Denise Dy is paving the best way for a lot of Asian American coaches and gamers within the collegiate discipline.
Preserving tradition is one thing Dy stated she strives for in her workforce.
“I really feel that one of many issues that basically comes down behind our success is that open-mindedness and by way of what all people can do, and mainly what our strengths can add into the group,” she stated.
Significantly as a Filipino coach and tennis participant, Dy has labored to turn into a job mannequin for different Asian Individuals inside the business.
“I feel, clearly, having Asian American position fashions is actually robust. It is virtually like we’re the primary,” she stated. “We’ve got to sort of make our personal path if for lack of a greater phrase and I feel that however on the identical time that comes with a superb problem, and I additionally suppose that it offers different folks some eyes to sort of perceive that. ”
In her personal profession, Dy isn’t any stranger to being within the highlight.
In her first stint as Fresno State’s head coach, she led her workforce to an undefeated 2022 Mountain West (MW) spring season. She was then named MW Coach of the 12 months.
Regardless of her early success in her teaching profession, her ardour for tennis and cultural expectations had clashed when she was a participant.
“Each of my dad and mom, particularly my mom… [were] very severe with the educational parts. Being very severe with faculty, getting good grades and enjoying loads of tennis tournaments prompted loads of disruption with faculty,” Dy stated. “We needed to miss loads of class.”
Coming from a Filipino household, there have been usually factors the place Dy stated her household felt it was extra essential to do faculty full-time.
“They’re actually severe with faculty. They did not actually take sports activities very severely. They’re like, ‘It isn’t a job.’ I feel that was one of many largest issues rising up,” she stated.
Dy’s dad and mom immigrated to the US from the Philippines across the late Nineteen Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties to San Jose, the place she was born and raised. Her ardour for tennis started early after her uncle launched her to the game when she was 9 years outdated.
“I cherished the technique side of tennis after I was youthful [with moving] and having the ability to be somewhat bit extra lively,” she stated.
This ardour for tennis fueled Dy’s aim to play in a junior grand slam in highschool, and at one level, Dy was homeschooled in highschool to allow her to pursue her goals.
For Dy and her household, one of many largest challenges was balancing faculty and tennis whereas additionally going through fixed bills to journey for video games and gear.
“There was loads of stress on a week-to-week foundation to have the ability to sort of preserve doing what I am doing. As a result of if it did not work, then we must enter into Plan B mode,” Dy stated.
However her persistence and dedication paid off. She performed within the junior grand slams for the Philippines and represented the nation within the Fed Cup.
She then went on to signify the Philippines on the Southeast Asian (SEA) Video games the place she gained a silver medal in doubles and a bronze in singles in 2009, plus combined doubles gold medal in 2011 and 2015.
As soon as she began representing the Philippines at a world degree, Dy stated it helped her household perceive her ardour for tennis.
Dy returned to the US for faculty, touchdown in Seattle to play for the College of Washington.
Throughout her time with the Huskies, she was a three-time All-American and was ranked a No. 3 athlete within the nation in singles. In doubles, she ranked as excessive as No. 6.
Now at 33, Dy’s ardour to play has remodeled right into a ardour to teach, particularly after her personal experiences enjoying collegiate tennis. She began off as an assistant coach for the College of Arizona, the College of Washington after which the College of Iowa.
She lastly settled into the top coach place at Fresno State in 2020.
“Should you examine [collegiate tennis] to what folks do in knowledgeable degree, or within the junior degree, even in the highschool degree, it is actually incomparable,” she stated. “Simply having the person features after which combining that with the workforce dynamic is simply an enormous problem. It is one thing the place I simply have a ardour.”
With a workforce composed of many college students from around the globe, forming a powerful workforce dynamic is one thing that requires each motivation and respect, in accordance with Dy.
Cristina Flaquer, a Fresno State senior tennis participant from Barcelona, Spain, stated the workforce has turn into a “huge household” beneath Dy’s steering.
“We assist one another a lot as a result of all of us are in the identical place. We’re very removed from house and generally it’s troublesome, however with all of the assist of the workforce, it’s a lot simpler,” Flaquer stated.
Assistant coach Calvin Track stated Dy has introduced the workforce vital data concerning the sport each from her personal profession and time as a coach, and her personal emphasis on respecting the tradition of these round her brings the gamers nearer collectively.
“Positively, there are, I might say, fewer minorities within the teaching world, and I consider… we could be the one, or we could be one of many few, I might say Asian minority teaching workers,” Track stated. “However simply our values have actually helped us carry this workforce nearer collectively and [be] in a position to succeed on and off the court docket.”
Taking part in tennis and training within the US as a minority is one thing that Dy stated is a platform for alternatives.
“That is the beauty of, not simply the Valley, however within the US too, that we could be something that we need to be,” she stated.
Carrying on the legacy of each her Filipino tradition and her profession by tennis is one thing that continues to drive Dy, who stated that being that individual to take step one into chasing their goals is one thing that may assist encourage others in faculty athletics.
“I feel on the finish of the day, it is good, and I feel illustration is essential,” Dy stated.
“Whether or not you are a lady, you are a minority or no matter… On the identical time it additionally comes with its challenges, and it comes with challenges once you’re the primary one, however there needs to be any individual who began.”