Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What Am I Going to Do with My Afternoons?

As of yesterday, the high school tennis season ended for me. Neither of our school's teams made the final four and I'm now without plans for Mondays-Thursdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. It feels a little weird, so I've decided to wean myself off of the nearly daily exposure to tennis by hitting with K for about 30 minutes after school each day for the next couple of weeks. I made her sign up for the USTA yesterday and my goal is to have her ready to play with me in a combined level 5.0 mixed doubles tournament by the end of the month. She already has a decent forehand and plays the net surprisingly well (chica's got surprisingly quick reflexes), but she's still working on her backhand and we need to work on her serve before she's comfortable playing in public.

Honestly, I saw a bit of a women's 2.5 match when I was at a tournament a couple of weeks ago. K could probably hold her own with those ladies already, she just doesn't realize it yet. It'd probably help if she played with someone other than me sometimes. You really shoudln't be comparing yourself to a guy who's been playing for 15 years when you've actually been on a court maybe a dozen times. I may not be a dominant player, but I know what I'm doing. Level 2.0 and 2.5 are supposed to still be working on getting the ball to go where they want it to go.

I am playing mixed doubles this weekend, but instead of with my wife, it will be with my sister. She took lessons in middle school when I did, but didn't play in high school. She was too busy throwing the discus and shot put in the spring to hit the tennis courts. She's a bit of a jock though (lettered in softball, basketball, and track and field in high school, and played some college basketball), so I think she'll hold her own in our level 3.0 mixed doubles tournament. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a raquet to practice with between now and the end of the week. She left hers here a couple of years ago and has never taken it home with her. The first time she'll even see the thing will be when I show up the day of our first match. I'm really hoping I can get there early enough for a little warm-up practice. If not, who cares? It's not like I'm really that competitive. I can't ever remember getting torn up about a loss and this is just adult USTA tennis. It's not like there's anything to gain or lose here.

On the other hand, I almost wanted to cry after my girls lost in the quarterfinals yesterday, but then it wasn't out of frustrated competitiveness either. I don't get an ego boost from their winning. The other coach is the expert. I'm more of a glorified sparring partner. It's just tough to watch a group of kids you've worked with nearly every day for three months fall short of their goals.


Julie said...

It's been so long since I cared about something that much, I'm not sure I am the appropriate person to give you advice. Go with what Courtney said.

Meaghan said...

But whether they met their goal or not, they stuck with it and did what it took to go as far as they went. And you were with them the whole time. So you were a positive influence, and they know that you don't always get what you want but working for it can make you a better person/player.

I may have to go shoot myself now. I think I may have just paraphrased that stupid new Miley Cyrus song.

Jacob said...

I wasn't really disappointed with their performance. I was really more making the point that it's easier to deal with my personal defeats than it is seeing people I care about defeated.

Chris said...

You'll have to let us know if your USTA exploits ever carry you up to Rome. I know they host some of those tourneys here from time to time.

A Free Man said...

Sorry about your team's loss. My coaching experience is pretty limited, but I know that crushing feeling.

Jacob said...

Chris (the one still in Georgia, not the expat): I was talking to Severo about that, and he said that Rome stopped hosting normal tournaments, which is a shame. They have a nice tennis center and it'd be interesting to have a reason to go see Severo play.

He did say they still hosted some type of event, but I can't remember what it was and just that it was something I was unlikely to be able to be a part of.