Attitude and competitive effort must be addressed as a priority over winning and losing. The process goals must be defined above result goals daily in order to have long term success.
“You are in the process of winning or losing every day of your life, and it usually has very little to do with a win or a loss”
“It is more important what happens inside you than what happens to you”
10 golden-rules for the tennis parent:
Take a mandatory 30 minute cooling period before talking about or critiquing a match that your child has just played.
“The battle weary mind remembers very little”
Support small accomplishments as well as big ones. Small things and big things are all important things to the young athlete.
“There is no such thing as a bad win in tennis”
Never regard big wins with gifts or big meals etc. This teaches the athlete that winning deserves special treatment. The athlete needs learn to do the small things with class and pride while learning how to accomplish great things with comfort and grace.
“It is wise to walk with the great and the small in equal dignity”
Children should be allowed to have ownership of their emotions and to learn how to deal with them in their own way. How a parent feels about winning or losing may, or may not, have relationship to the child’s feeling about the outcome. The child should never feel that he has to please the parents with a result.
“The growth must continue long after the cheering and the crying have stopped.”
It will accelerate growth for the young athlete to learn to love winning, while understanding that it is ok to dislike losing and even to hurt from it as well. Both of these responses move a player in the right direction quickly. Pain and Reward are great motivators. However, the discipline must be that:
“Winning should never go to the head, and losing should never go to the heart; ideally winning should go to the heart for confidence and losing to the head for learning”
Post-match, the L-Fido rule (Learn-Forget it, Drive on) is best for player development. Players often have to learn how they are going to lose before tennis allows them to win.
“If you Honor the game, the game will honor you!”
In parenting ‘The Strong-willed child;’ it is important to mold-the-will, but to never Break the Spirit.
“It is easier to tame a roaring tiger than to inspire a timid pussy-cat”
“Never bring shame on the Game, nor the Family Name!”
In Parenting and in Coaching;
“Praise in Public, and only criticize in Private.”
Tennis results have a very short memory; however, relationships and friendships last for life.