April 12, 2007

A Fun Parent Visit to the International Christian Tennis Association

Posted in Typical Parent Visit to ICTA at 6:49 pm by Scott Paschal

Shantel, Joseph, Rand, Melissa, Edwin, Caroline, Coach Scotty, Anastasia, Adam, Mel, Mark

Yesterday was a fun day. I really enjoy meeting new people whether it is during an ICTA Christian tennis mission trip to a famous tennis event, such as the Pacific Life Open, or simply parents of prospective full time students coming over my house!

Before I write further, though, I’d like to greet our Christiantennis.net and blog guests! This blog and ICTA’s web site get read! And I mean read by 1000s and 1000s worldwide… up to 20,000 page views a week!

Even right now, people are visiting from Sha Alam, Malasia; Santiago, Chile; Singapore, Singapore; Lima, Puru; Caracas, Venazuela; Guadaljara, Mexico; Brooklyn, New York; Tehran, Iran; Central, Fiji; Hyogo, Japan; Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany; Utrecht, Netherlands; Sicilia, Italy; Misto- Kyyiv, Ukraine; Makkah, Saudi Arabia; London, England; Valais, Switzerland; Dehli, India… and so many more… right now. ICTA is truly reaching worldwide! So exciting! A big welcome to all of you for sure and God bless you.

I think one of the most special parts of my day, yesterday, was meeting Caroline. Caroline is one neat kid. Definitely blessed. She is one of those kids who can light up a room with her presence. I met Caroline because her brother, Rand, came in to hit with the gang. Before I agree to train a new student, I schedule a time to visit the student and his/her family. So, that’s what yesterday was about. And from this day I had the opportunity to meet Caroline!

Coach Scotty, Bearby, and Caroline

Here’s a pic of me and her! With Bearby in the middle. Something special about Caroline is she has been blessed to be able to view the world from a different prospective. See, her legs operate differently than mine. They do all the things that my legs do, but they don’t hold her body weight. Thus, Caroline has the opportunity to be unique! From her unique prospective of life, her personality is tremendously positive. And that has been such a blessing for me and an inspiration for all of us! Because, you know, so many people are unhappy no matter their health… and here Caroline is as happy as can be!

Rand came in the night before and spent the night with us. He had fun hanging out with the guys while they all got to know each other. In the morning after a big breakfast of ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches, everyone headed upstairs to watch two Way of the Master videos. Once the videos completed, the gang headed downstairs where I led ICTA Discipleship Training. I spoke on the Great Commission.

From there the girls drove out to the tennis courts and started their workouts in preparation for their 6 city pro tennis tour in May. The guys and I drove my Jeep Wrangler to Walmart to get a leak in the tire fixed. While waiting we walked to Taco Bell and downed some early lunch. After learning Walmart can’t fix that particular leak, we drove to the courts and began pounding tennis balls.

Shantel Tavita: WTA Ranked 2007!

Here’s a pic of Shantel Tavita (above) and Anastasia Kharchenko (below) as we worked on changing the direction of the ball. While training with me, Shantel has recently earned her WTA ranking. She is the first female in the modern era of tennis from her country to earn a WTA ranking.

Anastasia Kharchenko (below) is a new Christian! She accepted Christ last October, a month after she came here to train with me! Ana earned #1 G16 in Ukraine and and #5 in Europe. She has top WTA potential, yet her focus is on learning more about Jesus and gaining a top education via the Abeka Christian Curriculum ICTA offers.

I’m proud of them both and glad they’re members of the ICTA Pro Tennis Team. This pro tennis team travels internationally to compete in pro tennis tournaments while reaching the WTA players with the Gospel. This is the only team of its kind in the world. They are getting international recognition from top Christian ministries for their outstanding dedication to excellence both on and off the tennis court.

Anastasia Kharchenko: New Christian 10/06!

Once practice ended, we drove to the house where everyone took showers and played ping-pong. Mark strung a racket or two. Adam and Rand are evenly matched in ping pong! Lotsa fun watching them battle. Joseph stung a racket and played ping pong as well. I cooked a big pasta dinner to refuel these hard working players!

Daily ping pong wars!
Adam, Mark, Rand, Joseph posing for a pic!

Soon after dinner Rand’s parents & Caroline came by my house to pick him up. Mom and Dad had enjoyed spending a day in St. Augustine, Florida.

Here’s a pic of Mom and Dad hanging out with the gang at my house while Rand sets up to nail a forehand!

One of the greatest aspects of coaching is the interaction, love, and support from the parents of my students.

It means the world to be specifically chosen by these parents to guide and mentor their kids. As the founder of ICTA (and a new ministry) and the owner of a long-standing, successful tennis academy, my schedule is tight. I travel a lot and always have something going on. As such, I’ve learned the importance of having the right people around me. I have learned through trial and error which types of students and parents I need to have a successful, faith-filled tennis academy.

Through my experiences over the years, I’ve learned to make a dedicated effort to locate parents who understand Christian ministry. Often, they have founded ministries or have worked in ministry themselves. They have a great understanding of what I do and a great appreciation I’m willing to invest my life in mentoring others.

I’ve learned I’d rather work full time with a 12 year old boy who is passionate and hungry to learn about Jesus, than to coach the #1 B18 junior in the country. The first asks what can I do for others, the second asks what can others do for me.

I’ve learned I’d rather offer a full scholarship to a no-name female player who loaded with top WTA potential who has fallen in love with Jesus because of our 24/7 efforts in her life, than to offer a full scholarship to a top 100 WTA player who has learned place Jesus in a box while she uses others for her own personal and professional gain.

I’ve learned that a player’s ranking in tennis means nothing in comparison to Christ working in their hearts.

And in all of my experiences as a 21 year coach, I could take every “top ranked” player I’ve invested my life and finances into and they can’t hold a candle to a 10 year old girl with passion for Jesus!

I can look back to so many players I’ve coached who, by the world’s standards, deem themselves special and important, bordering on total self-centeredness, and claiming Christ as the centerpiece in their lives, though little in the way they live their lives bears witness to the claim.

It is embarrassing for me to think about their actions at times.

Especially when I see the passion and love for God that radiates from the heart of a 10 year old kid named Caroline. Top 100 WTA, top 50 WTA, #1 WTA… means nothing. I don’t think Jesus is impressed with rankings. From what I understand, He is impressed with what is important.

I really enjoyed meeting Caroline. She is a special kid from a special family. I’ve agreed to coach Rand. He and Adam will be a great fit. They will be a tremendous team and I will pour my heart into developing them to be both passionate Christians and passionate tennis players. Both of which my current students will say God has blessed me with the ability to do well.

And I look forward to visits from Caroline. You just know God has something big for her life.

She is something special.

God bless,

Scott Paschal


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