Home Boys' Lists Girls' Lists Men's Teams Women's Teams News Photos Contributors Links Help Sign-UpOnline Store
Latest News | Categories | Authors | News Archives
 
 

News & Features

Special Feature
Staying Out of the Way
Share:   

I started teaching tennis in the mid 1950s. Not a day goes by where my mind doesn't say, "here we go again." My toughest lesson is not with my students - but with their parents.

Now, Many of the parents reading this article will not think that it applies to them. Please read this several times and be honest with yourself, and if the shoe fits, please loosen your laces a bit and just be a mom or dad to your kid. Let the coaches do their jobs.

The following is an excerpt from a book I wrote with Dr. Julie Anthony titled, A Winning Combination:

 

The greatest error parents can make is to voice expectations for their children beyond that of having a good time. As soon as a child begins to play for a parent's approval or to maintain harmony in the family, his motivation and fun will diminish instantly, no matter how talented he is. Many young players with potential have been turned off tennis by their parents, and some great talents have been destroyed in this fashion. Unfortunately, among tournament circles one often hears that, "Susie has super talent, but her parents put too much pressure on her, and she just gets too uptight and nervous to win."

Parental pressure can take many forms. It can be a question of forcing a child to practice, take lessons, or compete in matches against his will. An insidious byproduct of parental expectations can also be over criticism of a child's efforts. A child shouldn't be made to feel that every mistake will be thrown back at him. It's hard enough to go through the agony of playing badly.

Psychologically, human beings learn just as well, if not more effectively, from positive than negative reinforcement. It is more helpful to tell a child what he did well and suggest what to try in the future than to belabor what went wrong and what not to do. Even on the most disaterous days, something positive can be said, such as, "I guess you didn't play well today, but I liked the way you kept trying," rather than "you really played badly today." A child's coach is responsible for tennis technique, but parents can help his mental well-being.

This Article Is Available Only to Recruiting Advantage members
 
Please log in to access premium TennisRecruiting.net content.
LOG IN
User Name
 
Password
 
 
Forget your password?
 
Register Now For Free!
NOT REGISTERED?
Register Now For Free!
  • Content Updated Daily
  • Complete Rank Lists
  • Exclusive Articles
  • Recruit Interviews
It's Quick, Easy, and Free!
 

 
 TENNIS EXPRESS PRODUCT REVIEW
 
Yonex Vcore Tour 89 Racquet
 
A full size video with all related links is available on our store's YouTube Channel. To purchase from Tennis Express or to find out more, Click Here!
 
RECENT COMMITMENTS
10/23 Whitney Weisberg chooses Fordham
10/23 Brian Pecyna chooses Valparaiso
10/23 John Page chooses Youngstown State
10/22 Madison Hale chooses UCSD
10/22 Mckenzie Barco chooses Chattanooga
10/22 Michelle Wang chooses Cornell
10/21 Sean Halloran chooses Sewanee
10/21 Devin Knors chooses Appalachian State
10/21 Mac McCullough chooses Sewanee
10/21 Samuel Beren chooses Harvard

Full Listings: Boys' Commits & Girls' Commits

 
 ATP GEAR - SHOES
  Jerzy Janowicz
 
adidas Men's Barricade 8 Tennis Shoes
Was: $135.00  Now: $99.95
Feedback
 
  Alexandr Dolgopolov
 
adidas Men's CC Adizero Feather III Tennis Shoes
Was: $125.00  Now: $114.95
Feedback
 
  Viktor Troicki
 
adidas Men's Barricade 8+ Tennis Shoes
Was: $135.00  Now: $129.95
Feedback
 
  Novak Djokovic
 
adidas Men's Novak Adipower Barricade 7 Tennis Shoes
Was: $140.00  Now: $124.95
Feedback
 
 
 

Page updated on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Contact our web team with any corrections