Stephan Lhuillier proves age doesn't matter in helping people become great coaches

Stephan Lhuillier, center left, teaches a group of tennis coaches.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--As they say, "You're never too young to create an impact."

Take 17-year-old tennis player Stephan Lhuillier for example.

While preparing for a possible collegiate stint in America, the incoming 11th grader is paying it forward to his fellow tennis enthusiasts through a two-day workshop called "Pinoy Tennis Trainers".

The said event aims to groom future tennis coaches that could possibly hone the next international stars in the game.

"As you see, the trainers in the Philippines struggle, so I just want to help them by sharing the knowledge of the Pinoy Tennis Trainers to help them excel," Lhuillier told Dugout Philippines during the first day of the event at the PCA Tennis Court on Saturday.

For him, the PTT is a proof that despite his young age, he can be a game changer.

"I've always had a passion for service, and this is in line with my passion. So I decided to pursue it now," Lhuillier added.

Helping him is renowned tennis coach Roland Kraut, the only Philippine mentor with an ITF Level 3 coaching credential to his name.

"I work hand in hand with Roland Kraut. Him sharing his knowledge is more qualified than I would do," said Lhuillier, who actually partnered with Kraut in developing the training modules for the PTT. 

From three sets of workshops last year only in Metro Manila, the PTT has expanded to a 10-legged nationwide tour this year. The Manila leg is the seventh for the year having already made stops in the cities of Tagbilaran, Dumaguete, Butuan, Cebu, San Jose Del Monte, and Puerto Princesa.

"They're having a great time. They're doing well in [gaining] information. It's productive," Lhuillier said about the 45 people who came to PCA for the PTT, among them being former NU skipper Leander Lazaro.

Up next for Lhuillier's workshop series are stops in Oroquieta, Bacoor, and Olongapo, and despite his hectic schedule in studies and in training, he is willing to go there and give insights to tennis coaches there.

"I designed the legs to be on the weekends, so I have a lot of time to be hands-on during this program," he further said.

On how the program will impact the local tennis, particularly the development of players and coaches, he replied, "Since they're more qualified now, they can now reach a wide range of students. If you're better at your job, then people will just come back to you."

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