Children start playing tennis every time at younger ages, and many times we
receive inquiries about the best age to start training at an academy. I do
not consider that there are rules that work for all people, I believe in
individuality and, therefore, the answer to this question results from the
combination of several factors to analyze.
As we know, childhood is the most important stage for the development of the
child. It is where the psychological bases for the other stages are formed.
During this period, containment and family ties are important. A child needs
his parents at his side, the lack of them can cause affective flaws
difficult to overcome. What I want to express with this is that children can
start training in an academy at an early age, but always accompanied by
Another factor to analyze is the expectations behind a decision of this
type. Sometimes, the children are motivated to make a change in their game
after spending a summer camp at the academy. Few are the ones who really
understand what this involves. It is not easy to live away from the family.
What at first seems fun and simple, it can turn into a complicated
Other times, the parents make the decision to send the children to the
academy following their personal expectations of having a famous child in
the future. Children usually accept their parents' dream as their own, and
they see themselves living a life of many responsibilities that they often
do not like. But to avoid disappointing their family, they will not release
their true feelings.
From 13 to 15 years old, players are more aware of what involves being away
from the family and meet the responsibilities of following a daily training
and at the same time continue with the studies. At these ages they tend to
have a little clearer about what they would like to do in the future. Most
of them have acquired the necessary maturity to begin to be coherent between
the objective that is sought and the lifestyle that is needed to achieve it.
If during the years of childhood the family laid a solid foundation in the
child, when he/she reaches adolescence he/she will be able to live (if
necessary) away from his/her family. The containment of these players is
very important during this period of development, since they are not only
evolving as players but also as people.
From my experience with players I can say that these young people show great
changes in short periods of times. It is common to observe how they learn to
manage each small daily decision responsibly. They also acquire the ability
to establish objectives and work to achieve them. They begin to know their
skills and how to empower them.
What was commented previously shows the abilities that a child develops
until he/she becomes a young person. This growth is accelerated when the
player is living alone due to the need for daily personal management without
the permanent decision of the parents.
Each experience depends on the person who lives it, and the result obtained
is also personal. The last 5 years I have been working with players that
want to go ahead in their tennis and because of this they left their houses,
and I can say that it is an incredibly enriching and recommendable
experience for all those players who want to seek their limits.
I understand the possible parents feeling of anguish that can arise from
thinking about sending a child abroad. This may be the first of many steps
the child will take to discover who he/she is as a person and as an athlete.
As parents we have the possibility to control everything that is
controllable, and with this I mean, I can make sure that the environment
where my child will be, provides him/her the necessary and personalized
support he/she needs. And then, support him/her in his/her growth
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