Strategies Used and Assistance Required to Facilitate Children’s Involvement in Tennis: Parents’ Perspectives

in The Sport Psychologist
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The purposes of this study were to identify the strategies parents use to be able to support their children’s involvement in competitive tennis and identify additional assistance parents require to better facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis. Interviews were conducted with 41 parents of junior players in the United States. Data analysis led to the identification of 4 strategies parents used to be able to support to their children: spouses working together, interacting with other parents, selecting an appropriate coach, and researching information. Five areas where parents required additional assistance were also identified. These were understanding and negotiating player progression, education on behaving and encouraging players at tournaments, evaluating and selecting coaches, identifying and accessing financial support, and managing and maintaining schooling. These findings indicated that parents “surrounded themselves with support” to facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis but required additional information regarding specific aspects of tennis parenting.

Knight was with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, at the time of this research and is now with the College of Engineering, Swansea University, Wales. Holt is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

The Sport Psychologist

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