Monday, October 29, 2018

Commit To Exceed

“Do today what others won’t so tomorrow you can do what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice
We want to provide opportunities for our children.  We want to give them the best that money can buy.  The best schools to enroll them.  The best programs to sign them up. 
We have to constantly make choices for them.  Find opportunities to teach them life lessons.  Be their mentor.  
Tennis is a fantastic sport with an open book full of opportunities for us to mentor and to help our kids to foster values and strong characters.  One important trait to learn is commitment.  For when we commit, it builds a strong bond within those involved which turns into trust.
I once spotted this little player who at the time was about nine years old.  Everyday at the end of the day around 6:30pm she was serving from a basket of balls.  Her dad was the ball pickerupper and her mom just sat quietly on the side watching.  Neither parent said a word and this little girl just went about doing her thing.  It went on like that for several weeks.
I was so impressed by her dedication that I couldn't help but introduced myself to the family and we soon started working together.  My working hours at the club were long and exhausting but I always looked forward to our lessons.  She was so eager to learn and so committed to her tennis that you can't help but extend that extra mile for her.
At the end of our lessons, we'd say our good nights and I'd head home.  There was this one time I'd left my jacket on the court and who did I find on the court serving?  She'd played two hours in the program, one hour with me, and was serving for another forty-five minutes.  
Thinking it was the dad making her stay behind to do more work, I marched over to him and protested that it was too many hours on a young body.   The dad looked at me and said: "Can you please tell her because she won't listen to me."  
Then, by chance, I came to learn that they lived 1.5 hours each way from the club.  It didn't matter if it rained or snowed they showed up.
She was committed to her tennis.  The parents were committed to meeting her needs.  Their commitment showed me, the coach, I can trust them to value my time and effort put forth.
--- THE END---

Yours Truly.  
Please leave a comment below.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Walk the Talk

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu

When people hear of my name, they naturally associate me with a former professional tennis player.  While that is true for I have been in tennis for almost five decades - geez, that sounds so old, there is a lot to me than just a former athlete.  For the latter part of my coaching career, I decided to step down from on-court teaching to doing something completely outside of my comfort zone.

Before I let you in on it though, I have a confession to make.  I am absolutely, positively, scared out of my wits because I am about to enter an unknown territory.  But the biggest fear of all is that I am afraid that I will be judged.  You see, I am a perfectionist.  And perfectionist is their own worst enemy because everything has to be perfect.  Every time I tried to type something my mind would play this ongoing negative dialog with self-defeating talks on an endless loop.

No more.  I am done procrastinating.  I am totally on it.  I need to get this book out to you.  A book with insights on tennis parenting that I'd gathered over the last five decades as a professional athlete, as an entrepreneur, as a high-performance coach, as a conference speaker, as a tennis parent.

So, why am I doing this?  Firstly, it is rare that an individual has the experiences from so many different perspectives and I feel I am equipped to help.  Secondly, the concerns that I hear from parents and frustrations from coaches today are almost identical from five, ten years ago.  And the crazy thing is these concerns are shared from different parts of the world.  Hence, YOU motivated me to take action so that I can help bridge the gap between parents and coaches because y'all have the same common interest in getting "the athlete" to reach his/her highest potential.

Here is an excerpt from WTCA.  I thank you for giving me the courage.  In order to keep my writing nerves under control, I will write a weekly blog that will consist of tennis brain teasers and my travels. 

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See you next week...