Once again I find myself amazed at the benefits my son receives from being a tennis player. As a parent we should never forget how many extra opportunities are given to our children simply because they are a tennis player. When you get discouraged because of lack of progress in their game, poor performance in a tournament or failure to reach the next level in the rankings have no fear all is not lost. Remember there are hidden benefits they will find through the game of tennis.
Last week was the big day for our family. After years of hard work on the tennis court and in the classroom my son arrived at college ready to begin the next phase of his life. So much time was spent planning and dreaming about the day he would walk onto the campus of a D1 tennis school and join his new team mates. Now he stood at the threshold of the new world that was waiting for him.
Over the summer he realized that he had put so much of his time, gave up so many opportunities, underwent two surgeries, tore up his body and put his whole heart and soul into this dream of playing D1 tennis. Now he wondered why. Now that he has reached his goal he wondered if it really was worth it. Is it truly that big of a deal to say you played college tennis?
Isn’t this so true about most of our dreams. Once you finally achieve them you think to yourself…”well that wasn’t such a big deal!”
So now he stood at the car faced with an entourage of unfamiliar faces coming toward him ready to take his belongings and escort him to his new home. This was the moment…this is what he had dreamed about. As the group of strangers began to unpack his car they couldn’t help but inquire about the odd piece of equipment with all the clamps and screws. “What is this thing?” they began to ask one after another. Politely my son responded by explaining it was a stringer for his tennis racquets. Interest grew amongst the sea of upper class-man…talking amongst themselves and spreading the word to fellow students about this new kid with the cool machine in his room.
A beautiful young lady shyly came to the door of my sons room. She gently tapped on the door and asked if he would be the guy she heard about with the thing everyone was talking about. Yes this is when both my son and I were reminded of the unexpected benefits of being a tennis player. Your tennis stringer just may be the perfect opener to meet a cute girl and introduce yourself to a lot of new friends.
Does he think the sacrifice is worth it now? You bet he does. Not just because he gets to meet cute girls, but because he can look himself in the mirror and say “I did it!” Most importantly he still loves and wants to play the game.
So… unexpected benefits to playing tennis… how many can I think of? Time spent alone with my son in the car and hotel getting to know each other better, new people we met along the way, new places we got to see, strong character, great work ethic, learning how to pick yourself up when you get knocked down, learning there is always someone better than you or trying to be better than you, free t-shirts…
What about you, any unexpected benefits you have received by playing tennis?
*Just in case you want one of these babies for yourself to help your social life check out Holabird Sports (I have no affiliation with them but they have great products and prices)