When people ask me what sport I play, they almost never expect it to be tennis. But tennis has been a part of my life since I was ten years old. I started to play tennis as a way of getting some exercise and I played after school. I admit I wasn't really into the sport at the beginning and the only reason I had for playing was that my friends were. I didn’t want to sit by the court watching my friends so I decided to try it out. The next day I was running laps in the court. The drills were tiresome and made me exhausted. However, I did not quit - I persevered.
As I grew older, I became more and more passionate about tennis. I mostly played for fun with my friends and got quite good at the game. But it still wasn’t until I started in high school when I decided to improve further and chose to join my school's tennis team. I still remember turning up at the tryout for the team, watching those on the court throwing huge forehands towards the opponent. At that moment I remember myself thinking: "there is no way I could ever be that good."
I only just made it into the school team and was put into the least skilled team. But I strove to be better and I soon realized that tennis was not only about sheer physical power, but it was a mind game as well. I could never become physically formidable, but I was mentally tough. This mental edge kept me ahead of my teammates and soon I was voted in as the team captain. But I was still not satisfied, I wanted to keep climbing.
My first match with a tough opponent was one to remember. I still remember being down 0-5 in the first set thinking: "this is not working, what can I do?" I varied my shots greatly to test out my opponent, and I was quickly able to find my opponent's weakness; a deep shot towards his backhand. I began to exploit his weakness and the match shifted in my favor. I still wasn't able to win my first set, but won the next two sets with ease. By the end of the match, I had pulled out a come-back, 4-6 6-3 6-4. This match shows what I love about tennis. It is the mind game that you play with your opponent, the constant analysis and adjustments that you have to make, and most importantly, the perseverance for winning. Now that I have moved to America, tennis has again become something casual, although I am no longer playing competitively due to having less and less free time, I still play on the weekends to relieve my stress.
Having a sport you enjoy not only gives you exercise, but playing sports can also make you more ambitious, determined, and disciplined when trying to accomplish a goal. Tennis has made me more mentally tough, and kept me strong during the difficult times of my life. Sometimes it’s worth trying out something you might not enjoy, you never know what you might get out of it.