How to overcome the fear of making mistakes in the decisions that you make for your tennis playing kid?
A change of perspective in the role of parents and their decisions.
Sometimes the experience of being the father of a tennis player becomes a stressful experience, not only for the player but for the whole family. You don't know how, but as your son has improved his skills on the court and his results, what was once a space for expansion, enjoyment and challenge began to become a black hole of pressure and conflict.
What changes? Why has a healthy and challenging sport like tennis become something stressful for the player and the whole family? Why does the environment become strange every time he/she competes? Why has tennis become a mandatory topic of conversation in the family?
With the passage of time, training and tournaments, your child will surely improve his technical and competitive skills. Seeing our children progress is a natural and healthy source of pride for every parent. Although like everything, there has to be a balance.
When the player considers becoming a professional, most of the time it is the player's environment that completely modifies their usual routines to focus, almost exclusively, the attention on that athlete and that is the most critical moment for the player's life, when his/her "game "becomes in his/her life project and then, directly or indirectly, in a "Family project "
There are not only changes in the player in terms of his motivation and, perhaps, in the planning of his goals for his future. In the vast majority of cases, it is the player's family that completely modifies their usual routines to focus, almost exclusively, attention on that child athlete. And that is how, little by little, the player and his "hobby" become the main objective of a family.
It is at this time where attitudes, comments, expressions, nonverbal language, can lead to objectives that enhance or, conversely, expectations that limit the player. What should be avoided at any cost, is that the child who played tennis becomes a child player who trains like a professional, who stops playing for himself and starts playing to be accepted and recognized by the environment.
To give more clarity on the subject I propose an example:
Suppose I am the father of a child who dreams of being a policeman. Most likely, as a father, I will listen to my son and his desire, and perhaps give him clothes and police equipment to play. If you continue with the same idea over the years, I will help you enroll in a police school to achieve the goal of your life.
Why don't parents of future cops get to watch YouTube videos of how to be the best cop? Why don't they take their children to learn to shoot? Do they take you to a shooting to live the experience?
Where is the difference between that father of the police boy and the father of the tennis boy? The answer is simple, THESE PARENTS OF CHILDREN POLICE, DO NOT PROJECT THEIR EXPECTATIONS IN THE DREAMS OF THEIR CHILDREN.
Does this mean that I should not be interested in my son's concerns?
No, in fact, quite the opposite, what comes to say is that the most important thing is to respect your child as an individual: His age, his pace in the learning process, his cognitive and emotional development, the strengthening of self-confidence and especially his/her happiness.
As parents, we have a responsibility to get involved and accompany our children in their development, whether they are tennis players or police officers. Although getting involved is not the same as intervening and accompanying is not the same as pushing. Parents should be support and guide of the growth of our children avoiding being main actors.
The success in a tennis player development does not lie exclusively in sports capabilities, but in how those abilities are enhanced by the environment, responsible for building the mental and emotional structure of the player, through the development of trust, commitment, courage, resilience, curiosity, responsibility and self-improvement.
The keys are in:
- Respect for all player growth processes: Technical, tactical, physical, but above all, mental and emotional
- Patience to wait for the right moment to make decisions that are consistent with the maturity of the player
- Acceptance that being a tennis player or police officer is a choice of our children and that it is not healthy for them to feel that they have to live their own lives to satisfy our own dreams.
If by the anxiety we push our children to jump stages to reach the target faster, we will be pushing it to a situation that is not prepared to handle or bear. This is the reason why many good players leave tennis.
From Elite Tennis Academy, we offer you not only the advice and support at the tennis and emotional level your child needs but also parents and family. We are convinced that generating a balanced environment is a guarantee of success.
We propose a system of the gradual growth of the player where we guarantee improvements in tennis and mental aspects, that prepares him/her to face future stages. Not only focused on the possibility of becoming a professional tennis player or on the possibility of acquiring a considerable level that will provide them with a university scholarship, but also, in a personal growth experience that will change their life.
There is no hurry to become number one because once there they has to be able to stand it. And if you're not ready, this more than a victory will be a personal failure.
We are prepared to help you and we will be happy to participate in the growth of each player.
Tennis, like all sports, has evolved over time. And with this evolution, the player has become a complete athlete.
The player's preparation has had to adapt to this evolution, so not only the hours of training on the court are included, but also physical and emotional training, monitoring of the diet, care for physical recovery and daily rest hours.
From a very early age, players transform their lives and professionalize them. Following specific controlled routines allows them to improve their tennis development.
The number of academies and coaches that exist in the market is very large, and much more if you are thinking about training in Barcelona.
Being in the situation of choosing an academy for your child is an important moment, and sometimes the decision becomes stressful for the parents.
From a very early age, players transform and professionalize their lives. Following specific controlled routines allows them to improve their tennis development.
Before you begin your search for the ideal academy, take a few minutes to think about how you would like your child's life to be during that period of time.
Note that I am not telling you to focus on the goals you would like your child to achieve in his or her life as a tennis player, but on how you would like your child to feel during those training years (caring, motivated, confident, happy, strong, healthy, etc).
This is very important because they will be the foundation on which the player will build his professional career.
Once you are clear about the foundations, identify the characteristics that the academy should have in order to develop your child.
It is common to contact many academies and book visiting hours to meet them. To be able to decide it is necessary to have information, not only about the NAME of the academy but also about the human team that will be in charge of the player.
Our suggestion is to make the first selection of academies that meet the requirements that your child needs and only concrete visits with these ones. Otherwise, you will visit so many sites that you will feel confused, and probably not help you make a good choice.
THE SIZE OF THE ACADEMY
A child who leaves his family to join another structure needs to be accompanied. It would be quite traumatic to go from being protected and cared at home to being part of a group of hundreds of players (almost anonymous).
The myth of the big academies:
A lot of parents think that choosing a big academy is better because they'll have someone to play with.
This is also true for smaller academies, as it is not necessary for the opponent to belong to the same club, there is the possibility of getting a different player every day to compete if necessary.
When you choose an Academy, you are not choosing a tournament where the child will compete, when you choose an Academy you are choosing the place where that player will be developed.
The competition is part of the development and can be done through tournaments and practice matches. Both situations are fully compatible with a small academy.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE IDEAL ACADEMY
Respect for the individuality of each player. Each child is different, with his or her strengths and weaknesses. Enhancing his virtues to the point of making him special should be the goal of the academy.
If we stop to look at the great players of this moment, they all have a solid base of play, but each one is particularly special in one way or another. They are not copies of a single player, each has retained his identity and enhanced it.
This can only be achieved from a personalized work, where each person has his own physical training, his dietary follow-up, his emotional accompaniment, and his individualized planning in court to achieve the tennis development.
It would be necessary to avoid turning the young tennis player into someone he is not, but to promote the skills that will make him unique.
Trying to change the player to be the mere imitation of another will not make him special, much less allow him to reach his maximum level.
From our academy, we make ourselves available to all parents who are interested in a personalized development of their child. More than 15 years of experience in Barcelona guarantee our accompaniment to young people who decide to explore their limits in tennis.
I will be delighted to receive your comments or questions, which I will answer as soon as possible.
We have opened our registration for annual players Set 2020- Jun2021 with special prices.
Are you interested in the offer?
Children start playing tennis every time at younger ages, and many times we
receive inquiries about the best age to start training at an academy. I do
not consider that there are rules that work for all people, I believe in
individuality and, therefore, the answer to this question results from the
combination of several factors to analyze.
As we know, childhood is the most important stage for the development of the
child. It is where the psychological bases for the other stages are formed.
During this period, containment and family ties are important. A child needs
his parents at his side, the lack of them can cause affective flaws
difficult to overcome. What I want to express with this is that children can
start training in an academy at an early age, but always accompanied by
Another factor to analyze is the expectations behind a decision of this
type. Sometimes, the children are motivated to make a change in their game
after spending a summer camp at the academy. Few are the ones who really
understand what this involves. It is not easy to live away from the family.
What at first seems fun and simple, it can turn into a complicated
Other times, the parents make the decision to send the children to the
academy following their personal expectations of having a famous child in
the future. Children usually accept their parents' dream as their own, and
they see themselves living a life of many responsibilities that they often
do not like. But to avoid disappointing their family, they will not release
their true feelings.
From 13 to 15 years old, players are more aware of what involves being away
from the family and meet the responsibilities of following a daily training
and at the same time continue with the studies. At these ages they tend to
have a little clearer about what they would like to do in the future. Most
of them have acquired the necessary maturity to begin to be coherent between
the objective that is sought and the lifestyle that is needed to achieve it.
If during the years of childhood the family laid a solid foundation in the
child, when he/she reaches adolescence he/she will be able to live (if
necessary) away from his/her family. The containment of these players is
very important during this period of development, since they are not only
evolving as players but also as people.
From my experience with players I can say that these young people show great
changes in short periods of times. It is common to observe how they learn to
manage each small daily decision responsibly. They also acquire the ability
to establish objectives and work to achieve them. They begin to know their
skills and how to empower them.
What was commented previously shows the abilities that a child develops
until he/she becomes a young person. This growth is accelerated when the
player is living alone due to the need for daily personal management without
the permanent decision of the parents.
Each experience depends on the person who lives it, and the result obtained
is also personal. The last 5 years I have been working with players that
want to go ahead in their tennis and because of this they left their houses,
and I can say that it is an incredibly enriching and recommendable
experience for all those players who want to seek their limits.
I understand the possible parents feeling of anguish that can arise from
thinking about sending a child abroad. This may be the first of many steps
the child will take to discover who he/she is as a person and as an athlete.
As parents we have the possibility to control everything that is
controllable, and with this I mean, I can make sure that the environment
where my child will be, provides him/her the necessary and personalized
support he/she needs. And then, support him/her in his/her growth
If you have questions or you are interested in an annual program, please