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I have been raised in athletics. I've heard about teams and cheered for teams my whole life. Being homeschooled was really special for a lot of reasons, but being homeschooled and on the tennis circuit was lonely. Playing in Spain was amazing, but lonely. It's only you when you lose and are headed back home while all the kids who won stay in that town for another day of tournament. My mom wasn't there to tell me I had some great shots. My coach wasn't there to tell me why the other kid beat me and what I did wrong. It was just me. Then I got to school and I found the teams are the best part. Latin team, science teams, I've even competed on math teams. They are so much fun. I love to compete, I love how much better I am with teammates and a coach. Then add bleachers, and an announcer. The adrenaline pumps more for athletic games than the others, and Its the greatest feeling in the world to be a part of something where you all work together to do something amazing. People who might not have anything in common all coming together and feeling the highs and lows of the game together. Digging deep to create a play you have practiced all week and it actually working in real time and everyone's triumph and relief. On the other end, when you lose you have a whole group who knows EXACTLY how you feel, and you hold each other up. I am better with a team. I don't think there is anything more fun than playing sports in high school....except maybe playing them in college.
I walked into a huge school (1800 students) after being home schooled and knowing almost no one. I wanted to make an impact at my school and ran for Class President -putting myself out there- and I won and have raised a bunch of money for our school programs and organized fun events to get every group on the same page and enjoying Hoggard.
It's always the greatest feat to beat your friend, and it hurts to lose to them. When I'm on the court or field, I want to beat you. I will shake your hand before the game or match, I will joke with you. But I want to beat you so badly. I also will respect you and your playing. If you are playing better than I am, I will tell you and congratulate you. You deserve it. You are better. At least for THIS game. I'll get you next time and I'll bury my hurt with a smile and tell you how great you did.
I teach tennis lessons to children, Beta Club, Thalian Hall, The Children's Museum of Wilmington, Delivering Pumpkins for Halloween, Church Group
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