This letter was written by a tennis mom
The best website I ever came across when I started taking my daughters’ tennis endeavours seriously is Tennis Consult. I have 2 daughters I thought were good players. My junior ended up as a doubles runner up 2015 in South Africa for doubles U10. Having researched all the material on Tennis Consult I had a very RUDE AWAKENING indeed. Competitive tennis is addictive and attracts A Drive parents and personalities. And parents who tend to live vicariously through their children.
I love tennis. I was a dancer, gymnast, provincial athlete, never a tennis player until my 30’s. Then I started playing at 30 and was HOOKED on tennis! My daughters inherited their father’s ball skills and I thought it was GAME, SET AND MATCH. Weekend after weekend we attended tournaments across the country, winning and losing tournaments. It was a fabulous family affair. I will never regret that aspect nor will I regret the sense of order and self-discipline my daughters learned as a result of competitive tennis. In fact my brother in law was the MD of an International Banking Institution and his criteria for employment was to employ candidates who competed in any sport at a Provincial or National level.
Last year we met a seasoned tennis father who had personally spent hundreds of thousands of rands exploring, developing, hungering after his daughter’s tennis success. When I read your impartial, empirical article on the actual costs involved and statistics of the number of tennis wannabees who actually succeed in a LUCRATIVE tennis career, his disappointment his inflated goals and ideals for his daughter began to resonate with my own realisation that one has to approach this “monkey on the back” with extreme caution and a whole lot of research and pragmatism.
If your children are not playing, training blood sweat and tears and LOVING THE GAME of their own accord, FORGET IT. Use competitive tennis as a means for intilling self-discipline, the art of negotiation, success in a competitive corporate world and health aspirations for your child. Just another Mummy’s crazy thoughts! Love it or leave it I don’t care!