No top-flight sport without parents

Parents play a vital role in the development of talented players at the highest level. That is why Richard Krajicek and Esther Vergeer pay special attention to the fathers and mothers of the young tennis players.

The parents of the participants in ABN AMRO’s Partner of the Future programme can ask for help with any issue that arises in the life of a future tennis star. ‘Top-flight sports have a major impact on a family,’ explains Esther Vergeer. ‘The countless hours of training at locations that are sometimes far away, hours of travelling, nutrition, planning, tournaments during school holidays and trips abroad: families rapidly find themselves revolving around the child with the talent. It’s important for parents to achieve a balance. Arranging these things properly takes a load of their minds.’


Many parents need to adjust to having a future tennis pro in their homes. That is why mentors Richard Krajicek and Esther Vergeer offer them advice about all manner of subjects. ‘It’s definitely not just about tennis, but also about everything related to it. We also talk to the kids to find out what they prefer: to have their parents closely involved, or in the background. The latter choice is often a difficult one. At the start their parents are their managers, sponsors and drivers all in one, but the time comes when you need to let go. If necessary, I’ll keep an eye out during that process,’ continues Vergeer.

The right balance

Richard Krajicek adds, ‘I get it from both sides, being both a mentor and a parent. But with my background as a tennis player I can offer advice on finding the right balance. When is a parent enthusiastic, and when does this cross the line into pushiness, for example? I pick up on those things quickly and discuss them. But we’ll also advise parents on matters such as handling money, sponsorship and insurance via ABN AMRO. This way, everything will be properly organised and they can visit tournaments and watch their children play as their biggest fans.’

Find out what career advice tennis star Andy Murray gave the your players.