This I Believe

Katie - Old Fort, North Carolina
Entered on September 25, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports
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One thing I love to do is play tennis. I’ll play at any time – day or night and in any weather with the exception of lightning since metal fences usually surround most tennis courts. Tennis is my passion and I love sharing that passion with others – no matter what their skill level is.

I graduated from high school and had decided on the college I wanted to attend. It was a very small school with no tennis team, club or intramurals. After playing four years in high school, it was hard to adjust from playing every day to not playing very often.

During the entire first semester, I played tennis only a couple of times with my sister who also attended college. Although my sister and I were very close, sibling rivalry always found its way onto the court in one form or another. During the second semester, however, we managed to find another person to transform our tennis duo into a tennis triad. When warmer weather arrived, we played tennis non-stop. We frequently played at night – usually later than 11 pm. Once I even skipped class to play because it was such a beautiful day for tennis that I just could not help myself.

Unfortunately, I began to really miss playing competitive tennis. As much as I enjoy playing recreationally, sometimes, I wanted to play someone who wished to win as much as I did and would finish a match no matter how bad they were playing. Earlier in the semester, I had decided to change schools. The school I chose, located in North Carolina, had a tennis team. Imagine my excitement when I made the team. Although I knew the girls on the team would be a lot more dedicated than the girls on my high school team, I was still thrilled that I could play competitive and consistent tennis again.

As the much anticipated first day of practice arrived, I was ecstatic. My excitement quickly died down, however, when I realized we were going to run the whole practice to condition. When the first day came where the team got to hit tennis balls, my excitement once again flourished and I was ready to start.

It didn’t take me long to realize, though, that some of the girls took the game too seriously. Sadly, I think some of them have never played tennis just for fun. As we hit during practices and they missed a shot, they would get mad at themselves and talk negatively out loud to themselves. They would miss another shot and hit themselves with their racket and even on shots that were in fair play they would still get upset because the shot was not hit perfectly.

This was very disturbing to me because tennis is very similar to life. In tennis, if you get mad at yourself, 99% of the time, you start playing worse and you start to get frustrated over every little thing you mess up. Tennis is made for enjoyment not frustration and the same can be said for life. Life should be enjoyed. If you don’t enjoy life, you won’t get very far. Getting upset over every single mistake you make will only make you more upset and keep you from enjoying the many wonderful things life has to offer – like a great game of tennis!