Roger Federer

Federer, who has won 17 Grand Slam titles and has held the world number one position for 302 weeks of his career, said parents of would-be tennis stars should give their children space for coaching and practice without them. Saying his own parents had managed to find the ideal balance, he argued it is not necessary for mothers and fathers to be present all the way through a fledgling career

Federer spoke about the support he received from his own parents, Robert and Lynette, as he made the distinction between giving advice and being a “pushy parent”. “Parental support and advice is very important, to make you understand that it’s a privilege to be able to go to tennis lessons and play tennis tournaments,” he said. “So the least a kid can do is give it their best effort and best attitude.

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At the same time, the parents also need to give space to the kid and the coaches so they can work and… travel by themselves – the parents don’t always need to babysit them through their entire career.

“That’s why today when my parents tell me ‘You know what, we want to come to every single tournament you play on the tour’, I would say ‘Yes please, come see me. I don’t mind spending every day with you guys for the year.’

“But if they tell me ‘We don’t want to come see you play because we really don’t enjoy it’ that’s cool too. And that’s what I hope every parent can look forward to with their kid,” he adds.

“But I think for any kid it’s important for them… to enjoy what they’re doing, whatever sport that is.”

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