I was on the tennis court this weekend playing a league match with 3 other women. Of the four of us, 2 had junior players playing tournament matches elsewhere – one at a local event and one out of state. Yes, one of them was me.
The other Tennis Mom among us checked her phone at every side change for a score update on her son’s match. She couldn’t wait to get to the bench to see how he was doing. When he won the first set, she was visibly relieved. When he won the match, she was elated.
A few months ago, that would’ve been me. I would have been anxious and distracted through my entire match wondering how my son’s match was going. I would have missed out on enjoying my own time on the court because I was so worried about my son’s time on the court. And if someone had told me to put it out of my mind and just play tennis, I would’ve looked at them like they were nuts. How was I supposed to ignore the fact that my son was playing, that ranking points were on the line, that his ability to get into the next tournament might be at stake?
I have to tell you that it was a huge relief this weekend to let all that go. I went on the court for my match knowing my son was playing, too, but it just wasn’t that big of a deal. His pressure was HIS PRESSURE. I had my own match to worry about. And, not to sound too braggy or anything, but I was really proud of myself. It made me realize how far I’ve come in the Junior Tennis Parent Journey, and a lot of that has to do with sharing all this stuff with you. Putting it in writing then going back and reading some of the crazy things I’ve done and felt during my son’s Journey and realizing I needed to get a grip.
Now, I’m not naive enough or cocky enough to think I’ll never revert to Crazy, Nervous Tennis Mom – I’m sure she’s still lurking inside me just waiting for her chance to burst forth. But at least now I know I also have Calm, Cool, Collected Tennis Mom inside me, too. She’s a much more pleasant incarnation, and I’m hoping she sticks around a while.