This week’s giant Nameer Shamsi, is a great example of unwavering discipline, commitment and persistence in the face of odds and inspires us to not settle for mediocrity. Nameer Shamsi is currently the Program Director and Founder at one of the top tennis academies in Pakistan, The Shamsi Tennis Academy. He has pursued tennis since the age of 11, and was Pakistan’s Number 1 Tennis Player Under 13-16 between 2008-2010. He’s living his passion and we hope you find the courage to live your passions too.
Who is Nameer Shamsi? Give us a little background about yourself and your accomplishments.
I am the Program Director at Shamsi Tennis Academy. I’ve been playing tennis since the age of 11. By the age of 12, I was ranked among the top 4 in the nation. I started the sport for mere enjoyment and physical activity, but I soon realised that I had a great knack for tennis.
Some of my notable accomplishments include:
Pakistan Number 1 Under 13-16 (2008-2010)
World Junior Tennis representation for Pakistan
Junior Davis Cup representation for Pakistan
One year Diploma at Evert Tennis Academy
4 year Scholar Athlete, Augusta University
Number one doubles player for Augusta University
Running Shamsi Tennis Academy in Karachi
Youngest Certified ITF Coach in Pakistan
Youngest Captain of the Under 14 Pakistan National Team
Tell us about the role your family played in helping you build an athlete's mindset at a young age?
At a young age, my father encouraged cricket and tennis. I tried both sports, but I realised my extraordinary talent in tennis. After finishing runners up in my first Sindh Tournament, my father recognized my ability to represent Pakistan. My father invested a lot of his time and resources to polish my skills - Be it coaching, travelling for tournaments or international training. My father also used to analyze my practices and matches and help me tackle difficult situations mentally. He gave it all as he believed in me. The determination of my father cemented my self belief to achieve something great. Along with my father, my mother also used to encourage me a lot. Before and after my tennis practices, she would make sure I was studying and keeping up with school. She also focused immensely on my nutrition and made sure that I had an athlete’s diet. Through bad days or tough losses, my parents were my pillars. This extraordinary support helped me become very strong mentally. It is because of them, who I am today.
How do your family/closest friends describe you?
My close family describes me as being street smart and an innovator. My closest friends describe me as a very passionate and hard working individual. Along with that, they think I have a jolly personality and I am very easy going. Coaching tennis in Pakistan is considered to be an inferior job, but with a lot of support from my close friends and family, I was able to set up Shamsi Tennis Academy as one of the top academies in Pakistan.
Do you feel being an athlete has impacted other aspects of your life? And how?
Choosing to play tennis professionally was the best decision of my life. I believe that playing a sport not only reveals your character, it builds it. I became conscious of my diet and how to treat my body. Juggling between tennis and studies, I started using my time wisely and became efficient at time management. I also think the nature of competitive sports gives an athlete the opportunity to develop strength in areas such as developing leadership skills, teamwork and effective communication.
A few words of inspiration to encourage people to challenge themselves?
Never underestimate what you can achieve in life, even if you encounter constant struggles in your particular field. Hard work and determination always leads to success. It is bound to happen. Also, try new things in life. Do not follow the path of the average individual, but work towards building a career in which no one could imagine how successful you can be.
Lastly, who have you always looked up to since you were a kid?
There are two people who i have idolized in my life. My father and Roger Federer. My father is the reason behind my successes in life. His life lessons proved to be very effective and helped me shape my career perfectly. Roger Federer is behind my successful tennis career. Watching him play and sometimes practicing his techniques on the court, it just made tennis easy for me.