Does everybody agree on that? Theoretically – yes, in reality, not always.
I often meet kids who play tennis tournaments with a running nose, cold or other health issues. When I ask the parent “Why do you allow your kid play today? He needs to stay home and recover” The answer sounds like “My kid is a fighter; he (she) wants to play today. Nothing is bad about this”.
I think that tennis parents make a big mistake in many cases. Any person has its own limits and when you allow your sick kid to keep playing or training, his immune system becomes worse. I’ve seen a couple of situations when a kid continues to train taking antibiotics. It is absurd and is very dangerous for the kid’s health. During my childhood at school, a student had to miss physical education for two weeks after coming back to school after a sickness.
Another aspect of this problem is the tennis players who train with injured limbs, having strains, and sprains. Players and parents sometimes do not take seriously the fact that these small (may be not small) traumas can lead to chronic traumatism. As a result, the player may need to leave the sport forever.
Unfortunately, many parents (and some coaches) have never learnt anything about sports science and sports medicine and they have never read recommendations from sports scientists. Last week, I talked to a parent and his top ranked 17-year-old junior. They have no idea what a player development plan is, why a player needs to have active rest for two weeks from tennis at least two times a year, what periodization is, why going to Carl’s Junior after a workout is a bad idea, and so on.
I am going to publish some scientific articles and recommendations for junior tennis players’ development on my blog soon. You may ask questions about that and I will try to find answers from experts.