How To Make My Son A Champion
My son is one year old. I wanna make him superstar like Roger Federer.
How should I start preparing him for a tennis career?
When should he start playing tennis and how should I proceed to achieve his success?
First, let me share my opinion on this topic.
Your son is NOT your property.
It is not morally right to MAKE something out of your son. He is a free person and when he grows up a little more he needs to have free will to choose whatever he likes to do whether you like it or not.
A parent is just a guide. You can show him what you think is good in life and then let him choose whether he likes that too or not.
What you are talking about is mostly for your own benefits – ego. You probably dream about having a lot of money or being famous.
If YOU lack money or attention, then this is YOUR problem and not your son’s.
You cannot use him as a means of achieving your goals. This is far from unconditional love that parents need to give their children.
Now that I have hopefully made you think about parent – child relationship, here’s what you can do JUST IN CASE your son really falls in love with tennis and later decide to try and become a top player:
1. Develop motor skills needed for tennis – play different game with balls – rolling, catching, playing soccer, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and so on.
2. Develop good reactions – play table tennis, have your son play as a goalie in soccer or handball and so on.
3. Develop great natural footwork – the best is soccer and anything else that comes to mind where feet need to work fast.
Dancing is also good. I am not joking.
I’ve taught many girls who had very good footwork even as beginners. They told me they took dancing classes.
4. Introduce tennis early – maybe at 4, but don’t make it a priority. Just play.
Children want to play not train. If you start training too early, your son may very likely not like it.
This is the key to helping someone become a champion. Let them play and enjoy the game.
Somewhere around 7 or 8 years old you have to check whether your child REALLY loves tennis. If yes, let him play every day.
The goal of practice should be developing tennis motor skills, ball judgment, coordination, speed, reactions, balance and complete technique of all shots.
Technique of all shots should be very good by the age of 12. After that it’s more refining the technique rather than learning something new.
Between 12 and 16 will be the puberty time. Your son will grow and may temporarily lose speed and coordination. His emotional state will also change a lot and will be unpredictable.
This is the time for love, understanding and patience.
When he comes out of puberty at around 17 or 18, then you will see whether he wants to go pro or not, depending how good he is.
Remember, he is a free person and needs to make his own choice.
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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 29th, 2007 at 10:32 am and is filed under Tennis Parents. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
7 Responses to “How To Make My Son A Champion”
wild bill Says:
January 7th, 2008 at 9:55 am
i did not have custody of my sons when they were growing up but i would toss balls to them frequently. as they gained a little skill i would hit balls to them with both of us at half court. they had lessons from a very easy going pro. their mother got them both heavily involved in soccer at a young age so their lateral movements and quickness are unparalled. they did not play volleyball but that would have been great for developing their upper body strength and dexterity (serve).
i can tell you right now that your chidren will probably not turn out exactly as you would have hoped in every part of life but if you follow tomas’ plan you will have a chance. my boys did not turn out to be world class tennis players but they come to visit me often, remember my birthday, don’t hit me up for money unless they have a real emergency. we play doubles togeather frequently. this is reward enough for me
as hinted above the selection of a no pressure coach who has experience working with young children is paramount.
i wish you a lot of luck. watching a child grow and develop no matter what their interest is constitutes one af life’s greatest pleasures.
January 7th, 2008 at 10:14 am
Thanks for sharing wild bill.
Yes, having children who also love the game of tennis must be quite an experience…
January 9th, 2008 at 5:29 am
I was a national champion of Karate when I was 17yrs. Now I am 46 and have a son (12) and daughter (9), both play tennis from a young age of 6/7. My ambition is to make them a good players in Tennis. I do let them play and enjoy, but some time I expect more from them. They love tennis and play as much as 2hrs week days and 3 hrs weekends with 1 hr of fitness every day. I really appreciate your opinion. But expecting something from your children does not mean making big money or being famous. I am doing my best to guide them at this stage but then it would be their choice when they reach 17.
January 9th, 2008 at 12:19 pm
Thanks for sharing your views. Yes, you can expect something else from your children rather than money and fame.
What is it?
January 25th, 2008 at 12:08 am
Tomaz, I do agree with you. I have a 5 years old son, he started playing tennis at the age of three hitting balls in the backyard.
The past six months he took some group lessons with a pro. Playing tennis was his choice. We offered him different sports and he chose tennis. One thing I do when we play together is make it fun and show great excitement (jumping up and down and high fives) every time he has a good hit. Usually that keeps my son interested and excited.
I always remind my son that trying is failing, just do your best no matter what. It is all good because it is only a game and you should always have fun when playing.
Bong Pata Says:
June 22nd, 2008 at 7:50 am
I have 2 children ages 15 ( boy ) & 8 (girl) who are playing tennis. My son started playing tennis when he was 8. I’m not aware how good Jr. tennis players are so i can’t compare him to them. But I assure you that he plays good for a 15 yrs old. I’m not speaking for my self, this is the same comments I’m getting from the others. My problem is lately, i’m having problems coaching him. He tends to take it in a wrong way, like an order from a father to son, whenever I am correcting something from his game, he’s somehow like revelling on the court. Pls. advice what is the best approach for him to listen. I’m trying my best not to upset him and not to loose my temper at the same time, because it affect his game and training, but most of time its not working. He was with a coach for almost 2 years, ( from 9 – 11 yrs old ) then after that started playing in clubs, right now he’s already playing with men and he’s getting good results. Is it adviceable for a father to be his son’s coach?
By the way, thanks for the your write ups and footage of poonky while training it helps me a lot training my daughter.
June 22nd, 2008 at 9:17 am
Thanks for the kind words, Bong Pata.
Your boy is already in the puberty and that’s the period where children start becoming adults. It’s also the period where they feel they need more independence. So, yes, typically at this age the parent – child (coach – player) relationship doesn’t work well.
I would suggest you find him a full time coach and offer your advice here and there. Also, always think about this: would you coach your son and someone else’s son exactly the same? Would you say the same words? Would you demand the same?
Also – try to ask questions when coaching your son so that you show respect for his opinion. If you just tell him what to do, you are implicating that you are more and he is less…