Who is “Chanson”?
I was born in the USA, but I moved to South Korea as an infant with my family. My father is Korean and my mother is Caucasian-American (they met when my mother was a missionary to South Korea and my father was attending seminary school). My father learned how to play tennis by watching Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, with a tennis partner that helped him, and by hitting on the tennis wall. I learned how to play tennis from my father, and played tennis in high school and one semester of Div III college tennis at Messiah College back in 2001. After 2001, I did not play tennis on a consistent basis until 2006 when I discovered USTA League tennis. Since then it has been a journey of learning how to play tennis well and learning how to be a better coach and instructor. I was an assistant pro and did tennis court maintenance at Hope Valley Country Club in Durham, NC from 2013 to 2017. I was an assistant pro at Rock Hill Tennis Center in 2017 and did front desk work and tennis stringing at RHTC from 2018 to 2020. I currently hold a USTA level 4.5 tennis rating.
What kind of Coach are you?
I am learning how to be a better coach and instructor every day that I go out there and teach. I am a strong believer that making mistakes is the best way to learn, if you allow it to help you get better for next time. Ultimately, I want my students to enjoy playing the game of tennis at a level that they are working towards. I have a game-situation approach to teaching so that once my students are able to get a stroke down then they can use it in a game situation. I want my students to be able to hit a lot of tennis balls, whether it be through hand feeds close-up, ball feeds across the net, or rally-game situations. I have learned to not overload my students with instruction, but to stick with one to two things at a time so that they don’t feel overwhelmed. I would like to work with mainly beginners, beginner-intermediates, and intermediate level tennis players. I feel that my upbringing and experience as a tennis player is what makes me different from a lot of other coaches. I did not play high level tennis in college and did not play in high level tournaments as a junior, but I love the game of tennis and I can use my personal experience as a tennis player to help my students to love tennis and to play tennis proficiently.
What do you want people to know about you?
I try to play tennis for fun 2-3 times a week (Leagues, tennis social groups, and hitting on the wall) to stay physically fit, to improve my own tennis game, and to meet people. I have been playing the classical guitar off and on for the last 5 years since I love music and I like the sound of the classical guitar. I like to listen to instrumental music, mainly classical, jazz, piano, and classical guitar. I like to play basketball as another way of staying in shape and staying more creative with movement and body posture, etc. I like to watch a variety of YouTube videos (funny animal videos, news updates, bushcraft and survival skills, tennis, music, and topical research). I enjoy cooking and eating. My wife and I enjoy going on short weekend trips to different places and we will camp in our own backyard every now and then.
Thoughts about working at Blakeney Club?
I love the international atmosphere at Blakeney. I grew up most of my childhood and adolescent years in South Korea, so it is great to see a wide mixture of international members and coaches at Blakeney. There is always tennis being played at Blakeney and the members take full advantage of the 11 clay courts, 3 hard courts, hitting wall, and ball machines. There is a place for all walks of life and levels of tennis at Blakeney, whether you are looking to meet people to play tennis with at your personal level or desiring to play tennis at a high level (a junior player seeking to play college tennis, a 4.0 player seeking to be a USTA National Champion, etc).