When your child is learning tennis, they cannot do it without making mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the process, but how can our children build confidence on the tennis court? I’ve listed 10 ways for your children to build confidence on the tennis court.
1. Give praise when it's due
Praise your child when they do something correctly. No matter how many mistakes they make, when they do something good, you have to praise them. Your child will gain confidence and he won't be afraid of making mistakes.
Create opportunities for your child to experience success. It's not only about winning or losing on the tennis court, but let them experience success in different ways. For example, perseverance, playing a long match, or when your child successfully makes the opponent run a lot, regardless of the result of the match.
Young children rely heavily on adult feedback. Make feedback meaningful and positive.The glass is always half empty or half full. Try to emphasize positive things of your child. Encourage your child to ask tactical feedback from their tennis coach.
4. Constructive Criticism
Provide constructive criticism. Don't yell at your child. Help them be the best they can be. Also, don't talk about his achievement directly after a lost match, he does not open his mind yet for your advice.
5. Develop autonomy
Let your child make their own decisions so they gain confidence in their own judgement. When your child can make his own decisions on the court, he can do the same in life later on. Even if you know in advance that your child is going to make the wrong decision, let him gain experience through trial and error.
Allow your child to be proud of their accomplishments. Don't focus too much on other children with better achievements and a bigger winning streak. Teach your child to be proud of his own accomplishments.
7. Be a role model
Set an example for your child. Be a role model and react positively to your child. As a parent, you're the biggest influence on the behaviour of your child. Of course school and friends are influencing your child too, but as a parent you are influencer no. 1!
8. Promote problem solving
Help your child to solve their own problems. This will make them feel more confident in their abilities. You can talk with your child about problem solving, but in the end it's important that your child is going to solve the problem by him/herself. In this way he's developing his social skills and his confidence will go up.
9. Don't over-control
Allow your child to express their creativity. Don't control everything they do. It's important that your child can develop him/herself into the player he/she wants to be. That means that they have to take their own decisions on court and that they're not strictly limited by their parents.
10. Avoid labels
Ensure your child has a positive view of themselves. Don't talk about your child always losing the third set. Or that his serve is so bad, in every serve game he has at least two double faults. Emphasize the positive things and make sure your child has enough confidence.
When you follow all 10 ways for building confidence of your child, your child shall have more confidence and more fun on the tennis court. More confidence means also playing tennis each
time on a higher level.
Good luck and take care of your child!