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Blog: A Letter From a Kid to Tennis Parents

As a defacto coach and tennis parent I always see crazy parents behave in strange matters when their kids play. Yelling, calling balls out, trying to coach, not talking to others, etc.

Last Sunday, I sat next to a parent who made me imagine, what if the kid could speak back to the parent in a way that he could make his or her points? What would he say? So, this is what I imagined…..IMG_0131

Mom and Dad,

I want to tell you 10 things for you to consider:

1. Do you realize that tennis is one of the most unfair sports that there is? I mean we come to a tournament and there is only one winner out of 32 people. My chance of winning is 1 in 32. Do the math, please.

2. In tennis the higher up I go, the more the entire outcome of the match is decided in a
few points. Do you realize how nerveracking this is? Yeah I’m nervous.

3. The pressure to win does not come from you if you want me to win. It comes from my
desire to be a champion from within. And none of your yelling or anyone’s can bring that
out. What if I don’t have it?

4. It is my desire to have fun, but you guys add pressure to win and remove the fun. What
is up with that? It’s the weekend!

5. I am a kid, not a little person, I will make hundreds of silly mistakes. Why do I have
to hear about them from you after I did what I am supposed to, to make mistakes. The
score tells me I made them. I am aware, seriously.

6. Have you even been subject to this much pressure — how would you react? Because
your questions and body language tells me you have not. Otherwise you would back off.

7. After I win and lose, can we just not talk about it, I just wanted to play.

8. Please understand the score in tennis. It is the only sport in which you can be winning
the majority of the points in a game and still lose it. Get it?

9. I will double fault, because we simply don’t practice it enough.

10. I love you, but please this is just a game. Not a reflection of your income, your
frustrated dreams, your poor knowledge of the sport or anything else. It is a way to have
fun. Can you look that up please. Thank you.

From now on here are the rules: If I win I pick where we eat. If I lose you do.
That is all I want, and to spend the weekend with you.

 

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  • Molly Cule

    I think this is so clever. What an interesting way to consider what a child is thinking. This piece also reminds me of something I learned years ago at one of my child’s parent seminars where the speaker encouraged the parents to come up with five questions to ask your child about their tournament before asking if they won or loss. For example, ask your child if they made a new friend? Did they learn something new during competition? Did they have fun or enjoy themselves? And, most importantly as the story confirms above, where do they want to go out to eat that night?
    I also remember from that parents’ seminar, allow the child to bring up the topic of winning or losing first which will show the parent they are ready to have a conversation about it. If the parent brings it up first that may show the child that’s all the parent cares about.

  • Randy Lunsford

    I read this excellent post a while back and just saw it again on the Facebook page “Carlos Tennis”. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it really annoys me when someone can’t come up with an original thought of their own so they plagerize others. If you read the post its obvious that Carlos Vasquez is trying deceive his followers into thinking that he was the author… pathetic loser!

    • Rick Vach

      Randy — can you provide a link to the other post you are referring to? Thanks.

      • Randy Lunsford
        • Rick Vach

          Thanks Randy — looking into the origination of the content on the different sites…will have an answer.

          • Rick Vach

            It appears the Carlos Tennis post was copied from the author here, confirmed by the author here

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  • I love that! That’s so to the point. Nevertheless I’m pretty nervous when my son Quentin is playing and I’m watching…