Amazing Kids! Magazine

A Life of Tennis

By Megan Weaver, Contributing Writer

 

I first played tennis when I was 5 years old, on June 3, 2004. I went to my local community center to attend a tennis camp there. It was so much fun because I learned about tennis and got to spend a lot of time with my friends. Learning to play tennis was a bit hard at first; it took a lot of practice before I was able to even hit the ball correctly. The coach taught me to hit the ball by having me practice hitting a foam ball that was attached to a metal pole by a rope. He would make the foam ball swing around the pole as I stood in place and tried to hit it with my racquet. In case you were wondering, a tennis racquet is basically a stick with a wide rounded head that has nylon strings in a crisscross pattern connecting the edges of the racquet head. As you get older and more powerful, you get bigger and heavier racquets to help you control the ball. Even though it was difficult to begin learning to play tennis, it taught me to be determined and to never give up because, eventually, you will reach your goal. Even though I loved playing tennis at camp, I decided to take a break from it to do other sports such as gymnastics, dance, soccer, and swimming.

In 2009, when I was ten-years-old, I decided to start playing tennis again, only this time I practiced more often. I’ve been playing tennis ever since. Back when I was 10, I took lessons to learn how to score and to get the ball in the lines, but, as I got older, I began to play more competitively. I even joined an actual tennis team and later moved up to a more advanced tennis team.

When I was in 6th grade, I began to play in tennis tournaments. I played both doubles and singles. Doubles is when two people play together against two other people on the same court and singles is when one person plays against one other person. Playing tennis tournaments helped me become a better tennis player because being competitive showed me how to focus. Learning how to focus has helped me with things besides just tennis such as homework, committing to volunteer work, and getting other chores done.

One goal I’d had since I began to take tennis lessons was to get onto my high school tennis team once I got to high school. I worked hard and practiced five days a week to try and reach my goal. Fall is the season for girls’ tennis, meaning high schools only have a girls’ tennis team during the fall and the rest of the year you just practice on your own without the team. Only ten girls were allowed to play competitively on the team so I was nervous I might not make it. I had to play matches, or in other words a game of tennis, against other members of the high school team to see who was in the top ten. The top four are singles players, which meant they are on their own so it is harder. Since it is harder, the singles players are normally considered the best of the team. The six remaining slots were doubles teams, which means there as two people on a team so there were three competitive doubles teams in total. After playing many tennis matches against my fellow teammates, the top ten were chosen. I was selected as my team’s number two! I was so excited but also kind of nervous. Being number two meant I would have to compete against a lot of really good high school tennis players. On top of that, my team had been moved up to a higher tennis division so the other tennis teams in the division were even better than I thought. I played many, many matches against other schools in the season, but I never won a match. At first I was a bit disappointed but the losses just made me want to try harder for next season. I think that with more practice, as long as I stay optimistic, I could win a match next fall. Tennis is a challenge, but all challenges come with their own rewards.

I love to be active and try new things. I’m so glad I tried tennis way back when I was five. If I hadn’t, I may never have met all the amazing people on my team and I wouldn’t have learned all that tennis has taught me. Playing a sport has kept both my mind and body healthy and is really fun. That’s why I encourage everyone, go out and do something you love; it can only benefit you in the long run!