WHY WOULD YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO PLAY TENNIS?
Tennis parents, look at these facts:
Odds of becoming tennis pro: 2 in 10000 or 0.0002.
Break even for a pro ranked #150 in the world is approx. $160K year.
It takes 4-8 years to reach top 200, at a cost of $160K year that is between $640K-$1,28M.
Cost to train per year approx. $12K low end by age 15, you spent easily in 5-6 yrs. Roughly $60K.
Only 7% of top world 100 juniors will be tennis pros and only 1% will be top 20.
When one looks at the cold facts, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to aspire to be a professional player. The cost and investment of time is just mind blowing. Add to this list the randomness of injuries, bad coaching, mental factors, etc. These variables and experience combined with the real facts make the decision to pursue a pro career delusional. But, none of those disappointing statistics are why I encourage kids to play tennis and to play it extremely well. I want kids to play tennis, because I feel that there is no other sport that will prepare them for a life where they need to practice every day, compete every other weekend, win and lose, laugh and cry, become part of a team, make friends and, of course, exercise daily, monitor their nutrition, and lastly devote their daily life to bettering themselves knowing full well that there are many other players out there who are better than them.
It is for all these reasons that I encourage you to find an academy that can relate tennis to life in the future. A child’s tennis experience, if properly focused, will help them in the future, I assure you.
Through tennis, we can teach kids the principles needed to succeed in life: independence, self-reliance, decision making, hard work, balance, determination, standing up after a big fall, disappointment and joy. They will experience the cost of winning and the sacrifices needed to get there; they will learn from losing and having to get up from it; they will learn to understand that losing is only feedback. In essence, they will be properly trained to succeed in their lives. To me, this is invaluable.
Use tennis to make your kids better citizens, better sons and daughters, someday a better father and mother – better people all around. While it would be great to get a tennis scholarship to a great school, we need to make sure that is not the end goal. I’ll take tennis’ horrible odds, knowing full well that for my kids there is simply no other way I would have chosen to spend our time together, to prepare them to be able to fly for themselves and be champions in their own life when they leave our nest.
In short, if you really want to invest your money, invest it in an academy where you are sure to see your return – an academy focusing on developing your child into a champion person.
Five Tips for Tennis Parents
- Treat your child the same way whether he or she wins or loses. If you buy them an ice cream cone after they win a match, you had better buy them an ice cream cone after they lose a match or the message is loud and clear: “I get more approval or love when I win than when I lose.” Try competing under those conditions! Make the focus always on effort and attitude, never outcome.
- Let the coach do the coaching. Don’t try to take the coach’s job away. Be the parent.
- Don’t think of your child’s sport as an investment for which you expect return.
- Don’t compare your child’s progress with that of other children.
- Look relaxed, calm, and positive on the sidelines. Your attitude will help the child perform better.
Here are seven key reasons why the best tennis players succeed:
- A successful athlete accepts that they are not going to perform at their best level every time they step onto the court, track or playing field.
- They understand that success does not lie in a one-off upset against a big player or just having a few good results. It lies in consistent control of their emotions and mindset.
- A successful tennis player understands that in order to win on their ‘bad’ days, they need to always give their best and believe they can actually win.
- A successful athlete does not spend their time comparing themselves or current level to their greatest ever performance.
- The success of a tennis player lies in their ability to play ‘well enough’ to pull out a win on that day. They understand it gives them another day and chance to make it better!
- They do not ruin their chances of winning or playing better (even when playing poorly) by letting a negative or bad attitude get in the way.
- They know how to win ugly.