Key Ingredients To Become a Good Tennis Parent

Key Ingredients To Become a Good Tennis Parent

According to basketball superstar Michael Jordan, "Champions are made, not born". And that process involves quite a few variables but one constant for budding athletes is the presence of their parents in that journey of theirs. Tennis is a highly demanding sport and success does not come overnight. Sacrifices need to be made, not only by the player but also the parents. 
There are multiple factors at play when it comes to being a good tennis parent from emotional to financial. There are quite a few examples of parents nurturing their kid in the right way but very often, an overbearing parent could well be the biggest mitigating factor. 
For a young athlete, the competitive world of tennis can often be quite challenging. So, it becomes important for the parents to understand how much pressure their son or daughter is under and try to build a rapport with them so that the kids know that their parents are always there as a source of strength. 

Improving mental toughness for tennis is vital for parents to craft their mental training for tennis in the right direction at an early age. Parents need to be confident, trust in their children, control their emotions, think positively, and accept reality even when the result is not the same as they have expected. 
That includes going to matches, cheering them on and the occasional reassuring pat on the back irrespective of the result. 
Another important guideline for parents is the notion of maintaining a boundary when it comes to their kid's training. Once a young athlete begins training under a professional coach, a good tennis parent should respect that boundary and try not to be overbearing. 

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Following both these points can be easier said than done but someone who has proved this advice to be one of the most beneficial is supermom Judy Murray, mother to two former World No 1s Andy and Jamie. Judy was their first coach but she herself decided to take a back seat as her sons went professional.
Not only that, but Judy was a constant presence in the spectator's box whenever either of her sons was in action. Both Andy and Jamie have always maintained how their mother was their biggest fan. Andy Murray has also candidly admitted that his mother was one of the only people who understood him. And it was because of her steadfast dedication that Great Britain finally found their Wimbledon champion after a prolonged gap. 
Economically, the sport can be quite taxing. For players who are not from well-to-do families, this can be a major obstacle. Belonging to a place where the sport does not have the requisite infrastructure can be another roadblock. 
But the ideal tennis parent makes sacrifices for their child's benefit. The road ahead can be rocky but the initial financial injection and decision to relocate can go a long way in determining what the future holds. 
One of the best examples of a parent overcoming this was Yuri Sharapov, father of former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova. When Sharapova was six back in 1993, she attended a tennis clinic run by the legendary Martina Navratilova in Moscow who recommended professional training with Nick Bollettieri at the IMG Academy in Florida. 
With finances tight, Yuri Sharapov was forced to borrow money so that he and his daughter could travel to the USA in 1994. With meagre savings in the bank, Sharapova's father was forced to take up various low-paying jobs to fund Maria's lessons until she was old enough to be admitted to the academy. 
Quite often, talent falls short due to uncompromising situations and societal pressure. It is imperative for parents to forge mental toughness in their young, which will not only help with the game but also in life. Independent thinkers are required to achieve excellence in the sport, something both Richard Williams, father of Serena and Venus, as well as Toni Nadal, Rafael's uncle, taught in abundance.

A divisive figure to say the least, Richards decided tennis was the sport for his two daughters after watching a match on TV. He taught himself the game and took to coaching Serena and Venus in public courts around the crime-ridden neighborhood of Compton so as to ensure a better life for them. 
That willpower, determination, and dedication percolated down to the two young players and soon enough, they took the tennis world by storm!


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Thu, 07/21/2022 - 05:33

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