Posts tagged guidance
My oldest daughter, Emma, didn’t come by the acting bug by accident. Oh, no! She inherited that vital gene directly from her momma. And, believe me, it’s a STRONG one. In my LBT (Life Before Tennis), I owned a fitness business and spent many, many hours promoting it as an “expert” on the radio, the Web, tv, and in front of live audiences. I never passed up an opportunity to be on camera (or on mic), even when it meant schlepping my infant son across the country on an 8-city promo tour with an athletic shoe company.
So, last week, when I was given a lead for a new reality television show about Tennis Moms (a la Dance Moms), I jumped on it. I called the producer and spoke with her at length about my experiences in the Junior Tennis More >
I saw a Facebook post from a friend of mine over the weekend whose two elementary-school-age sons have recently taken up tennis. They were playing in their first USTA Junior Team Tennis match, and the mom was rudely informed by another parent that cheering was NOT allowed. These two brothers also play baseball – where parental cheering is not only allowed but often gets way out of hand – so Mom just assumed she could vocally encourage her boys during their tennis match in the same way.
In the interest of helping other Tennis Parents avoid any untoward (ha!) behavior during their children’s tennis matches, here are some tips:
League Tennis Matches
- No coaching of any kind is allowed; saying, “Move your feet” or “Hit to her backhand” is More >
I know. You saw the title and expected to read about how to deal with your child’s disappointment after a loss . . . or something along those lines. But, this piece is about dealing with your own disappointment when something doesn’t go quite right in your child’s tennis-centric world.
A fellow tennis parent wrote me last week, telling me about her child’s recent tournament schedule. He has some important tournaments coming up and so decided to play a low-level local tourney just to build some confidence. The child figured he could get a couple of easy wins and feel ready for next weekend, which will be a much tougher tournament.
Well, as I am sure you can guess, it didn’t go as planned and the child played the worst tennis of his More >
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a USTA College Information Session for high school players and their parents held during the NCAA Championships in Athens, Georgia.
The panel, led by USTA’s Senior Manager of Junior and Collegiate Competition, Erica Perkins Jasper, included the following heavy-hitters from the tennis world:
- Bobby Bayliss – Head Men’s Coach at Notre Dame University
- Christine Bader – Head Women’s Coach at Ball State University
- Maria Cercone – junior coach in Florida whose daughter plays #3 doubles and #5 singles for the University of Florida
- Rick Davison – Director of Competition at USTA Georgia
- Steve Johnson, Sr. – Father of top-ranked D1 player, Steve Johnson, of USC and top junior coach in Southern More >
My son went into this past weekend’s tournament on a 7-match losing streak. He had been “rounded” in singles in the past two tourneys plus had lost his final high school match of the season in the semis of the state playoffs, and his confidence was lower than I had seen it in a long time.
This tournament was a state level 3 tournament, located about a half hour from our house, meaning that it really wasn’t going to draw the top top players, but it was a good opportunity for my kid to play up in the 18s, build some confidence, and get more of a jump-start on his 18s ranking. The draw was only 16 players, so, at most, he was going to play 4 matches (or 5 if he moved into the back draw) over the two days.
When the draws were posted on More >
Today’s guest post is from the mom who tweets under the pseudonym of Tennis Parent Probs. She has become my go-to when I need a giggle or a quick pick-me-up after a particularly tough day in the Junior Tennis World. One of my favs: “Signing up for another medieval torture session — I mean tournament.” Please be sure to follow her on Twitter – she is usually tweeting what the rest of us are thinking! Enjoy!
My daughter started taking tennis lesson at about six years old, but it wasn’t until sometime in middle school that she decided that she was really serious about it. You might think that middle school seems like the appropriate time to commit fully to a sport, and at the time I did too. But in the years since, I have learned More >
My son’s high school team is playing in the Georgia State Semifinals today. If they win, they will take a short break then play the Finals. It’s a Big Day for these boys, one they’ve been working toward since mid-January . . . but really since the time they each picked up a racquet and hit that first fuzzy yellow ball.
As I’ve talked about in previous posts (see “We” Won), the idea of TEAM is kind of a strange one in a sport that truly focuses on individual effort, individual training, individual competition. But, I feel very strongly that the lessons my son is learning through team participation will help him become not only a better tennis player but also a better human being. As Janis Meredith so beautifully put it in her JBMThinks More >
When I hear a parent talking about his or her child’s tennis and saying things like, “Yes, we’re playing that tournament next month” or “We didn’t play well against that kid last week” it makes my skin crawl. Every parent knows that we are not out there on the court practicing and battling day in and day out. Our children are out there alone, working their tails off, trying to improve and reach their goals.
Yes, we parents are with them, offering our support (financial and otherwise). Yes, we parents are often the ones driving them to practices, matches, and tournaments. Yes, we parents are sometimes the surrogate coach when the “real” coach can’t be there.
But we are not the ones who have to get mentally pumped for the next match. More >
In the spirit of sharing my experiences in hopes of helping others, here are some musings from this past weekend’s Bullfrog tournament in Clemson, South Carolina . . .
- Taking 5 weeks off from tournament play can (notice I said “CAN”) be detrimental. My son just wasn’t at his normal competitive level at this tournament, and I could see his confidence waning throughout his matches. Given his school schedule and our family’s schedule, along with his high school team practice and match schedule, I’m not sure that we could’ve avoided the situation, but maybe playing a local tournament as his first one back would’ve been a better move?
- Ask and ye shall receive! After a rain delay on Friday evening, my son’s first round doubles match More >