Wellbeing in tennis - advice for young people
Tennis is a fantastic sport for young people to be involved in and can have a positive affect on your wellbeing.
However, you may find there are some situations which have a negative impact on your wellbeing. Here are some topics below which could affect you and advice on how to deal with some issues you may face whilst playing tennis.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour that can be in several forms:
- Verbal bullying – saying negative or mean things e.g. name calling
- Social bullying – hurting someone’s reputation or relationships with other people e.g. spreading rumours about someone
- Physical bullying – hurting a person’s body or their possessions e.g. breaking someone’s phone or kicking someone
Bullying is wrong in any area of life and we do not encourage bullying. If you find someone is bullying you, do not deal with it alone and please tell someone you trust.
Bullying is negative behaviour which can make you feel not very good about yourself so it’s important to try and stay positive. Visit the childline website for more information on ways you can deal with bullying.
There are different types of mistreatment or abuse that can occur in life, including in a tennis environment. If you find someone is being abusive to you, you should report it immediately to an adult you trust.
These are the types of abuse and some examples that could occur in tennis:
- Verbal abuse: e.g. someone calling you names when you don’t play well
- Emotional: e.g. someone giving you the silent treatment when you don’t win
- Physical: e.g. someone hitting tennis balls at you
- Neglect: e.g. being left alone at a tennis club all day
- Sexual abuse: e.g. someone touching you in an inappropriate manner
Another common issue young people can have is inappropriate contact from adults. If you find an adult is being overly friendly, please tell another adult you trust.
Abuse is never ok. It’s not your fault and please don’t deal with it alone.
People you can report abuse to are:
- Parents, coaches, teachers, club welfare officers or other adults you trust
- Childline – online through their website or by phone on 0800 1111
- Police – call 101 or 999 if it is an emergency
- LTA Safeguarding Team – calling 020 8487 7000, emailing email@example.com or online through the Register a concern form
Discrimination is when you are treated unfairly or worse because of your age, disability, relationship status, family status, gender, religious beliefs, race or sexuality.
Discrimination in tennis is not acceptable and everyone should be given an opportunity to enjoy the game.
You may find that there are times in tennis where tournaments, matches and practices are only for certain ages, abilities and males or females. This is done so people can play with others of a similar standard.
If someone stops you from playing tennis for a reason that doesn’t seem fair, please tell someone you trust so it can be raised with the organiser.
Tennis can often feel like an individual sport, particularly if you are a singles player. This can lead to players experiencing loneliness due to the potential pressures feeling like they fall on one person.
Tennis can also be a great remedy to feeling low, as it can take your mind off worries, give you an opportunity to socialise and boost your confidence.
Tennis is a game for everyone. Throughout the UK there are playing and coaching opportunities available for people with learning disabilities and physical impairments. Wheelchair tennis has grown massively and there are also a growing number of tennis events for deaf and visually impaired players.
Find out more information on playing tennis with a disability, including how to find your local sessions.
It’s important to think about your education and how this fits in alongside your tennis. You may find your schedule becomes very busy when playing tennis as well as doing school work and this can often result in a pressurising environment for you. If you find this does become an issue, please discuss with your parents and/or teachers who can help you manage the demands of playing tennis whilst studying.
There are plenty of opportunities to continue playing tennis once you leave school as well. At a higher education level, there are many universities across the UK who offer ways to stay involved in the sport through playing and competing.
COPING WITH THE DEMANDS OF TENNIS COMPETITIONS
Find out tips on how to deal with the demands of competitive tennis as well as other important issues which may arise when playing tennis at a competitive level.