By Mónica Monserrat, Psychologist at Sánchez-Casal Academy
The Sanchez-Casal Academy team has the challenge of educating successful young athletes. And the success of our tennis players goes beyond the sport itself, as it also encompasses the very important aspect of values. This includes social values such as respect, cooperation, friendship, and teamwork; and personal values such as self-discipline, fun, personal challenge, health improvement, perseverance, and humility, among many others.
We also know that in the evolution of young athletes, parents are important figures. In this great puzzle, they are central pieces who can help athletes to achieve their goals in a healthy way.
Therefore, the ASC sports psychology department offers parents the following guidelines for helping their children become not only successful, but also well-balanced athletes, who can enjoy their sports in a healthy and constructive way.
1.- Encourage and applaud all good qualities or techniques shown during training or competition. Value is not found only in results, and parents should emphasize and pay attention to the personal objectives that the player is obtaining. Support them when they make mistakes, as they are in the process of learning, and making mistakes is part of this process. Therefore, you have to let them experience the mistakes respectfully, and learn from them naturally.
2.- Respect the coach and let him be the one to give technical advice. Trust the trainer’s job and let him recommend and teach technical aspects to your child. Giving advice without knowledge, or contradicting the coach’s instructions, will cause confusion in your child and detract from the authority of the coach.
3.- Become a model of self-control. Teach your child to respect the rules, keep calm in the face of adversity, and respect others’ opinions even when he disagrees with them. This will help your child maintain concentration and composure during competition and training. If, on the other hand, you gesticulate, shout or insult, you will cause high levels of anxiety in your child, and this is not going to help him to be a good sportsperson or enjoy what he is doing.
4.- Create a positive sporting atmosphere by being friendly with the parents of the opponent. This will help avoid any disputes..
5.- Remember that sport should be enjoyable. Don’t put pressure on your child or disparage him. You will get the best from him if you extol his virtues and encourage him to overcome the difficulties you know are within his reach.
Never forget that the most important thing is the happiness of your child, and that achieving his athletic goals depends not only on him, but also on the coach and the family. It is important that all elements are working towards the same objectives, and therefore we are very grateful for your collaboration as a positive reference for your child.
Psychologist at Sánchez-Casal Academy, Barcelona