Lindsay Davenport: My 9-Year-Old 'Plays Tennis Every Day for Many Hours'
"Each season I make him do one team sport," the former tennis Olympian says
Lindsay Davenport has a longtime love — and obvious talent for — tennis.
But when it comes to her four children, finding the balance between exposing them to different activities and wanting to encourage them toward their sport of choice is difficult.
“My 9-year-old plays tennis every day for many hours, but each season I make him do one team sport,” the 1996 Summer Olympics gold medalist shares on PEOPLE’s Mom Talk. “But he fights me on it. He doesn’t want to do it — he just wants to play tennis.
“But I’m not giving in yet,” she adds with a laugh.
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“There’s just such a small percentage of athletes that make it to the highest level,” Davenport continues, playing off of Rita Wieber‘s question about when the best age to encourage kids toward a particular sport would be.
And for Davenport’s parents, that sport seemed like it would naturally be something other than tennis: volleyball, since her two older sisters played.
“But you didn’t start volleyball then until you were, like, 9 or 10,” she explains.
As far as Davenport’s only son is concerned, he seems to be following in his mother’s footsteps since the former Atlanta Games superstar started in tennis early as well.
“I only played tennis from [age] 6 on. For most tennis players, that is kind of the routine. It is a specialized sport,” she says.
Fortunately for Davenport’s own parents, their daughter got hooked pretty quickly.
“I always feel so lucky because [being in tennis] just came by chance, and I got to find my true passion in life,” she adds.
— Jen Juneau