Late last year we enrolled our 6-year-old daughter into Athletics. During her first few sessions, she found it challenging to compete and did not know how to handle ‘not winning’. This was really exciting for us. We have since had the opportunity to have multiple conversations and experiences that are enabling her to become more aware of the journey, rather than the result and also the importance of becoming resilient through every challenge she encounters. It is tough as a coach, parent, mentor, etc, to get through and make an impact at times. I have found following some basic principles helps the process.
Anyone who has been following us knows how important we feel about building resilient young players. As much as we want to produce amazing tennis athletes, more so we want to help produce amazing young people.
These days it seems people are over-concerned about the result (winning) and losing is deemed as bad, it is not a stigma I want to be attached to my athletes, especially not my own little athlete! The facts are players will most probably lose as much as they win, so possibly 50% of the time they will lose. Taking this into consideration we should realize how important it is to deal with losing or any challenging time in the most beneficial way. It is critical in producing happy, positive players.
I remember growing up and losing all the time, it drove me to be better and there was nothing better than finally beating those in front of me.
I can tell you one thing, I couldn’t have developed that mindset without the constant dedication of my parents and coaches that encouraged me to just try my hardest and be willing to learn. I was never the most gifted athlete, but I prided myself on working as hard as I could, I still do to this day, this mindset has always served me well.
Over the last few years, I have realized as important as knowing how to perform great tennis exercises and motivating people is, I have found the real impacts are made building up a player’s resilience. Encouraging them to get up and keep going and letting them know it's ok to get knocked down. Encouraging them to put themselves in challenging positions, both physically and mentally I feel is important. Letting them know it is ok to try and not succeed because sometimes success is just getting them to try. It builds character and inner strength. Watching opportunity pass by achieves nothing, trying, and failing delivers lessons and can fire up a willingness to try harder. Showing players how to get back up, learn, and be better. This is one area I love about training for tennis.
Helping players realize - You do not have to be the best, you have to do your best. The result will be what it will be. This is the attitude I want in every player that is doing tennis fitness training.
Having started Tennis Fitness and working with young players over the past 25 years I have found it important to follow a few principles to help build resilience, I want to share some of them with you today. As simple as they are and as many times as you may have heard some of them, I encourage you to follow them, even if you follow 2-3 of them, you will make an impact;
I encourage you to read these principles several times and pick some that sit well with you, apply them to what you do, and be willing to be consistent with them.
We are always here to help so please let us know if there is anything we can do. We have launched our new online Tennis Fitness Academy (TFA). It is for players who need more specific and individualized - support, programming, guidance, and exclusive 1 on 1 attention. If you are pursuing a college or professional pathway, this is for you. For more information on our TFA go here - https://www.memberstennisfitness.com/train_with_us_online
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