PART 5: “Keeping a Balance”
It is not just my body that is changing. Different aspects of puberty have also been having an effect on my tennis, mentally and physically. I feel it is important during this time of change into becoming a young adult, that it is fine to take a step back from time to time, and make sure you rest when you need it. Also remember a lot of kids my age are going into their GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) or older players into their A Levels. It is just as important to focus on education as much as your tennis. I would love to become a professional tennis player and will work as hard as possible to achieve this dream but I feel it is equally important to achieve the best I can at school to give me plenty of options down the line.
I recently attended a ‘doubles masterclass with Louis Cayer’ at the Edgbaston Priory Club and this was tied in with a company called Tennis Smart (@sarahborwell). After the event, information was provided about the pathway to US Universities and combining that with tennis. The clear message given here was the importance of education also. I see and know of players who don’t go to mainstream school because of their tennis and do this at young ages. My feeling is that if you get the balance right, both can be combined.
Patience is key in my long term plans. My message is to keep dreaming, dream big and work hard. Who knows what you can achieve? I must somehow find a way not to be distracted from those dreams by others. I recently read some comments that were made on a training clip of me which was reposted by one of the big tennis accounts on Instagram (it had 18.5k views) saying I had noodle legs or baguette legs! There were also positive comments. I fully understand that one is open to such comments by exposure on social media. I feel I will peak and be at my best when I have fully grown into my body which is going to take some time still. During this period of growth I am going to look uncoordinated and off balance at times. It is important not to worry about how other people view me.
All of the above show the extra work and considerations you have to have away from the tennis court and the programme with my coaches. I train at a local tennis centre, not an academy, so it makes it really important to add these aspects to my tennis to help me on the right pathway to having the opportunity to be the best that I can be in this sport that I love so much.
I hope these insights can help and inspire other young sports players as I aspire also to be a strong role model to younger kids and my peers.
I am now looking forward to returning to my full training programme at Pershore Tennis Centre in Worcestershire and competing again at regional level tennis as my ranking continues to improve into the new summer LTA season. I just recently made the final of my 1st open men’s event and managed a rating increase, which was a really positive way to end the Winter season.
I see myself as a work in progress and my tennis and fitness are improving all the time. Let’s see what the future holds as I grow into my body. I am going to give my all to find out one way or another.
#workhardplayhard #onwardsandupwards #gettingstronger2019 #workinprogress
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