And all good things come to an end.
Today, I’ve resigned as head boys and girls coach of Wawasee High School. I’ve been coach there for 5 years, and we’re having the best season in 15 years at the school, but this was also one of the toughest I had in coaching and trying to balance my family life, occupation as a tennis trainer and as a high school team coach.
Last moratorium I approached A. D. Schutz about resigning, as I felt there was a conflict of interest in training players through my academy and then coaching them in team tennis at the high school level.
As a trainer, I work for the families, focused on individuals all summer and fall and even into winter. When the same players get to my high school team, I’m now coach and have to make decisions not always in the players’ best interests, which impacts me and my relationships with families and players as a trainer.
My primary job is as a USPTA professional tennis trainer and my high school job, as most high school coaching jobs are, is a secondary job. When the secondary job impacts my primary job, health and much more, something has to give. I need to focus on one or the other, as I give 100% at everything I do.
Anyone close to this team would agree that the reason we are 6-1 and having the best year is because of my time as a trainer and these girls putting in the extra hard work at the academy in the offseason. 6 out of 7 varsity players were out with me this past offseason, putting in the work and it has paid off!
But crossover issues between personal relationships with families and players when it comes to training and then coaching a team I have to drive and discipline at times isn’t something I’m willing to sacrifice any longer. Like I said, I gave the team my everything these past 5 years, turned the program around and did the same with each individual who came to my academy and will continue to do so there.
Stepping away mid-season I felt was best for the team to avoid any further conflicts of interest and distractions. These girls have been trained well, they will go far this season, and I fully expect them to battle for sectional champs for the first time since 2000 and turn in the best season for Wawasee in well over a decade. I will be rooting for them all the way!!!
Now I get to sit back, enjoy their season from afar, knowing I had a hand in their success. Continue to better focus on training through the academy, still in the area. I can also expand academy activity in the spring and fall and give families better service to meet their goals. And no longer deal with having to be a “boss” and drive a program, which I’ve enjoyed less and less as years went on. I’d rather enjoy the sport of tennis, than be bogged down by the politics, conflicts and everyday high school coaching headaches.
As for Wawasee, I leave with no regrets or misgivings. This is where I got my start as a tennis coach. Like I said, I gave the players, families and school everything I had in my 5 years and am proud of what I’ve built there.
Coach Jackson has done a great job for us these past years and will handle the remaining few weeks of the season with all of my support, making the transition without me as seamless as possible.
I love my players; I love my team. Just because I’m not there as a coach doesn’t mean I don’t care. The difference I make for Wawasee and the difference my players make is their commitment in the offseason, the hard work we’ve put in together, and I’ll still be there making a difference, impacting the program, even more so by this decision which frees me up on so many more levels.
Good luck, Wawasee Tennis, and GO WARRIORS. I expect you guys to finish strong this year. Make me proud!!! 🎾😀
Shane Staley is the founder of Staley Tennis and a USPTA-certified trainer, Accredited Professional Coach and instructor.