The hours required to chisel raw talents into mastery is a world-known fact. However, the pressure and expectations from the players themselves, from parents and outside factors complicate the development cycle. When they win, they are all smiles and giggles and feel like a million bucks. But when losing, they get sad and retract emotionally.
Losing streaks and emotionally retrieve over an extended period can spiral out of control, causing a loss of confidence and a lack of desire to train. They look sad and miserable, carrying the world on their shoulders. Left too long in these behaviors not only lead to losing confidence but possibly quitting the game altogether. The learning curve from the pitfall phase is a painful place for any level of players to be in and frustrating for parents and coaches.
At times like these, it is vital to keep things simple. Go back in time why your aspired athlete chose tennis in the first place. Without a doubt, it was because tennis was fun. As time goes on, the compounding of training and stress from tournaments take over handcuffed by the results.
Could it really be that simple? It’s a good start. However, while the desire for a mental shift to have fun sounds simple, it is not as easy as one would expect. The presence of pressure and stress are forever the master of chaos in any journey. Whether you tackle them with a good attitude or full of fear, they linger around no matter what. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to stay focused on “having fun” in the midst of the not so enjoyable times.
Here is the one take away for you:
Have fun together no matter what! The journey is well worth the effort.
As Billie Jean King said “pressure is a privilege”