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Old 10-22-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
gino
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Lightbulb The Plight of College Tennis

Hey TT Community,

I'm writing from the perspective of a second-year collegiate tennis player at a Division III private school. I have noticed something that has really weighed on my mind the past couple weeks.

Feel free to weigh in and give some input (college player or not).

I have been a tennis player for 10 years. I have spent hours on a tennis court cultivating my game and identity as a player. I love the game more than anything. I love the winners, the errors, the emotions, the physicality, the wins, the losses, etc etc....

Coming to college to play I had hoped that my journey as a player would reach it's peak and my happiness on court would be at an all time high. I worked so hard to get here and be in this position. Something I didn't understand was how cut-throat the college tennis system can be and how brutal and devastating results and expectations are.

It seems to me that the plight of the college tennis player is to avoid failure. Now, I know that many division I players were stellar juniors with professional aspirations and they most likely are not apart of this discussion, but as a college player I see myself and my peers just looking to avoid failure. The stress, pressure, and anxiety that are apart of the process lead players to change their game styles, lose the passion to play, and untimely hate the sport. How many players to we see now-a-days who conform this mold and camp out on the baseline with some variant of a Babolat racket spinning groundstrokes over the net until the opposition crumbles.

To me that isn't tennis. Tennis should be a poetic expression of talent - most definitely at a more elite level. That being said, consistency is apart of our sport no matter what, but why do I feel like players in college turn into robots? Those who aren't suited to change their identity may feel the need to quit and give up on the sport they love.

Thanks for listening to me, this place is awesome.
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