Some over competitive and pushy parents place too much pressure on their children to be successful. They also refuse to accept responsibility for their son’s and daughter’s bad behavior on the tennis court or sports field. Parents and coaches should be scrupulously fair and always set a positive example.

I believe that young sports persons can be taught emotional control, mental toughness and good sportsmanship by learning the following 7 principles for lasting success:-

  • Love the challenge of competing – and enjoy the contest!
  • Respect the rules of the game, your opponents, coaches and parents
  • Accept that pressure, errors, failure and losing are part of the game
  • Establish realistic and attainable goals and ensure that levels of expectation are not too high
  • Focus on improving performance and do not concentrate merely on winning – be performance driven
  • Be an enthusiastic and good spirited team-mate – always encourage your partners or team members. Allow for an appropriate margin for error in sport – the perfectionist mentality leads to frustration and disappointment
  • Always try and give your best effort irrespective of whether you are winning or losing – never give up!

Be humble and respectful in victory and defeat. Champions do not gloat or “rub it in” when they win because they know that tomorrow they may be on the losing or receiving end.


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