Member Article

North East Motivator Lifts Moral of John McEnroe Protégés

A North East England based motivational speaker, conditioning coach and mentor has delivered an overseas virtual academy to children who are aspiring tennis stars of the future at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.

And the response has been so phenomenal from the 600 strong academy in New York, that Steve Black (otherwise know as Blackie) will become a more permanent fixture, with sessions being held on a continuous basis.

Michael Kossof, director tennis at SPORTIME and director of John McEnroe Tennis Academy in Long Island said that holding the virtual John McEnroe Tennis Academy during lockdown has helped the students mental health massively, as Steve told stories of resilience and how to be mentally tough when faced with a challenge. Michael said:

“SPORTIME is proud to operate the finest tennis facilities in New York State, with 154 indoor and outdoor courts across Long Island, in NYC, in Westchester and in the NY Capital Region. Our clubs are state-of-the-art, yet affordable, and offer the best tennis facilities and instruction, along with amazing camps, sports and fitness programs.

“However, through lockdown we had to close and our kids from the John McEnroe Academy needed their structure from us in a different way.

“Steve was supposed to actually come to New York so of course we improvised. His session was just incredible, in fact, he was one of the best speakers we have ever had at the Academy. The impact was so positive that we can’t wait to get a full program in place with him in the near future.”

A well-known face in the sporting world, Steve has taken his expertise in making people fit in the mind as well as fit in the body into a new business, Protean Solutions. He has been working increasingly with both individuals and organisations focusing on motivation, teamwork, leadership and excellence in the workplace. He also dedicates a lot of his time to the community and to youth led activities.

His portfolio is impressive, with big names including Kevin Keegan, Jonathan Edwards, Jonny Wilkinson, Rob Andrews and Glen McCrory endorsing the former Newcastle Falcons and British Lions rugby coach.

Steve said:

“All through my career I have been passionate about making sure that kids get the best shot at life, like my Mam and Nana did for me.

“Sport helps mental agility and health, and so the work that the SPORTIME crew do at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy is incredibly important. Their ethics resonated with me, so I was keen to work with them. It was a joy to be part of the virtual academy. I am humbled by the feedback and I can’t wait to get my teeth in to more sessions with them!”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Anna Toms .

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