This I Believe

Oleh - West Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on January 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Bitter Lesson

I believe in an unforgettable experience and lively lesson which happened to me in the past while I was practicing my tennis shots with my coach. I spent practically most of the time after school working on the serves, swings, backhands. During that time he and I became true best friends. It was more like a brother relationship to me.

I still remember the first time when coach was demonstrating all the tennis tricks to me and to everyone else on the team. He patiently waited for everyone to correctly perform all the tennis moves. He taught me a lot about tennis. Tennis became my life.

Coach’s incredibly kind characteristics made things simple. Anyone could talk to him anytime, but of course not on the courts. Even though he was very strict man during practice, I still respect him. I started to think that tennis is not only about physical power, but it also includes a great deal of psychological control. Along with tennis I gained a lot of experience of deep personal communication and moral views.

There is one thing that happened in the past, which left a huge effect on me. It was the end of my senior year; as usual, the team was getting ready for the conference competitions. Coach decided to put me on spot, because he thought that would be better for the team. The team practiced in that particular set up for a long time until the day of the conference. On the day of the tournament, the team was totally prepared for the victory, everyone showed up, except for me. There was something the same day that was high importance in my life as well. In a couple of days I found out about the catastrophic results of my team, and I felt like all that was my fault. Then, I felt something that I have never felt before. Never in my life, have I felt more disappointed in myself. I could only imagine the emotional disaster of my coach. I thought he would never talk to me again. To my biggest surprise, my coach and I are still friends. All he said to me that day was, “I hope what you were doing was worth it”.

Personally, I think that was a lifetime experience for me. I suppose that we both knew I would never do anything like that if something else was not more valuable. I wish I could go back in the past and correct that mistake; something, where I did not let people down. Although both of my choices were valuable I still regret making the choice I made. I disappointed the person who relied on me all along. Since then whenever I am faced with such situation I value friends, feelings and emotions. I believe that if someone like me shall ever face in situation similar to mine, that person better think twice before making a right choice.