| By Ricky Becker

OK.  I got your attention.  The answer to my teaser question, is undoubtedly the player.  Top players take responsibility for everything.  And they should.  If a player feels that results are beyond their control, then usually results don't pan out.  This really applies to everything in life.  Steven Covey said something to the effect of, "If you take responsibility for everything that happens to you.  It is very empowering and before you know it, you will have more control over the things around you."  I think that is great advice.  It makes you more proactive and less reactive.  Proactivity as we all know is a very positive trait!

OK.  I did digress. And I admit, I'm a little all over the place with this blog.  But, I have always asked myself why is it so hard to be a tennis parent?  It's easy to be a critic when you see a parent pushing a child, physically threatening an umpire who makes $12 an hour or even something that happened in France where a top national junior player's father was convicted of putting some kind of liquid combination into his opponent's drinks to make them sleepy before a match!

Now, I am very hesitent to criticize.  This is because I see a lot of parents who I consider very normal and I have the utmost respect for, act very unnormal during tournament matches.  People who can't watch his/her child play a tournament, cheer a footfault to hint to the umpire to stay on the court, even get stoned during his child's matches.  I mean, if these people who I would consider very normal and friends (and in one case, my own parent) can be a little nutty thisparent of a tennis player thing must be pretty difficult! 




Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at Glen Oaks Club.  Ricky also coaches high-performance juniors throughout the year and has been the Director of Tennis at three of Long Island’s biggest junior programs.  As a player, Becker was the Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis team and ranked in the top-five nationally as a junior.  He can be reached at rbecker06@yahoo.com, 516-359-4843 or via juniortennisconsulting.com.