If you are at least as old as I am you will remember the old “forty-five” records. As you know the artists recorded their new hit single on one side and on the “flip-side” was some little known song that seldom made the charts and was hardly ever heard. Isn’t that the way with so many things in our life, the “hits” are played over and over again for everyone to hear but the flip-side of our life is seldom played.
When we talk about tennis we usually focus on the big wins, big losses, the training regime, dedication, mental game…everything is focused on the game, but what about the “flip-side?” What else is happening in the life of the tennis player…is there more than just the game?
If you have been following my blog you have learned that I am the proud mother of an average D1 tennis player. He isn’t a super star but he is a hard-working, dedicated young man who has set goals, had dreams and worked hard to achieve both. You have read about our trials and tribulations of surviving the world of junior tennis and the eventual achievement of making a D1 tennis team. You have heard about the training the college athletes have to go through and the rigorous schedule they have to maintain, but you haven’t heard about the “flip-side” of my college tennis player.
Yes there is a life besides tennis that my son is living. It is a life that involves the friends he has made in and through the team. What I have learned is that there is so much more to these young men and women than just tennis and it is something to be far more proud of then the wins on the court. Last weekend my son was baptized and sitting in the congregation wasn’t his parents but rather his team-mate. On Facebook you could read the congratulations and well wishes of his other team mates as they supported him in the choice he had made. Although we provided our son with a Christian upbringing it was the influence of some of his fellow team-mates and a very special mentor at the college that lead him to his decision to follow Christ.
So what does this have to do with tennis and being a tennis parent? It is simple…on those days when you ask yourself “what am I doing? Is this really worth it?” When you find yourself frustrated with your child and wonder why you have spent the last three weekends on the road and your last paycheck on hotels, lessons and rackets, remember, there is a “flip-side.” There are opportunities and experiences beyond the court that your child will be exposed to, opportunities that we can not even imagine. The game is only one side of the life of a tennis player. Perhaps the best song is yet to played and is just waiting to be heard. It is about more than the game…it is about the life experiences they get through playing the game and the people they meet along the way.