The past is remembered. Live in the moment. The future is in you.
-Mike Caceres, who is a blogger, hiker, and traveler
(I am not talking about Ryan Reynold's funny movie, "Waiting...")
I am wondering, if I did get hired as a coach at a tennis academy. I already have sent a "thank you" note to the boss. All I can do is just wait, and see what happens. (We shall see.)
Yesterday, I had a one hour (I did not expect it to be long. I enjoyed it.) face-to-face interview with the director/owner at the academy. (She is very nice.) I told her everything about my tennis history, and I am willing to learn how to become a coach. (Kudos, if I played college tennis. I am still going to fight for it anyway. Yes, it will be tougher.) Importantly, she is a former tennis player, who played in a total of 28 grand slams. In May 2002, she achieved her highest ranking at number 76 in the world.
Today, she provided me an all day inside-look at her academy. I observed how her assistant coaches dealed with their clients, ranging from kids to adults. Obviously, the boss had court number one as her individual coaching session with her client. Every associate coach had their own court with group lessons of 5-10 people. (I was very mindful in only watching their lessons.) The group lessons consisted of conditioning, stretching, working on drills, and competing fun games.
Later in the day, she gave me a court, and told me, "Watch, and coach them." Two kids, Yono and Michael, rallied with each other, while I gave them critique about their game. Michael had a tendency of backing up on the deep, heavy balls. I told him, "Those are tough. Hit the ball early. Keep your eye on the ball. Hit it on the rise, shoulder length." Yono had a habit of looking up early as she hit the ball. I told her, " That's why your ball lands way out. Keep your head still (down) as you hit the ball. After the follow through, then you look."
I learned a few things in coaching.
A kid, Adam, (Sorry, I forgot his name.) had a cut on his left index finger, during the lesson. (I forgot how he got it.) One of the coaches wrapped his cut with a band-aid. The kid was crying in pain, even though it was a small, minor cut. I overheard the coach giving him a calm pep-talk about his pain. The kid slowly understood it, then went back on the court 15 minutes later. (Comfort your students, when they are in pain.)
I was playing point against one of the kids. I hit big winners to the point, where she had no chance in picking it up. (I am a jerk.) I wanted to impress my boss on my game, but I forgot that I applied as a coach. Becoming coach, I must remind myself by asking, "How can I make my player better?" Hitting big winners will not make my player better. Thankfully, one of the coaches reminded me, "Make her run a little bit, where she can hit it." So, I listened. Then, few minutes later. She forfeited, and left the court crying. (I made a huge mistake.)
One of the coaches followed her, and tried to comfort her with a calm pep-talk. (Little did I know, it was my first time meeting her today, thus I did not know her personality. Also, I have less-coaching experience.) Few minutes later, the boss gave her a private girl talk. She finally understood her situation.
Before the day was over, I nicely asked my boss about the girl's situation, "Is she a very emotional player?" She said something like, "Understand the player. Joke with them a bit, and coach them." (Cheer your students, when they lose.)
Yes, when practice was over. I went to the girl, and gave her a high five. (She gave me a high-five back.) I still felt vulnerable.
Before I said goodbye to the boss, she told me, " My mindset in coaching is feed it, drill it, and teach it." She also asked me, "Did you like my academy?" I answered, "Yes. I learned a lot. It was a great learning experience."
Like I said, I texted her a " thank you" note. As of now, I have not received a text from her yet. I am waiting, and thinking of "if only" scenarios. For example, if only, I gave her a better answer when she asked me about her academy. The better answer could have been, if she ever reads this post, "Waiting..." (I gave her a short answer because she had an individual lesson next. There I go with a lame excuse.) If only, I talked to the girl and apologized, than giving her a high five. If only, I did not make the girl cry. (I am sorry.) Enough with the "what-ifs.
Then again, I cannot control the outcome. If I did not get the job offer, it is not the end of the world. (I will not hate them. I will still pursue coaching.) Learn from failure. From yesterday and today, I am very thankful for getting a grasp and glimpse of a tennis academy atmosphere. I really appreciate it.
Remember, please wait and see what happens.
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