Topeka coach teaching kids life skills through summer camp, tennis lessons

Someone You Should Know

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Leadership, fair play and teamwork are the lessons a Topeka man is teaching kids at a summer camp that goes beyond playing sports.

Bryan Hayes is a tennis coach and programing director for Mighty Camps. It’s a sports and activity camp at Genesis Health Club in Topeka. Hayes has worked at the gym for about 10 years, coaching people in tennis, from as young as six to 85 years old. He operates the camp over the summer.

To Hayes, it’s more than sports for the kids. He wants them to know every day, they’re learning life skills that will teach them to be better people in the future.

“It can speak in so many different languages and directions when it comes to one solid voice,” Hayes said. “We can all get on the same page and the same team and learn, compete and have fun, and fair play. And try something new and different and just be brave together, right? That’s sports to me.”

Hayes said when it comes to being on teams, kids are learning how to work together as well as communicating and teaching kids how to support others.

“I want to make sure that I always put something good out into the world and the universe,” Hayes said. “I think one of the best ways you can do that is through kids. At this age, you have a true opportunity to impact them in a way that could be life long. What serves us better for a lifetime is how to interact with each other kindly. How to solve problems in a peaceful way. How to disagree respectfully. All of those things transcend what a sport looks like, and starts to teach us what life looks like.”

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