There I was, leading a three-hour coaching session for a large group of 7 to 13-year-olds. I was only 16.
My face turned red and the tension increased, with sweat beginning to drench my t-shirt, adding to my discomfort.
This daunting pressure was heightened by a number of parents now gathering to watch their children taking part. I took a deep breath and drew upon all my previous training and experience to deliver a great session.
Towards the end, the knot in my stomach loosened and the magnitude of my achievement finally hit home. Pride overwhelmed me.
I was 14 when I began coaching tennis at my local club. I am still involved at the age of 17. The entire experience has changed my life for the better.
My time as a tennis coach began through my persistent pestering of David, the head coach at Finchley Manor Tennis Club, for me to help out on a Saturday morning.
With an air of inevitability, he finally accepted my offer, after other assistant coaches had gone to work elsewhere. It had taken three months, but my chance had come.
Every Saturday morning, I wake up at 9am to begin my working day. I start my first coaching session at 10am and don’t stop until 1pm. The toughest part is not being able to sit down for 3 hours at a time!
The main reason for wishing to help at the local tennis club was to get money to fund my social life.
With pressure from friends to dress accordingly and with the latest technological devices coming out, I felt it was time to keep up with the trends. However, it soon dawned on me that the experience was having a positive impact, most noticeably on my character and confidence.
I became happier and more upbeat at home and school. My motivation to complete homework and revision improved significantly. Before, I’d struggled to concentrate.
Every Saturday afternoon, I leave my tennis club reinvigorated, ready to start any school work I have to finish. As a result, I have become quicker finishing my school tasks which gives me more free time.
I have also developed a strong desire to achieve in my coaching role and the future, as it has dawned on me that I am able to thrive in the working world.
Throughout my time as a coach, I have met a number of talented young tennis players of all ages and David’s teaching style has helped to develop their skills.
My role required no additional training, as David taught me for many years previously and I therefore knew how to run his coaching sessions.
One of the many joys of my position is watching the kids I teach gradually improve, as tennis players, and it is fascinating to view their progression over a number of months.
Based on my three years as an assistant tennis coach, I would highly recommend people my age becoming a coach or part of a coaching system; whether tennis, football, rugby or any sport.
Waking up early on a Saturday each week, like on a school day, requires a high level of dedication. The fact that I am using my own time to help others and make a contribution to my local club is important. It shows commitment and a willingness to work hard in my own time. This will look good for universities/employment in the future.
If you’d like to earn money and improve your prospects through coaching children you can visit your local sports club and find out what possible opportunities there may be.