Meet Shannon Govekar, a first-time volunteer from our Burlingame, CA, program. “I was excited to teach, nervous about how to teach and what was the right approach,” the Roboticist explained, laughing. “I just wanted them to enjoy the sport and I wanted to enjoy the experience.”
After receiving a newsletter from his tennis club, Shannon, who is passionate about teaching tennis, couldn’t pass up this opportunity. “My aunt has a school in India for kids with special needs, and I used to spend summers teaching there, showing them how to use computers,” the former Biology student continued. “So this was a perfect opportunity to combine my passions.”
His passion for teaching shone through as he helped Darshan, the athlete he had been paired with for most of the season. Through hand-over-hand instruction, positive reinforcement and high fives, it was clear how much he bonded with Darshan and how much they enjoyed each other’s company. “Last week he was hitting some good forehands; he was getting it,” Shannon told us excitedly. “The rate at which he learned surprised me!”
When asked if anything surprised him throughout the session, he quickly answered: “The excitement they showed, the level of energy is amazing!” In addition to loving the energy the participants bring in every week, Shannon also got to learn more about himself. “I learned different ways of teaching, how to consistently reinforce what they learn, and making sure that they have fun,” he said, after thinking about it.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and we can’t wait to see you back on court! Thank you for everything that you do!