Nikh played in the SAISA Tennis Tournament this weekend. He was picked from a bunch of kids to make up two teams of four boys and there were two teams of girls too. He was pleased as Punch to be chosen and practised extra hard, got his kit ready a week in advance, tried to make sure his grades did not slip (otherwise you get cut from the team!). He set his own alarm clock (a most irritating loud, singing clock from my sister!). He made sure all his bags, his breakfast and anything he needed for the day was at the front door the night before and for the first four weeks of the season, he was right on track! The fifth week saw a slump - he had been on his Week Without Walls trip by then, had been to a friend's party and sleepover and was now on his last legs!
I think the late nights, early mornings and constant energy drain had caught up. Nikh was already seeing what life as a college student could be like ... exhausting! Burning the candle at both ends is not a good idea! So we tried to slow down on other parts of life to allow a little regeneration.
It worked, sort of! Unfortunately the Coach did not see fit to let the team rest the day before SAISA began and Nikh was up at 5am on Thursday for squad training and really lagging in the energy department!
The tournament began with a 7.30am start for uniform pick up at school and team photos! The excitement was palpable. Nikh was beside himself with being a part of a team and loved having a couple of friends picked too. Off to the Krishnan Tennis Centre and let the games begin!
Nikh had a bit of a slow start and his first match began at 12.45 after waiting in a state of high anxiety all morning. Once he hit that first ball - you could see the glow of enjoyment light him up. He played pretty well, a little distracted here and there, but with a love of tennis that was clear. He may have won and lost matches - most of the kids were much bigger physically and stronger; also older than him. This did not faze him as he kept on hitting the ball back.
The Ray visited to spectate and said, "Watch the ball, Buddi" (words straight out of her father's mouth!). My Darling, currently in New York sent frequent text messages along the lines of - don't give in, don't let a point go and run for every ball! Good friends popped in to see him play - luckily at just the right time, and I know Nikh was proud that people he loves cared enough to take time from their weekend to make the trek! I would have stayed rooted to my Pavilion spot but Nikh begged a girlfriend to remove me from the scene!
Anyway - wins and losses - humility in victory and grace in defeat - all good life lessons. Also learning to win a point with humble gratitude and to lose a point with dignity and credit where it is due are all good life skills. I liked that other coaches mentioned him to me for his optimistic attitude, his cheerfulness and sportsmanship both on and off the court. Other more experienced players complimented him and he glowed! He was not the best player there, nor the worst, but he tried his best and he should be proud of himself. I know that My Darling and I are proud of him.
7 years ago