What should parent’s involvement in their child’s tennis entail?
Every coach has seen that parent who is too involved in his or her child’s sport, especially tennis. When the coach is working with the child and the parent is on the sideline giving their two cents. The parent in their mind certainly means well and deep down wants the best for their child. Everyone on the court is uncomfortable at this point including the coach. The child begins to rebel and the class becomes difficult to regain control.
The world’s best doubles team historically has been the Bryan brothers. The Bryan brother’s coach, which in this case was their Dad, was quoted as saying: "The job of the parent is to drive their child to the courts. When the child comes off the court, ask them if they had fun and where they would like to go eat.” Nothing else needs to be said. Coach Bryan’s approach was to inspire the brothers by exposing them to great tennis such as pro events or college matches. He brought his boys to a UCLA match when they were four years old. The boys lasted for about 15 minutes
then were looking for frogs in the ditch nearby. What did Coach Bryan do? He let them look for frogs! Let the kids be kids and enjoy their childhood. Later the kids were talking about how awesome the UCLA players were, thus formed their tennis idols, which inspired their love of the game.
If the parent on the sideline notices the look on the child’s face when given parental feedback, the damage to their self-esteem and self-worth is inevitable.