Tony Le hasn’t been the head tennis coach for even a month, yet Le said he’s already found a home at Midlothian Heritage High School.
A fan of the sport ever since he was 12, Le played varsity tennis for three years at Mansfield Summit High School before he became certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association and began coaching at the Arlington Tennis Center. That was where he instructed classes, taught private lessons, coached drills, visited elementary schools and worked local tournaments for four years.
He was also the assistant and head tennis coach at Fort Worth Country Day, a private school, for three years. There he not only learned the real value of tennis but also how to build a successful program.
“Everyone knows that tennis can be tough on your mind and emotions,” Le said. “Playing this sport teaches you discipline that you can use not only on the court but in everyday situations.”
One of the things that Le enjoys about the sport is how it brings people from different walks of life together. Whether you’re a player, a parent or a coach, Le said everyone has a reason to be on a tennis court.
“It’s truly a beautiful sport that not only allows people to communicate with each other but teaches etiquette as well,” he explained. “It teaches these young men and women how to be proper ladies and gentlemen, which is something I believe our world is lacking.”
Le said the game attracted him because of the discipline it requires, but coaching drew him because of the youth he hoped to inspire.
“I have always believed that I had the responsibility to guide these young men and women towards the right path in life,” he said. “It was more than just a head coaching job; it was a calling to be a mentor.”
Le said he accepted the head coaching job at Heritage specifically because it felt like home to him.
“Every coach, teacher and principal that I met treated me as if they had known me all their life,” he emphasized. “They never hesitated to help me and on top of that never doubted that I would be an amazing coach. I've always strived to work in an atmosphere that felt like family. This was it.”
Le said if he wanted his players to learn anything this upcoming season, it’s to accept failure. Once they do that, winning will come naturally to them afterward.
“I believe that failure is the only way to grow,” he explained. “If we create a culture where we can keep fighting and get back up time and time again, we can expect nothing less than excellence.”
Le said he’s seen his players put in a lot of sweat and effort into practice these past several weeks, and he’s looking forward to seeing what they can do this season.
“These talented young players are hungry but humble,” he said. “I can’t wait to see them go out there this season and fight.”
David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX