LUI TENNIS GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS
Importance of the parent:
- The parent is the greatest influence on the child’s tennis outside of the coach.
- Nick Bollettieri, (coach of Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Boris Becker) says:
“As important as the coach’s role is, the tennis parent’s role is tenfold more important”
How to allow your child to enjoy the sport:
- Let the child create their own expectations of their progress in the sport.
- Avoid comparing your child’s progress or standard with other players as this can lead to totem-pole self-worth – “At least I’m better than you/him/her”
- Have the child play and improve in tennis for themselves, not for anyone else.
- Encourage the child not to judge or link their self-worth with their tennis
- Never force the child to play tennis if they don’t want to.
- It is more important to be a good person and a bad tennis player than a bad person and a good player.
On-court behaviour for both students and parents:
- Let the coach do his/her job – leave all tennis-related advice to the coach whether technical, tactical, mental etc
- If the child is not behaving or focused, allow the coach to deal with this first before stepping in.
- Racket throwing or tantrums will not be tolerated.
- If watching your child practice, minimise your presence both physically and verbally i.e. Position yourself where the child will be least distracted by you and let the spoken words come from the student or coach.
- Display positive body language for your child to mirror
- Keep comments short and positive – “Great shot”, “Good effort”
- If your child does not perform well on court, it is not important. Only the effort they put in is. Reassure them they will do better next time and help them forget ‘the bad day at the office’ and do not dwell on it
- Friends/siblings can help pick up balls while the lesson is in progress but if they are a distraction, they will be asked to leave the court.
Above all, both the coach and parent are there to help the child enjoy tennis!
You are welcome to download the PDF version for yourself – Lui Tennis Guidelines for parents