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Photo courtesy of skreened.com

In my suburb of Atlanta, when Spring Break comes around most families head down to the Florida Panhandle – to places like Destin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Panama City – for a week of white sand beaches and loads of sunshine. My son took a different tack this year.

He left early yesterday morning to spend the week in Southern California training with Craig Cignarelli and Lester Cook. This time, I stayed home. He’s on his own out there to arrange his workouts, his meals, and his rides. When you’re 17 years old, you can’t rent a car, and those of you who have been to Los Angeles know how tough it is to get around there without one. Thankfully, Lester offered to drive him back and forth from Santa Monica (he’s staying with his grandma) to Westwood to Malibu for his various hitting sessions and lessons. Lester’s a really good guy.

Already, the California Sunshine has infected my son. He texted me this morning that he’s going for a run in order to pick up food for breakfast. A run? What? I was waiting for the follow-up text – “April Fools!” – but it never came. Okay. Maybe this is the start of something new? Being in SoCal can have that effect on people!

Here’s what makes me really proud of my son, though. Other than booking his airline ticket and confirming with my mother in law, Craig, and Lester that they would be around this week, I’ve stayed out of the planning and execution of this trip. It’s all been on my son. He’s emailed/texted back and forth with Craig and Lester to organize his tennis schedule. He’s emailed/texted back and forth with a couple of different college coaches to arrange to meet with them and watch their teams compete. He’s emailed/texted back and forth with other contacts to get together during the week. And it’s all coming together nicely.

After he landed at LAX yesterday morning, he arranged a time for Lester to pick him up and take him out to Malibu for a hit and a lesson with Craig. At the end of the day, he and Lester worked out the schedule for today which includes a practice with Lester and Redfoo at UCLA followed by another lesson with Craig in Malibu. I’m not sure what’s on the agenda after that, but it’s out of my hands. My son seems to be handling things beautifully.