Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Letters, August 26

Dear Team,
Um... I want to play matches too. In fact, I pretty walked around after school today with a permanent scowl (or so I was told by Benji :-) Thank you for your graciousness and joy. You too could have complained about hitting in the gym or having to run the halls. But you were understanding. Incredible maturity. And last night when we drove all the way to Laville and didn't play, yeah, you laughed and went and played on the swings. Again, incredible maturity. I have enjoyed the last two days despite not playing. It was fun to smash some balls at you during Japanese Speed Training. And it was amazing to eat fried burritos dripping with cheese sauce with you :-)

Dear Hans, Simon & Sol,
I've often been writing this early season to team members who need encouragement because they've hit some rough patches in their matches. You guys, in the completed matches, have played excellent. But I don't want you to believe that you are forgotten or unimportant. As a matter of fact, it's the opposite. The positive energy you all bring, Sol staying calm on the singles court and Hans and Simon sharing high fives and smiles on the doubles court, you need to bring that to everybody on the team. That's why I love that during Jesse's long 3-setter against Jimtown Sol was quoting "Office Space" to keep Jesse in a good mood. It's why Hans and other players should perfect the air-five to pump each other up during the matches. And why Simon has to smile and encourage his fellow sophomores as they improve. Let that positive energy be infectious, and continue to have fun!

Dear Lucas & Jonathan,
Speaking of sweet doubles teams, you guys always play well together. #2 doubles champions at the Angola Middle School Tournament in 7th grade and now opening up your winning accounts together in high school against Concord. But the thing I love the most about you is your love of the hard work. When it rained (again) today, Jonathan smiled and said "I hope we run." A couple of weeks ago, when I asked if Lucas was ready for a tough practice in the heat, he shyly smiled and said, "Well, actually, yeah." You know it is only the hard work that makes us get better, and you continue to get better.

Dear Jared Donaldson,
I feel really good about American tennis when I watch you and Stefan Kozlov (even Noah Rubin for that matter). You don't pout as you play. You give it all you got, even after going down two sets to none against a powerful Gael Monfils. Even though you are only 17. I wish my players could have watched the match last night. Monfils hits some of the most incredible winners, and you didn't let it faze you. Just come back to the line, throw up the serve and fire away. Incredible poise and firepower. I hope to see more in the future!

Dear Brooklyn Nine-Nine,
Thanks for being my mindless crashing place when I'm so frustrated with the weather I could crush a magic 8-ball. I can't believe how good your cold opens are. I wish our first games of every set could be as good as trying to figure out whether Kelly is Scully's wife or his dog.

Dear God,
You are incredibly good. Look at the men that are around me each day. Standing with each other as they go through baptism. Standing with each other in the rain. Standing together when we win and when we lose. Thanks, but that type of joy only comes because You are the foundation. Be the foundation, every single day.

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