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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Resources for Tennis Parenting

I am working on an article about tennis parenting for the National Championships Magazine, which is distributed by the USTA at major junior tournaments.

Most of you know that I'm not, and have never been, a tennis parent, so I suppose not having lived the life, my observations would always be missing a key ingredient. But during the past decade I have witnessed many parent/child, parent/coach, coach/child interactions, and I hope some of what I've learned and seen during that time may prove valuable to those embarking on the journey.

The past two weeks I've been talking with parents, players, coaches and parenting experts about the subject (if you want a good conversation starter, ask someone what advice they would give tennis parents) and feel it's important to share some of the resources I've discovered now. Due to space restrictions, the article will barely scratch the surface of the subject, so I think providing these links may benefit those who want to go deeper.

I believe I've mentioned Dr. Larry Lauer's blog Tennis Mental Edge recently, but the Director of Coaching Education and Development at Michigan State's Institute for the Study of Youth Sports also has much to offer in the realm of sports parenting in general and junior tennis in particular. Please check out the ISYS website for links to courses and studies, which in one case will direct you to the USTA website for more on tennis parenting.
(If you are interested in his reaction to the Penn State scandal, and its relevance to all coaches, with suggestions for parents in protecting their children, see his post today.)

David Benzel has been doing presentations at Regional Training Camps for the USTA, and also told me he has been hired by individual clubs to give advice about navigating the parent-child relationship when sports play a big role in it. His website, growingchampionsforlife.com, provides many free tips, and also he also offers a subscription "Inner Circle", for additional information.

Although TheTennisMom.com has been on hiatus for most of the year, there is still great content available for viewing there.

Another tennis parent blog, parentingaces, has emerged on the scene, and in the past two days, there have been two informative posts on choosing a tennis coach for your child. And don't miss the post Sometimes It's All About Me, about her very natural emotional investment in her son's tennis, how it developed and why it's hard to let go of it.

Yet another website has surfaced recently, not specifically about parenting, but still of interest to those entering or occupying the junior tennis world. Called CATennis, there have already been over 100 posts since October, so select the topic of interest to you and start reading.


Jarod Camerota said...

Colette, I was wondering if you could please put up a link about one of my players, as many people know her brothers (Danny, Johnny), sister (Rachel) and family in the tennis community. She was badly injured in a car accident this weekend. And in very critical condition. Her name is Mary Nelson. She plays for me at Mars Hill College. She's from Big Prairie, Ohio. Her parents agreed that it would be good for people to know because Mary and her family know so many people in the tennis community. You don't have to post my comment. Thanks. Jarod Camerota, Head Coach


prayers said...

I will keep Mary Nelson in my prayers.

Perry said...

Great resources, I definitely recommend Parenting Aces