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Tennis taster lessons - slightly nutty parenting

(75 Posts)
Quattrocento Sat 16-Jul-11 17:04:27

The DCs had their tennis lesson this morning. On one of the adjoining courts, the coaches were giving a free tennis taster lesson to a group of 6. One child was having the most rotten time. She was aged about 8, had clearly never held a racquet before and missed every shot. Every single shot. She ended up in tears, while I tried to comfort her.

Her silly parent had waltzed in, abandoned her on her first lesson, given her a racquet that was entirely the wrong size for her, clearly never thrown a ball or anything like that to her to practise, and buggered off to the bar. The coach spent all his time trying to sort her out, which wasn't great for the rest of them. And the net result is one small girl who will never ever pick up a racquet again without fear of humiliation.

So I am a bit cross with this parent. Utterly thoughtless.

valiumredhead Sat 16-Jul-11 17:09:18

I's be more pissed off with a coach who put a small girl in a situation where she kept missing and didn't boost her confidence tbh! At my ds's club they didn't start actually doing anything that resembled a proper game of tennis until about lesson 4 - the rest of the time was confidence boosting games, throwing/catching etc.

Our club provides racquets if the ones the kids have are the wrong size.

Why were you on the court at all? confused

Quattrocento Sat 16-Jul-11 17:14:15

I was on the court to chat to the coaches to arrange which sessions they were going into in September. Is that okay?

The coach was absolutely lovely with her, in fairness, and devoted all his time to looking after her and trying to boost her confidence.

Our club doesn't provide racquets, although it might be a good idea in future, I agree.

The deal is with the taster lessons that they are meant to be a snapshot of what a normal lesson is like. This was a mini tennis green lesson, so the children are meant already to know how to hit (a little anyway).

valiumredhead Sat 16-Jul-11 17:15:50

Is that okay?

Touchy! grin

Quattrocento Sat 16-Jul-11 17:35:54

Aye, sorry!

begonyabampot Sat 16-Jul-11 17:40:36

think your being a bit tough on the parent. It's up to the coach to give the child the correct racquet and encouragement, especially if the parent knows bugger all about tennis. I would have stayed about but again maybe the parent thought the child would be better off on their own without then hovering about and it was a free taster session which makes me think it was open to all no matter experience. The child was 8 so really young enough to be left.

begonyabampot Sat 16-Jul-11 17:42:52

just saw about the racquets but again I wouldn't expect the mum to supply a new, correct size racquet just for a taster - probably just used what they had.

ChasingSquirrels Sat 16-Jul-11 17:45:51

If I was sending my 8yo (who has never played tennis) to a "tennis taster lesson" then I would
i) NOT expect to stay and help (not having the slightest idea about tennis, or the teaching of it)
ii) expect a racquet to be provided and so not have turned up with one - although presumably this information would have been given in advance, and therefore I would have sourced one from a friend - with no idea about whether it would be the right size.
iii) expect that the rest of the children would be in the same position and that the coach would be expecting to have children who had never played tennis before, and therefore wouldn't just be serving shots to the children.

MsPlaced Sat 16-Jul-11 17:46:32

you're cross with this parent because it has what to do with you exactly?

Do you know whether the coach said to leave the child and come back at X time? and why would you go out and buy an expensive racquet for a taster lesson, unless you're made of money?

Quattrocento Sat 16-Jul-11 17:58:33

In fairness to the coaches, the taster lessons are carefully advertised - one for each level (green, red etc) with descriptions as to what the standards are like. They are also provided with detailed advice about racquets and indoor shoes.

The reason I am cross is that this little girl who could well be a perfectly reasonable player in time, will never voluntarily pick up a racquet again.

begonyabampot Sat 16-Jul-11 18:11:17

who says she wont? Aren't you being a bit dramatic? I really don't see what the parent could have done differently other than stay around to watch.

valiumredhead Sat 16-Jul-11 18:13:42

Ds had an AWFUL lesson a couple of weeks ago - he was tired, had a bad week at school etc. I turned up to watch the last 20 mins of the lesson and was inwardly cringing for him.

The following 2 weeks he's won player of the week. I'm sure it pushed him to try even harder.

Quattrocento Sat 16-Jul-11 18:16:38

What could the parent have done differently? Well I think

1. Read the leaflets and make sure that a complete beginner wasn't attending a green class

2. Read the leaflets and make sure that the racquet was the right size

3. Stay on court for the first lesson to make sure they're okay

The trouble is that the little girl just ended up in such a state. It wasn't an off day type of situation.

valiumredhead Sat 16-Jul-11 18:18:30

Ds was a complete beginner and went straight in at mini green - I think it's to do with age iirc not ability.

nancy75 Sat 16-Jul-11 18:21:09

Green tennis is not just for children of a certain level - they change ball according to age not ability. Most coaches would not want parents hanging about during a lesson - taster or not. Most clubs provide tennis rackets - it is unreasonable to expect a parent to buy equipment for a sport their child may never play again. The fact that they had 6 kids on a taster session who were all of very different abilities reflects more on the coach than the parents - most places would have green groups of levels 1,2and3.

nancy75 Sat 16-Jul-11 18:23:18

Actually if the girl was 8 she should have been in a red/orange group - the club shouldn't have let her play in a green group

begonyabampot Sat 16-Jul-11 18:24:17

i don't agree Quatro - if anything I think it was up to the coaches to speak to and advise the woman and place the girl in the correct class for her. You're overthinking all this. I'd think most people would assume that a 'taster' session was informal and just their to give people the opportunity to try it out. So what would have been the appropriate class - stick her in with a bunch of 4 yr olds who are just starting out? And again the mother probably had no idea about racquets and used what they had. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

valiumredhead Sat 16-Jul-11 18:24:42

The other thing is that quite possibly because the coach was concentrating quite so much on this one little girl was maybe one of the reasons she got upset - too much pressure just on her.

Andrewofgg Sat 16-Jul-11 18:26:36

OP: if the net result was a joke please don't do it again!

controlleddemolition Sat 16-Jul-11 18:26:49

I don't know what the crap most of you are going on about tbh with green tennis levels and all the rest of it.

But in my mind a taster session for an EIGHT year old is something I'd leave DD at.

So unless you can explain properly YABU.

MsPlaced Sat 16-Jul-11 18:29:11

you seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time analysing someone elses parenting. Do you do this a lot?

nancy75 Sat 16-Jul-11 18:29:45

controlleddemolition - Junior tennis is split in to ball colours by age, 8 & under use a red ball, 9 & under orange, 10& under Green. The balls are different sizes, the red balls are softer. These colour groups are also split, with a red 1 being the best player in 8& under, a red 3 is probably more of a beginner.

controlleddemolition Sat 16-Jul-11 18:30:56

How do you know her "silly parent" had "waltzed off to the bar" by the way? If you knew where her parent was and this child was so upset why didn't you go and find this "slightly nutty, silly parent" who is so shit at parenting they have NEVER THROWN A BALL to their tennis racket wielding eight year old?

Seriously, there are some APPALLING parents out there, and you stress aboutthis.

TheSecondComing Sat 16-Jul-11 18:33:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

controlleddemolition Sat 16-Jul-11 18:33:28

Thank you nancy for the explanation smile

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