Tennis Player Accountibility- Why is my child losing now?

The following post is an excerpt from the Second Edition of The Tennis Parent’s Bible Available through most online retailers!  Click Here to Order   PLAYER ACCOUNTABILITY Player accountability stems from a champion’s mindset- which includes a positive moral compass, core values, and a high standard of behavior. Teach your children that even though the hardest […]

Tennis Player Accountibility- Why is my child losing now?

The following post is an excerpt from the Second Edition of The Tennis Parent’s Bible
Available through most online retailers!

 Click Here to Order

 

PLAYER ACCOUNTABILITY

Player accountability stems from a champion’s mindset- which includes a positive moral compass, core values, and a high standard of behavior. Teach your children that even though the hardest path is often the road less traveled- it is also the quickest way to the top!

 

QUESTION: My daughter is losing to players she used to beat. Can you help?

 

Frank: The quickest way to break through a rut and go up a level is to challenge your child to focus on improving versus winning. Rekindle your daughter’s confidence by adding new tools to her game. Ask your youngster to compete only against herself.  This is a sensational way to progress without the stress. To illustrate this point, I’ll use a student from New York. Her name is Kaitlin. She was also in a rut. Below I have listed three of Kaitlin’s issues and her customized solution.

Issue #1: Negative Emotional Outburst

Challenge: We have asked Kaitlin to focus on reducing the sheer number of negative outbursts by 25 % each match for the next month. The parent’s role is to chart the number of times Kaitlin displays the undesired response. If she hits her mark and decreases her negative emotional outburst by 25 percent, she is a winner!

Issue #2: Serving Second Serves to the Opponent’s Forehand

Challenge: Stop feeding the forehand. Kaitlin serves 80 percent of her second serves to the opponent’s strength. Her challenge is to serve 80 percent of her second serves to the opponent’s weakness. The parent’s role, in this case, is to chart each serve in match play. If Kaitlin can improve her second serve and place it 80% of the time on the opponent’s weaker side, she is a winner!

Issue #3: Beating a Retriever

Challenge: To change the way Kaitlin and her dad think about retriever/pusher’s opponents. The first challenge is to assist them in understanding that they have been misled- thinking retrievers die out in the 12s! In my experience, retrievers are one of the most prevalent styles in women’s college tennis.

The second challenge is to ask Kaitlin, and her parent’s to switch their focus from grooving fundamental strokes to understanding and developing the patterns used to pull those crafty retrievers out of their comfort zone.

A great place to start when rekindling confidence is to list the four main components of the game. Agree to a radical shift in training. Let go of the old comfortable methods and simply choose one key element in each component to focus on in the next month.

 

Kaitlin’s Challenges Include:

Stroke Mechanics: Developing her second serve. (Power, Spin, Placement, Consistency)

Mental: Choosing to hit the shot the moment demands. (Shot Selections)

Emotional: Performance anxieties. (Handling Pushers)

Athleticism: Improved fitness. (Speed, Agility, and Stamina)

 

“Athletes who practice with a deliberate, customized approach usually produce greater benefits in 2 hours than those who invest 6 hours of mindless hitting.”

 

Taking back control requires taking concrete actions. Replacing past unproductive behaviors with new proactive actions is key to rekindling growth.