Academy Values – part 1
Academy Values – Grow through Tennis
It is fundamental that as the coaching team we are aware of the values that we want to demonstrate. This post is a first of a 2 part blog post going through the values we stand for at Scarborough Tennis Academy.
These are values for our students to aspire to develop. So what we do is not just teach tennis (which we do) and how to win (which we do) but far more important than that. But growing through these values provides the foundation for a player to achieve much better results, especially over the long term.
As coaches we are the custodians of these values and therefore need to demonstrate it ourselves where and when possible. The list is also in order from the start of their journey through to their more competitive side of their journey.
Tennis is physical education. We are responsible for teaching the sport of tennis and promoting an active, healthy lifestyle. As coaches we are role models and have a responsibility to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. Exercise, skill development, activity, nutrition and lifestyle choices are all part of this.
Fun and joy
All people big and small need leisure time. We need to make sure that playing tennis is the type of experience that brings people joy as they have fun playing what it is at its core, a game. Games are meant to be fun.
A shared passion can be a great way for friendships to be formed. Tennis can be a great way for school friends to come together but also may help children develop friendships outside of their regular school group.
It’s healthy to spend time outside away from wifi, screens and overstimulation. Playing outdoors on spacious hard and grass tennis courts is good for the body and the soul. An hour or more of outdoor play not only burns energy but helps regenerate kids (and big kids) who spend a lot of time inside in their day to day life.
Play in the spirit of the game
Winning is great to aspire to do but can easily lead to unethical actions. To be a true winner, you play fair and in the spirit of the game. Sportsmanship is strongly encouraged in the early stages and cheating or abusive behaviour needs to be called out and efficiently dealt with. Tennis can be painstaking though as its self umpired and also mostly one on one. So some children take a little more time to learn to prioritize ethics over winning.
Focus on what you can control
We need to help players focus on the areas that they can control. At the core of this is how hard they are actually trying both physically or mentally. How hard are they running? How quickly are they getting over adversity and having another go? Always praise the effort over result.
To improve at tennis you have to consistently show up. Show up early for your training sessions, show up to practice extra serves or hit on the wall. Show up every time with an intention to get a little bit better. Don’t cut corners but instead do a little bit extra. This builds character.
The next blog post will have 7 more of our Academy values as we move into the more competitive part of the journey.