March 17, 2009

Congratulations to International Christian Tennis Association Boy’s International Junior Tennis Team!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:56 pm by Scott Paschal

Congratulations Guys! Awesome Tournament and Awesome Examples to Others!

Congratulations Guys! Awesome Tournament and Awesome Examples to Others!

I had a great time!

The weather was good and the tennis was fun to watch.

The International Christian Tennis Association boy’s junior tennis team recently competed in a Florida junior tennis tournament.  I had a blast taking them, as well as coaching them.

The tournament was held on clay.   Kids were sliding everywhere… clay dust was blowing around… rallys were long….  I love dirt ball!

Mark and Luke (above) walked away with some serious tennis trophy bling, huh!?  Aussie  did well, too, making the semi-finals.

When I coach here in Palm Coast, I really enjoy watching my players grow.   I enjoy my small part in God’s big plan for their lives.  It truly is an honor for me.

This current group of players is the most special group to me I have ever had.  They are by far the most loving and kind.  Their teamwork together is amazing.  And I can’t say I’ve ever had a group willing to work harder.

They are really a blast to hang around… and they keep me young, for sure! 🙂

Over the last 8 years or so, I’ve been privileged to coach players full time from 17 countries and 15 US states.  These players have gone on to play high school tennis, NCAA tennis on scholarship, travel worldwide on the ITF Pro Circuits earning elite ATP and WTA rankings, and have competed in all four Grand Slams… Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and US OPEN.

I’m not trying to brag.  Not at all.  A lot of coaches have done a lot more than me!

I am just looking back at all of the incredible memories.  All the experience I have gained.  All the lessons I have learned from teaching and investing in others.  And I see this current group of kids really benefiting.

I’m currently rolling towards my 24th year of coaching tennis.  Dang, time does fly.

Today, as I work to develop and prep for our upcoming ICTA Global Outreach to the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open beginning next week in Key Biscayne (Miami), Florida… and as our very special ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team is practicing, competing, sharing, and gaining valuable experience for three weeks in Lima, Peru… and as I reflect not only on the fun I had with the guys at the junior tournament, but also on the years of personal development God has blessed me with…

… I can’t help but to be very humbly thankful.

My life has been far from easy, but it has be close to Him.

God bless you!

Coach Scotty

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association, President

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October 27, 2008

ICTA Christian Pro Tennis Team Ready to Compete in Argentina and Ecuador

Posted in Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Player, Faith, International Christian Tennis Association, melody snelen, rachel snelen, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 7:00 pm by Scott Paschal

David Nalbandian!  ATP Top 10.  From Argentina!

David Nalbandian! ATP Top 10. From Argentina!

The International Christian Tennis Association is preparing to send a group of Christian pro tennis player missionaries to South America for 4 straight weeks to compete in ITF Pro Circuit tournaments and share their faith in Jesus to those God sends!

I’m really, really excited about this special opportunity.

The ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team plans to journey to Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 20, 2008, and is scheduled to arrive in Quito, Ecuador by December 8, 2008, where they will stay until between the 18th and 22nd.

Competing in two ITF Pro Circuit tournaments back to back in Argentina, then two ITF Pro Circuit tournaments back to back in Ecuador, our Christian missionaries will have an incredible opportunity to shine for Christ in both countries, as well as test their ability to handle the hardships and adversity that come with such a long missionary journey.

Rafael Nadal with Nicholas Lapentti of Ecuador.

Rafael Nadal with Nicholas Lapentti of Ecuador.

Traveling for such long periods of time isn’t easy, it’s not as sexy as people like to think.

It’s hard, and it can be dangerous, particularly for girls heading to South America alone.

And as many of you know… Rachel and Melody Snelen, co-captains of ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team, are two of the most beautiful women on the pro tennis circuit.

They are noticed everywhere they go.  Both have amazing blue eyes, tan skin, long blonde hair, and are in world class physical shape.

That said, people notice them wherever they go.  They stand out.

They are also both outspoken individuals.

Rach and Mel have strong opinions and beliefs, and are able to openly and brilliantly share their thoughts and religious beliefs.

Melody Snelen, ICTA Pro Team Captain

Melody Snelen, ICTA Pro Team Captain

With this, they stand out even more….

But, as you can already figure, travel to certain countries can be very dangerous, particularly for those who stand out.  The news is full of stories about kidnappings and murders towards women visiting South America.

So why do Rachel and Melody Snelen constantly put their lives at risk and pour their money and time into Christian missions, both tennis related and non-tennis related?

If you don’t know, read your Bible.  More than read it, study it.  More than study it, live it and breathe it.

Maybe then you will get a clue….

Also going to South America is my “adopted” daughter, Anastasia Kharchenko, whom I have coached and have been legal guardian of for over 2 years.

In addition, up to two other players I coach could travel with the ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team on parts of this missionary journey.

Plus, I’m trying to fit a couple of the tournaments into my schedule!  I wanna go, too!!  I enjoy traveling to new places and meeting people.  And I love watching God work through the willing hearts of missionaries who have given their hearts to Him.

Please keep this potential month long missionary journey in South America in your prayers, that the tournaments will go on as scheduled, that our missionaries will remain safe, and that their ministry is all that God has for it to be.

We look forward to showing you the neat pics and video we will take!!

God bless,

Scott Paschal

ICTA Women's Pro Tennis Team members at tournament

ICTA Women's Pro Tennis Team On-Site at Tournament Reaching Players, Coaches, Fans, Officials, and Volunteers for Christ

October 6, 2008

Business Plans

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:42 pm by Scott Paschal

ICTA Founder, Scott Paschal, at Pacific Life Open during ICTA Outreach to 300,000 tennis fans

ICTA Founder, Scott Paschal, in ICTA booth at Pacific Life Open, world's 6th largest pro tournament, during ICTA Outreach to 300,000 tennis fans

I turned down an offer from a billionaire.

I know.  Who writes a sentence like that?  I guess the answer is me.  I do.  I write a sentence like that.

Not long ago, a billionaire Christian guy and his amazing wife offered me a once-in-a-lifetime deal.  The whole thing sounded amazing.  I was floored.  And excited.

Yet, as I peered closer at the unexpected opportunity, I felt God leading me away from it.  Little things, little reasons, little whispers guiding me from, not to.  Sure, I worked hard to ignore them.  But, I’m pretty close to God at this point in my life.  And I know when he has other plans.

So, I turned down an offer from a billionaire.

It felt good.  Actually, it felt great.

I like growing.  I like taking calculated risks.  I am an entrepreneur at heart.  As such, I know how to tell the difference between a good thing and a great thing.  The offer I turned down was a good thing.

That said, the offer I accepted was a great thing.

This new offer didn’t come from the billionaire.  It couldn’t.  It’s too big.

The new offer came from God.  It’s the offer he placed in my heart years ago…

Years ago when I was a total loser.  Years ago when I believed every single thing Satan accused me of.  Years ago when I didn’t know demonic activity and spiritual warfare really existed to discourage God’s children from following His plan.  Years ago when I had a big dream and people worked hard to ruin it.

Now, here it is years later and I realize how big God is and how small I am but how big my small is in His guiding hands.

I now realize nothing can happen but by His will.   And I’m even OK knowing I am a loser.   Yet, I thoroughly have come to realize I’d rather be my loser self on God’s tennis court, than a winner on Satan’s.

And though I turned down an amazing offer from a billionaire, as God opened my eyes to see the offer was good, but not great, I have received great confidence realizing further God built me for my very specific purpose in my very specific vapor time on this earth…  and even though not everyone can see my purpose, I know God can and has built me for one thing, His total use.

How can you help, though you’re still trying to figure out what I just wrote?

Well, I need you to pray for me.  My billionaire friend’s opportunity that I turned down was used by God to show me I can easily afford a $1,800,000 bank loan under the right business plan.

What that means is I can borrow and easily pay back $1,800,000.  This would allow International Christian Tennis Association to buy acreage and build tennis courts, office space, and player housing.

And whether or not I choose to continue with International Christian Tennis Association in any capacity for any length of time after my initial 10 year commitment is finished, I do fully understand that this ministry is changing lives for Christ and needs to continue and would value and receive benefit for and from having land, office space, tennis courts, and player housing.

So, as I work through developing a business plan with those God has sent my way, please keep my big dream in your prayers.

This is a really neat time in my life.  I have an amazing group of students from diverse countries worldwide who truly care about me and each other, so coaching remains interesting and purposeful.  My ministry, ICTA, is truly among the most blessed sports ministries in the world.  God has given me a ridiculously healthy body, loving friends & ministry partners, great family, a passionate church…

I’m fortunate.

I know it, too.

And from the blessings God has poured on me, I want to give back.  I think that’s how it’s supposed to work.  Though, some times it’s hard to tell in American Christianity today.

For my special ICTABlog family reading this from well over 100 countries, please keep me in your prayers.  That I remain faithful to His call in my life.  That I stay full of passion and focus and appreciation and humbleness.

Your emails, phone calls, letters, skypes, text messages… they mean a lot to me.  Your prayers and friendship keep me going and keep me motivated to keep shining for Jesus in a pathetically dark, demonic tennis industry.

Please keep God’s business plans for ICTA on your prayer list this week, and please ask your friends to pray for us as well!
God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

June 5, 2008

Roger Almighty: The Worship of Roger Federer

Posted in ATP Tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, ICTA Tennis, Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, Scott Paschal Tennis, Tennis Devotionals, Tennis Ministry, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:04 pm by Scott Paschal

ICTA Founder, Scott PaschalRoger Federer is arguably the best tennis player in tennis history.

Without question, Federer has been the best player over the last 4 years. Not only has he been an amazing player, but he is someone who seems in his own way to work hard to be a positive ambassador for the sport.

Ask junior tennis players who they want to be like when they grow up, and you often hear them reply, “Roger Federer!”

As kids, most of us probably had our sports idols. Me, I thought Roger Staubach, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys was amazing.

But, as I grew older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve come to realize people who compete at a high level in their sport, while achieving fame and fortune, are not necessarily worthy of being role models.

We tend to treat celebrities with a type of reverence. I guess it’s human nature. For some reason we readily give these sports idols the reigns to our life, and the ability to influence our history.

Do you want to know how many top 100 ATP players regularly have sex with multiple partners… nightly!? I can name a couple. Should these men advise your son… or daughter… on life lessons?

Scotty w/ Athletes in Action Trainee and ICTA student, Chris.

Chris is leaving soon to play college and is embarking in a life of Christian ministry. What a treasure and a joy to have had Chris as a part-time academy student, and full time friend, these last 6 years.

I remember a few years ago when Federer split with his coach. He said he didn’t need one. So, kids worldwide decided they, too, didn’t need coaches. To be “cool” they decided they were experienced and aware enough to develop themselves into top 10 ATP or WTA players.

Unfortunately, the kids, and the parents who supported their decision, were wrong. And we have an entire generation of junior tennis players coming up who are woefully underdeveloped.

In addition, this generation of junior player learned to believe they were superior in knowledge to tennis coaches.

As incomes dried up, and reputations were damaged… how many good coaches did we lose to this, both now and in the future?

And from this how many kids were robbed of the mentorship and accountability structure provided by a caring coach? Among the most influential people in my life have been the men of God placed in my life who have taught me not just sports, but have taught me about life.

Sure Federer gave several coaches select roles at certain tournaments for short periods of time, and even had coaches here and there for weeks at a time.  But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m concerned that his overall public theme about coaches and mentorship is damaging.

I don’t know where I would have been without my coaches.

Those coaches in and of themselves by their examples and deeds have taught me how to have a relationship with my Creator, and how to live within an accountability structure, and how to plan and achieve goals, and so much more…

So, to the kid who worshiped Roger Federer and dumped his or her coach, I have to ask if they can see now their choice wasn’t such a good one. And to Roger Federer I would ask if he realizes the difficult impact his choice has had on junior tennis development and beyond….

In addition, kids are highly aware Federer isn’t married, yet travels with his girlfriend worldwide, shacking up in hotels and playing married?  Thus, kids believe it’s cool to do the same….

Honestly, I find it hard to believe she is the one who wants to stay unmarried. She has helped him earn millions of $ for years, and obviously loves him.  And Fed  probably doesn’t want a huge, public breakup where she is left with nothing.  Or a “forced” marriage from pregnancy….

Just get married, Fed.

What are your thoughts on this? Is this the message you believe should dominate the hearts and minds of your sons and daughters?

Should sex outside the bonds of marriage be promoted so outspokenly by one of the world’s highest profile athletes? Does this undermine God’s plan for marriage?

Do you feel good about Roger Federer’s highly publicized actions possibly guiding your children away from God’s views on marriage and sex and family?

Sure, he has his foundation which helps people. And without question, he strives to remain humble and approachable. I think we all really, really like him, right?

That said, I’m not questioning his likableness. Nor am I judging him.  I make mistakes and am the first to say I am not a good person.  I am simply asking you if Roger Federer should be an object of your child’s worship.

Or should you work to replace Roger with Jesus in your child’s heart?

Now, as Roger Federer sees his amazing career slowing, what will be his legacy? Sure, he will be known as among the tennis’ best. But, I’m asking what his real legacy will be.

What will be the Kingdom impact he will have for Christ?

If you are an atheist reading this… you probably want to puke.  Understandable. This may seem ridiculous to you.  That’s ok, your belief that nothing created everything seems ridiculous to me, too

Scott Paschal in Normandy

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Campus President, Emma Hustad, in Normandy, France w/ ICTA Founder, Scott Paschal, and ICTA Women's Pro Team Captain, Rachel Snelen, during 2007 ICTA foundation-laying outreach to Roland Garros

That said, a big question comes up when I talk with kids. I ask, “Who is your idol?”

I listen to what they have to say. Then, I ask them if they understand their choices in life have a huge impact on the direction and growth and quality of not just their tennis, but their lives. And not just their lives, but the lives of others?

Instead of giving my opinion on who they should idolize, I ask them to look at the Bible for guidance.

Like Roger Federer, Scott Paschal is flawed. I have my daily struggles, and I’m the first to say if God hadn’t guided me into Christian ministry, I have no business being here with my life story.

Additionally, I’m not an expert on what every kid should do. But, I am someone who looks to God’s word when I see something I need to improve in my life. Especially when organizing my life priorities!

That said, a question I ask myself is, “Who or what rules my life?” Is it tennis, family, career, ministry friends…?

What about you?

Who sits on the throne of your life?

Is it Roger Federer or Maria Sharapova? Or someone or something else? If so, let’s take a look at what God’s word says.

Jump Down… Off of Your Throne

“(The people of Tyre and Sidon who had sought an audience with Herod because they had been quarreling with him). On the appointed day King Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, ‘This is the voice of a god, not of a man.’ Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an Angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” Acts 12:21-23 (NIV)

(Pretty gross, huh? Eaten by worms and died! Notice the order here. First eaten, then died. Not too pretty for a King….)

KEY QUESTIONS: “Who or What sits on the throne of your life? What is my priority?”

1. Is it self?

2. Is it success?

3. Is it stuff?

*A Man Called Doubting Thomas

“Jesus said he was going to Bethany and be with Lazarus even though the disciples warned him that some of the Jews tried to take his life the last time He was there). Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of disciples, let us also go that we may die with him’ .” John 11:16 (NIV)

“Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it’.” John 20:24-25 (NIV)

1. Didymus means twin.

“Thomas (called Didymus)….”

2. Thomas had the courage to go and die with Jesus.

“…let us go that we may die with him.”

3. Yet Thomas lacked the faith to believe in Jesus.

…I will not believe it.”

*Our Personal Struggles with Duplicity

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify you hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

1. In some ways all Christians are two different persons

“I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.” Romans 7:22-23 (LB)

2. Our greatest struggle is within

“So you see how it is: my new life tells me o do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.” Romans 7:24a (LB)

3. The danger is falling back to our selfish, carnal nature.

“Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature?” Romans 7:24b (LB)

*Hopping Off of the Throne

“Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.” Romans 7:24-25 (LB)

1. First, I must determine who or what sits on the throne of my life.

“So why do you call me ‘Lord’, when you won’t obey me?” Luke 6:46 (NLT)

2. Then, I must replace whatever is sitting on my throne with Jesus.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of man who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

3. Third, I must determine that Jesus Christ will be all of all of my life.

” Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hands into his side, I will not believe it’. A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God! Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” John 20:24-29

Closing Thoughts: A Wise Person Once Said…

“If Jesus Christ is not your LORD of ALL He is not your LORD at ALL!!

Can I say something that I think Roger Federer would be the first to agree with?

Federer is just a man, a regular guy with regular struggles. A guy who happens to be a celebrity. He isn’t in any way, shape, or form an answer to or a replacement for… Jesus.

Junior tennis players are a solitary bunch. They seldom benefit from a team atmosphere. Mom and Dad dedicate weekends to tournament travel. Attending church is forgotten. Sunday’s are dedicated for tournament semifinals and finals.

Scott Paschal in Africa

My student, Anastasia Kharchenko, and I spoke to the media/TV daily about Jesus while in Africa. Ana won 11 matches in a row to win 2 ITF Pro Circuit events in 2 weeks, which gave us a large platform to share our faith in Christ.

The family bond is filled with discouragement and pain and envy and emptiness….

I have seen so many divorces, eating disorders, heartaches, etc. caused from Christian families who believe in Jesus, but do not follow Jesus, and have placed tennis as their purpose of worship.

I am well aware of the spiritual battle parents and junior players are entrenched within. As I’m contacted from people worldwide, I work to bring them back to a singular focus on Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, with nothing added or taken away. Just Jesus.

Invading my life/house right now, and eating all of my food :), are my amazing tennis and missions academy students representing 7 countries. My heartbeat is to teach them to focus on Jesus as their source of purpose.

These kids, and their parents, are a point of encouragement for me as I seek His Kingdom. I treasure this time in my life. Yet, the kids and their families are not what I ground myself in. I strive to base my life in God’s word, to gain Kingdom principles.

Sure, tennis is important. But, tennis is simply the tool God has given us to share our faith and resources. Tennis is not the source of life or happiness. Tennis is just a tool, a Kingdom tool for following the Great Commission as written in Mathew 28 of your Bible.

My prayer is tennis fans and players worldwide would begin to understand the importance of placing Jesus on the throne of their lives. Tennis worshiped is destructive. Tennis as a Kingdom tool is constructive. Jesus must be clearly placed in view and made known as the source of life within your world view.

ICTA Women's Pro Team member, WTA ranked Anastasia Kharchenko, in Africa after winning match. Each precious child received free Christian gifts from ICTA.

When this happens, life begins to come into focus. And you will see your reason.

Roger Federer will soon be gone from the pro tennis scene. Another generation of kids will flock to worship another tennis great.

Federer will be old news to them. His ways, on and off the tennis court, will no longer be relevant.

That said, today please consider who and/or what is guiding your life. Consider the eternal consequences of your choices. Are you choosing to follow a trend? A sports legend? Or Jesus?

On the tennis court, Federer is mighty.

Yet, as amazing as he is as a tennis player, he is simply a person like you and me.

Jesus Christ is the only One worthy of worship.

He is the One that it is an honor to serve.

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

May 25, 2008

ICTA Christian Tennis Association Party @ Disney Hollywood Studios MGM

Posted in anastasia kharchenko, Athletes in Action Tennis, Christian Discipleship, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Camps, Christian Tennis Outreach, Christian Tennis Player, ICTA Tennis, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, International Christian Tennis Association, melody snelen, Parent Coach Relationship, rachel snelen, scott paschal, Teamwork, Tennis Devotionals, Tennis Ministry, Typical Parent Visit to ICTA, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 11:59 pm by Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association headquarters is based in Florida, and pretty near Disney World. During some down time in between ICTA mission trips and academy semesters, we decided to visit Disney Hollywood Studios!

What a great time we all enjoyed.

Pictured here to the right is me and Lindsey (she’s also pictured above pushing me in a wheelchair). Lindsey’s Dad, Kevin (pictured above) is my good friend of many years.

He is a medical doctor, and a solid 5.0 tennis player. I bought him his first Bible. What a privilege.

We are so alike it is ridiculous… same age, same weight, same height. God brought us together years back, and that’s when I met Lindsey! I’ve known her since she was just a little squirt in elementary school….

Now, Lindsey is a full time student at my academy and my house is pretty much a second home for her.

As Kevin and I are so much alike… and since I’ve known Lindsey for so long… I’m basically an adopted uncle.

Honestly, it is such a special honor to be involved in shaping and molding the lives of the next generation.

I know God placed special people in my life when I was a teen, and now it feels awesome to be able to be used by God to give back!

While some of my academy students won’t be here til the summer semester begins in a week or so, several are here and we all enjoyed hanging out together.

Anastasia Kharchenko (on left w/ Melody Snelen) is back home with me getting some rest after many weeks on the ITF Pro Circuit competing in pro tennis tournaments, and serving on the ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team.

Ana is my “adopted daughter” from Ukraine and a new Christian. She loves Jesus so much and wants to share her knowledge of Him to other players on the pro tour.

This year, 18 year old Anastasia earned her WTA pro ranking, and won two ITF Pro tournaments. And a week or so ago she played a player ranked around WTA #180 and lost a close one… 6-2, 7-5, which gave her some confidence she can compete at that level.

Currently, Ana is on her way to South Carolina to begin a 6 week tennis and missions tour with the ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team that will take them from South Carolina to Texas to Kansas to Boston. Please keep them in your prayers as they seek to share Christ with those placed in their path.

This neat guy is Aussie, a nickname we gave him because he’s from… you guessed it, Australia.

Aussie is awesome! What a special, unique personality he is. Aussie’s dad is a pastor, and they own a farm. I’ve coached Aussie full time for about a year.

He and Mark (Mexico) share a room in my house and have become like brothers. They have certainly formed a bond that will last a lifetime.

Aussie has amazing parents. They love our entire tennis/missions academy program, and are thrilled Aussie has grown in so many wonderful ways. Here is an email they sent me last week…

Hi Scotty,

Thank you so much for your email. Our communication with you is way overdue..sorry! We pray for you all daily. David is missed here also, but know without a doubt that he is where the Lord wants him, knowing he is being very well looked after, challenged and guided in life. Thankyou for all that you are doing for him and each of the others. We love to hear about everyone at ICTA.

We know David has mentioned this to you, but would like to ask if it is OK if his sister, Tish, can come and stay with you for a few days. They will fly into Daytona Beach… Tish is so looking forward to meeting you all – I hope having two Aussies isn’t too stressful for you!!

At your convenience, we would love to hear of David’s on and off-court progress, and any ways we can encourage and guide him from a distance.

Thank you again so much.

God bless you and all you do.
Rich & Eilie

So great to have healthy, solid Christian parents sending such special emails of support. It is incredible for me to realize International Christian Tennis Association is having such a discipleship impact for the Kingdom!

Pictured here is ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team captain, Rachel Snelen (left), with “Lucy.”

Lucy’s story is amazing! She came to me not quite a year ago… and she was highly suicidal. Coaches, and life, had treated her pretty horribly.

Boy have things changed! Lucy is on-fire for life! Every single aspect of her young personality has improved, and she is an inspiration to all of us.

She is even an inspiration to her atheist Dad! He is amazed at the transformation taking place in her! In fact, three weeks ago he flew in from Japan. We talked at length through a translator. He asked me to coach Lucy for the next 5-6 years, and was so grateful for my work. I was almost in tears…

He is even interested in investing in condos at a tennis facility we build, if ICTA ever builds one. Since he owns a bunch of Japanese restaurants in South America, I take his investment interest as a great compliment.

(pic of me looking at Walt Disney, one of my favorite people and examples!)

It has taken me nearly 10 years to build International Christian Tennis Association.

As I look around for the fruit of my labor, I have to look first to my academy/missions kids. What a treasure they have been in my life.

Generally, I’m not a person with much patience, and I prefer to have plenty of space around me. But, God invaded my life through kids from 15 countries and 14 US States… kids who have camped out in my house… and ate all my food… and constantly hang around me… and God taught me so much through them I can’t begin to tell you in a simple journal entry.

10 years is a long time. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve grown a lot. Hopefully, I’ve helped some people along the way.

Whatever God has coming up for me in the future, whether it’s with International Christian Tennis Association or not, the last 10 years have been good. Like I said, I’ve learned a lot.

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

February 11, 2008

ICTA Christian Pro Tennis Team Journies to Nigeria

Posted in Africa Tennis, anastasia kharchenko, Athletes in Action Tennis, Christian Discipleship, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Mission Trips, Christian Tennis Outreach, Christian Tennis Player, Christian Tennis Ukraine, Coaching Articles, Cult Buster, Florida Tennis, ICTA Tennis, ICTA Tennis Ministry, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, IMG, International Christian Tennis Association, Junior Tennis, Leadership, melody snelen, Nigeria Tennis, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis, Tennis Missionary tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:16 pm by Scott Paschal

The ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team is preparing for a 2 tournament tour of Nigeria, Africa.

Leaving this Wednesday, February 13, this special five member Christian tennis team will fly to Atlanta and then on to Lagos Nigeria arriving in the morning. From Lagos the team will fly to Benin City, Nigeria where they will stay for 2 weeks.

I’m going, too!

We have started a blog for you to follow the action in Nigeria. Click here. dscf3856.jpg

In other ICTA news, I thoroughly enjoyed Sarasota, Florida this past week as my student and “adopted daughter” Anastasia Kharchenko competed in a tournament in which the winner receives a main draw wildcard into an ITF $25,000!

Ana competed well. She won 5 matches before falling in the final.

A highlight for me was Ana’s semifinal victory over Courtney Vernon.

dscf3863.jpgCourtney was #13 G18 USTA before going on to a celebrated college tennis career at USF where she reached a national ranking of #54 in Division 1 and went 20-0 last season.

Courtney has a career highest WTA ranking of 637, and has recent straight set wins over top WTA players, such as WTA #239 Melissa Torres-Sandoval.

Ana won her semifinal match against Vernon 6-1, 6-3.

The wildcard tournament was a grueling event for all the girls. In order to compete, each entrant had to agree to play 2 singles matches per day.

Competing at the pro level is often more difficult than competing at the junior level. Players put more into each shot, and the strategies and tactics are more advanced.

I was highly impressed with Anastasia’s focus, drive, and determination as she competed in 6 matches in 3 days.

dscf3884.jpgEach match was a learning experience for Ana.

I would study her strengths and weaknesses during the match, then after the match ended we would spend some time on court talking and discussing ideas on what she did well and what needed to improve.

Ana and I have a very good friendship and bond. This helps tremendously as she knows she can trust that I always have her best interest at heart.

Though the semifinal match against Courtney Vernon was fun to watch, I really enjoyed the final!

Even though Ana lost in straight sets, I had a blast watching her compete against Alexis Gordon. If you don’t know Alexis, think nationally ranked #1 NCAA D1 player in 2004 and a perennial top 15.

dscf3874.jpgAlexis played an amazing match against Ana with blistering lefty forehands that painted the lines and a consistent 115 mph serve.

I was particularly impressed with Alexis’ ability to bring her best game to the final. She played by far her best tennis against Ana.

Though Ana lost in straight sets and only won 3 games total, I counted over 20 deuces and felt Ana improved from the experience…

…especially considering Alexis has had literally thousands of high level tennis matches to Ana’s dozens… and the 8 year age difference.

Ana’s ICTA Pro Team co-captain, Melody Snelen, drove Ana to the event.dscf3883.jpg

They both stayed with a friend, who we’ll call Nancy, who is arguably one of the best tennis agents in America.

Nancy has over 20 years of experience working for IMG with some of the most famous WTA and ATP players in the world.

It is so great for Ana to have a friend and mentor like Melody. And it is so great for Melody to have a friend like Nancy who loves her and believes in her ministry.

The whole experience in Sarasota is a great warm up for the outreach and matches to come in Africa.  I had a great time in Sarasota and can’t wait for the flight to Nigeria!

I’m excited God is using me to mentor and disciple such great people as are on our pro tennis team. I realize this is such a privilege and cherish this season of my life.

Just thinking about God growing my big ICTA dream he placed in my heart nearly 10 years ago leaves me humbled and in awe. Now, ICTA is traveling to Africa on an outreach to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Wow. I’m beyond excited to meet as many players and coaches as possible.

I look forward to giving them Christian gifts and offering for them to join the International Christian Tennis Association membership.

dscf3859.jpgPlus, I so look forward to seeing what God has in store for His will in Nigeria. Please keep our missions outreach in your prayers.

The 5 member ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team is such a rare group of missionaries.

They love Jesus and yearn to reach the players on the WTA tour with His love and grace.

I’m fortunate to be their coach and grateful to be their friend.

Our little team is going to Africa… awesome!

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

October 23, 2007

Old School

Posted in anastasia kharchenko, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Camps, Christian Tennis Player, Fellowship, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, International Christian Tennis Association, melody snelen, rachel snelen, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:24 pm by Scott Paschal

Last year and in 2005, I coached a Polish- American kid named Marek. Really good kid. Good junior player, too. His top ranking while I coached him was #1 B18 in America. We developed a strong bond. He was raised Catholic, yet found Jesus when he came to train with me full time. We gave him his first Bible, which he read front to back for the first time ever. His new walk with Jesus was amazing and one of the highlights of my personal ministry to players..

Know what I liked most about Marek? His Dad. His Dad was old school. Old school Polish. How? Physical toughness? No. Brute strength? No. It was his consistency for family values. Marek’s Dad asked of Marek two things. 1. Call daily 2. Give him a kiss every time they see each other. Yep, give him a kiss. Just like when Marek was a little boy, and just like Marek’s dad does with Marek’s Grandfather. Not on the cheek. Right smack on the lips. Yep, you read that right. My friend, that’s old school. It’s toughness and strength, though not American style. And in a world searching for targets to hit, it’s controversial. Probably because it convicts.

dscf2283-1.jpgIn an American lifestyle of super-sized laziness, lost churches, image is everything, kids are an accessory… world, Marek and his dad stand out, and with an incredible example of old school, back in the day, the way it used to be… men actually being men, fathers and sons, grandfathers and grandsons, brothers and brothers, before “sexual orientation lifestyles” stole our rights… before it all got weird… old school ruled. And in some places it still does.

This pic brings me back to reality, old school-reality. This pic of me and Ana reminds me of my days as an athlete when I had a coach I loved and trusted. Ana won a Florida junior tournament where she competed with among the top juniors in the state. I said won, I should have said owned! Because she lost just 6 games the whole tournament. People tournament wide stopped and gawked at her huge game she is developing. People also saw a great bond between the two of us.

This pic shows the love, trust, and appreciation Ana has for her coach. When I first saw this pic, I thought about Marek’s dad. So, Walter, if you are reading this, thanks.

Let’s talk some more old school stuff. Today, an Indonesian family came to visit me. Mom and Dad and their two boys, 11 and 12. For the last month they have been spending a week at different tennis academies searching for the place to take the boys to the next level on a year-round, full time basis. It is a huge decision.

The boys have game. The 12 year old would probably be equal to the #1 B14 in America. His little bro is not far behind. For the last week they had been at IMG (Bolleterri’s). Apparently, they had toured the state spending a week at each of the well known tennis academies. In fact, they even talked to Nick Bolleterri for a while and he said their 12 year old hit the ball with more pop and spin than any 12 year old he had ever seen.

While Ana and I were taking my Jeep to pick David (from Australia) up from his flight back to America after a 10 day visit home, this Indonesian family called… actually for the 2nd time as they had wanted to visit last week, but I was working out of state. As they are related to one of my current students, I agreed, and shortly after they were all at my house.

We all hung out at the ICTAHouse, and went to hit some tennis balls. To make a long story short, they loved our tennis training and living environment. They were excited at the family/home environment and the healthy interaction between the students. No dorms, no unsupervised kids raising kids. And the dad felt my tennis workouts are at a much higher level and better for his sons than all the other academies he had visited. Awesome! What a great compliment. After practice, the Dad said we are on the top of his list of tennis academies to send his two sons… ahead of Bolleterri and everyone! Wow! They had just spent a week at Bolleterri’s and a week at each of the other top academies, and now have placed us at the top.

That was such an affirmation from God to me. Here is this international businessman and his wonderful wife bringing their two cherished sons to America to seek out the place they will allow to basically raise their children both on and off the court. They have the ability to send their sons anywhere. And within just one day in our environment, they decided no other academy is in our league. Basically, Mom and Dad came face to face with old-school work, old-school love, old-school dedication. The boys had a blast, too. To wrap this up, I didn’t agree to coach them at this time. I’m not looking for new students. Maybe they can come in for a camp next spring, and maybe full time starting next summer, but I have my time dedicated to my current athletes/missionaries! They completely understood and will stay in touch. They left full of excitement and appreciation at our ministry to students.

Is a church the building itself, or the fellowship of the people under the guidance of a pastor? What makes a “world-class” church? The amount of stained glass? How tall the ceiling is? The square footage? The gown worn by the priest? I guess it depends upon how you are raised.dscf2225-1.jpg

Is a tennis academy the facility itself, or the athletes training together with their coach? What makes a “world-class”tennis academy? The amount of courts? The whiteness of the director’s Nike shirt? Again, it may just depend on your background.

What I do know is the last 24 hours have brought up a lot of thoughts. And then God swiftly focused me in the direction He has for me to follow at this point in my life. The timing of this is amazing. It’s an old school direction. It’s “meeting under a tree for church”, back in the day type of stuff.

God has me coach world-class, mainly non-American, Christian athletes who travel world-wide. They have been raised in tennis by their parents and have become accustomed to traveling basically alone worldwide to tournaments since they were 13 to 15 years of age. When at the tournament, they seek out free host homes or find players to room with, both situations mean they stay with strangers.

A host home for a week in a strange country with a family or person they don’t know. That is their life. Planes, trains, buses, motels, host homes, tennis matches. I understand. I get it. It’s not American. It’s not lazy. It’s not supersized overprotection. It’s the real world. It’s life not seen through the lenses of having nursed on MTV. When these people do something, they get it done. When these people call themselves Christian, they mean it. When they seek a better life for their children, it’s a different better than American’s understand. It’s a toughness for excellence we just don’t comprehend. Don’t wonder too long why American tennis is so weak… and why American Christians are so… don’t get me started.

What International Christian Tennis Association offers is old school ministry to our players. Outreaches and discipleship. Nothing flashy. Nothing trendy. The tennis training is turning the heads of those who want substance and relevance and purpose. Again, nothing flashy. Nothing trendy. Just old school.

To wrap this up, the second pic is of the girl’s pro team at church. 5 girls. 5 amazing stories in life. God working in and through them.

Teamwork. Friendship. Hard work. Dedication. Caring. Missionaries.

Old School.