Being a leader is something that I have always wanted, and I am working always as hard as I can to be the best leader to all the kids and all the tennis players that I teach. The leader has to be a leader on and off the tennis court, and be a very good example for everybody around. You can be a leader with good attitude that everybody around loves you and respect you.
Staying focused, working hard to perfect your talent, inspiring people, being a good sport, having tremendous drive, and taking chances are key attributes. I am so thankful that my experiences with sports early on in life taught me these basic lessons that contributed to my success at work (and in life in general). Hard work, persistence, and experience are essential to becoming a great leader, and I do not believe that opportunities just fall onto your lap. You have to want them. It really helps to be passionate about the things you are working hard to achieve, like the love of the sport, the desire to win.
On the tennis court, part of working hard and getting the most out of it, was finding opportunities to lead – whether that meant displaying model sportsmanship, being a team captain or leveraging my experience as a coach to help others improve. Taking on any leadership role will shape you down the road and has a cumulative effect that will equip you to lead throughout your life. I have always known the importance of teamwork since I played college tennis and played on so many different leagues either in Egypt or in Germany. Working as a team and helping each other on and off court is something that I love about being a tennis player and now working at Wembely and being in that position and working with other coaches is always something that going to benefit me as a coach and the other coaches as well.
Another important part of being a team is embracing the help of a coach or mentor. I am so appreciative of the opportunities I have had to both be a coach, and learn from a coach, that I have continued this practice throughout my life. Taking chances is another “must do” in life and leadership. I depend a lot on my gut, my instincts, and my emotions. I kind of have a feeling of what is right, and what is wrong and then I balance that with facts. Every leader has to rely on their ability to make the right call at the right time.
All Kids Are Different
I believe that everyone is different and being leader means being responsible. Kids are different, and coaches have to make sure and learn about kids as fast as they can, and make sure they give the right information in the best way possible. Being a leader doesn’t mean that you have to shout or yell at the people you are working with, or the kids you are teaching. It is all about respect, and knowing what you have to do or say on the right time and that is what is going to make you different than anyone else. Some kids needs special treatment, and/or telling them things in a different way without hurting their feelings. We have to be responsible for our actions and everything we do to make kids better.
How does being an effective leader involve taking more risks?
I believe that taking risks means facing fears or challenges, and having the courage to move forward. A successful leader is the one who finds new or better ways of achieving things. He/she is the one who finds different solutions for problems or issues. An effective leader should understand that taking risk is so essential when it comes to achieving results; they should step out of their comfort zone and understand the nuances of the challenge they are facing in order to achieve success. Nothing would be accomplished if we refrain from taking risks.
Although, being a leader doesn’t mean that you have to be talking all the time, and not giving the chance to anyone to talk. You always have to give enough space to parents or kids to talk and discuss things with you. Ask questions and they answer. Let them ask questions and you have to answer all the questions they have for you in a very honest and polite way. Leaders should voice their opinions, however, the followers should feel accepted and appreciated. I believe that leaders should listen in order to challenge themselves and learn from others. I have seen some stubborn head coaches who doesn’t want to listen to anyone and think that they are the best. It is good to have self confident but no matter how good you are, you still have to listen to others.
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Katie’s parents live in Ohio, she lives in the moment. Passionate about tennis and a few other sports. She is most probably playing tennis, tweeting or eating right now. Go Cavs!