Cairns, Queensland, 8 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Whether he is working as a coach or a tournament director, it’s fair to say Alwyn Musumeci’s weekends look different to many other 20-year-olds.

Musumeci is a full-time coach at the Baseline Tennis Coaching Academy, which operates across four clubs in Cairns, and is the local Junior Development Series (JDS) co-ordinator for the region.

“It’s pretty full on,” Musumeci said of his demanding schedule. “I’m usually on court coaching six days a week, doing 35-40 hours. But that doesn’t include JDS tournaments close to every weekend, as well as any other external things such as workshops or courses.”

However, Musumeci, who turns 21 later this month, wouldn’t want it any other way.

“I started coaching three-to-five hours a week and that developed into a part-time role during my final years of high school,” Musumeci said.

“Since finishing school in 2020, I’ve gone full-time and been fully invested. I love it.”

The driven young leader has already completed several coaching qualifications, as well as a tournament director course.

He demonstrated his dedication again last month, taking time out from his work commitments to travel down to Brisbane for a Level 2 Club Professional coaching course.

His inspiration to pursue a coaching career is to “help those that want to work hard and chase their dreams”.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be a top athlete, so I wanted to dive into helping others dream big,” he said.

It is a pathway he is finding “so rewarding”.

“For me, looking back over the past four or five years of coaching, it’s great when you can see how much the kids in the program have developed over that time,” Musumeci said.

“It’s so rewarding to think you’ve almost made that player. You can see what you’ve done with them.

“They might still have a long way to go, but seeing that progress is massive for me.”

He has encountered some challenges though, especially considering his young age.

“The younger guys love that I am younger, so I connect with them really well,” he said.

“But the older players, they don’t always want to learn from a 20-year-old kid. That’s the biggest challenge I’m finding.”

Determined to overcome this, Musumeci is investing time into strengthening relationships as part of his role.

“I’m trying to find new connections in different areas, not necessarily tennis,” he said. “Sometimes it’s talking about golf, if that’s what they’re into.”

This personable approach rings true to Musumeci’s coaching philosophy.

“You’re not just a coach, you’re a mentor,” he explained. “You’re helping that person outside of coaching too. It might mean you get the odd phone call on a Sunday night, but you’ll answer it because you love it.”

Musumeci names his boss, Wayne Fielder, as “a massive mentor”. They share a close bond after Wayne’s son, who was also one of Musumeci’s best friends, tragically passed away following a car accident in 2019.

Together they are proudly growing tennis in Far North Queensland.

“That’s what I’m trying to do, bring the love of the game that I have back to Cairns and the kids here,” Musumeci said.

An annual highlight for the region is hosting back-to-back Australian Pro Tour tournaments at the Cairns International Tennis Centre from late September.

> VIEW: Australian Pro Tour calendar

The hard-working Musumeci helps in any way he can, including restringing racquets for the professional competitors. He also loves seeing his junior charges gain inspiration watching courtside.

“Our kids froth on it. They just absolutely love it,” Musumeci said.

“We love the energy of the event and getting to see all these top players we don’t get to see very often. It’s like a special treat.”

The enthusiastic Musumeci is equally excited for his own career journey, which is already off to a promising start.

“I want to keep loving the game and keep developing myself as a coach,” he said of his future ambitions.

“I don’t know specifically what route I’m going to go down as of yet, but I’m trying to dive into multiple areas and keep pursuing what I want to do and achieve.”

Read more in our Coaching Spotlight series:
> Brad Boynton: A local leader teaching the next generation
> Annabel Taylor: Former Australian No.1 now guiding next generation
> Lara Walker: Proudly inspiring young girls

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