Competition and Confidence

Building confidence through competition

junior tennis 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.

2 thoughts on “Competition and Confidence

  1. Sally Akins (@SallyAkins)

    Testing yourself against stronger players is good, but not if you are losing every match too quickly – and don’t forget about Grade 4s, they can give you a nice mixture of players.

    Also, it should get a little easier to pick the right tourney next season, because there are more tournaments and it’s easier to get onto the acceptance lists. The WRT and WCT format really makes it tough for a lot of players, since they restricted the draws to 8 players.

  2. tennisdadblog Post author

    Thanks for your comment. The draws of eight players have certainly made it trickier to get in the right competition. At U12 the grade 4’s seem to have generally been quite strong and it has almost felt like a grade 4 is akin to regional competition. It will be interesting to see what the summer season brings.


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