Dearest Coach Francis,
First of all, I’d like to express how I admire your passion and dedication in developing the skills and talent of the team.
I met you twice already.
The first time I met you was during a game in Shakey’s V-League.
You were still the head coach of the National University Lady Bulldogs back then. On that day, a journalist was conducting an interview regarding the graduation of Jen Reyes from the team.
You were both seated behind me.
As the journalist concluded the interview, you said a bright future is waiting for Jen if she keeps on working hard. I also heard you say that you are willing to guide her into becoming the star that she should be.
The second meeting was at the Gatorade Hoops Center when they organized a coaching clinic for different sports.
You were still seated behind me.
With that, I had a chance to hear a certain discussion you had together with the other UAAP coaches. You were talking about reintegrating and innovating the skills of today’s volleyball players.
During those encounters, I knew I wanted to be just like you, an inspiring coach like Francis Vicente.
Yes, I may not hold big ticket items under my name or play at a high level.
But believe me, I tried.
I tried to start coaching and I was able to handle a small team.
I felt all the pressure and the stress throughout the journey.
Indeed, there will always be doubters along the way. There were also times that even your own players won’t respond to you.
But you were different.
I know you have a vision and a goal of not only bringing the country back to international prominence but also making these women’s ultimate dreams as athletes do come true.
A win or a podium finish in the international arena will surely serve as a rewarding experience for the Philippine volleyball community.
The real battle is yet to come but I’d like to congratulate you for making them realize that more a team, they are also family.
Coach, please don’t remove the fun and the smile on their faces, when they feel in doubt or down for a moment, make them smile, make them laugh – they deserve it.
More importantly, keep your focus on the goal as there are still lots of people who believe that you can get the job done.
I hope someday I could have a chance to work with you. I do pray that we, Filipinos, would be able to do a lot better this time.
Keep on inspiring people like me who have the same passion as you do.
Goodluck, Coach Francis!
Wishing you all the best!