Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Coach Wayne’s Corner

Submitted Photo

Being a lifelong fan of watching and competing in sports, I have recently discovered that a routine of being out on the courtbe it pickleball or tennisis an important part of my social life and directly impacts my emotional state of mind. Whether I’m teaching a lesson, competing, or just watching others play a match, devoting time to my two favorite sports of tennis and pickleball is vital to my overall physical and emotional health and well-being. 

As the last few months of the pandemic has altered my teaching schedule, I have come to realize how therapeutic being on the court and coaching was/is to my daily happiness. 

During this time, I have been fortunate to remain continuously active and busy with my career as a laser technician at Lenkbar Surgical Solutions. While there, even though I collaborate, communicate, and socialize with my fellow workers on a daily basis, I have discovered a void in my life from not being out on the courts with my students, as well as the camaraderie of playing and competing with my friends. 

One of my goals as an instructor is to always learn something from my students. Acquiring this knowledge does not necessarily have anything to do with pickleball or tennis, but can be related to any aspect of life.  

As a proud and happy soon to be Grandpa of identical twin boys, I recently received some sage and enlightening advice from one of my lessons.  

She commented to me that one of the things she misses most was not being able to spend time with her grandkids like she did (could) before the pandemic. She pointed out that since she was not able to physically be with them, that (for now) she spends time with her grandkids via social media formats like FaceTime and Zoom. 

She went on to encourage me to not waste time fretting over the way things are different now than they were, but to enjoy and cherish the time I have being able to do something that makes me happy. Aka, “Don’t worry, be happy! 

So, as we are all now having to reinvent our social activity agendas, make sure to take the time to appreciate and enjoy the things that make you happy and don’t worry about the inconveniences that may be associated with the new ways of doing things. 

In the meantime, let’s all make sure we use some good old common sense by washing our hands, watching our distance, and wearing a mask to get through these challenging times. 

Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 years’ experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at, or by phone or text at 239-450-6161. 


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