Written by: Mike Meaney
Mike Meaney is a TPA Coach 3 and has been coaching tennis for 20-plus years. Mike has attended over 50 national junior championships. He is the Head Professional at the Greenbelt Tennis Club in St. John’s, NL and the provincial Technical Director. He’s represented the province at five Canada Games.
RESILIENCY IS THE ORDER FOR THE DAY
Human beings are a resilient species and while the lasting effects of this COVID-19 virus can only be measured alongside the likes of 9/11 and other world changing events, we will persevere as people and as tennis athletes/coaches.
This life-changing event will test our mental fortitude, you’ve trained for this most of your Tennis lives. As coaches it’s our job to instil a strong belief in an athlete’s mind that they are capable of overcoming big deficits in matches. Well, this deficit may last for months. But, as other top Canadian coaches have expressed in their letters to you all, it’s time to keep the fitness and mental base by working out at home, in your yard and to practice the visualization skills taught to you by your coaches or sports psychologists. These qualities will be tested on a big scale once you return to action and it will be obvious who did the work while fighting this deficit off.
Don’t get left behind!
Our sport has been enjoying success internationally and growing in numbers. The coaching fraternity in Canada can play a large role in continuing to increase the curve of participation in tennis by staying engaged by providing our athletes with the direction they need during this frightful time. Coaches, reach out to your players, it will go a long way to keeping the sport healthy, and helping us flourish in our careers as tennis professionals once we return to our passion.
We will all go through a range of emotions during this crisis, and that’s ok, it’s how we act when we have these feelings that matters. It’s like being nervous before a match, it’s normal and we usually work on controlling our breathing or focusing on the game plan to help the nerves settle down.
We have a leg up on many in society, as our sport teaches so much about discipline, problem solving, being resilient and so many other attributes needed to weather such a storm as this.
Keep fighting and stay resilient.
*** Unfortunately, since the initial draft was written, a member of Mike’s family has tested positive for COVID-19. We and the community are thinking of him and his family during this time. ***