Win/loss record for junior tournaments
To the sound of inconsistent line calls, anxious parental support and emotionally overwhelming moments, young tennis players try their hand at tournaments.
For the player who has already built a bit of a tennis game, tournaments are fantastic for their development and resilience.
“How did you go?”
“Lost in the quarters”
See some tournaments have big draws, some really small. Some have qualifying, some round robin and all of them have a consolation draw of some type.
Losing in the quarters could mean winning just a single match and then losing the next match. 1 match won, 1 match lost. Sometimes if you are a seeded in a small draw, losing in the quarters could mean not winning at all!
I have seen players and their parents pull out of consolation events because its not the main tournament so basically who really cares. I honestly find this type of attitude breeds entitlement from young tennis players and I find nothing better than seeing one of my students fight through a full consolation event to win after a bad loss in the main draw.
As a coach, you want your players to try to win every match they can. If they lose the match, the benefit is that a consolation event gives them the chance of having another crack and finding a way through the next match.
So whilst still acknowledging any tournament success from my students, I prefer discussing with them their overall win/loss record.
Treating it more like a soccer game, what was the end score?
Won 2 rounds main draw and then lost and then won through another 2 in the consolation before losing?
That is a 4-2 victory.
Lose first round of main draw, win a round in consolation but lose the next?
Bad luck that is a 1-2 loss. Keep working hard for next time.
I find this can give kids the drive to push a little bit harder to win one more round, no matter which part of the draw you are in. When they are hit hard by a bad loss after some good matches, a positive win/loss victory can offer some hope.
Junior tournaments should be a place for players to really develop their game. By re framing the way they analyse their tournament results, It can give a more well balanced look at their results.