• 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