Parents who are keen to do the right thing for their child regularly ask us, “how much tennis should my child play?”
In discussing how to decide what is best for your child, Adam Wharf, i2c’s Head of Performance, explains why there is no single right answer – no one-size-fits-all approach. Adam talks about:
- Making choices about how much time you have free to play
- Where you, or the child, sees tennis fitting in their life
- How a schedule should change over time
- Quality vs quantity of play
- Should children also be playing other sports
Adam’s most important messages for parents
Parents need to understand that in the context of their child playing tennis there is nothing wrong with saying that they’d “just like my child to be the best that they can be”. However, parents and players need to recognise though that what they are saying is “that I’d just like my child to be the best they can be with the one hours a week that I’m going to commit to this sport” – and there are natural limitations that come with only one hour of anything in a week. Whether it’s one hour or five, the amount of time committed puts a restriction on what can be achieved and it’s important to discuss that up-front.
The other thing that parents often say is that, “I just want them to have fun”. Again, there is nothing wrong with the sentiment, but if that truly is all that you want your child to do, then the only way to measure that is by whether your child enjoyed playing that day. Everything else is secondary to that.
Hosted by Adam Wharf, Richard Marklow and Mark Tennant
Adam is the Head of Performance at inspire2coach. He has an impressive coaching career spanning more than 15 years, including work with Nick Bollettieri and the LTA.
Richard Marklow and Mark Tennant are the Director’s of inspire2coach; one of the UK’s largest tennis organisations.
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