One of the breakout stars at Wimbledon this year was 15-year-old American Coco Gauff. Not only was she the youngest player to qualify for the tournament, she beat tennis veteran and her own idol, Venus Williams, in the first round.
Becoming an overnight sensation is difficult enough for adults. It takes an incredibly strong teenager to weather the quick-moving storm of media attention, social media commentary and a new pressure to perform at a very high level. One thing that Gauff has going for her are her parents, Corey and Candi.
Yes, good sports parents DO exist!
Today senior editor Kavita Varma-White laid out the Gauffs healthy approach to supporting their daughter. It’s some pretty simple stuff that might be difficult to remember when you’re watching your kid compete, whether it’s at Wimbledon or the neighborhood softball field:
- Be supportive of your child, even if they’re losing.
- Teach them to be a good sport on the field.
- Let them be a kid.
“Have a good presence on the court. Not drop your head, not whining, getting upset with yourself. Cheer yourself on and have good body language,” Corey Gauff said of his message to his daughter.
“When you’re frustrated with yourself, you can’t perform. Not just in sports, but in life. If you’re always frustrated, you can’t be at your best.”
And their advice? Enjoy the moment when it happens.
“You’re 15 playing Wimbledon. We didn’t expect you to be here. Nobody expected you to be here,” he said. “Just go out and see how good you can be.”
Lemonada will be discussing how to raise better kids on the new podcast, Good Kids, coming this fall.