• Focus mostly on performance rather than on tennis results only or outcomes.
• Reward effort/hard work ahead of success. AVOID rewarding only results.
• Promote the perspective that tennis is only a sport emphasising its value as a preparation for life. Don’t make tennis bigger than life by, for instance, placing more importance on tennis than schoolwork.
• As a tennis parent, try to understand and have empathy with the emotional pressures and the complexity of the sport itself. AVOID underestimating the stresses of an individual sport like tennis.
• Give your children tasks and responsibilities which will in time, build self-confidence and independence.
• Ensure that the tennis competitive experience is a positive one, principally from the perspective of developing the person. Emphasise the important elements of sportsmanship, ethics, personal development, responsibility and a positive attitude towards others and, by doing so, share with your child a healthy interest in a great sport. Don’t allow training and competition to become a negative experience for you or your child.
• Realise that children not only have the right to participate in tennis but also, to choose not to participate.
• Let your child know you care and are there if they need you to help them. Don’t become over involved in your child’s tennis.• Be prepared to listen and learn. AVOID thinking that you know everything about tennis.
T.I.fact sheet 33