Friday, August 10, 2012

#00 - Confidence and Aggression

Despite threats of rain, we were able to finish two rounds of play last night during our scrimmage with Angola. I'd like to say they were the best rounds of play that we've had yet this season, but that would only be partly true.

In the first segment, we simply did not come out with confidence and aggression. We're a team that has significant varsity experience. Nate, Ike, Abe, Parth, Joel and Wade all played varsity matches last year, and even Himal, Hans, Sol, Landon, Tristan, and Justin got experience against Churubusco and Howe. And yet, we began play during this scrimmage as if we were scared of the competition.

So much of tennis is dictated by your attitude and energy. And attitude and energy feed off of one another. Once you become tentative or afraid, your begin to lose energy. Lose energy and you begin to struggle to hit your shots. Struggle to hit your shots and you lose energy. A cycle can continue downward. And that happened to us during the first segment. Doubles teams looked lost. Double faults flowed. Heads were hanging.

But the cycle works the other way to. Loosen up and play with confidence and aggression, then you'll find energy. Finding more energy adds pop to your shots and quickness to your footwork. In the second segment, we began to find the right attitude, and it fed our games. Playing against a talented team that advanced to the Semi-State last year, we found ourselves right in the thick of 5 of the 10 matches. We ended up pulling out three of them.

And we were playing our strongest tennis headed into the final segment. That was when the rain came, washing out our chance to really prove our rising confidence and developing tennis skills.

But the takeaway is playing with confidence and aggression. Right away, energy and attitude make a difference.

Notes & Stats
- Angola was a strong team last year, making it to the Semi-State finals. They return 2 of their 3 singles players, who combined only lost about a total of 2 matches last year.
- Abe and Ike put on an impressive display of aggressive doubles, what I noticed especially was the "Serve & Slam" combos. In 2 games on Abe's serve, Ike got to slam at least 4 returns. Talk about gaining confidence, aggression and energy!
- Sol was our only winner in the first segment of the night. His baseline game was excellent tonight.
- Landon Weldy played #3SJV in the first segment, then moved up to #1SJV for the second - only to find that he was matched up against the same opponent from Angola who had made the same move for the second round.
- Hans Miller also found himself playing against the same opponents in both rounds, but he had different doubles partners to face each. However, both of his partners were seniors.
- Noah Hochstetler won the second segment of the night with Roberto Ramos. As a first year tennis player, this was Noah's first win of any type against another school!
- We had several players who didn't get to participate in the scrimmage because they haven't completed enough practices yet. Which was too bad, because they would have added a lot of depth to this team. Can't wait to get them all playing!

Round 1
#1S - Nate Brendle - 3-5
#2S - Ike Lehman - 0-7
#3S - Abe Thorne - 2-3
#1D - Parth Patel/Joel Gerig - 1-7
#2D - Wade Troyer/Hans Miller - 2-7
#1SJV - Sol Brenneman - 5-2
#2SJV - Tristan Clark - 3-6
#3SJV - Landon Weldy - 2-7
#1DJV - Himal King/Noah Hochstetler - 3-7
#2DJV - Justin Zehr/Jack Erlacher - 3-7

Round 2
#1S - Nate Brendle - 5-1
#2S - Parth Patel - 0-9
#3S - Sol Brenneman - 2-8
#1D - Ike Lehman/Abe Thorne - 4-3
#2D - Wade Troyer/Joel Gerig - 4-6
#1SJV - Landon Weldy - 1-7
#1DJV - Himal King/Hans Miller - 3-5
#2DJV - Justin Zehr/Tristan Clark - 2-8
#3DJV - Noah Hochstetler/Roberto Ramos - 5-4
#4DJV - Jack Erlacher/Paul Krabill - 0-7

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