Your junior tennis player has been going to tennis clinics, private lessons and playing competitive tennis tournaments but still does not seem to be able to break into that top fifteen positions in the rankings list. No matter how much your junior player has improved he/she still cannot win the big tournaments. What should you do, is it time to quit? This is the question I have been asked by multiple parents and players lately, so here is my answer.
What would you do if your child was not ranked in the top fifteen of their high school class? Well obviously you should just throw in the towel, give up, don’t waste your time or energy with homework anymore. They are never going to get into college anyway. So quit trying to get an education.
Do you see how ridiculous it is to even ask the question? Whether or not your child should continue to play or compete in tennis should have nothing to do with their rankings or outcome on a scorecard. Instead ask yourself and more importantly your child, do you WANT to play and do you LIKE to play tennis. Can we really ask anything more of our child than to give their best effort and enjoy what they are doing.
What life lesson are you teaching your child if you give up on them?
What life lesson are you teaching your child if you tell them “if you are not the best at something don’t do it, just quit?”
These certainly are not the life lessons I’m trying to teach my child. Instead I am using tennis to teach my children to work hard, put your best effort forward and keep striving to be better. At the same time we are teaching them to accept who they are and be proud of what they have achieved without being resentful of someone elses accomplishments.
Let’s be realistic, we don’t all have the same natural ability to be the best, but we all have the ability to be OUR best.
So the next time someone asks me when they should quit, my answer is simple… when you no longer enjoy the game.
If you know someone who needs to hear this message please feel free to share it.