AX Hotels Sliema Got Talent
Oftentimes, work takes priority over everything else in our lives. The passion to succeed in our career can push us to forget other important aspects in life, including our own mental and physical well-being. That’s why it’s vital to have activities outside of work which ensure that we embrace a harmonious work-life balance. Although it is sometimes difficult to do so, it is always possible.
Andy Tanti, Our Director of Sales at AX The Palace, proves that if there’s a will, there’s a way. Apart from fulfilling a very challenging role at work, handling familial responsibilities, and reading for a Master’s Degree, Andy has also taken on coaching U6 children at the Mellieha Football School. Take a look at what he has to say about taking on this enjoyable but challenging role.
Why specifically football?
“I started playing football with my hometown club Rabat when I was six or seven years old, eventually leaving the club to pursue my career in hospitality. I cannot say that football is my favourite sport; that spot is dedicated to water sports. However, over the years, I have followed club and international football, and eventually, when my boys started playing, I was hooked again.”
How long have you been coaching?
“I have just started my second season coaching at the Mellieha Football School. During my first season, I was an assistant coach with the Under-8 team. This season, I’m coaching the Under-6 group. At this age, it is important to support their development through exciting and enjoyable training sessions that promote involvement and encourage kids to fall in love with playing football. My goal is to instil a sense of team spirit, collaboration, and the ability to deal with different and challenging situations whilst promoting children’s creativity and skills.”
What inspired you to start coaching children?
“I wanted to help my boys, Xandru, who is nine, and Gianni, seven, improve their skills and technique. So essentially, I started coaching to be able to help them. Luckily, my girls, Emma and Nina (I have four kids), did not ask me to help them with singing, dancing, or ballet!”
How do you juggle your time between family, work, studying, and coaching?
“It’s a daily challenge to balance everything whilst allowing enough time for my family and myself. My typical day, including weekends, starts at 5.30am to work on my Master’s Degree thesis for about 2 hours, have a quick breakfast, get ready, and leave home for work by 8am. The workday can be rather intensive, but at the same time gratifying. I try to leave the office by 6pm, which gives me enough time for an end-of-day swim at Xemxija, where I spend most of my summer evenings with my family. I coach on Mondays and Saturdays and play 5-a-side football on Wednesdays and Friday evenings. My children’s extracurricular activities generally take up every other minute during the day!”
Sports and extracurricular activities are very important, and children can be quite a handful! How do you personally benefit from this important role you were entrusted with?
“I have 14 kids in my U6 team. Keeping their attention while explaining different exercises and ensuring that they perform those same exercises correctly is a daunting task. It certainly takes a lot of patience – in fact, I had never imagined having that much patience! Coaching and playing football allows me to switch-off work and everything else for a couple of hours. Apart from the physical benefits, it’s a unique opportunity to take care of my mental health.”
What’s your advice to anyone out there who finds it difficult to juggle work and extracurricular activities?
“Maintaining a balance between work and non-work activities is essential for our mental well-being. I have learnt to manage my time better by colour-coding my daily calendar, so it becomes easy to identify time slots I can dedicate to myself. It is easy to fall into a vicious trap where you try to convince yourself you don’t have time or cannot do something. So start, give it your very best shot, do everything with passion, and time will find you.”