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hhollines 01-24-2013 12:14 PM

Parent & Tennis Coach
 
For those of you that serve as both the parent and tennis coach, can you share the good, bad and ugly? I'd be interested in what has worked, not worked, and what you have learned.

I never thought I would consider taking on a more active role but I'm thinking about it. I played up until college and I "was" a 5.0 level player (I don't play competitively anymore but probably still a 4.5 level). I understand the game to the extent I've been exposed (more that most parents out there) but I don't pretend to know as much as former professionals and/or the top tier coaches (for example) . . . I know what I don't know. My daughter has an outstanding coach but there's gaps in time when we can't see her coach due to weather, lack of indoor courts & traveling.

My wife and I watch all her matches so we have the best feel for what's happening under pressure when the lights go on. My thought is to be a more involved parent but seek out high performance coaches and/or experts to work on pieces/aspects of her game and then always connect with her coach when possible (the USPTA describes 5 levels of parent-coaches and I'd be close to a level 2; probably 2.5).

I live in a very challenging section and there's no full time training programs available, limited group hitting, and indoor courts are difficult to obtain in the winter months, so you have to get creative. Very few top ranked national players come out of this section so I feel something unique must be attempted . . . (until and unless we can relocate to a better section).

I'm very concerned about getting more involved but I feel there may be no other option . . . I have a great relationship with my daughter hence why I've stayed away from getting more involved but she is very driven and this is a key time in her development and the status quo is problematic . . .

any advice/thoughts/insight would be much appreciated.

TCF 01-24-2013 02:05 PM

==========================

Bash and Crash 01-24-2013 04:35 PM

hholli, where are you located?

coaching32yrs 01-24-2013 05:45 PM

I've shephered 3 kids through junior tennis. Every kid is different. The single most important thing is not to put tennis above being a parent, not to let tennis hurt your relationship. It's hard to do. A balancing act. Kid's don't like when their parents criticize them publicly. Be very tactful with the criticsm, try to frame it as a positive. However there are certain times you have to come down hard- like when you drove 4 hours Super Bowl weekend and they tanked the match. They have to understand that your time and involvement is contingent on them playing hard every ball- not on wins and losses. A concept much talked about but seldom followed by parents.

hhollines 01-24-2013 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bash and Crash (Post 7159545)
hholli, where are you located?

Colorado (Intermountain)

hhollines 01-24-2013 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coaching32yrs (Post 7159747)
I've shephered 3 kids through junior tennis. Every kid is different. The single most important thing is not to put tennis above being a parent, not to let tennis hurt your relationship. It's hard to do. A balancing act. Kid's don't like when their parents criticize them publicly. Be very tactful with the criticsm, try to frame it as a positive. However there are certain times you have to come down hard- like when you drove 4 hours Super Bowl weekend and they tanked the match. They have to understand that your time and involvement is contingent on them playing hard every ball- not on wins and losses. A concept much talked about but seldom followed by parents.

Thanks. That's great advice. We've always had one understanding and that is that she fight and never give up on the court (and in life). As to winning and losing, those are by-products and we don't talk or focus on that . . . it's about preparation, thinking, and fighting and whatever the outcome, so be it (our love is never conditioned or related to winning or losing). You are correct that you must be positive and it's a very delicate balancing act . . . thanks for the feedback.

hhollines 01-24-2013 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCF (Post 7159031)
Sit down and draw up an agreement that you both sign. Outline what your role will be, what is expected of her, a schedule of when you will work together. Put in a clause where mom or grandpa mediates any disagreements.

Each Sunday night sit down with her and lay out that week's schedule, practice, tournaments. Go into each practice with a set plan on what to work on that you both have agreed to.

Also be sure to communicate all the time about what is working and not working with your tennis relationship.

My wife and I are both lawyers . . . could you imagine trying to draw up an agreement in this family :). But your point is well taken and there must be an understanding and meeting of the minds . . . more verbal than written in our case.

Chemist 01-24-2013 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hhollines (Post 7158681)
For those of you that serve as both the parent and tennis coach, can you share the good, bad and ugly? I'd be interested in what has worked, not worked, and what you have learned.

I never thought I would consider taking on a more active role but I'm thinking about it. I played up until college and I "was" a 5.0 level player (I don't play competitively anymore but probably still a 4.5 level). I understand the game to the extent I've been exposed (more that most parents out there) but I don't pretend to know as much as former professionals and/or the top tier coaches (for example) . . . I know what I don't know. My daughter has an outstanding coach but there's gaps in time when we can't see her coach due to weather, lack of indoor courts & traveling.

My wife and I watch all her matches so we have the best feel for what's happening under pressure when the lights go on. My thought is to be a more involved parent but seek out high performance coaches and/or experts to work on pieces/aspects of her game and then always connect with her coach when possible (the USPTA describes 5 levels of parent-coaches and I'd be close to a level 2; probably 2.5).

I live in a very challenging section and there's no full time training programs available, limited group hitting, and indoor courts are difficult to obtain in the winter months, so you have to get creative. Very few top ranked national players come out of this section so I feel something unique must be attempted . . . (until and unless we can relocate to a better section).

I'm very concerned about getting more involved but I feel there may be no other option . . . I have a great relationship with my daughter hence why I've stayed away from getting more involved but she is very driven and this is a key time in her development and the status quo is problematic . . .

any advice/thoughts/insight would be much appreciated.

Get more involved, working with her coach, learn to be a better coach, gain your daughter's trust after you help her win some tough three setters... and your daughter will become a better and happier player and you will enjoy a closer relationship with your daughter.

It's a teamwork - our kids, their coach, and parents. We can play a key role, as we care more about our kids and we know more how they win and how they struggle.

Not all coaches are capable of producing top players. A few may be teaching the wrong things.


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