Being well spoken and extroverted was never a natural trait for Sylvester Mayfield, better known as Mr. or Coach Mayfield. From the small town of Wharton, Texas, the educator and tennis coach had grown up quite reserved. Although being his first year George Bush High School, the history and tennis coach has made an impact on his team and students.
Before pursuing the career of an educator, Mr. Mayfield was just like any of us, a normal student in a normal high school. Being quiet and reserved came naturally, however once majoring in history at Prairie View University and pursuing secondary education at Sam Houston State, the new profound educator began to find his voice.
Despite growing up introverted, Mr. Mayfield knew he wanted to pursue education.
“In high school, in my senior year, I had participated in PALS, and I had really loved it. I loved to teach,” Mr. Mayfield said.
However, without knowing, teaching had also allowed for him to grow his own voice and confidence.
“I didn’t have a voice back then; I didn’t know how to speak up. I didn’t know how to speak publicly. When I went to college and I started teaching, I gained that voice, slowly but surely. Now I have the confidence to do almost anything teaching related,” Mr. Mayfield said.
However, education was not the only thing that has impacted Mr. Mayfield in grand ways.
“Tennis has impacted me in ways bigger than I ever thought. It’s opened doors; It’s given me career opportunities,” Mr. Mayfield said.
Mr. Mayfield began his tennis journey when he was in 7th grade. However, it wasn’t until October of 2004 that he asked his tennis coach to place him into the tennis class, making this one of the best decisions he has ever made.
“I was 14 years old and I really wanted to play, and my friends wanted me to play. They said, ‘well, go talk to the coach’ and it took me a whole week to go talk to her. It took me so long to do that, but once I asked her, she was like, ‘sure,’ and that was the best decision I have ever made,” Mr. Mayfield said.
From the transition of player to coach, Mr. Mayfield has found the position of coaching just as rewarding as the position of playing on the court.
“The most rewarding is when something clicks. You know when they finally get that serve right, or they finally get that forehand or backhand right, it’s like ‘aha!’ That’s what keeps me going,” Mr. Mayfield said.
In more ways than one, Mr. Mayfield is an influence on not only his tennis team, but his students as well. Despite having to grow into the person he is today, he shares a story of growth and passion, which is inspiring to every person he meets.