Hit the web and you will find a lot of articles. posts and clips about tennis, and sports, parents. Most will bemoan the involvement of parents and create lists of rules that parents should follow. The theme is usually, Parents create pressure and pressure is bad for kids, so do these these things. We would like to take a different approach!
So shoe on the other foot for a second. Have you ever considered that parenting a child in sport might be a tough job? That your natural instinct to protect often has to be held in check to help the child experience things on their own. Have you ever stopped to consider that actually the parent might appreciate a little help when the pressure is on them? On them? If you are a parent you will understand. Sometimes your child looks at you as if to say, “Why don’t you know the answer to this one?”
When we started building developing a support package for parents as part of evolution kids tennis we quickly came to the realization that parents are often under pressure. Kids, coaches, officials and other parents are expecting them to know what to do and often no one has told them. As we discussed this more and more we identified six times when parents would really appreciate the support of a coach and if we are happy to take their money really we should be ready to help. In later blogs we will explain the toolkit that we developed for each but for now it’s worth understanding them.
- When their child starts something new! – New Club, new program level or first tournament
- When the wheels fall off – Loses a match or they have a small set back
- When they plant the flag – Their child wins big, and parents might over react
- When the world is not fair! – Their child doesn’t graduate or achieve the expected
- When they don’t recognize their child! – Cheats, misbehaves or behaves unexpectedly
- When the peacocks flock – Everyone is giving advice, other parents, coaches
In the next few blogs we will take each of these and explain the needs of parents and what you can put in place to help support them. For now it would be great if you too a moment to think about each of these situations from the perspective of the parents that have kids in your program. More to come!