Friday, August 12, 2016

Big Words from Angola


This match was a scrimmage. And the main job of a scrimmage is to prepare each athlete for the "real" competition that is ahead. Prepare is the perfect big word to describe what we should take away from this match.

We were prepared for the Hornets coming into this match. We knew what to expect because we had faced off against them several times during our week of tennis camp. We knew that they have a lot of strength at the top of their lineup, and then a lot of very good players throughout. We knew that if they had Honer, Davis, and Nofziger all playing singles that their #2S and #3S would be some of the best we'd see all year. We were prepared for them to have a strong JV, because they have year after year.

 It was interesting to see how well our games were prepared. Byeong looked very ready for his match, breaking his opponent's serve in the first game with confident and controlled placement. Daniel looked prepared too, ready to move and get all over the court. And Dustin sprang out to a 3-0 lead before I'd barely gotten to his court.

At other positions, we looked less prepared. In some of the doubles matches, we tried to crush big groundstrokes and were hitting inconsistently. In some of the matches, we didn't appear ready to move our feet. In most matches, we struggled to deal with the power that Angola brings because we didn't prepare ourselves after our shots. It's important to remember that when you play a player with power, you must maintain motion for the entire point. You only get to rest in between points :-)

I had prepared 3 different lineups for the scrimmage, and I was happy to watch most people get to try singles and doubles. We all have natural places and positions that we are comfortable with, but it was good to see people have to work through that. Two of my favorite matches were watching Simon and Brandon make comebacks in their singles matches as they began to adjust and play confidently in singles. Then again, I also loved watching Simon relax into the final #1 doubles match with Dustin and play with domination. I enjoyed Liam's joy at playing singles but also his joy in playing with Philip.

A final note about preparing. This match showed us what we need to prepare in our tennis games to move to the next level. Several players need to continue to work on movement, energy, and the consistency that comes with it. In singles, many of us need to figure out how to finish points, needing to find the confidence and belief to attack the net. In doubles, we need to prepare to play simply.  And some of us, like um, Byeong, need to work on focusing through the entire match :-)

So now, it is time to prepare, in a Biblical sense of the word. In the Hebrew language, one of the words translated to "prepare" is the word panah. The more natural translation of this word is "to turn toward or away." To me, this is the best description of what it means to truly prepare. It puts it into such a practical sense. In other words, as you prepare to open the competition season at Jimtown on Monday night, a two questions lie in front of you:

"What do you need to turn towards? What do you need to turn away from?"

Guys, prepare yourselves by turning away from what robs us of joy. Turn away from frustration, turn away from comparing yourself to others, turn away from worry. Turn away from isolation. Turn toward the team. Turn toward prayer. Turn toward finding your worth in the quality of the relationships and the striving that you are doing together. Turn toward God!

But be prepared, don't run from the questions.

"What do you need to turn towards? What do you need to turn away from?"

Round 1
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 10-1 - Jake Honer
#2S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 1-7 - Eric Nofziger
#3S - Daniel Robles - 1-7 - Jaxon Davis
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 4-2 - Elijah Wyatt/Spencer Griffis
#2D - Lane Miller/Jackson King - 2-3 - Jordan Wells/Luke Hottell
#1SJV - Dustin Miller - 6-1
#2SJV - Liam Bradford - 9-3
#3SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 3-5
#1DJV - Jonathon Yousey/Joel Yoder - 5-3
#2DJV - Philip Krabill/Jonah Farran - 2-8

Round 2
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 8-1 - Eric Nofziger
#2S - Simon Hurst - 4-5 - Jaxon Davis
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 3-5 - Elijah Wyatt
#1D - Brandon Nguyen/Lane Miller - 5-4 - Jake Honer/Spencer Griffis
#2D - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 4-3 - Jordan Wells/???
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 4-4
#2SJV - Jackson King - 3-5
#3SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 6-1
#1DJV - Liam Bradford/Philip Krabill - 3-8
#2DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Joel Yoder - 2-4

Round 3
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 2-4 - Jake Honer
#2S - Brandon Nguyen - 3-5 - Jaxon Davis
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 2-6 - Jordan Wells
#1D - Simon Hurst/Dustin Miller - 5-2 - Eric Nofziger/Spencer Griffis
#2D - Lane Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 3-5 - Elijah Wyatt/Luke Hottell
#1SJV - Liam Bradford - 6-1
#1DJV - Daniel Robles/Jackson King - 5-3
#2DJV - Joel Yoder/Philip Krabill - 2-7
#3DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Tommy Nguyen - 2-6
#4DJV - Jonah Farran/Angel Torres - 3-4


  1. When Yousey and I played in the third round, we both got to the net and were ready to crush anything they hit at us. But of course they hit a lob right over our heads. And just like we were doing the lob retrieval drill, Yousey ran behind me and got the ball back over the middle of the net where I was setting myself up for a volley winner. I ended up splitting our two opponents to win an awesome point! Nice job, Yousey!

    1. I love it when our drills end up working out in the matches :-)


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