Help Your Child on Their Tennis Journey (for Parents)

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How You As Parent Can Help Your Child Be Successful At Tennis?

Do you really want your child to be successful at tennis? This is what you need to know and how you should go about. Here are some advice from the tennis champions and their parents.

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Tennis Success Coaching for Kids

Parents

Lynette Federer
Roger Federer's mother Lynette believes that a child should choose the game of tennis because he is fascinated and attracted to the game. A child should enjoy the game and should never be forced to play.

She also states that discipline plays a vital role. Although it is not always easy for a child to behave properly due to emotions that can have an influence on behaviour and outcomes. When your child is misbehaving she suggests that you do not intervene during a practice session, but rather opt to discuss it with the coach and collectively try to find a solution.

When you suspect that the poor behaviour is caused by a lack of proper coaching, a lack of interest or simply a tough day at home or school, you as parent should address the poor behaviour.

Lynette recalled that when Roger was behaving bad during a match she reminded him that his poor behaviour is an invitation to his opponent to beat him.

An important statement she makes is that parents should not be too ambitious for their child and that they should not interfere too much. There are many factors that determine the progress of children in the same age group and one should understand that some children develop and progress faster than others. She has found that many children who progressed quickly at a young age are often outdone by children who did not progress as quick initially.

According to Lynette, the role of a junior tennis player parent is to make sure they attend their lessons, go with them to matches, motivate, and raise their spirits when they need it. However the most crucial aspect of all is to ensure that your child enjoy what he is doing and to never put any pressure on your child for any reason. The role of a parent is key for a junior player to succeed. Children need the guidance and support of their parents to help be successful.

Richard Williams
Richard Williams is the proud father of Serena and Venus Williams. According to Richard the most important thing young tennis players should realise is that there is a world outside tennis and that it is just a game. Richard says that he is not only proud of Serena and Venus for what they have achieved in tennis. He is more proud of his daughters for who they are and what they were able to achieve outside the world of tennis.

According to Richard, there are way too many champions in tennis that do not know a life without or outside tennis. For him it is heartbreaking to see so many champion tennis players that never went to college and after their professional career ends they are forced to remain in the world of tennis. They have to pursue a career as a coach or television presenter.

Players

Greg Rusedski
As a former US Open finalist, Greg is a father of two and exclaimed that good values are important. As a parent you need to make sure that your child knows that on all levels cheating is not an option. In the long run it will benefit nobody at all.

He also mentions that parents should realise that their children will not win every match and every tennis tournament. There will also be times when your child will lose plenty of matches. This is the time when you as parent and the coach should ensure that his progress is closely monitored.

One mistake he draw attention to that so many parents make is that if a child is a phenomenal player at age 12 to 15 it does not mean that he will make it as a professional player. Children have different goals for themselves and not all want to make it as a champion on Wimbledon.

Another aspect that he feels strongly about is that parents must make sure that they and the coaches are saying the same things. They all should say and convey the same message to the junior player.

In addition Greg points out that parents have to make their children understand that there is no easy way if they want to play tennis at the highest level. Children need to understand that to reach the highest level requires hard work and hours of dedication and sacrifices.

Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic is known as a former French Open champion and former world number one player. Her most important piece of advice is that parents should never coach their children. According to her it becomes increasingly more difficult for parents to differentiate between being a parent and being a coach. It is difficult for the children as well. There will come a time that children want to withdraw from their parents because everything ends up to be about tennis. On the other hand parents later finds it hart to talk about general things and are constantly on about tennis. Having a parent as a coach is not healthy for neither the child nor the parent and especially not for their relationship.

Another crucial point she likes to make is that parents should never try to make their dreams come true through their children. Parents should never force their children to play the sport they wanted to play and force them to succeed in it. It is absolutely vital for Ana that children should want to be on the tennis court and really take pleasure from the game.

It is also important for her that parents should know that they must not pressure their children to succeed. As a parent, it is crucial that you should make sure your child is happy and that they behave properly on court. When she looks back, she appreciate the fact that her parents never placed her under pressure and just wanted her to be happy in what she does.

In closing Ana want parents to know that they have to allow their children to make their own decisions. She has witnessed many instances where parents are so controlling. Parents should only make sure that the right people are around their children. From there she says it is up to the child and the coach to learn and play the game and develop the child's game.

See Young Aces' Junior Tennis Development Program.

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