Friday, September 12, 2014

Letters, September 12

Dear Team,
The last two nights of practice have been cold and rainy, yet I think they've been two of our best practices. The goal of the season is to play how we want to play, and we're definitely moving in that direction. Take the confidence of these past two practices into the matches that we play in the next few nights.

Dear Landon,
No lying, I was crushed to hear that your injury is going to keep you from competing. As a senior, I have loved your commitment to the team and to tennis. I'm sad I don't get to see that as much on the court for awhile. But I'm calling you right now to another important role. This team is still looking for a vocal leader. Let that be you. Take over this team, both in practice and at matches. Push us along to greatness. You have the God-given leadership ability to do it.

Dear Ethan,
I'm so glad to have you on this team because you've worked so hard. You were as dedicated as anyone during the offseason. You've been at every practice, extra session, summer open court, and succeeded thus far on the varsity. Go attack the rest of this season with confidence. Form a sheer and savage team with Ryan and find your joy!

Dear Jesse,
Tonight, as you play and participate as a teammate, find your joy. I'm borrowing that phrase from Seth, but do the things that make tennis fun. Do the things that make you laugh. Do the things that make you feel awesome. You may struggle, you may breeze through. But ultimately, I will always remember you for the process you've already gone through. From freshman season where nothing seemed to go right, to the maturing during your sophomore year in Paraguay, to your decision and commitment to tennis over the past two seasons, to your work with the kids in Bright Times the last two years (who love you!) and the time you put in for our team this year (often being the rallying partner with Ethan and Simon). Seeing that growth is where I find my joy.

Dear God,
You've given us incredible gifts. Gifts of family, gifts of tennis brothers, gifts of talent, gifts of weather, gifts of good food and even things like support from our maintenance staff who graciously repainted our courts this summer. Even with the difficult things, like injuries and difficult losses and losses of concentration and too much homework (to grade), I'm still so grateful. But honestly, I've been most grateful for Your presence. You've been there for me to talk to when I've been down and when I've been thankful. I love You, and being able to be honest with You has been the best part of this season. As it gets intense, and comes to an end, remind us all of the things that don't come to an end. Which is only You.

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