Growing up all throughout elementary school and junior high I played just about every popular team sport for recreational teams. I played soccer, basketball, and softball for about 6-7 years before I realized that tennis was my thing. While I did enjoy playing team sports with my friends and getting experienced and coordinated in each sport, it made me realize that each sport wasn’t showing what I could do as an individual, without the help of my team. The way that I saw it, playing tennis for a team while playing your own individual matches shows your abilities and focuses on what you can do, which is what I love the most about it.
I started playing tennis when I was 12 years old right before starting junior high school. My first thought was that I would absolutely hate it due to how much I sucked the first time I picked up a racket and attempted to play against intimidating tennis players at the local tennis club. However, hidden beneath feeling like a failure and playing like complete crap was enjoyment out of the sport. Each time I played a match I got to demonstrate what I could do, and since I played awful it only pushed me to want to do better each time.
From being one of the few girls on the club tennis team and hitting against strong guys, I felt it as being a huge advantage on my part. Since all I knew how to hit against were guys who hit the crap out of the ball, that was what I was taught and how to play the game. And it feels so good. Being able to relieve stress every once in a while by going out and hitting some tennis balls and clearing your mind is the perfect medicine and always makes me feel better each time I play.
What is so great about tennis is that it really doesn’t always have to be competitive or about who wins or loses. After playing competitive tennis throughout all of junior high and high school I took a break my first year of college by just playing for fun and not for match play. And I still loved it just as much.
As it has been 8 years later, I still love the sport so much and continue to play year round on club teams and meet some of my very good friends who also play the game as well. Tennis will always be a part of my life and I am so grateful that after trying out so many different sports, I found the one that stuck the most and one that I can continue to play for a majority of my life.