Today is the day of the first tennis match of the season. I play first singles, and I am a freshman. It’s my first high school game, and I could not be any more nervous than I am right now in my English class. Yesterday at practice, all the upperclassmen were reassuring me that I would do fine. If I was good enough to make first singles my freshman year, I really do not have anything to worry about.
I have always played with my dad, ever since I was big and strong enough to hold a child’s size racket. He did the same thing with my brother and both of my sisters, and my two sisters played it in middle school, high school, and college. My brother got more into wrestling, so it conflicted with the tennis season, and he gave it up. We are all pretty good, but I never stop being nervous at moments of truth like today’s match.
My dad told me I would do fine at today’s match last night at dinner, and it’s easier for me to believe him than my teammates, but I still have butterflies in my stomach. I look up at the clock, 2:58. Another seven minutes and I have to go out to the tennis courts. I keep thinking of things my dad and coach taught me, and the time passes quicker than I expected.
I walk down to the tennis courts, and the opposing team is already there. Coach gives me a quick pep talk and shows me my opponent. We shake hands, and the first serve is mine. He hits it back, and we have a volley going for a couple minutes. He hits it out after a few minutes though, and I’m in the lead. Exactly thirty one minutes pass, and we have finished our third match. The first and last one are mine, but my opponent has one two.
“Come on Tyler! You can do it!” I hear my father yell. He always came to all my middle school matches, even if it meant that he had to take off work. It’s my opponents serve now, and I miss it. Thinking about my dad being here is making me nervous. He serves again, and this time I hit it. We have a volley and he hits it out, but the next three serves he gets. This match is his. Now it’s down to the wire. Win the fifth match or lose.
My coach gives me an encouraging smile, and I hear my dad yell that he knows I can do it, again. I look over to the stands and see a couple of my teammates who have already finished their match. They all give me a thumbs up. I make the first serve, and he misses it. He misses the next two too, but then I miss one. I am starting to get worried, but then I look back to the stands and I think about all I have been taught by everyone, my dad, my coach, my teammates, my older sisters. I know I can do this, and I serve very well. He hits it…. but it’s out! It’s out, and I just won my first high school match!