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How to overcome the fear of making mistakes in the decisions that you make for your tennis playing

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

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. 

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