There is doubt that many children and teenagers find tennis competitions stressful and may not really enjoy the vast majority of those then play in. After all in a competition there can only be one player who wins the overall competition. Yes, we look for as many positives as we can such as being placed in the event, even better if that comes with a trophy or a medal, getting a ratings win, some ranking points and make sure we point out things that have gone well. Even with this positivity it does not seem enough for our children.
This got me thinking what are the little things that I can do to make the tournament experience a more enjoyable one. There are some big things too, but that will come in a second blog.
- Breakfast on the way, whether its a hash brown from McDonalds or a Gregg’s bacon sandwich, there is no doubt that offer of a breakfast on the way can put a spring in the step of many children
- Some activities for in-between matches. I’ve had a range of games in my bag over the years; simple playing cards, Uno, the monopoly card game and boggle have all helped give smiles in-between matches and something to talk about other than tennis.
- The latest comic or magazine are often good to flick through and talk about too.
- With the ease of Amazon, what about the two of you, looking at some books and ordering one to arrive soon.
- As my children have grown older, the right playlist has become ever more important and some ‘fresh new tunes’ for the drive back has often gone down.
- On a similar line, some down loaded comedy has worked a treat. Episode for Miranda have certainly lightened some journeys.
- Finally, especially now it is summer, it is compulsory to end the day with McFlurry, Frappe or milk shake.
Never forget the big hug and a well done too! (Thank you to @Andy_J_Davies for that reminder)
Endpoint: Some parents may say that the time and expense of the tennis tournament should be a reward in itself and for some children it may well be. For those of you who have read my blogs before, you will know that my motivation has always been to try and keep my children in the sport for as long as possible.
I hope you enjoy the summer season!
I am a tennis parent, educationalist and author. My guide for tennis parents, ‘Trophies, tears and line calls’ is now published . Please follow me on on twitter @tennisdaduk.