The “We” Syndrome

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.  And we are not the ones who have to figure out how to tweak our service motion in the middle of a match after the 3rd double fault.  And we are not the ones who have to find the internal motivation and discipline to practice when we’d rather be at the mall with our friends.  All of those things fall on our kids.

So, please parents, I beg you . . . stop using the Royal We when referring to your child’s tennis.  It is your child’s tennis.  Let him (or her) own it.

5 Comments on “The “We” Syndrome”

  1. Fantastic topic! We read this article with great interest. We’re surely going to try to apply these suggestions at our next tournament; We’re seeded 3rd so our hopes are high. Now if only my kid could hold up his end of the bargain, because I have done a perfectly fine job of driving and parking. 😉

  2. Wrong! Every player is not the same. And some players feel a whole lot better about we loss than I loss. So we are a team. And the team loss not the individual. So don’t apply your personal rules to all players. And have enough respect to understand that just maybe the player’s parents know what they need better than some random outsider looking in.

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