Dealing With The Fear Of Missing
Hi Tomaz, I have a 11 year old daughter that is ranked no. 2 in our city.
$I have a problem with her, fear.
She protects herself from looking incompetent by playing safe as opposed to smart, aggressive tennis.
What can I do?
You’ve already made an interesting and deep observation. Could you also say that she is afraid to miss?
If she is afraid to miss and thinks that this is a mistake that she could avoid, you need to show her videos of top players missing shots, especially easy ones.
11 year old kids don’t understand that tennis is out of their control. They almost always think it’s their fault.
One of the reasons are of course we, coaches and parents who constantly try to correct mistakes.
So the child thinks mistakes are correctable.
They are not.
We can only DECREASE the number of them happening in the match, but they WILL ALWAYS happen.
It’s also quite tough for her to take more risks if she is #2. This confirms to her that her tennis is good. (right now)
She of course needs to combine smart play with aggressive play.
What you can do:
1. Show her that mistakes are inevitable and part of tennis. (with videos)
2. Encourage her to play more aggressive and ACCEPT her way of playing TOO.
We are all different and your daughter is a free person, she is not your property. So is she wants to play it safe, show her the consequences in the long term. The decision must eventually come from her.
She may have to lose many matches before she changes her game. That’s how life works.
3. Be patient. Children don’t understand the probabilities and risks and so on.
She needs to mature to make more logical choices. Now she is making decisions based on emotions.
When she makes a mistake, it hurts a lot. You need to figure out why.
Where does this pain after a mistake originate from? Who scolded her?
She LEARNED that a mistake is a bad thing, she didn’t bring this into her life by herself.
Find the reason, and you will find the solution