Being a parent is tough. Being a parent and watching your kid play sport can be even tougher. There are so many factors out of your control and so many things you want to do to help your son or daughter do well out there. Well we're about to make being a 'tennis parent' a whole lot easier for you...
There's no special course to go on. You don't need to become a tennis pro. You don't need to employ any extreme training methods or take them out of school. You just need one simple phrase. Use it before, during and after their match or their practice and all of a sudden, the weight of the world will come off your shoulders.
"I love to watch you play"
More than three decades of informal interviews with young sportspeople has shown that these six words are what kids want to hear most from their parents. It makes it clear that you as a parent have taken notice of your son or daughter playing.
The team at Good Sports and Changing the Game Project are also huge advocates for making a childs sporting experience a positive one and they really understand how influential parents are. Take a look at their pages for extra tips on how you can be the best sports parent possible.
Remember you are your child's number one fan, unconditionally, and are there to support them in something they love. Leave coaching to the coach, leave calls to the umpires, leave critiquing to the player. Not only will you make your viewing experience easier, you will also cultivate a healthy emotional character in your child and strengthen your relationship with them.
Your child winning or losing is NOT a reflection of what kind of parent you are. But having a child that is respectful, coachable, a great team-player, mentally tough and that always tries their best, IS a direct reflection of your parenting.