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The day I decided to ask for help

Dec 19, 2021

Probably the part that is most fascinating to me about the game of tennis, it’s what happens within you as you play the game.

The way the mental-emotional factors influence your level of performance. How you get the opportunity to learn yourself and grow in the process. This RELATIONSHIP you create with the game it’s without a doubt the part that has marked me the most. | All starts and ends with YOU and it is reflected in all aspects of your life.

It was around 1988, 5 years after I made my first try on professional tennis, while I was playing a tournament back in my Country. I remember I lost a match, that in my mind, I should have never lost if I was ever going to be able to make a living playing tennis. Not only that I lost, but I remember I felt horribly bad on a tennis court. In that moment, after completely losing my faith and suffering in silence, I said to myself; this is not going any further; either I make a change or I need to steer my life in a different direction. I remember I cried, only BY THE THOUGHT of giving up on my childhood dream.

It was in that moment, humbled by the pain of failing that I decided to knock on two doors and ask for help.

I reached out first to a tennis coach, my uncle and former top player (PATRICIO CORNEJO) and second to a psychologist and mind coach (ENRIQUE AGUAYO). Both COACHES, with all their generosity and greatness, offered me their support. I’m still SO grateful for that. |  As Socrates said, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom’  With their help, I started a journey of self-knowledge and understanding what I was doing at a deeper level. That process helped me not only to ignite but also accelerate my LEARNING. I still don’t understand why I didn’t reach out for the help of a COACH sooner!!! maybe it was arrogance and lack of maturity? I still remember how I said to my new coach: “I need your help, I can’t get out of this hole I’m in, and it seems that I can’t stop digging”.
From that day on, I had their wisdom and help not only to understand what being a professional tennis player looked like, but also to become a better person. From that moment, I began to grow my AWARENESS and started to feel little by little the way I had felt on my best days on a tennis court. | My coach was tough and very demanding, but fair. He squeezed me as much as he could and told me to believe in myself. He told me that if I make an honest effort I could improve and that he was with me on this journey!!!. | It was like leaving behind my old snake skin for a new and better one, and slowly I noticed that I hadn’t just evolved on my inside, but also people outside experienced me in a different way. | With the knowledge of my mind coach we gradually started to defeat the mental demons, creating new behaviors and strategies. It took me about six months of daily practices to get used to my new “way of being” on the court, but the fruits of my efforts began to be reaped and I had the feeling that I was improving every single day. It was like opening a new window in the horizon of my mind. My ranking was improving and my game level was reaching a competitive level that I hadn’t experienced before; but most of all, I started to enjoy life and the game in a different way. A new RELATIONSHIP based on feelings and sensation while playing the game was born.
This chapter of my life and the experience I made in the next years, made me understand that Positive CHANGE, growing and improving yourself,  is possible!!! So now I know for a fact that I can help others to do the same and share the good that had been done to me by these wonderful COACHES. I encourage everyone to find that person that helps you expand and grow.


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