“We” Won

I am very proud of my son.

In the Region 5AAAAA Final yesterday, my son’s team arrived at the courts ready to warm up with each other before playing their opponents.  The weather, however, had a different plan in mind, so the official asked both teams to go ahead and start their matches with a 5-minute warm-up in hopes of finishing before the thunderstorms arrived.

Our #1 singles player, Danny, had been sidelined most of the season with a neck and shoulder issue.  He had played the last couple of matches, but yesterday he had a follow-up appointment with his doctor and wasn’t yet at the courts.  So, the coach moved everyone up a spot in the lineup, putting my son in at #3 singles.

The boys went on court, began their warmup, then, before anyone played their first point, lightening struck.  Literally.

The rule in our county is that play must be suspended for 30 minutes following a lightening strike within 3 miles of the facility, so we all spent the next hour (yes, there was another strike just as they were heading back out to play!) huddled together inside one of the school buildings as we all checked the weather radar on our various smartphones, trying to predict whether the kids would actually get to play.

During the lightening delay, Danny arrived, reporting that he had been cleared by his doctor to play.  Since the matches hadn’t officially begun, our coach had the option of putting Danny back in the lineup . . . which he did.  That meant my son was going to be part of the cheering section instead of getting to play.  Disappointing, to be sure.

However, when the coach announced that Danny would be playing (and my son would not), my son just smiled and wished his teammates good luck.  He stood nearby and cheered for each and every match.  He encouraged the guys when they needed it and kept his game face on throughout the afternoon.  And, at the end of the day, when the final match was won and the championship trophy was in hand, he stood with his team, proud to share the victory (that’s him – with Danny’s hand around his shoulder – holding the trophy in the team picture above)!

My son, upon hearing he wouldn’t be playing in the championship match, could’ve argued with his coach.  He could’ve griped and sulked.  He could’ve stood alone.

But he didn’t.  He realized that it was in the best interest of the team to have their best player in the lineup at #1, even if it meant he didn’t get to play.  It was all about the “we” – there was no “I” out there.

I am very proud of my son.

6 Comments on ““We” Won”

  1. You’ve raised a classy tennis player! This is why playing high school tennis is so important. They learn to think about people besides themselves. Life is a team sport so they may as well learn to play on the team sometime. Great job to you, your son and the team!

  2. When we sit in these chat room settings and argue about the merit of kids playing tennis for their high schools and as to whether or not they should play in college, it is a situation like this that tennis players don’t get to experience very often. Any really good coach in any sport will always tell you that in order for their team to be successful, it is not just the starting players that drive the team. A lot of the success is contingent on the practices and training leading up to the matches, and every player on the roster is part of that. Congrats to your son and his team from us at Holabird Sports.

  3. I must reply to Lisa’s article because it may well be underestimated just how meaningful a story like this would be to a prospective college team tennis coach. Solid character is as prized an attribute as solid shotmaking skills, in fact, even moreso. There are any number of competitve junior players who hit the ball beautifully but differentiate themselves negatively when it comes to this most meaningful aspect of tennis. Signs of weakness of character and mental or emotional flaws are certain red flags for coaches looking for players of high achievement oriented teams. I produce college recruit videos and just yesterday met with a recruit consultant so this topic is fresh on my mind.

    I am the tennis video specialist for the USC men’s and women’s teams and also for the CA state No. 1 College of the Desert junior college team…I also provide tennis videos for the non-profit coaching site CAtennis.com…

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