Whether you are a junior, a club player or a world class pro
you should have fun while playing and learning tennis. Why
not? People often think that world class players are not
having fun. This is not true. Yes, it is a job, but when the
enjoyment and fun are gone... so is the pro!!! Even if a pro
stays in the game just for the money, his or her performance
will suffer. On the other hand, if a pro is making a fortune and
still has a passion for the game, he or she will continue to play
at the top of their game. Passion for the game is the reason
for their tremendous success! When passion goes, money or not,
so goes their performance. No fun... no motivation!
Do not confuse having fun with a lack of discipline and a poor
work ethic. Part of the fun comes from pride in accomplishment
through the hard work and discipline.
Also, do not confuse hard work and discipline with agony on the
tennis court. I have seen this torture syndrome many times when
coaches and zealous parents force their tennis "prodigy" to
ever-soaring heights. The child is not allowed to be a child or
learn at a child's pace. Instead, the parents' unrealistic
expectations demand that a moment-by-moment strict discipline
be enforced. No fooling around, no laughing, no goofs, no fun!
In this draconian fashion they believe they are molding a
Depending on the child, more than likely he or she will lose
their motivation. Why? No fun... no motivation. Exactly like
a top pro! I know this is one of the reasons for what they
call "burnout." The child learned at his parentsā or coach's
pace, and not at the child's own individual pace.
The bottom line is, you must find that happy blend between
fun and good work ethic for you and your child. When the fun
is gone your child will leave tennis in a heartbeat -- and
maybe take up golf!