As a tennis coach & a parent myself with an 8 year old just starting to play tennis tournaments, I have a beef about why kid's have better sportsmanship & better court etiquette than their own parents, when it comes to sports & competition.
Constant badgering, pressure, challenges, interference by parents only harms a kid's performance in a match. Kid's have to learn to fight their own battles, learn how to respect themselves & their opponents, how to make an honest line call, when to give the benefit of doubt to their opponents. Sportsmanship & court etiquette is the first thing a true tennis player should learn & so should parents.
Children learn best when they are free to make their own mistakes & learn from their own mistakes, especially when you have brought them to tournament or match play level's.
Sure, parents have a big hand in guiding their kid's but when it's time to play, leave them be & let them enjoy their game & let them fight their own battles.
When it's showtime, code of ethics, sportsmanship & etiquette apply to one & all, on the court & off the court!
Here at tennisbuddys.com we teach this to be the 1st rule of thumb!
What say you?
Replies to This Discussion
Unfortunately, I've seen this behavior go far too extreme with a particular father and his daughter. It was very ugly behavior and I do not want to talk about the specifics. It even went to the point where I myself was threatened to keep it quiet by other so called tennis pros who were after the money.
But it gave me a similar insight as you have written. I've thought overly competitive parents must follow and agree to a code themselves and should not be allowed to badger the coach and student with endless threats to pull the monetary plug or to verbalize unfair criticisms without bound. I've also thought to hand the parent the racquet and challenge them to hit as well as their child.
Oh, this one's good what you've written "I've also thought to hand the parent the racquet & challenge them to hit as well as their child."
or even ask the parent have you ever even played the game to know how it feels when you are out there controlling the ball as well as keeping your emotions in check?
There is such a thing as constructive criticism that players always benefit from but I agree on the pointless verbalization & mental degredation parent's can put their children through, which I cannot stand for. This past weekend we experienced one of the worst. Will have to post & update. I am with you.
I do disagree with how tennis is in Thailand--tournaments start with 8 and under... BUT they don't select the National team until 14 so there's time.
BUT since labor is so cheap here, every match has a ball kid to fetch balls for the little ones and an umpire--so the tournaments are pretty regulated. and in Thailand, it's very asian in that emotional outbursts are seriously frowned upon.
in the US, I think more parents and refs around would help...but sometimes the parent might be the problem :D
I agree 300% with you. As a kid before I became a coach, my dad or grandma would say "toss it higher, he's aiming for your body" I told them to please not tell me how to play that I play my own way. When I drown out all sound from the outside and focus my hearing to the ball, my game kicks up, my serves become faster and my shots become precise and deeper. Parents are great to say "Good job, you did your best" or "you'll get them next time, try a little harder" after the game, but during the game they just need to shut up. A coach is the only one allowed to give pointers to the kid if they coach him/her.
Bad etiquette even in my mens tournament last night..... I was play this 6'5" 18YO kid, the score is at 40 love 5-1 me in the second set. the kid played an out ball and sent it flying. so i go to get my stuff and the kids dad yells at me that was the serve was "effen" out.... and
what? he played it.
the kid did admit to playing the out ball.