Building confidence through competition
If you’ve read my previous posts you would be aware that ‘green’ tennis has not been the smoothest transition for my son. I have certainly seen that winning is far easier if you walk onto court with confidence. The reality for many children is that winning matches brings confidence but if you are losing matches, confidence rapidly dissipates. Hence like a canny boxing promoter, I have been carefully selecting competitions which give my son the biggest chance of winning some matches.
I’ve stopped considering the slog of one tough match after another at the grade 3 regionals but instead looked for grade 5 competitions in a bid to build that fragile confidence, one match at a time.
This leaves me with a quandary though as I have always believed the surest way of improving at anything was to test yourself against the best. In addition if the competition is weaker does this give a false impression of your achievements.
This was certainly the case at ‘orange’ as the better players were limiting themselves to the roundabout of regionals. However in Green competitions there is always a strong player, so inevitably there is a tough test.
Such a strategy appears to provide a good balance, the opportunity for some confidence restoring wins but also one or two challenging matches that ensures my son realises that it is not all one way traffic.