Monday, August 18, 2014

Letters, August 18

Dear Team,
Tonight is our first competition. Tonight we must compete with gratitude. If you can, be grateful for the very ability to swing a racket at a moving target. It's fun! If you can't be grateful for your specific match, then be grateful for the team, the brothers who will cheer and support you. If you need other suggestions, the weather is supposed to be beautiful, the school day will be over, and you can relax. Simply remember whatever blessings God has given you, and take the focus off of yourself. This is going to be fun!

Dear Ryan,
As a senior, you'll be making your first full step into varsity competition tonight. Congratulations! I'm grateful that you've been playing well this pre-match season. You've worked hard and come a long way. I truly appreciate many things about you. I appreciate that you are a true 3 sport athlete, which is awesome and rare these days. I appreciate you working through injury and sticking with us, doing whatever you could your sophomore year. I appreciate you pinch hitting at the Merrillville Tournament last year. I appreciate this year at the scrimmage when you got excited to play with a younger teammate on the JV. Even though you've had a goal to play varsity you didn't scorn that opportunity as beneath you. You are a wonderful man full of character and perseverance. Enjoy your match.

Dear Freshman,
First competition of the new season tonight. Don't worry too much. You'll get to watch a little bit first. Revel in that opportunity. Go and cheer. Go and watch. Go and learn. This is a fun team to be on, take as much of it in as you can. Then go out and have fun. Seth and I will help you get better as the year goes on, tonight is just about relaxing. You don't have to be as stressed as Dustin looks in this picture. I hope that you compete hard, but the most important thing is to come out smiling!

Dear God,
May we rejoice in You always! The truth is that Your nearness is more important than any tennis match. The way You've woven us together, the way You've wired us to love, the way You've given us this group of tennis brothers, the way You've invited and gifted us to share - this is where the joy is. Thank You, thank You, and thank You. Let us revel in that joy before, in and after we compete. Remove from us any fear.

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