How Tennis changed my life.
Everything started back in 2013 (me age 13) when I was searching for a sport I would enjoy doing. A few months back, I had a rougher time at school. An unnecessary joke ended up being the platform for teasing me. I thought it would be a good idea to have a sport where I can let out my anger and frustration from school out. Honestly, till today, I am positively surprised by my self that this was the reason I wanted to start a sport, not my body. Luckily I understood early enough that yes it is healthy to do sports and eat properly, yet its a process and you can’t force your body to change from one day to the other.
In my childhood, I have tried a few sports. Ballet, modern dance, horseback riding, soccer…but nothing lasted me longer than a few months. So one thing was clear, I would not pick any of these. Even though I still was interested in soccer and funny enough picked it up again, a few months ago.
Through close friends, I already knew a bit about tennis so I decided to do some research on it. I wanted to get a really good insight, after all, I am searching for something where I have the feeling its doable for me, I would fit in and I would enjoy doing it for the longer time period. During my research I found a clip of Victoria Azarenka playing. That was the moment I knew I had to try tennis myself.
After these few weeks of research and finding the right club, I finally had my first lesson and hitting that ball felt great. Luckily I had a really kind coach, who gave me a great introduction to the sport and showed me the fun sides of sports. At that time I wasn’t playing a lot, nor regularly yet.
Only a few months after I picked up tennis, it already had to prove what benefits it also brought in life. My Dad got diagnosed with cancer and tennis turned out to be one big part which helped me through that time emotionally. It gave me that space where I was forced to focus on and think of something else besides that.
After a few months, I decided I needed a change. No worries I didn’t quit again as in the other sports. But I wanted to step up my training. After another few weeks of researching for a new club, (even if it might sound cheesy) I would call it destiny that I got to meet my new coach. I had three clubs I wanted to look at and get closer information and it already was planned out on which day we would go. After visiting one, not finding it ideal, we went home instead of checking out the second one which was around the corner and decided to go on the day we planned it. Anyways one day we spontaneously decided to go, the friendly receptionist recommended coach P., I met him and we had quite a long talk. My biggest fear of switching clubs was finding someone who would accept me the way I am and take my goals seriously. And he not only did that, but he also talked to me openly what it would need from my side and his side.
In November 2014 I started training with coach P. Since I basically started over again and didn’t have a lot of lessons beforehand, I usually roughly consider this as the time where I started playing or more accurately where I started training.
Training with him was for sure harder and more challenging, but at the same time, I reached a whole new level of falling in love with this sport. It was incredible what I learned and improved in a short time period with mostly only 2 hours on court a week. I big help, especially in the beginning, was the tennis homework I got. This way I was working on my swing even when I wasn’t on the court. As soon as I had my next lesson we could start working on something new direclty and not spend to much time on something from the last training. In only a few months a made huge improvements, that I could also start playing my first test matches. That was a big achievement for me. I knew there still was a lot to work on, but it was my first step to actually play the sport. I’m sure I will never forget the feeling when for the first time you not only just hit the ball but put everything you learned into the swing and place it where you want it to go. The feeling of winning the first few points, then games and then a match are also moments to remember.
My Coach P. started being a, I would call it, Mentor for me. For both life aspects and tennis. What I clearly admire is his capability of reading people and having a feeling for the needed thing in a situation. If that’s knowing I need a water break before I said something or instinctively adding the right things in training. For example, on days I’m frustrated about something and we end up doing more drills where I can let out my power and frustration. But this also goes down to way less obvious things.
He managed to motivate me to work on my fitness and health, without giving me a bad feeling about my self. Furthermore, he always knows how to explain something so I will understand. If there is something I don’t quite get , he won’t stop thinking for an explanation or example that would help me understand. For some of you that might sound normal, but trust me I have had enough teachers who repeeded their exact same definition hundreds of times before thinking of another one. There is so much more I appreciate about my training and I am thankful for, but I could ill an entire book so I guess I’ll continue with some other stuff.
You guys are probably also interested in how my Instagram started off. Well, I wanted to dedicate a post to Victoria Azarenka since she would only see it if it was a public account I decided to open a new account. As simple as that. The surprising thing, which I thought would never ever happen and I could only dream off, was that she replied to my post. This still means the world for me till today.
I decided to keep that account for tennis things, so I wouldn’t spam my friends with too much tennis. After some time I realized ther is actually quite a big tennis community on Instagram and my page started to grow. After a few months, past Coach P. had the idea of a training diary. This meant a numbered post every time I trained for almost 2 years. During that time the first companies showed their interest, that was basically the point where I started to switch from just having this page to a more blog/serious page.
Something I really love and appreciate about the Instagram community is all these amazing people I get to meet. Some great friends, I, in fact, met through my page.
Maybe its time to answer the initial question of how tennis changed my life. But I wanted to give you a little insight into my story beforehand. Maybe the one or other reason is already obvious in the text above, but let’s get started.
First of all, tennis gave me space, where I could forget all the worries from school/life at the same time, forced me to focus on something else besides what was currently happening in my life.
It taught me all the fun aspects sports bring and that a workout/ training can be supper exausting but you will see the improvements in the next workout/training.
Through tennis, I learned how to motivate my self, be brave to try something new and be open to new things.
Tennis and the people I met through it, changed my perspective on life and my self. It formed my personality and made me live more happily since I stopped worrying about a lot of things.
Last but not least (even if there is probably way more), I realized I can be happy with me and my body. That doesn’t keep me from continuously getting fitter and working on my body, but accepting, not pressuring my self and being happy about the current state and my self will make the road a lot easier.
If you really read through that entire long text, You’re awesome thank you for your support! 🙂
I can highly recommend giving sports a chance. It took me at least 5 attempts in finding the right sport, it might be more or less for you, but it will for sure be worth it!