Federer: I think kids need to be kids
Originally published on: 22/05/12 00:00
On protecting young players from the pressures of junior tennis
“For me I always say, like with my kids now and in general, I think kids need to be kids. I don’t want to see a 12-year-old acting like a 25-year-old. A kid is supposed to be super-emotional and maybe cry after they’ve lost matches.”
On how giving 100% matters more than the outcome of a match
“At the end of the day it’s about the effort that you put in. Maybe the parents have put in a lot of effort so that you can be at this tennis tournament. Maybe they’ve driven you across the country so that you could go to this tennis tournament. So just out of respect please try to perform.”
On how parents must understand the pressures of competing
“They need to understand that for the kids it’s not so easy on a daily basis but the kids also need to understand that for the parents it’s not so easy. You just try to manage the everyday life as a junior. I think the experiences you learn are very important, the tough times in particular. Usually you learn more when you lose than when you win. When you win everything is pink, everything is easy, everything is normal. Winning solves everything. But when you lose, this is when you don’t want to fall into a crisis.
On the importance of a 'Plan B'
“[You might have] already have had talks only when things are going well. [But] what happens if things don’t go so well? You don’t want to just have a short-term plan but also have a long term plan – so I think the mix is very important.”