This I Believe

Parker - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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I believe that starting to play tennis has made me a better person. I started competitively playing tennis in the summer of ’07. Instead of sitting around all day, I am stronger, more active, and more responsible. Before tennis, I wasn’t developing my muscles much, but now I have awesome muscles. No, not really. But they are better. I began where most every sports player starts: the bottom. I started with barely being able to keep the ball in play, let alone hit angles or anything else. I was on the lowest level summer team and the bottom of JV when I started on the school tennis team. Now I am practicing with the Varsity team and its coach. I am getting much better.

My parents had been pushing me for a long time to be more active. At first, I didn’t listen. I was often bored and wasting my time. The TV and books were my only true pastimes, intermittently broken up by spending time with my friends. Now that I play tennis, I have much less free time after school. I don’t do much electronically anymore, except on the weekends. Friends are also sandwiched in on days I’m not busy.

With less time, planning when to do homework and projects becomes a much bigger task. I need to know how long everything will take. I used to be able to do my homework whenever, but now I have less time and need to do more things. I’m happier though. I feel like I’m doing something with my life, instead of the old cliché, “I got to level 25 in my video game. Aren’t I amazing?” Uh huh. Sure.

Tennis has increased my work ethic as well. I’m not one of those hyperactive workaholics, but I do work harder than I used to. Tennis isn’t easy. Work is needed to progress. There is always something you can get better at: whether it’s your serve, or a better stance when volleying, or a better way to grip the handle during a certain shot. I now apply that more to my everyday life. I don’t wimp out as much on work around the house. I’m not happy about the work, but I know it needs to be done. It’s a great skill to have.

There is no way I would be the same if I hadn’t picked up a sport. I might have fallen away from friends, and done nothing with my teenage life. It would be sad that I wouldn’t have any good stories to tell my kids when I got older. What, am I going to tell them about how awesome I was at a videogame? I hope that isn’t my only claim to fame. Hearing funny stories really is nice. Instead, I now have more friends than before and I will have plenty of good stories. I feel much better about my life with tennis then I did before without it.