Parents are an important and integral part of tennis in respect to providing support and encouragement to their children.
At Tennis World Lane Cove we offer great family facilities and also offer Hot Shots tennis for the kids.
There are many books and websites that offer great research material that parents can utilise to help them help their kids pursue their tennis dream.
“Your Kids, Their Game, A guide for Parents” (1998) Kidman & McKenzie
“Young People’s Involvement in Sport” (1997) Routledge
“Children and Youth in Sport” (1996) Smoll
Momsteam.com – Mom’s Team
Britishtennisparents.com – British Tennis Parents
Internationalsport.com – Centre for Sports Parenting
Positivecoach.org – Coaching
Parentsforgoodsports.org – Parents for Good Sports
Charactercounts.org – Josephson Institute of Ethics
The Parents Role
The role of the parents in junior tennis can prove critical and is an important component of player development. As in any sport coaches frequently find themselves searching for the best way to interact with the parent / student relationship. And educate the parents about their role in the development of possible future elite level tennis players.
As part of the Sport Science Research Grant, a three stage study was conducted to fully understand the parent’s role in the development of their children.
- Stage 1 – Evaluate kids perceptions of the role their parent’s play in tennis development and ultimately success.
- Stage 2 – 300 coaches were surveyed to ensure the issues raised by players are indicative of tennis as a whole.
Stage 3 has not been completed yet.
The results of Stage 1 & 2 brought to the fore;
That both parents and children need to understand and agree what they both need and expect from Junior tennis. It also highlighted that the stages of a child’s development of the game should be fully understood. Finally the coaches and governing bodies of tennis should regularly review parenting guidelines across the stages of talent development.
All young players are individuals with different needs, dreams, interests and potential. The parent’s plays a critical role in understanding their child’s development.
The parent must ensure they focus on the individual child because not all kids will achieve the same outcomes or need the same support.
It is also important to remember that children’s involvement in tennis can span an extensive period of time and over this time what young hopefuls want from their parents may change drastically.
It is extremely important that the parent and child express their feelings openly on a constant basis.
Are they both striving for the same things? And the parent must question what are the real reasons they are supporting their child in sport development. Most importantly what is the child’s ultimate dream in tennis?
If the parent and child want two different things out of tennis then realistically neither will be achieved as there will always be conflict.
Basically in sport the parent should never push their children in a direction they do not want to go, just support them in areas they are interested in.