Wayne Ferreira: There are too many overbearing parents at junior tournaments

Tennis - Ferreira reflects on his experience as he travels with his son who is also a budding tennis player

by Prakash
Wayne Ferreira: There are too many overbearing parents at junior tournaments

Former Top 10 player Wayne Ferreira, of South Africa, has said that overbearing parents have a detrimental impact on the development of young players who want to make it on the professional circuit. The retired tennis star Ferreira's own son Marcus is now a budding tennis player and Ferreria travels with his son to several tournaments.

Wayne Ferreira on parents on the junior circuit

Since his own retirement, the South African has worked as a coach for many US academies and has also worked with tennis pros such as Marin Cilic, the former US Open champion, and young American Frances Tiafoe.

In an interview conducted by former Suoth African Davis Cup captain Marcos Ondruska, Ferreira commented, "You see so many overbearing parents out there at tournaments. Many parents ask advice, and this has caused me to think about my early life.

My experience was very different. My parents enjoyed watching me play and were supportive. There wouldn’t be a problem if I wanted to quit tennis. I didn’t experience that pressure. My parents knew that I loved tennis”.

Like everyone else, Ferreira says that the mental strength of a person plays a very important role in the development of one's career. "I had on occasions felt that I lost to players who I should have beaten and this (is) something I became aware of much later in my career.

Often I would take the first set easily and then I became bored. I would lose interest and then sometimes didn’t recover sufficiently to win the match. During the time that I’ve been at tournaments to watch my son I can see that the mental side of things is the biggest problem.

I see many kids improving, but at (an) early age they need help so that this component is fully addressed if they want to be successful later. In my senior career, I often came from behind to win because of my belief and the will to win”. South African Wayne Ferreira won 15 ATP singles titles in his career and peaked at No. 6 in the ATP singles rankings.