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“Tennis soothes my soul. The feeling of playing tennis is like no other.”
– Michael Di Stefano
We feel the same here at Aforza, and we are so lucky to be able to offer this sport to our community.
Aforza is truly open to all. Many of our players come in to enjoy the lighter side of tennis and quickly end up hooked on the more competitive aspect of the game. We love it! And, that’s why we are THE club in Calgary for competitive juniors in particular.
Michael Stephano is one of our recent graduates and proud Aforza Alumni. Like many of our juniors, he started playing recreationally and soon moved into our Aforza Academy and elite programming. He values his time here and growth as a player, and has recently completed his tennis instructor certification from Tennis Canada.
As a player, Michael would describe himself as a “meat and potatoes” kind of competitor. He is quick and effective on the court and plays according to the situation. As he described: “When I find myself in a difficult situation, I play safe and keep the ball in play. When I see an opportunity to attack, I do my best to utilize it.” Playing tennis was a joy for him, but some of his fondest memories here at Aforza include the breaks from the game, for coaches versus players soccer games and padel matches.
Michael’s deep love for tennis has fueled every early morning practice and helped him overcome any challenge he has faced. The biggest obstacle being the school-tennis balance in his life. Michael had to work hard to maintain his school work. His heavy schedule forced him to better organize every hour of his day, along with his mom’s help. She continues to be a huge supporter and vital part of Michael’s journey, “She has sacrificed so much to help me. I am inspired by her selflessness and she is someone I will always turn to for advice and guidance.”
What are Michael’s words of wisdom for other players? Simple. Stop wasting time. “Limit your time on social media and even on your phone in general…truly, work hard at it. 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.”
We are proud to serve such an awesome community of tennis lovers like Michael. Michael’s coaches agree. They wish him well and have only good things to share about him. Coach Garcia Gordon in particular shared, “Michael is a super smart, hardworking dedicated student and a very quick study. As soon as Michael started playing tournaments and took the opportunity serious, he came in like a thunderstorm screaming “come on!” He has always made me smile when I can hear his loud voice firing up a court. I will miss his energy and laughter but look forward to watching this amazing young man put his mark on the world. He will do great things.”
Co-owner Karen Spiers wishes Michael all the best, on behalf of Aforza. “Thanks, Michael, for everything. You’ve accomplished wonderful things and it looks like you are headed for more adventure and amazing success. We are so proud of you.”