Coaching confidence is as important as coaching shots

There are times when we watch our children play tennis and we can see that they are suffering from a lack of confidence. It may be their enthusiasm or lack of it that they show towards competition, what you see in their body language when they are on court, the shots that they play or the way they react to the match going against them. As parents, we often just want to see our children approach life in general with confidence, let alone their tennis.

In ‘Dealing with Dips’ the link was made between junior tennis players and the group of pupils in schools who are labelled as Gifted & Talented. This group of children sometimes suffer from a lack of confidence as they approach their studies and the skills and techniques which schools use to help support them may be equally useful as you try to help build your child’s confidence when they are in a dip which is damaging their confidence.

A method that is increasingly amongst adults with dealing with the stresses and strains of everyday life is Life Coaching. In effect many of the ideas from life coaching whether you read, ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’ or one of Fiona Harrold’s books are all based around building confidence. In effect life coaching is a form of mentoring, which gives individuals the confidence and ability to move forward in a positive manner areas of their lives where they crave change. Life coaching is an approach that looks at the present and sets goals for successful future. For our children, success could be walking tall onto the court and approaching a match with a can-do attitude.

Life coaching is not counselling or consulting but a different form of intervention. In terms of supporting our children with their tennis we do not necessarily need to move to deeply towards the long term goals which adult life coaching may look at. However what is very useful are the techniques which coaches will use to help people work towards their goals. You may also know some of these techniques as aspects of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which just means training the brain to act in a certain way, particularly when under stress.

As a secondary school teacher, I would explain this background to G&T pupils as I found that they have been often very interested in the power of the mind especially when it is linked to famous people who have achieved success. Those with a scientific bent enjoyed the psychology behind the ideas. Whereas those pupils with sporting or dramatic talents were fascinated by how particular performers have used these techniques to reach the top. I also used to find that they would be interested in the techniques as they would see them as being for adults which were rarely taught in schools. Depending on the age of your child it may be just a question of working through the techniques over time.

In my next blogs I will cover four techniques including writing a positive log, creating a wall of positivity, visualisation and self-affirmation. In the meantime why not have a look at any self-help, life coaching or NLP books that may be on your bookshelves, flick through the pages and consider what links you could see between the ideas in them and your child’s tennis.

2 thoughts on “Coaching confidence is as important as coaching shots

    1. tennisdadblog Post author

      Thank you, I think useful to other sports. I used to use the ideas when I was playing cricket and also doing some rock climbing. I just wished I’d know about them when I was teenager when I was really trying to improve my cricket.


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