It was 6:30 pm, ready to go home from a long day of work. Every day, I would pass this little girl serving and her dad picking up balls and mom sitting on the courtside watching. It was not your usual helicopter, micromanaging parenting, but a calm and focused atmosphere.
I came to find out that she was nine years old and that she was enrolled in the evening program, and had just lost her private coach. And they lived 1.5 hours away.
There was this one time I had left my jacket on the court, as I went back to retrieve it, who did I find on the court serving? She had already played two hours in the program, one hour with me, and was serving for another forty-five minutes. Thinking it was the dad making her serve, I approached him and remarked that it was too many hours on a young body. The dad looked at me and said: “Can you please tell her because she won’t listen to me.”
Tennis is a fantastic sport with an open book full of opportunities to foster values and strong characters. I get it. You want to provide opportunities for your children. You want to give them the best coach, the best education, the best training program.
It is not about pushing your child. It is about providing them with opportunities and giving them the space to show where their passion lies. It is within their passion that ignites the fire and focuses that brings the best out of them. When they find that passion, don’t you worry, they will be the one pushing you through the door.
I am currently working independently as a mental coach, and I am always interested in a challenge. Reach out to me at email@example.com to connect!