The next level to think about achieving is collegiate tennis. In the U.S. there are about 25,000 players on Inter-Collegiate Tennis Association teams. If we then extract the percentage of junior players who will end up playing college tennis the statistic still comes to only .5% (one half of one percent). The next level is one of the primary feeder entities for college tennis: the high school tennis arena. This group consists of about 150,000 players out of the 5.1 million or about 3% of the total junior tennis playing population."

John's didn't have to speak, his face said it all: "You mean my little Billy isn't going to be on television, making millions of dollars? I'm not going to sit in the player's box with that cool looking badge around my neck? I'm not going to get free clothes and be able to brag about how I recognized a champion when he was born and made him what he is today?" Sorry, big guy but I'm afraid you're not.

Little Billy will probably never play above the high school level but, you know what? That's okay. Billy loves tennis and (if his father stays out of his way) will probably enjoy it for the rest of his life.

I've written on this subject before but it is such a prevalent, vitally important issue that it bears repeating. As parents, we're not giving our children tennis, guitar or acting lessons to turn them into the next Seles, Segovia or Segal. Our objective should be to expose them to lots of new and different things and hope that (if we're lucky) something clicks within them and that they enjoy the activity for the rest of their lives.

Growing children need something that excites them, fills their days and gives them something to work at and look forward to. Kids that find that special something seem to be better able to avoid many of the pitfalls of the teenage years. They develop a direction, an inner sense of right and wrong and the self-confidence to make the right decisions.

Kids that don't tend to drift through their adolescence, going where the wind blows them and often end up in places where no child should be. Tennis can be that wonderful, healthy activity that your child can enjoy for their entire lives. For me, it clearly fit the bill.

From the age of 10, tennis had had my attention. I hit thousands of balls each week and loved it. Tennis helped me got me through the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. It was there for me when my parents split up and today; nearly thirty-five years after swinging at (and missing) my first tennis ball, there are few things I would rather do than play tennis.

It drives me berserk when some overblown, under exercised adult displays their pomposity by pressuring and criticizing kids who are just out there to have fun. "Am I getting my money's worth," these clowns often say. I always answer this question with one of my own: "Do they like it?" If the answer is truly "yes" then I point out that they are clearly getting their money's worth. If they embrace tennis for the rest of their lives than you've given them something that cannot be defined by money.

Your child's tennis is not an activity where you should expect a monetary return on your dollars. If that's what you're after, call your financial advisor and get a few stock tips. If they're lucky enough to enjoy tennis through their adult lives, then the game will help them stay healthy physically and mentally. It will give them a release from the stress of their careers and the pressure of raising a family and making ends met. As a parent, if you can give your child such an activity, you've done a wonderful thing.

Certainly there will be that special child who does have the talent, desire, opportunity and good fortune to play at the higher levels of the game. If you have that child, of course you want to encourage them and give them every chance to reach their potential--whatever that may be. But be realistic.

Find an experienced professional who will tell you the truth--not what you want to hear. If the talent and desire (your child's not yours) is truly there then by all means go for it!

However, please believe me when I tell you that, in all probability, tennis for your child will never be anything more than an enjoyable activity, a break from the stress of trying to find who they are and their place in the world. And that's okay--it's as it should be. Your job is to provide exposure, support and unconditional love, not pressure.

Don't ruin what could be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your child's life because of your lost dreams, past failures or ego inadequacies. Once we have children, any thought of "me" should go the way of the wooden racket. It becomes about our kids. We had our turn, now it's theirs.

If your child does hit the tennis lottery and become a touring pro, then in your case, I'm wrong. When your child wins his or her first professional match give me a call. I'll personally fly to your house and eat this column in front of you.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Greg Moran, all rights reserved.

Greg Moran is the Head Professional at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, Connecticut. He is a former ranked junior and college player and certified by both the USPTA and USPTR. Greg has written on a wide variety of tennis-related subjects for numerous newspapers and tennis publications including Tennis, Tennis Match and Court Time magazines. He is also a member of the FILA and WILSON Advisory Staffs.

Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Greg by using this form.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
US Open Tickets 8/25-9/8
 
Davis Cup USA vs Slovakia Tickets Chicago 9/12-9/14
 
Swiss Indoors Tickets Basel 10/18-10/26
 
Australian Open Tickets Melbourne 1/19-2/1
 
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA 3/11-3/22
 
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami 3/23-4/5
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
August 21, 2014 Between The Lines: Preview U.S. Open 2014 -- Focus Youth Brigade by Ray Bowers.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Little Tennis Girl Who Could by Tom Veneziano.
 
August 2014 Tennis Anyone: Try To See The Big Picture by John Mills.
 
August 2014 Turbo Tennis: My Most Useful 'Quick Fix' Tips!!! by Ron Waite.
 
July 6, 2014 Between The Lines: Glory At Wimbledon 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Great Tennis Divide by Tom Veneziano.
 
July 2014 Tennis Anyone: Prevention by John Mills.
 
July 2014 Turbo Tennis: Perfect Volleys by Ron Waite.
 
May 2014 Wild Cards: Michael Chang Wins Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Challenge in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 5 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 6 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 7 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 8 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 21 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 20 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 19 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 18 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 17 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 5 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 6 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 7 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 8 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 2 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 1 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Grounds Admission Pass Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY National Tennis Center 8/26-9/9
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day Tickets Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy