David the coach

After Gerald, in the 1990s, I took a lesson from a Chinese coach named David.

I found him on the Chinese newspaper. (Why did I do that was beyond me .. perhaps out of curiosity? and less expensive?) He said he was from Shanghai and arrived in New York not too long ago. He was not tall and not lean. An average middle age man.

It was a summer afternoon. As soon as we filled into the court, he picked the side with his back to the sun. I did not like the sun in my face too. But I said nothing. When we began our lesson, I found him wasn’t doing anything, except feeding me the ball, softly. After emptying the basket, he told me to pick up the balls while he retreat to the shadow to take his water. When I asked him if we could switch side, he replied that his eyes were sensitive to the bright sunlight, he couldn’t function. When I asked him to hit with me from the baseline, he replied, he couldn’t do that because it required a lot of energy from him and he needed to preserve his energy because he had two more lessons scheduled that day. That was it. I never called him again.

Thanks lord he did not insisted on a block of lessons (usually 5 to 10 in a package deal). I was curios when I saw the tennis lesson being placed on the Chinese newspaper. The way I knew China, this coach must be on the national team or at least the provincial because tennis was, almost unheard of sport in China. He looked and acted arrogant, which was not too surprise to me: they were spoiled in China and often exhibited that they were above everyone. Ha.

Welcome to America, the land of opportunity and equality.

What I found amusing was his attitude toward physical activity. I would think, for a professional athlete, getting tired and sweating are part of job.  Yet, he tried to avoid it.

Yuan Meng

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