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Posted in: Coaching Top Tips

"Why do you pay so much money for your kids to do all their sports”?

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  • Ralph

    One of my friends asked "Why do you pay so much money for your kids to do all their sports”? Well I have a confession to make; I don't pay for my kids to to do sports. Personally, I couldn't care less about what sport they do.

     So, if I am not paying for sports what am I paying for?

     - I pay for those moments when my kids become so tired they want to quit but don't.

     - I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are "too tired" to go to their training but they go anyway.

     - I pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated.

     - I pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body and equipment.

     - I pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good team mates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.

     - I pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don't get that placing or title they'd hoped for, but still they go back week after week giving it their best shot.

     - I pay for my kids to learn to make and accomplish goals.

     - I pay for my kids to respect, not only themselves, but other athletes, officials and coaches.

     - I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a champion and that success does not happen overnight.

     - I pay for my kids to be proud of small achievements, and to work towards long term goals.

     - I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships, create lifelong memories, to be as proud of their achievements as I am.

     - I pay so that my kids can be out on the field or in the gym instead of in front of a screen...

     ...I could go on but, to be short, I don't pay for sports; I pay for the opportunities that sports provides my kids with to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment!


  • JonWoodward74

    Excellent post Ralph - I know the post is unknown, but is there a general source why you found this? I am assuming this not your own work - if it is, please accept my apologies!!!

  • Ralph

    not my work, unfortuantly

    but you know me, it could be

    it came from one of my mentors, who also doesn't know the source

    thats the nature of unknown

    love your posts by the way Jon

  • Ralph

    "It's a huge issue on the junior circuit. Parents being very aggressive, very abusive, cheating. Tennis Australia has even had campaigns to try to prevent it." former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

     "My son was playing Under-12s tennis last year," says Richard Krajicek, Wimbledon champion in 1996, "and there were a few really bad cheats. "My son got upset and I told him that although his opponent was a friend, he'd rather have problems with you than lose the match and have problems at home."

     Krajicek knows how Bernard Tomic, whose father John was recently charged with headbutting his son's hitting partner before the Madrid Open and banned by the ATP Tour, feels.

    As a result, John Tomic was absent from Wimbledon this year, to Bernard's obvious annoyance. "It's all the ATP's fault," he said. "They know I'm not on their side, I'm on my dad's side."

     Maybe the way I approach it now, my son is going to have a good relationship with me but he's going to be a terrible tennis player

    Richard Krajicek Wimbledon champion, 1996

     "If I didn't practice well my dad made me run home behind the car," says Krajicek. "Once, he was upset with me and he spanked me pretty good. I'd just come back from the States and he didn't know about jetlag, he thought I tanked the match, that I didn't try. "A few days later he said to me, 'I've heard about this jetlag, I shouldn't have done it - but all the other times you deserved it.'

     Mary Pierce's father, Jim, once shouted "Mary, kill the *****!" while watching his daughter playing in a junior match. "Maybe I'm trying to live my youth now," he said later, at least admitting what many wouldn't, namely that he was living out his dreams vicariously through his talented daughter.

     The promising career of Jelena Dokic was hindered by her father, Damir, whom she claims mentally and physically abused her. In 2009, Damir was imprisoned for threatening the Australian ambassador to Serbia with a rocket launcher.

     "Having mum and dad so closely involved is not the most productive route to success," he says. "Too close a relationship in terms of sport, more often than not, proves a negative."

    Bollettieri, however, is keen to point out that sometimes a close relationship works, citing Serena and Venus Williams's mother Oracene and father Richard - "I never once heard him raise his voice" - as prime examples. Nick Bollettieri American coach has encountered so many crazed parents down the years that he should start a sideline in family counselling.

     And it should not be forgotten that there are countless examples of parents of successful players who are content to remain in the shadows, opting for stoic support and firm but gentle persuasion.

    "My mum did absolutely everything for me to enable me to achieve my dreams and I really appreciate how much she sacrificed," says women's world number two Victoria Azarenka, whose mother follows her career from a distance.

    "I didn't feel like I was going to let them down, because they would be proud of me no matter what. But I wanted the opportunity to make a better life for me and for them. It was personal, they'd done such a good job."

     "There have been plenty of examples where parents have really pushed an individual and that isn't so healthy," says former British number one Tim Henman. "In an ideal world, the passion and the drive should come from the player."

  • Teej4

    This piece was authored by Jenifer Armstrong and published by Angela Weight at travelballmoms.com on January 22, 2016'.  It was titled "Why I Don't Pay For Sports". 

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