When it comes to our active junior members, parents play a pivotal role. The ATA is committed to educating our junior's parents as it relates to goal setting, balance between tennis and studies, court and tournament rules, youth nutrition, choosing the right coach, player safety and positive encouragement. Parents are asked to be active within Club meetings, volunteering as well as seek out opportunities to be productive chaperons when the need arrives. Much like school's parent teacher organizations, ATA Club coordinators and coaches need an open relationship when it comes to junior development.

If you aren't already aware, please contact your ATA Sectional Coordinator for an active ATA Club close to your community. 

Below are a list of frequently asked questions. This will assist parents when it comes to being a resource for their ATA junior members.

Tennis Parent FAQ

1. What are some examples of effective pre-match routines?

Experts have said, mentally, competitive tennis matches usually start 12 hours before the first ball is hit. Its important that youth players go to bed early after consuming a nutritious dinner. The morning before a match, players should eat a balanced breakfast - low on dairy and the elimination of heavy greasy meals. Players should check their bags and make sure the following items are given attention: racquets freshly gripped, 2 or 3 bananas, a clean towel, a change of clothes and water cooler jugs with ice are ready. 

2. How do I know if my child's current coach is a right fit?

Observe your child's intensity, focus and engagement. Does the coach have patience? Is the coach pushing too hard? There are many coaching styles, but beginners need calm patient instructors. Look at group tennis lessons as well.

2. Can I coach my junior player during a match?

If your player isn't playing a UTR event that allows coaching, then no. Coaching isn't allowed during most junior tennis matches. However, if your junior player splits sets they are allowed to speak with their parents in the absence of a coach
for 2 minutes before the third set tie breaker begins. 

3. Should I engage a parent if they are coaching?

It is OK to politely inform a parent that the rules state that coaching, other than the time allowed before a third set tie breaker, is prohibited. If coaching persist, make the tournament referee aware of this misconduct. 

4. How often should my junior practice each week?

This depends on your junior players level of interest. Multiple practices during a week should align with the goals set by your junior player first. Advanced players who compete in at least 2 tournaments a month should practice four days a week. Intermediate players with some tournament experience and without a true goal set for what they want out of tennis, should practice 2-3 days a week. Beginner junior players with little to no tournament experience should only practice once a week.

5. What steps do I take as a parent, to make sure my child is on the right path to college athletics with regards to earning a scholarship?

Make plans to visit the HBCU College Combine. Also talk with your local tennis pro to make sure your player is on the right path. Most prospective college players have variable UTR, USTA ranking and should have an account (Free of charge) with TennisRecruiting.net

5. What things can I do, as a parent, to keep the sport fun?

Do not put pressure on winning. The winning will come if they are committed. Some players experience winning sooner than others, and that is normal. Take time to understand a lost match. Parents should always stay positive under all circumstances. Parents help most when they explain that learning comes from both winning and loosing. Support your junior player by setting a good example when a conflict surfaces. Instill the values of hard work and sportsmanship. Parents and young players should always be respectful to officials and understand the rules. 

If you have more questions regarding effective ways to support your junior player, please email juniordevelopment@yourata.org