“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.
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