Updated: Nov 26, 2020
How many and what types of tournaments your child should compete in?
Recommended competition guidelines:
International Tennis Federation
I chose the age range of 13-15 as it is the most frequent in our program. However, the older your child is the higher these numbers get and the younger your child is, the lower they get. If you want more precision with respect to the numbers and your child is not 13-15, click on the link below: http://www.tenniscanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/LTADallenglish.pdf
Why it is important to stick to the recommended numbers:
If you’re over these numbers, which I admit is rare, you run the risk of spending too much time competing and not enough time developing the skills needed to become a better player.
If you’re under these numbers, a more common scenario, you run the risk of not developing the competitive skills necessary to be successful. At the end of the day it’s not what you can do that matters, it’s what you can do in competition that matters. This is why preparing a player by having them compete enough is of paramount importance.
General rule - you should have a win to loss ratio of 3:1
If your ratio is 9:1, enter more challenging tournaments (older age categories or higher star value). As a ratio that high would indicate a lack of challenge.
If your ratio is less than 3:1, enter easier tournaments (less star value, club level, or down an age category). A less than 3:1 ratio is the metric that is the most concerning in my opinion. As this ratio could lead to low self confidence, which will in turn produce weaker tournament results. The greater risk to me, other than poor tournament results, is the effect it will have on the player's motivation. In general, kids are more motivated at things they perceive they are good at. If they have a losing record they could become less motivated and eventually drop out of the sport all together.
Thanks for your time!