I have often wondered about this for some time now. Every day, I ask myself if there is a way to achieve success without sacrificing work-life balance. However, in any field, whether it’s being a tennis coach, an athlete, a lawyer, a doctor, or an accountant, you will have to put in long hours and make certain sacrifices to achieve your goals.
Although we live in a social environment where there is a hierarchy, we must prioritize what is valuable to us. There will always be individuals who are better or worse than us at what we do, but if we want to excel, we must make sacrifices, and this inevitably results in an imbalance in our lives.
In my (Kyle) experience, I have not encountered any successful tennis coach with a stable work-life balance. It’s a deal that we make to pursue our passion, and we never seem to get out of it because we love what we do. Even on bad days or long days, there is something that keeps us coming back, like an addiction to the game and the desire to give back to the sport. However, there are coaches who have left the industry due to the heavily influenced service industry and it’s demanding work hours.
As coaches, we are part of the service industry, and it’s essential to make a distinction that we are not in the servant industry. Respect for our time is crucial. We do ourselves a disservice when we undercut our fellow professionals or resort to territorial behavior. Working together and helping each other out is the way to succeed. It’s the little extra effort that sets apart ordinary from extraordinary, and we need to make that extra effort to excel.
There is no right answer to achieving work-life balance, but being a tennis coach is one of the most rewarding and powerful professions. In fact, if you ask 100 people on the street who the most influential person in their life is, they are likely to say a teacher or a coach. The impact we can make is significant and long-lasting. A great coach leaves a legacy that lives on, even if they have struggled with work-life balance. It’s this legacy that makes it all worth it in the end.