Parent And Tennis as a sport:
It is no news that Tennis is a lifetime sport. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem, teaches self-discipline, self-reliance and respect for others. But, above all,it provides a good way of performing physical exercise whilst having fun. Today, more children than ever before are taking part in tennis.
However, there’s a big difference between learning the basic strokes to play the game at recreational level, and competing successfully at a high level. Individual competitive sports like tennis usually teach the youngsters to work hard, to learn to manage stress, to perform under pressure, and test emotional and physical balance.
Sometimes competitive junior tennis can be especially difficult for both parents and children because there are many factors which affect this competitive environment which are usually new for everybody.For parents, competitive tennis can become a complex experience, especially if they themselves have not played at a competitive level before. For youngsters, problems occur because too often, the demands that competitive tennis place onthem seem to lie beyond their control and abilities. You, as a parent, want to help your child to manage this new situation, as you do in other aspects of your child’s life: school, friends, family, etc.
You want your child to be happy, to have fun and to learn to play tennis to a reasonable level. No doubt that’s why you encouraged them to be involved in the sport in the first place.You know that it is not easy to be a good parent and, it is even harder to be a good parent of a tennis player.
To know whatis best to do to help your child and also when and where to do it, is not easy.There are a lot of questions to ask but it is difficult to know who to ask and for the most part, there are no clear answers orguidelines to follow. Many problems occur because parents are unsure as to how they can best help their child and so usetheir natural instincts. In doing this, they go wrong far more often than they go right. So it is first required to follow the guidelines below for a Tennis-Parent:
- Focus mostly on performance instead of focusing only on tennis results or outcomes.
- Reward effort/hard work ahead of success. AVOID rewarding only results.
- Promote the perspective that tennis is only a sport emphasizing its value as a preparation for life. AVOID making tennis bigger than life by for instance, placing more importance on tennis than school work.
- As a tennis parent, try to understand and have empathy with the emotional pressures and the complexity of the sportitself. AVOID underestimating the stresses of an individual sport like tennis.
- Give your children tasks and responsibilities which will in time, build self confidence and independence. AVOID making them overly dependent on you.
- Ensure that the tennis competitive experience is a positive one, principally from the perspective of developing theperson. Emphasise the important elements of sportsmanship, ethics, personal development, responsibility and apositive attitude towards others and by doing so, share with your child a healthy interest in a great sport. AVOID allowing training and competition to become a negative experience for you or your child.
- Realize that children not only have the right to participate in tennis but also, to chose not to participate. - Let your child know you care and are there if they need you to help them. AVOID becoming over involved in yourchild’s tennis.· Be prepared to listen and learn. AVOID thinking that you know everything about tennis.