- Enjoy the journey with your child as time will fly fast. Remember that your child’s learning curve and the parent’s expectations is a process that’s should be reinforced with realistic goals. Always make the journey fun and memorable.
- Research and utilize an experienced and certified tennis professional to ensure your child develops proper technique right from the beginning.
- If the goal is to get to a very high level, be ready for the commitment necessary (lots of money and time).
- Find a good coach and let them enjoy it!
- Enjoy the adventure. Losses don’t matter! Always another match. Never talk about the match right after the match. Let your child come to you and discuss.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t be impatient or let your child get discouraged expecting winning results right away. With hard work they will come.
- 1) UTR is now the most important ranking.
2) Play pro circuit tournaments once your kid is say 16. Makes a much bigger impact on coaches.
3) MAKE SURE you play doubles! With the changes in formats for points in conferences and divisions coming many now have players just for doubles and players for singles.
4) Make sure your child plays Junior Team Tennis, JR World Team tennis, sectional team tennis and even school tennis
- Junior ITFs are good even if a High School player only plays 1-2 that are located a close drive from home.
- Find a mentor to explain the entire developmental pathway, how you can measure progress, what to look for regarding burnout and overtraining, and how to create a long-term plan for success. Know the path.
- Front load your investment early to build a proper foundation technically. Saves you thousands in the end. Find a real developing coach not just someone who played at a decent level. A developer with a proven record and time to commit to your child. Make sure the developer includes you in the process.
- Don’t waste money on travel until you can beat every player in your city and state including adults. Play at least one other sport a few times a week in the winter. Play adults, play kids older and younger, play college players, play former college players, play men and play women.
- Realize tennis can help your child get into a college he/she might not otherwise get into but don’t expect any scholarship money, especially for boys.
- Support and feed your child’s passion, not yours. They will take the sport as far as they want to and enjoy the ride.
- Make sure it’s the most fun thing that they do in their life.
- Don’t take it too seriously.
- It is all about the child: the more fun he/she has the more engaged he/she will be. Remember it’s all about them, not coaches, not parents, not money. Make them love it first, train later, and compete last.