I have no illusions about my playing career; I was good. I had my moments. But I wasn't a phenomenal athlete, and I needed to work and study hard to learn the game.
But because I needed to struggle for my gains, because I had to think deeply about everything I learned, I had a better understanding of tennis when the time came for me to be a coach.
And I was lucky. As a very young coach, I caught the eye of the Head Coach at Stanford University, and I spent several summers working under his tutelage at the tennis camps , learning to be a coach from the winningest tennis coach in Mens' Collegiate history. And more than that, I learned the deep lessons about life he tried to instill in everyone. I learned form and technique from, perhaps, the greatest collegiate coach in history. As a young coach, I learned that his first message to all his incoming freshman was that, at Stanford, you win with grace, and you lose with dignity. And, perhaps most importantly, he taught me that you give back to the community that gave to you.
For this reason, I am so proud of these students because, upon their own initiative, they are offering their service and expertise to the community. They learned the most important lesson of all.
- Francois Chan, Head Tennis Pro, Marymeade Park