Tennis and the Role of the Parent
It’s important the first tennis experience of getting children started is made simple with activities at home, using the right equipment and finding the best program and value of a good coach.
The parent has a supporting role, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to assume the responsibility of making your child a tennis player. Learning to play and enjoy the sport of tennis is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. As children go through the process of becoming a player, they will have numerous experiences serving as life lessons and creating teachable moments. There will be times when winning and losing are an issue and parents need to understand the ups and downs of winning and losing so they can keep the long-term development of their child in focus.
It has been said sport does not build character, but it does reveal it. Tennis provides many opportunities for kids to learn and develop character by playing by the rules, making their own line calls, respecting officials and opponents, learning to win humbly and lose graciously. These are all teachable moments and parents should take these opportunities to teach character at the highest standard.
Learning to play tennis and playing the game well will take a long-term commitment to practice, play and competition.
The discipline of practice, training and conditioning is a great quality to develop. Tennis is an easy game to learn but it will take time, effort and dedication to meet the challenge of improving skills to achieve the goal of playing it well.
What better way to be active, which is a huge concern for many parents, than for your child to fall in love with tennis and enjoy playing this great sport for a lifetime. Tennis is almost unmatched in the physical activity it provides kids and players of all ages.
Parents can play a very important role in selecting a programme and a coach. Once those decisions have been made, the parent should concentrate on being a supportive and encouraging role model and leave the teaching to the coaches. Let them be responsible for teaching the physical and mental skills necessary for winning. Parents should concentrate on developing those life skills that develop character such as respect, effort, self-control, dedication, overcoming mistakes and adapting to the conditions to carry over into what your child becomes as an adult.
Tennis provides unique opportunities and is a great individual sport to learn. Children of all sizes and shapes can learn to play the game successfully and develop at their own pace. Much depends on the commitment to practice and play and can be determined with the help and guidance of the parent. There are individual-competition opportunities across the country starting with novice-level events your child can enjoy. Starting as a child is a lifelong journey. Tennis can be played at any age in almost every country in the world.
Tennis is attracting more and more children each year who love learning and competing as part of a team.
They enjoy the social aspects of a team environment, the camaraderie of teammates and the support and encouragement of a coach. Many middle schools and most high schools offer tennis teams allowing children to be with their friends, represent their school and compete as a team.
Team play continues as your child goes on to college with opportunities both at the university and club levels. Finally, a positive experience of learning, playing and competing and the enjoyment your child will have on the tennis court, driveway or ‘hitting wall’ will be one of the great memories your child will take into adulthood. Tennis is a great gift—and one every parent can provide to their child.