Juan Carlos Stevens can be seen these days amid the turmoil of the Cuban delegation competing in the VII Parapan American Games.
This time he no longer shoots to score points in the competition; he has hung up the bow that gave him great glory in the past.
However, he refuses to abandon the big stages of the competition; he refuses to stray from his mantra: the whistle of the arrows walking towards the target and the tapping of the arrows on the pillow.
He has so much to teach that he accepts the challenge of continuing as a coach: “They offered me the challenge of working with athletes with disabilities, and I accepted because I want to stay involved in sport,” he said. in a low voice before the game. investigative journalist.
He alternates his casual expression with the calmness and seriousness he brings to the conversation. “I never thought I would fall in love with this job,” he added.
He saved all the smiles for the 10 that Manolito, his student, just got. He encourages her and challenges her to do it like the last date. “Look like a professional who takes the hours and breathes,” she encourages him.
And he returns to the role of a skilled mime who gives theatrical faces depending on the context. Needless to say, the one he adopted for the interview was the impostado; he felt more comfortable stretching the rope and calibrating the sights.
“The best and most unexpected thing about this new job is what you learn,” he replied without thinking. “It is a constant school to work with them because you have to adapt the whole technique to their conditions,” he explained, and he pointed directly at Leidys Posada, something that can only be noticed by the expert eye.
He unfolds like a chameleon, and you notice that supposed seriousness crumbles in the face of the straightforward counselor. He does not seem like a master teacher at first glance, but he is the father of two brave boys who first bowed their hands just a year ago and are already competing in Parapan American games.
All the honors go to them, who have achieved the technique that others have cultivated since their childhood. I remember Leidy’s first competition before coming and where he qualified for this event. There he launched without a proper accessory that contributed to the focus but required more skill,” he explained.
“When he reached the mark given by the square, I knew he was ready, and I took the opportunity to add that to his execution,” he said happily and pointed at him proudly. “Look what he is,” he pointed out. “He looks like a veteran,” he boasted.
“This is just an argument to know that we can continue. In just one year, the fruits will be seen, and I hope to continue to improve in the future. I also hope that other shooters join in,” he explained. which reveals his ambition and his desire to continue.
“Here, a good coach is useless; you also have to serve as a friend, understand their stories, explain to them what they can do, and remove the fear,” he warned before showing doubt—two of the anecdotes of his student’s mother’s disbelief, who didn’t believe progress was possible until he saw his daughter take the plane to the competition.
Stevens knows how to understand the greatness hidden behind the academic rigor, the technical notes, and the evaluative tests. “It’s another thing; to be successful here, you also need a ‘bomb’,” he said, beating his chest. You don’t need to say more.