LinkedIn has just asked me to congratulate T’s tennis coach on 3 years at our club – this means that 3 years ago our lives changed and I became ‘a tennis mum’… before she started work there T played tennis in what I thought was a fun squad twice a week and had the odd individual lesson and played in a few tournaments hosted at the club. Soon after she started he became tennis obsessed, she was the first person who told him that he was quite good and he was in awe of everything she had achieved in her professional playing career. By the end of the Spring term – he was in a performance squad, signed up for a regular coaching slot and trying to meet the targets he’d been set. Tennis has since then dominated every waking moment of T’s life (and possibly his sleeping ones too) – current complaints are about the time difference between here and Australia and why he can’t stay up to watch Murray, Konta and all his other favourite players), if he isn’t on court himself he is watching or reading – and over those three years he has steadily got better. He’s not going to be winning any major junior titles anytime soon but over the last three years he’s closed the gap between him and his peers and he is still determined to be better still.
So what have I learnt as a ‘tennis mum’…
- It’s not about winning – although winning is nice – it’s about learning and developing as a player.
- It should be fun – if it isn’t then stop… nothing worse than miserable looking children on court!
- It’s not your game – I know (knew) nothing about tennis which in some ways is hard because I don’t know what he’s doing but in other ways it’s very freeing – the amount of parents on the sidelines who appear to be trying to live out their tennis dreams through their children – let them play their way and let their coaches do the coaching…
- Everyone has their own tennis journey – focus on your journey and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing / winning.
Still not sure I’m cut out to be a tennis mum but for the time being we’ll keep going along our path learning as we go!