Archive for November, 2011
It was in October of his 7th grade year that my son came home from school and announced that he would like to be homeschooled instead of attending our local public middle school. I thought he was kidding. He was not.
Like many tennis academies in the Atlanta area, my son’s offered a homeschool program where he would do his schoolwork in the early mornings then hit the courts for 4+ hours in the afternoons. I wasn’t even close to convinced that this was a good idea. So, I called the principal of his middle school and scheduled a conference. Much to my dismay, she told me that, if my son was that committed to his tennis, now was the perfect time to try homeschooling. WHAT????? That’s NOT what I expected to hear from a public school More >
I am honored to welcome another guest blogger today, David Benzel.
The recent events at Penn State University have caused many to reflect on the relationships between young athletes and coaches, parents and coaches, and most importantly the communication between children and their parents. The question racing through the minds of thousands of parents today is “How can we insure the safety of our children as they encounter the coaches of youth sports whom we don’t really know?”
Often the relationship between parent & coach and/or coach & athlete begins with a certain level of credibility based on the coach’s experience. When you coach for Penn State, for instance, there’s an assumption that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy. Jerry More >
My favorite part of the bar or bat mitzvah service is when the Torah is handed from grandparent to parent to child, signifying the passing down of religious tradition from generation to generation. The Hebrew name for this ritual is l’dor v’dor.
In our family, tennis is one of those traditions that has been passed down from generation to generation, beginning with my dad who played for Tulane in the late 50s. My brothers and I all grew up playing tennis, too, at our neighborhood tennis club. My middle brother, Gary, and I did the junior tennis thing until high school. My youngest brother, Jeffrey, ended up playing at Washington University. And, now, my son plays, and has developed quite a nice little rivalry with his Uncle Jeffrey. More >
For my readers who are spending the holiday at a tournament with their kid, remember to make some time to give thanks for the opportunity to be with one you love. You can always eat a turkey dinner when the tourney is over!
We will be celebrating at home this year, with 2 of our 3 kids and a set of grandparents and an aunt and uncle – we are counting our blessings, for sure! And, although I know I’ll be exhausted by the end of the weekend, I’m looking very forward to eating some good food, watching some good tennis (both on tv and, hopefully, live as my son and his uncle continue their on-going rivalry), and spending time with family.
Happy Thanksgiving! See y’all next week!
I asked my son to read yesterday’s post, especially the part about what kids want from their parents, and he told me I need to write a separate piece about the home life of a player and his Tennis Parent, so here goes.
Being the control-freak, Type A person that I am, this is a tough issue for me. I have a hard time letting things go, even when I know intellectually that it’s for the best. I talk a really good game, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and, well, truth be told, I could use a lot of work in this department. And, I do work on it – I go to yoga at least twice a week and work really hard on staying present and wiping all the negative stuff off my mat. And, I think I’m getting better. I mean, I’M GETTING BETTER More >
What does the perfect tennis parent look like? Is there a such thing? I started pondering this question a few years ago when I would hear coaches and tournament officials complaining about what a pain in the neck we parents can be. I don’t disagree with that assessment because I’m sure that sometimes we CAN be a pain, especially when it comes to our precious children. But, what are coaches looking for from us??? And what are our tennis-playing children looking for from us???
I hear from coaches all the time that they wish we parents would drop off our kids at drills/lessons then LEAVE. Don’t hang out court-side, don’t interject commentary, and for goodness sake, don’t help pick up balls. Why? Because that’s often the time the coach More >
Your child is playing an important match against a sectional rival. As the match nears its conclusion a big point arrives. Your child battles long and hard in this point and then it happens… he gets blatantly cheated and it costs him the match. As your emotions rise you feel helpless and angry. You want to jump onto the court and throttle the opponent’s neck as thoughts of missed ranking points and potential missed future opportunities for your child flood your mind. You think of all the time and effort and money you have put into being at the tournament only for your child to be More >
Being a tennis parent is hard enough when you have just the one player in the family. But what happens when your tennis player is only 1/3 of your parenting responsibility, when you have “Others” who need your time and attention and love?
My “Others” – 22 year old daughter, Emma, and 20 year old daughter, Savannah – have come up with a very creative way to show me EXACTLY what happens. Shortly after I published my first article for ParentingAces, they started their own blog called 2Deuces, cleverly subtitled “The Other Children of a Tennis Mom”.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of their blog. Were they angry at me? Angry at their brother? I read the first couple of entries with trepidation and quickly recognized their unique More >
I’m thrilled to bring you the first guest post on ParentingAces, courtesy of Anthony Ross. Anthony is a former Pepperdine All-American tennis player. Today, he is an Australian-based registered sport psychologist currently completing his PhD who works primarily with developing athletes and their parents. Anthony is also the director of SportParentSupport.com, a website dedicated to helping parents foster children’s well-being through sport. Please check it out for some very insightful information for us tennis parents!
How you interact with your child around tennis has incredible power in influencing their development. This is because exercise and high levels of emotion common to sport make our brain more ‘plastic’ and easily rewired, More >
Winners never cheat and cheaters never win . . . until they do – seemingly a lot – especially in the younger junior divisions.
Coach and Tennis Parent Roy Coopersmith shared with me that “coaches and parents create the atmosphere many times that creates cheating in a junior.” The lesser of two evils ( in the mind of the child ):
1. I lose and my parent freaks on me. 2. I cheat and win, my parent is happy I have won, and I don’t suffer.
The cheating then becomes a justifiable action. And cheating does win but also creates losing feelings and feelings of a sort of desperation in the person who was cheated. It is hard to really describe the feeling until you really witness it.
I can vouch for that feeling of desperation. In one of my More >