Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

Need Suggestions for starting a high performance junior league

Hello tennis enthusiasts, I am hoping to find some inspiration and guidance. Several parents and I would like to start a high performance league for many of our 12-15 year old junior players who have good solid technical skills but are lacking in match play experience. We've done Junior Team Tennis for the past 3 years and while the kids enjoy it, at the local level there isn't any competition. Even placing our team in the 18U league, they destroyed everyone. While it is good for the ego, it's not helping in their match play ability.

We would like to start a summer league but aren't sure quite how to get started. Any suggestions would be welcome and I promise to keep you posted on our progress.

Thanks,
Mary Nunaley

Tags: high, jtt, juniors, league, performance

Views: 29

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Mary,

I'll start by saying that I have participated in some leagues although I have never run one. Let me ask some questions that come to mind. How many kids do you think will participate? And how often do you envision the matches, once a week? Or more often? And last, how varied is the level of tennis within the group?

A simple formula for a league is the "ladder" system - where different players from week to week "challenge" up the ladder and take that spot if they win. (You probably already know about this, but if not, I'll be happy to explain in more detail.)

One idea, right off the top, in terms of managing the league: You can use the Group tool here to make a Group for your league. You can send group emails and keep in touch with everyone through there. You can keep track of the standings on the Group page and you can also create "events" in the calendar. If you need any help with this, let me know and I can help set it up for you.

Hope this helps,
Mark
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm familiar with the concept of a tennis ladder but have never really managed one being a parent and not a player/coach. We're looking at 20-25 kids for the initial league. About 1/2 boys- all of the kids are at close to the same skill level and while they train with different coaches, they also participate in a group doubles clinic once a week with the same coach.

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! I'm a 2.0 player at best, having learned tennis by watching my son's lessons so this is all new to me.

Thanks,
mary
Ladders are great fun. With 20 kids or more, I recommend you start a ladder, but divide it into two groups, A & B but maybe don't call it that. Maybe a couple of other names that are not identifiable as better and worse. In Albuquerque, we would do "red chile" and "green chile" or something like that.

With the ladder, you can pull names out of the hat to populate the ladder lists. Let's say yuo plan one match per week, so the first week, the odd numbers "challenge up" one space, and the next week even numbers challenge up one space. This way, if a player keeps winning, they get to keep moving up. Eventually the ladder will sort itself out and you will have very competitive matches. Another nice twist is to do a challenge up of 3 spaces every once in a while to keep if fresh.

Here's my suggestion: Start a Group with the new group link on the Groups page. Then you can make me a temporary admin and I can help you set it up. Then you can send email invites to all your participants and list the ladder in the group. Let me know once you start it.

Hope this helps,
M
Dear Mary,

I may have a solution to your problem, contact me at my number. I will give you the updated information pertaining to your predicament. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,

Jason Lampione
Hey Mary,
I have a couple immediate thoughts on developing toughness with juniors. I have been fortunate to work with juniors for just over 10 years which I took 2 juniors boys1 - 12's, and 1 - 14's, to #1 nat'l rankings, I believe it helps to know who you are listening to, with all of these responses so you can filter thru some of them or have a better idea knowing what level coach is commenting. Nevertheless my two thoughts:
1. It is always a good idea to incorporate various drills/activities or points where the junior is handicapped or starting
in a defensive sceniro. For example, play sets where the junior only gets 1 serve, or they have to hit 5 balls in the court prior to attacking. Another productive drill; During a point when the junior puts 7 balls into the court they automatically win the point. With all shots forehand, back.....the junior must hit 30 balls consistant (30 in a row is more than enough)
2. I believe it is important for the junior to play approximately
A. 25% of players that are stronger
B. 25% of players that are weaker
C. 50% of players about same level
All three levels of juniors compared to your junior are critical if you want to develop a successful player, B or the weaker player is often overlooked.

If you have any questions Mary feel free to give me a shout.
Mary Nunaley said:
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm familiar with the concept of a tennis ladder but have never really managed one being a parent and not a player/coach. We're looking at 20-25 kids for the initial league. About 1/2 boys- all of the kids are at close to the same skill level and while they train with different coaches, they also participate in a group doubles clinic once a week with the same coach.

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! I'm a 2.0 player at best, having learned tennis by watching my son's lessons so this is all new to me.

Thanks,
mary
Have you gotten your league started?
We;ve gotten involved in a Junior Team tennis program and are working wiht a core group of kids. At the moment, our team of 14s is consistently destroying the 18 U teams but that should change at the state tournament. Still looking for more ways to help this group improve.
Where is the location of your league?
where is location of league ?
We're just north of Nashville, TN

leela said:
where is location of league ?
what really worked well in Hawaii was... and this is not a good thing for tennis pros, but as a tennis parent...

the top players and their parents got together and started to run three hour practices. it was a group setting of about 6-8 players on two courts. the parents would just feed balls (assuming you can feed) buckets of balls on one court, and on the other court, the kids would hit and play group lesson games that they saw their coaches doing in the lessons. the kids all know the drills.

this is assuming your students/kids have strokes and don't need stroke corrections--

they did this three times a week. it saves buckets of money.

the truth is at higher levels,the students need to hit more interactively than off feeds.

the students can feed too--but you NEED ADULT SUPERVISION TO KEEP THEM FOCUSED.

who's the most no-nonsense parent there?

the problem with running a ladder--after awhile the same kids win so it kind of sucks for them.

another good thing to do is have your kids play the top adult players in the area--adults normally like good matches plus the kids will overtake them---that will be their goal and they learn from the experiences.
A good ladder format is. first, you make a simple round robin league--where every kid plays every other kids once.

then, you make that ladder based on those results--you can give out a trophy etc.

then, the rules for the ladder are simple.

you can play someone three above you, challenger brings balls. you must play one match every week to maintain your status in the ladder barring unforeseen circumstances--you need a coordinator to just keep a tally.

you cannot play the same player twice in two weeks, but you can play him in week one, and then, week 3. this is to prevent hopscotching using a friend who you can beat, but he beats everyone else.

the #1 player needs to be defeated two consecutive times before losing the #1 status.

any newbies to the ladder get to challenge anyone, but if they lose, starts at the bottom of the ladder.

the ladder runs seasonal--10 weeks or how many weeks you have in the ladder.

if you have 20 people break it into two ladders.

offer a prize at the end for the top 3, best improvement, and BEST SPORTSMANSHIP--make that trophy the BIGGEST and have the players vote for it.

balls from the matches go the winner.

game on

RSS

Like Us!

Marketplace

© 2014   Created by Mark / The Mayor.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service