T. Bone played his first tennis match yesterday. I sat courtside shivering in early May despite the sunshine. I didn't want to miss it. I think it was kind of a big deal because other than a friendly family game here or there, he's never played tennis. I was impressed that he would try something new that he wasn't necessarily very good at. More than one of his friends are ranked in the state so there is some serious talent on the team too. That didn't intimidate him...it motivated him.
He played doubles with his friend Javier against two boys he knew from the other school. It was a friendly match. He and Javier had never played together and at first that was obvious. They started off getting in one another's way, and mostly losing points and games. There were numerous double faults. And then all the sudden, they really found their stride and started coming back. They ended the match losing in a tiebreaker. I was duly impressed by their perseverance and progress. Of course, they would have rather won, but were still smiling and admitting it was fun at the end of the match.
I don't know that I'd have joined the tennis team if I were T. Bone. I think I would have been intimidated given all the pressure. Some of these kids have been taking lessons and competing since they were in pre-school in the same way he has been dedicated to baseball for almost a decade. We push these kids so hard and from such tender ages. The rec. leagues of yesteryear are almost obsolete. Everyone who is anyone is on all star teams and tournament teams often for multiple sports. There is this pressure to excel so that just playing a game for fun is almost scoffed at.
I was proud that my son had the confidence to join the team. At the end of the day, he's a natural athlete so of course, he's actually a pretty decent tennis player even when using his Dad's racket. I offered to buy him a new racket when he first told me he was going out for tennis. New shoes too. He told me it wasn't necessary for the few matches he would be playing. I was proud of that most of all. He's not only confident and motivated, but sensible too.