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Tennis Changed My Life

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Playing tennis is a challenging sport that not everyone can play. It not only uses physical strength, but it involves mental strength. You have to be able to push through whatever obstacles there are. In order to play tennis, you have to be able to withstand the heat of the sun, losing and negative people around yelling at you to do better even if that is the best you can do.

I played on teams in gymnastics, baseball and soccer. Gymnastics really helped me with running. Baseball was a great sport for me because it helped my tennis serve. Soccer really helped with running and being able to change direction. I was trained as a goalkeeper, sweeper and full-back.

In 2010, I started taking tennis more serious.
I played five days a week at my neighborhood tennis courts. It was really hard at first, I'm not gonna lie. I hated running a four-court suicide and playing a tennis match where the sun was blocking my view. But as I had more understanding of the game. My coaches encouraged me to improve and as I progressed, my coaches spoke of my potential. I advanced to the top class.

Tennis has opened doors for me that I never thought could be opened. In 2012, I attended the U.S. Open Kids Day, and I have been going to the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y. for three years free of charge. Tennis has also influenced my academic work. In 2013, I created a National History Day documentary on the history of women's tennis. The president of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (where I use to play at), and a classroom of people viewed my documentary. The president asked me if I wanted to meet Billie Jean King at the upcoming tennis court dedication in Hunting Park. I advanced to the state level of National History Day with my documentary.

In summer of 2014, I was awarded a United States Tennis Association scholarship to attend a week long intensive tennis program at Villanova University. There, I was a underdog because the coaches haven't met me before so they did know what level my playing game was. So they put had me play the 14th seed. One game into the match they had to stop and placed me on the stop court. I only got better.

I think 2015 has bought many challenges my way. On May 2, 2015 during a tennis match, I was leading
3-0, my serve, 40-0. When I went up for the game winning serve, I dislocated my shoulder. For the past three months, I have been doing TP and working really hard. Even though I can't go back to playing tennis until October, I have started to do things I would of never done if the accident had not happened. No, I never wanted anything like that to happen. But when I look on the bright side of things, I see that it made a big impacted on how I see the people around me. When this part of my life is over and I go back to playing tennis, I plan to cross-train (to do other sports to help me with one sport) with soccer and swimming.

Tennis for me is also my anger outlet. If I'm not felling good about something or someone ticked me off, tennis is my way of getting out all the stress, anger and whatever else I'm feeling, and all that power and negative energy goes into my game. That's probably why, I hit my shots are so hard, and they are very powerful.

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