Your team is your family, I graduated high school from an academy in the south of France - Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. Over two years, friends had become family, and the academy had become home. Once I moved to the US to play college tennis, I was in the same spot as two years ago - overwhelmed and nervous. My emotions came to rest when I was affectionately welcomed into my varsity team at Michigan Tech. By the time I finished orientation week, my new team had become my family and I was at ease in my new home. I realized that the fact we shared the same passion and goals played a key role in this. They supported me through my ups and downs, and stood by me for support even on my worst days. My team became my home away from home.
It’s bigger than you
While I was competing and training in high school, I was playing for myself. All my victories or defeats only affected my ranking and position. However, once I began my journey as a collegiate athlete, this whole mindset changed. Every action of mine on court or off court affected my whole team. In College Tennis, you have to make sacrifices for the team in order to win. It’s bigger than you ; one of the most valuable lessons I learned in my freshman year.
Not competing doesn’t mean not contributing
Everyday is a different battle on court, some days you play sensational and pull out
impossible shots while other days, it’s hard to even get through an hour. It’s a story every athlete can tell. During my freshman year, I played last in the line up and didn’t get to play too many matches, and as a result, I felt like I wasn’t able to contribute enough towards our success. Gradually, my teammates made me realize what I did for the team - From cheering them on during a challenging match to helping a teammate warm up before a match - it all counted towards the team success. This gave me the confidence to believe in myself as an athlete, and more importantly, helped me grow as an individual who cared more about a community’s success.