Everyone has been there, working around their busy schedule to fit something important (such as your child’s tennis tournament) into the limited free time everyone in the family has. Then, life decides to get in the way. It could be in the form of illness, injury, or personal circumstance. Regardless of what it is, now you and your child can no longer make that important tournament that they have been waiting all week to play.
I am letting you know that it is okay to miss that tournament and will be going over, when you should pull your child out of one, and how to go about doing it.
Should you pull your child out of a tournament
There are a few different scenarios where your child should pull out of a tournament.
Not all injuries are created equal, and you should not let your child skip out of a tournament for just any injury. For instance, if they have a cramp or are just really sore they should play to learn how to deal with that kind of scenario. However, if your child has an injury that has been getting worse when they play, then they should stop playing tennis in general, pull out of the tournament, and take a few days off to recover. I go over injuries in more detail in my article here.
While a slight fever is something your child should learn to play through, anything more serious is a problem and needs rest. If your child is visibly ill, you not only want to let them rest and recuperate, but you also don’t want them to get anyone else sick. In this scenario, it’s best to pull them out of the tournament and let them recover and get better.
Sometimes life comes up, and you and your child just aren’t going to be able to make it. If this is the case, don’t sweat it, pull them out and get ready for the next tournament. As long as it doesn’t become a habit, it shouldn’t have much of a negative impact on your child’s tennis.
It is important to let your child play through tough situations (Minor illness, cramps, poor sleep, etc.). It’s rare that the conditions for a match will be perfect for a match. Allowing your child to experience adversity will make them better players and help them learn to cope and overcome stressful situations.
The consequences of pulling out of a tournament
The only thing that you and your child lose out on when pulling out of a tournament is the opportunity to get more match experience, the chance to get ranking points, and the money you paid to enter them in the tournament.
Your child will not be penalized for not playing so don’t sweat it if life gets in the way. Again just make sure it does not become a habit.
How to go about pulling out of a tournament
Make the decision long before the match
People are coming from all around to play in the tournament and can sometimes have 2+ hours of commute time to get to the tennis facility. You and your child should decide to pull out of the tournament at least 2 hours beforehand. Doing this will allow optimal time for the tournament director to let the opponent and their family know, possibly saving them a trip.
Call up the tournament director to let them know
Once you choose to pull your child out of the tournament, it’s time to call the director of the tournament to let him know. You can usually find the directors number on the tournaments page of the USTA website. If it is not there, you can usually call the front desk of the tennis club to reach them. If they are not reachable by phone, shoot them an email. Again you can usually find it on the tournaments page of the USTA website. Once the tournament director knows, they can call your opponents to let them know not to come to that match. If you gave the tournament director at least 2 hours notice, then they can usually catch the other family before they make their way to the tennis facility, saving them an unnecessary trip.
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