Why do our teens refuse to do what's best for them?

<p>My daughter would like to be in the varsity tennis team next year. She could be except her return is not powerful enough. A tennis coach who is not her regular instructor showed her a grip that helped her hit harder. I was happy for her thinking she now has a good chance to qualify for the varsity. The silly thing is that she didn't like this coach and wouldn't do what he suggested. She claims that he didn't help her at all and that she plays just as powerful. Does anyone encounter anything like this?</p>

<p>I think that's just human nature, to throw out anything suggested by somebody we don't like.</p>

<p>Consider video-ing her using the suggested grip and using her regular procedure and see whether you or she can tell a difference</p>

<p>I would like to answer your question with another question: Why do parents insist they know what's best for their teens' lives?</p>

<p>One thing I know (different sport though), if they do not like coach, at the end it will not work out and result might be an injury (for my D. is for life because coach pushed too hard and she listened too much). Based on my experience, I would listen much more to a kid than to coach. Generally speaking, coaches do not care about a child, they care about an athlete who produces results for the team. Parent cares about well being of child. Nobody needs to play at highest level, they should enjoy playing at THEIR level (if it is highest level, it is OK, but if it not, it is OK also). I learned to trust and respect my D's wishes.</p>

<p>Children's brains don't finish growing until age 25. The last part to develop is the area which deals with discernment. That's why they will take risks and make bad decisions that are obviously wrong to adults.</p>

<p>Plenty of adults -- including people like me -- sometimes refuse to do what's best for them. That's human nature.</p>

I would like to answer your question with another question: Why do parents insist they know what's best for their teens' lives?


Because they are more experienced, more learned, and more objective than 16 year old children who think they know everything and who have become accustomed to getting what they want with little effort. And if your posts on the Reed portion of this website are truthful, it sounds like you really need some adult guidance. I hope you don't get rescinded but if you skate by on that front, I hope you straighten up because you're on a bad course.</p>

<p>Now, on to the tennis question. I would be careful about implementing a technique suggested by someone who is not her regular coach without also having her discuss it with her regular coach. That said, if she wants to get better, she should be going to her coach and asking about this particular technique and work on it with the coach so that, in collaboration, they can decide whether this will work for her.</p>

<p>If the reason why she doesn't want to do this is personal or some other factor irrelevant to tennis pedagogy, she needs to grow up and this (with apologies to DoinSchool) is precisely why parents know better. This is a lesson in growing up. If John McEnroe showed up and showed your daughter something and she rejected it because he swore at umpires, that would be a foolish decision. She may be doing the same thing here. Maybe the way to handle this is to assure her that you are not trying to push her away from her current coach (if it is possible she thinks that.) But the important lesson here is to encourage her to open her mind to the suggestions of people who have gone before her and then weigh them fairly and without prejudice.</p>

<p>Finally, and technically, grip changes are brutally hard because any grip change feels horrible until you become accustomed to it. It may be that she feels uncomfortable with the change and is taking the easier way out. This is not unusual in activities that involve grips (golf, tennis) and is a major challenge of both instruction and learning.</p>


<p>Doinschool's question is a great example of how people can take small truths (e.g., your return is more powerful using the proposed grip . . . getting help for the right microphones to use for recording would help . . . leave me that school photo instead of taking it with you on that field trip so it won't get bent) and transmute them into a large life issue, like "knowing what's best for . . teens' lives"</p>

<p>the reason teens don't take those suggestions is that it's more important for them to do things themselves than it is for them to be wise about what they are doing</p>

<p>and I know plenty of adults who choose to ignore wisdom for the same reasons </p>

<p>which is why DS's senior project CD's sound is so faint that it has to be turned up to max volume to hear it, with the accompanying hiss . . but the kids did make the train this AM :-)</p>

<p>*Because they are more experienced, more learned, and more objective than 16 year old children who think they know everything and who have become accustomed to getting what they want with little effort. *</p>

<p>Very true. </p>

<p>Yes, there are some idiot parents, but generally parents have the wisdom that comes from experience to consider the likely outcomes.</p>

<p>This is actually a technical question on tennis and I have a fair
amount of experience in this area so please bear with the long answer.</p>

<p>On the forehand side, the common grips are the continental, eastern,
semiwestern and western. The continental was popular several decades
ago on surfaces where the ball bounces low and fast, such as grass.
This grip has most of the hand on top of the racquet and produces
the least amount of power. It's also the grip used for volleys and
the serve so it's a nice grip to use if you don't want to have to
bother switching grips for different shots.</p>

<p>The eastern forehand grip puts more of the hand behind the racquet
and provides more power than the continental. It is a versatile grip
that gives you a nice balance between power, choice of slice and
topspin shots and the distance to get to the backhand grip is not
too far.</p>

<p>The semi-western moves the hand a bit behind and under the ball and
is better for hitting topspin shots compared to the eastern. It's not
that good for hitting slice shots though. Topspin keeps the ball in the
court so that you can hit the ball harder while keeping it in the court.</p>

<p>The western moves the hand farther under the racquet than the
semi-western and allows you to hit extreme topspin on your forehand

<p>There are two main backhand grips: continental and eastern. The
eastern is more powerful as there is more of the hand behind the

<p>Changing grips is a difficult and time-consuming prospect. I went
from a continental to an eastern 30 years ago and from an eastern
to a semi-western about five years ago. The process is a real pain
because your muscle-memory says one thing while your mind says
another. When you are under pressure in a match, you will generally
return to the old grip. Basically you will lose a ton of matches
going through the process of changing grips.</p>

<p>The other thing is the change of grips back for the backhand and the
additional adjustments for other shots.</p>

<p>I did it after counting the cost. Basically you make a cost-benefit
analysis - is losing more for six months worth it for being a better
player in the long run?</p>

<p>The relationship between Teens and Parents is definitely a weird one. I am the parental figure for my sixteen year old brother, and just like your daughter, he refuses to listen to a professional. I mean, the counselor is not totally forcing him to find motivation in school work or extracurriculars, but it was just a suggestion to his passive- facebooks all day kind of life/ passively failing school. She was just suggesting that he finds something he likes and maybe that passion will mold his character a bit, but i digress.</p>

<p>I think communication is also key to "getting through" to those we care about. However, we have to keep in mind that sometimes our best intention for someone we care about comes off a bit strongly or negatively. I guess in retrospect, I have to find a better way to "encourage my brother" even though my patience is running a bit thin. Good luck with your daughter! She'll eventually appreciate her coach and efforts one day!</p>

<p>One other minor note: the winner of the French Open, Francesca Schiavone, does not have the most powerful backhand service returns. She's not really that powerful a player. I saw her return a lot of services with a high, soft slice/floater backhand near the baseline. Power has dominated the game in the last 15 years due to improvements in racquet technology but there are defensive players that have done well too. One of the brilliant things about Federer is his great defensive abilities. He often returns high floaters off of difficult serves. His record with the hard-hitting Andy Roddick shows what you can do with very good defense.</p>

<p>miamiDAP, I am sorry about your D's injury. I agree we have to watch out against pushing too much. </p>

<p>speihel, Spot on. My D needs to grow up. I need to make her grow up. </p>

<p>Kei-o-lei, I don't think my D will make the tennis train. Their tennis team is quite competitive. If she doesn't make it, it's OK by me. What bothers me most is this is something she wants to get. Why then doesn't she do to get what she wants to get?</p>

<p>BCEagle, Actually, she's on this for a few months. By all account, she plays so much better. I had made her do it on the condition that she can drop it after a few months if she chooses to. I hoped she would see her improvement and stick to it. No such luck.</p>

<p>Once you start the process of grip change, you're in a land of confusion through the process until the new grip is natural. Even then, you may still feel like using an old grip from time to time. I use a semi-western now but I can switch to an eastern for a slice forehand approach.</p>

<p>The semiwestern and western grips are the most common the the tours. Federer uses a semiwestern with a one-handed backhand and has a lot of flexibility in his shots. Nadal uses a western and wins through sheer athletic prowess.</p>

<p>Has anyone explained why she should have changed her grip in terms of what players use on the tour, the biomechanics of grips, and the physics of tennis racquets and tennis balls? Some people do better when they understand why we do things a certain way.</p>

<p>Because teenagers know everything? :D</p>

<p>But I agree...something like changing a grip (or the way you play an instrument) is a very personal, difficult thing to do, even if it looks easy and obvious to the parent.</p>

<p>... because teenagers are cats.</p>

<p>"But I agree...something like changing a grip (or the way you play an instrument) is a very personal, difficult thing to do, even if it looks easy and obvious to the parent. "</p>

<p>-Agrre completely. I found it in many activities (even in art related). When differetn people are doing the same differently it might be because their body tells them to do so, despite of professional instruction. So, it is important to strike a balance between 2 and take kid's desire into consideration. Another point which is related to injury is that some coaches are not age sensitive, they are better off dealing with more mature bodies (college level) than still growing, somewhat not so strong HS-ers. They also do not undestand that some HS kids (more so girls) will try very hard to follow instruction, going beyond their ability level (at this age). OP's D. seems to know what she actually needs and is able to stand for it. I would be just proud for her and praise her for that.</p>

<p>OTOH--(and I admit to not knowing anything about tennis) the coach may be totally right, and your D is having difficulty because the "wrong way" feels "right" to her muscles and will take a long time to change. </p>

<p>But as noted above, there seem to be differences of opinion on the best grip even among highly skilled professionals, so there you go.</p>

<p>Maybe an opinion from yet another coach is in order. If your D is serious about tennis. Otherwise, why bother?</p>

My D needs to grow up. I need to make her grow up.


<p>You can't make her grow up.</p>

<p>^Yes, parent can "make her grow up" by supporting D's desire to stand for her needs or even tell her that she needs to be more assertive in certain situations and not listen to others and their opinions too much even if the other is proffessional, who is giving proffessional advice.</p>