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. However, they can also impose pressures which are damaging if handled wrongly.
Sometimes competitive junior tennis can be especially difficult for both parents and children because there are many factors which affect this competitive environment. For parents, competitive tennis can become a complex experience. For youngsters, problems occur because too often, the demands that competitive tennis place on them 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 what is 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 or guidelines to follow. That's why we have made this web page here at USTA NorCal Player Development.
We are here to help you.
Being a good parent can many different things to many different people. However, when we look at clusters of the top tennis players in the world, many of them possess a range of very similar, if not identical, personality traits that they learned from their coaches, their role models, and most of all their family.
Very few of the most successful players in the modern game display a visible sense of entitlement, a reliance on other people, a closed mindset, a limited sense of their own abilities, and operate consistently with result-oriented thinking. On the other side of that coin, a vast majority of the most successful players in the modern game today display an open mind, a genuine belief in themselves without borders or boundaries, a visible humility, a constant desire to evolve as a person and as a player, and a sincere focus on the process of playing as opposed to the outcome.
With that said, teaching these qualities in the home, in addition to being these qualities in the home, can lead to positive experiences throughout the journey of parenting. The following is rehearsed and repeated to almost every college kid that is working toward a teaching credential: "No written word, nor spoken plea, can teach our youth what they should be. Nor all the books in all the shelves – it’s what the teachers are themselves." And with every word that parents utter, every expression that they make, and every action that parents take, they are, in each moment, teaching their kids how to behave.