Self Respect


One of the most important lessons I learned growing up and playing tennis was by a Coach Dean at Raleigh Racket Club. I might have been 13 or 14, and I may or may not have participated in my fair share of arguments, racket throwing, near fist fights, and could have been an all-around grade A jerk to a lot of people.

To be fair, Racket Clubs have a slightly higher percentage of arrogant and elitist sort of people who may illicit a rather primal urge to punch someone in the face, my parents put me in boxing soon after, but I digress.

Coach Dean wasn’t the best tennis player, he wasn’t the best tennis coach, but one day I was sagging my pants and acting like an idiot, and he yelled at me and said “come here…” “why are your shorts like that? Do you know what the means?” Of course, I just stared at him with the same confused look that befalls a many 14-year-old men and said “uhm no?” and he told me.  He then said something even more important “carry yourself with self-respect”.

Out of all the hundreds of hours I spent in clinics, lessons, and tennis in general. Coach Dead taught me one of the most important lessons sports can offer. Self-Respect.

School develops academics, sports develop character.