When my life was getting me down i used to punt , on horses , footy , even tennis , i used to think that the latter was easy to win money on as i considered myself a rather astute judge of the game . Punting was what i considered a 'buzz' as it would take away the reality of a life that sometimes resembled 'ground hog day' or 'ho hum' day to day 'dead soul routine'. All it did in the end was raise the anxiety level , the losses outweighed the wins ten fold and the stress outnumbered the dollars in the pocket.
Sometimes i wonder if trying to make it on the tennis circuit is a bigger punt as the odds are even greater than trying to get a trifecta in a Melbourne Cup, yet some families are willing to make that call. This season on a tennis court for me has been one that i will look back on and question my motives for still teaching it . I had three sessions that i did not even finish as i asked both the student and their parents whether it was worth my time and frustration attempting to better the pupil . These three sessions will stick in my mind for a long time as i refused any payment , even though i travelled to and from the venue , spent around 25-35 minutes on court then left with disgust at the effort put in . So what do i want ?
All i ask for when i step on court is that it is not a waste of either my time or any one else's as when the game of tennis is being taught to a student of any age it needs to be respected as it's a bit more expensive than playing a play station . It's in a lot of ways 'taking a punt' on a sport that delivers very little success at a high level however it can bring self satisfaction to many players at a social level . It's the level that is required by the student that needs to be put under the microscope and analyzed.
I recall that just prior to last Xmas i spent around 30 minutes on court with a kid before realizing that he did not want to learn the game of tennis , he simply was following his Parents' wish for him to get better , he had no desire to do the same. Keep the money , here's some free advice i said as i left the venue , this is how i see it......
Tennis is one of the most individual toughest sports in the world and some Coaches do their best to try and tell the parents that their kid is the next big thing and drain their finances to the extreme . They also don't realize or don't care that it is also draining the kids of a normal life as one in a million is a generous figure when looking at success rate of kid to World Beater.
Call me a 'killjoy' or anything else you feel describes someone who gives parents a reality check on a kid's real ability at a young age but i won't be changing it in a hurry.
My punting days are over , perhaps some parents with unrealistic outlooks on their children s' ability should also stop punting and play the odds a little smarter.....