As a defacto coach and tennis parent I always see crazy parents behave in strange matters when their kids play. Yelling, calling balls out, trying to coach, not talking to others, etc.
Last Sunday, I sat next to a parent who made me imagine, what if the kid could speak back to the parent in a way that he could make his or her points? What would he say? So, this is what I imagined….
Mom and Dad,
I want to tell you 10 things for you to consider:
1. Do you realize that tennis is one of the most unfair sports that there is? I mean we come to a tournament and there is only one winner out of 32 people. My chance of winning is 1 in 32. Do the math, please.
2. In tennis the higher up I go, the more the entire outcome of the match is decided in a
few points. Do you realize how nerveracking this is? Yeah I’m nervous.
3. The pressure to win does not come from you if you want me to win. It comes from my
desire to be a champion from within. And none of your yelling or anyone’s can bring that
out. What if I don’t have it?
4. It is my desire to have fun, but you guys add pressure to win and remove the fun. What
is up with that? It’s the weekend!
5. I am a kid, not a little person, I will make hundreds of silly mistakes. Why do I have
to hear about them from you after I did what I am supposed to, to make mistakes. The
score tells me I made them. I am aware, seriously.
6. Have you even been subject to this much pressure — how would you react? Because
your questions and body language tells me you have not. Otherwise you would back off.
7. After I win and lose, can we just not talk about it, I just wanted to play.
8. Please understand the score in tennis. It is the only sport in which you can be winning
the majority of the points in a game and still lose it. Get it?
9. I will double fault, because we simply don’t practice it enough.
10. I love you, but please this is just a game. Not a reflection of your income, your
frustrated dreams, your poor knowledge of the sport or anything else. It is a way to have
fun. Can you look that up please. Thank you.
From now on here are the rules: If I win I pick where we eat. If I lose you do.
That is all I want, and to spend the weekend with you.
The author of this wonderful letter:
Global Businessman, MBA, untalented tennis player who loves tennis. Played in South America the Cosat ITF circuit and division 3 college player. Until I saw my kid in need to learn, did I understand how little I knew about tennis. That is when I decided to learn the game and study it and became a defacto coach. Love the game, love to teach it, but above all love to spend time with my kids and family on the court. I can be reached at jpalenque@yahoo, or @palenquej.
The link where we got it from: http://www.ustaflorida.com/blog-letter-kid-tennis-parents/