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The WAVE Program Swells to New Heights

with Help from the World Renowned Peter Burwash

“There are 3 things that drive the human spirit: appreciation, recognition and creative freedom. The WAVE program sets this stage for everybody.”
-Peter Burwash

By Michelle Netzlaff-Luna
The Cedar Street Times

As founder and president of Peter Burwash International (PBI), the world's largest tennis management company and a featured International Speaker for many Fortune 500 companies like IBM, CBS and 3M Corporation, Peter Burwash knows about success. In addition to being an extraordinary entrepreneur and businessman, Peter has had an exceptional career as a pro athlete and tennis champion, winning 19 international singles and doubles titles as well as being Canadian #1 and Davis Cup player. He has joined the likes of Billie Jean King and Dennis Van Der Meer in the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame for his accomplishments and impact on the sport of tennis.  Recognized as one of the world's best tennis coaches, his book Tennis for Life has become an industry best seller.  He has authored 10 other books on leadership, service, health, fitness and personal development, with endorsements from powerhouses like Steven Covey and Lee Iacocca.  But more than teaching others how to be visionary leaders, he's a strong believer in being of service.  “What you do and don't get paid for is who you really are. Service is really what it's all about.” This is one of his core philosophies, and he is staying true to it by generously sharing his expertise with the WAVE program this summer.  

When asked why he was interested in helping the WAVE program, this is what he had to say.           

Mr. Peter BurwashMr. Peter Burwash

“I wrote a book on leadership, and Chapter One is on enthusiasm. When Darryl came to me, you know, I get proposals and requests all the time. But I saw the enthusiasm Darryl Smith had for the program. Here's a program that's free of charge, all the equipment has been donated and the schedule, it was during the summertime when many families have a single parent or both parents working so the kids are idle all summer.  Now here suddenly from 8:30-4pm each day these kids have opportunity to be involved with something that's positive.  I thought wow, this is unbelievable that this kind of program exists, free of charge. I recognized that this is a very, very special event. The enthusiasm of Darryl, looking at the program, seeing who got behind it, and knowing how special all this is, I said to myself, I gotta do this. So I went to my calendar to see if I was in town.      

Another factor is I'm a big believer that sports is a wonderful segue into a strong corporate career in the business world.  Most leaders of corporations today have had a strong athletic background. This is especially important because it's getting tougher and tougher for kids to get jobs these days. The job market is shrinking. People enjoy having someone that's been on a team, or someone who has a strong sense of discipline through their sports training career. This program gives people a chance to have a discipline of practice.          

"I was also interested because the age range of this program (10-12 years) is critical. By the time 12 is over and 13 begins, most kids disappear for another 7 or 8 years. They have to express their own individuality, they have to do their own searching and they break away from their families. So this is a pivotal point for parents to realize that this is their last crack.  After that it's just teachers, coaches and peer pressure.  My parent orientation talk on July 7 is focused on the qualities of a great parent and how to be a parent to kids who are participating in this incredible program.   There are 3 things that drive the human spirit: appreciation, recognition and creative freedom. Are we instilling all three of these things in our kids? Appreciation is the number one driving force of the human spirit. So what I hope I will get through to the parents is for them to be extremely appreciative of the opportunity that the program presents, and transfer that to the kids, to be appreciative of their coaches and teachers. When I wrote a book on what makes a good company, the number one reason people left a company was because they didn't feel appreciated. When we did the football team, my only responsibility on the sidelines was to take notes and see how the players were doing. But when the  touchdown was scored, I wouldn't let the player sit down until he had thanked all the line men. Normally the line men don't even get their name in the paper, so it gave them an opportunity to feel appreciated.          

"My hope is we teach kids at age 10 and 12 to be appreciative. I talk a lot about the importance of graduation day and that the kids should buy the present. The parents sacrificed time and money, let's make sure you show appreciation when you graduate. Shifting that whole consciousness around is what I hope to be able to do with the parents, which I hope will transfer to coaches who will  transfer to the kids.  First and foremost, everything we're doing in education today should be focused around appreciation.”

Peter Burwash is guest speaker at the WAVE Program's  Parent Orientation Meeting on Friday July 7, 2017  from 6:30-7:30pm in the Pacific Grove High School Gymnasium.

To view a short video of the parents orientation see below:

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