“Tennis is like my Church Mum”
Maddie is an 8 year old member of our program. She has been having some problems, her health wasn’t great, she was being bullied at school and had to see a child psychiatrist to deal with all these problems.
She decided to pull out of tennis as she was falling behind her friends skills and she was very sensitive to the slightest disruption to her environment. One of our coaching team (whom I am very proud of) offered to take her for a couple a private lessons on his own time.
The result was profound…the gesture gave her an amazing feeling of connection; the confidence she achieved meant that her mum was happy to continue to pay the price of a private lesson, as there was no longer the need to go to the psychiatrist anymore (tennis lessons are much cheaper than psychiatrist everyone.)
Even more…Maddie’s mum related a story to me of a mother – daughter conversation in which Maddie asked about Church (deep for an 8 year old).
Maddy: “Mum what is church?”
Mum: “It is a place where people go to pray and to feel positive about life and the future.”
Maddy: “Monday at tennis with Ben is like my church Mum.”
I was blown away. This is the power of Girls Tennis Network!!!
Maddie is now playing, competing and was part of our PINK Tennis Day and has a chance to make tennis her thing. The Girls Tennis Network is so much more than creating players. It is about developing healthy and confident young women who love the challenges of tennis and their lives.
Research done by the Women’s Sport Association shows that the coach was the #1 mentor for girls in sport (46%). For boys it was Dad (49%). We have a tremendous influence and therefore responsibility to create great environments in which girls can thrive in tennis.
Even a seemingly small gesture can make the most dramatic and positive impacts. One person can to look up to can make the world a safer and better place for a child. We all know tennis is great for our girls and the coach can make all the difference.
If you want to know more about making a difference to the girls in your tennis program visit us at Girls Tennis Network>>>
Rufus Keown is a member of the e9 Professional Development Team