As parents we want to see our children happy and coupled with that is the investment we are making. We transport our children all round the country in pursuit of another ranking win or a few more leaderboard points and whilst those matches are taking place we live every shot of every point. When the match is over we have to be as calm in congratulations as we are in commiserations. Ye underneath it really does have an impact upon us.
The tennis has to be about our children, we all know it would not be healthy for us to be trying to relive our own sporting careers through our children. Yet just like football supporters, a good win at the weekend can send us into the working week with a spring in our step.
What about those days when it just doesn’t go the way of our children? Do you start your Monday routine filled with infectious gloom whilst your child seems to have bounced back from those trials and tribulations faster than a yo-yo.
It is at these times that we have to remember it’s just a game! It is a leisure activity that if treated in the right way by us, the parents, has the opportunity to give our children a life time of pleasure along with many other lessons along the way.
We have to find the positive spin to put on it both for us and for our children. On Saturday my child looked like he had found his way in a new age group for the first time and had two match points for a place in the final but the other child pulled out all the stops and managed to get the win. However disappointed I was for my own child, I had to admire his opponent’s fortitude.
As we drive home yesterday and during today, it has been very tempting to think of those two points. If just one had gone my son’s way, he might have even won the final. Yet in the long term does it really matter? Yes that was one ranking match that had gone the other way but there will be other chances to move up and there will be other chances to get to finals. There is always another competition.
Do those two points make any difference in the long term? Of course it doesn’t, instead it was another hour of practice that has been banked and another opportunity to groove shot after shot in a pressurised match situations. Losing those two points doesn’t alter that amount of purposeful practice. In addition it isn’t about which one of these young children is the best. If they keep playing they may play each two or three times a season and sometimes one will win and sometimes it will be reversed. They might have been competing against each other on Saturday but in the long term they are not. Instead they are both working as hard as each other to be the best player they can be.
So at the end of the weekend as I move my thoughts from the tennis courts to the stresses and strains of the day job, I will be proud of the way that he played. I am proud that he pushed it so far yet remained so sporting on those key points. I am also convinced that the match will help him become a better player in the future. It will be those thoughts that provide me with a smile for Monday morning.