Thursday, September 8, 2016

Match Play

Katherine has joined the Middle School tennis team and she loves it.
She goes to practice every day after school and has learned a lot and become a better player. She is solidly in the middle of the pack, ranked 10th out of 20 girls, and seems perfectly comfortable there.
As she openly admits, "Tennis is fine, but I LOVE being part of the team." My introverted kid is spreading her wings and becoming really quite social! And she really does enjoy the other girls on her team. They laugh a lot, and that is good.
The girls' tennis season is short and intense - 10 matches in the month of September and then they are done. Her first two matches were away games, which we did not see. (Grandma and Grandpa made the long drive to watch both times! My girls have such wonderful grandparents.) She played doubles at both places and won one and lost one, coming home with a grin on her face both times.
Today she finally played at home, so we had the chance to watch. I am a complete non-athlete and sports really aren't even on my radar, so I was mostly at a loss as to what was happening with determining who played whom and how games are scored and all but the most obvious rules. I knew enough to sit down, keep my mouth shut, and try not to be too obnoxious with my camera.
The meet was laid back and the coaches were funny and encouraging. The girls had a good time hanging out together and no one took wins or losses too seriously. I so appreciated that.
The opposing team had half the players as ours, so the scheduling was a little strange. Their girls played our top 9 and then played the next 9 on our roster. That meant Katherine played against the other school's top seed. And lost. She was frustrated during the game, but shrugged it off afterward. She knew it's not a disgrace to lose to the best.
She was supposed to play doubles against the same opponent, but the other team forfeited, mostly because their girls were worn out. Katherine's coach had four of his team play instead. They giggled so much they had difficulty playing at times.
There's another home match on Monday. I'll have another chance to watch my girl play. And maybe get a better grasp on how the whole sport works.
I do know that in tennis, when you have nothing, you still have love. That sounds pretty good to me. And it seems to be a good thing for my girl.

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