Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Big Words from Northridge


I love tennis season. It is a time when I have the most fun during the school year. It's undoubtedly the time that I get the most stressed as well. There's a time crunch all the time, there are decisions to be made, and I feel responsible for how every one of the players is feeling and maturing as well. Sometimes, however, I get a feeling of peace. Well, at least a feeling of shalom. Let me explain this a little bit further.

Shalom is the peace that comes from right relationships, right actions, and everything being in it's right place. So, balls can be buzzing all around the court, people can be winning and losing matches, I can be running from one end of the court to the other and yet still know that I'm in the right place.

Last night, however, I didn't feel that. I mean, if we look at how people played - I was really happy. Byeong ground out a win over a very determined and aggressive opponent. Simon handled his first singles match well, as did Lucas in competing in his first varsity match. And the doubles team both came achingly close to victory. On the JV level, we dominated the doubles and played well in all of the singles, highlighted by the wins by the sophomores, Liam and Philip.

And I talk a lot at practice about focusing on how we play, not the result. So since we played well... I should feel like Seth does here:

And yet we also talk a lot about honesty. So, if I'm being honest, I don't feel like things all felt like they were in the right place yet. But here's the further truth, that being a tennis coach for 14 years has begun to give me - that's also okay. It is the beginning of the season, and our goal is to keep growing throughout the season. So if not everything feels perfect, that just means there is room to grow. If we felt like we didn't know how to win points in singles matches, or felt like we were hitting easy shots into the net, or felt like we got nervous and tentative in the big moments... that's okay. Things might be a little off right now, this is the beginning.

The big word of the day is ataxia. It's a word from Latin, and the root of the word is taxis, which means order. The prefix a means without. So ataxia is without order. It's also used to refer to a muscular disease where the sufferer loses coordination in their limbs. And that's a bit how today felt. Herky-jerky, without order, without bringing everything together.

But I keep telling myself, that's okay. Because if I walk into my kid's playroom above my garage at home, and I look down at the floor covered with toys, I have an opportunity. I can organize. I can throw away the McDonald's happy meal toys. I can set up there important toys (Star Wars figures) in prominent places so they'll play with them more. I can bring order and influence to their room. And that is our challenge now.

Let's bring order to the ataxia. Let's bring coordination. As a team, let's coordinate together to help every one bring out their strengths. Let's recognize the beauty that is Simon's first serve and set about giving it a prominent place with his game plan. Let's see the beauty of Byeong's wide variety, and help him work on patterns of slicing, topspin, forehand, backhand, drop shot to utterly bamboozle his opponent. Let's convince Jonathon that he's awesome when he closes the net, and get him to dominate that part of the game. Let's encourage Liam to continue his great singles play, and the wonderful placement that he gets with his forehands and backhands. Let's highlight the focus and concentration of the freshman. Let's take the good, the beautiful, and organize around them.

And let's get rid of what we don't like, the things that cause disorder. That's what building our game is all about. As we build, as we organize, we'll see close points begin to turn our way, close matches become close wins, and we'll begin to feel more and more comfortable. Shalom is on the way, we just have to become coordinated. Together.

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-3, 7-5 - James Dugle (12)
#2S - Simon Hurst - 5-7, 1-6 - Simon Grevengoed (11)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 3-6, 3-6 - Logan Corns (11)
#1D - Brandon Nguyen/Lane Miller - 4-6, 5-7 - Luke Wogoman (12)/Eric Firstenberger (11)
#2D - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 4-6, 6-2, 2-6 - Drew Wheatley (10)/Gabe Rodino (9)

Junior Varsity 
#1SJV - Liam Bradford - 6-2 - Brendan Yoder (9)
#2SJV - Joel Yoder - 2-6 - Avery Mantyla (9)
#3SJV - Philip Krabill - 6-2 - Brendan Yoder (9)
#4SJV - Braydon Harshberger - 1-6 - Avery Mantyla (9)
#1DJV - Daniel Robles/Jackson King - 6-0 - Mitch Williams (11)/Brant Brouillette (10)
#2DJV - Jacob Woolace/Caleb Shenk - 6-0 - Mitch Williams (11)/Brant Brouillette (10)

Bethany v. Bethany
Tommy Nguyen/Jonah Farran - 6-1 - Nathan Oostland/Chris Craw


  1. Fun match! I feel this match report perfectly encompasses how we have to go through this season TOGETHER.

  2. Yea baby! Scream it out tonight. Let's do this, TOGETHER!


Got some input? Feel free to post below!