Must read for tennis parents

All Sports Parents Must Read this

Three interesting things college and elite athletes list as their worst memories playing sports growing up:

1. What was your worst experience as a child playing sports?
The drive back from a game/match. My parent/s wanting to talk about it and ‘get into it’.

2. Who did you enjoy most being present at your games/matches?
My Grandparents. They were just happy to be there and watch me. They didn’t judge or comment.

3. What was the worst thing their parents would do before they competed?
Compare previous results, talk about winning, or trying to give me coaching tips. It would in most cases conflict with what my coaches were saying.

Now there are things we can do to build positive memories for kids who play sports and help them grow their passion for it.

Three ways to help grow your child’s passion in their sport

1. Always go back and remember why your child first started playing a sport – Fun. This is something we as parents and coaches need to keep in mind, especially once they start competing. Don’t let expectations take over enjoyment.

2. This is a strategy I use when working with kids: I make sure to finish practice on a high, before they start to get tired and the fun aspect starts to drop. I also sometimes include a quick game at the end, making sure they leave with a smile and “we want more” attitude!
Great teachers and coaches have a great feel for this. Don’t drag out practices, remember coaches, it’s about them, not you!

3. Reward and compliment them on the effort, attitude, work ethic, teamwork, social skills etc..

These are the life skills and values that are the ‘wins’, not the result on the scoreboard.
Don’t ask things about results, or “Did you Win?”. After practice or a match, ask: “Did you have fun and did you give your best?”

Written by Allistair Mccaw

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