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Youssef, Rolando & Garcia
How old were you when you started to play tennis, when did you join the Academy?
Started playing at the age of 12, joined the Academy in 2017
What is next for you?
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario / Engineering
Please share your academic or tennis related awards or achievements with us.
I obtained my Tennis Instructor Certification with Tennis Canada. Academically, I memorized 171 digits of pi (3.14...)! Yea, I know, pretty useless, but still cool.
How old you were when you started to take tennis seriously, what or who inspired or motivated you to do so?
I joined the High Performance group when I was 15 years old simply because I wanted to play more tennis. I would always look up to the best junior players in the academy and dreamed of one day being able to train alongside them in the Elite group. I saw how hard they could hit and how consistent they were, and the desire to play at that level pushed me to grow and train hard.
What was your biggest challenge in obtaining your tennis goals?
The school-tennis life balance was tough to manage. I cannot count the number of times I had to miss practice to study or write a test (yes, my school makes students write tests after school). To minimize the practices I would miss, I began to train exclusively in the mornings. Over the years, this heavy schedule forced me to learn how to organize my time in order to put in the necessary work to advance my level.
Please share your fondest memories from your training or competition with Aforza?
My favourite memories are the coaches vs. players soccer games, the times we got to play padel instead of doing fitness and serving butts up at the coaches.
Other comments or memories you’d like to share.
I want to thank all the coaches who I've had the honour to know and work with these past 6 years. I am so grateful for every opportunity that Aforza has given me to grow and become a better player and person. I will sincerely miss waking up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to train.
Do you have any advice for other young players?
Stop wasting time! It hurts to begin to think how much time I have wasted over the past few years. Limit your time on social media and even on your phone in general. Of course it's all easier said than done, but truly, work hard at it. It pains me to think of what I could have done and become if I had been more focused and disciplined. I never had the chance to experience success in the ways that many of my peers have, but that didn't stop me from continuing to train. And even though training can sometimes be extremely difficult and exhausting, just remember, you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness! Lastly, enjoy the beautiful game of tennis. Enjoy every moment that you have on the court because you never know when it will come to an end.