I got served

October 15, 2012 — by Jonathan Young
Jonathan Young

“You know you’re supposed to take the plastic off the handle, right?” said senior Amy Jan, a member of the girls’ varsity team. It was safe to say that I wasn’t off to a great start.

I was anxious as I walked onto the court, ready to participate in a tennis practice with the team. That day, however, was not even a full practice. It was only a half-hour warm-up in preparation for their game the next day.

The girls were scrimmaging with each other, and I was ready to join in. I had not played tennis in five years, and my rustiness became apparent the moment the ball met the racket.

As I played senior Evaline Ju, I missed a few balls early on, and my form was terrible. But as I continued, I played better and better.

As I became acclimated to the game, I became more comfortable. I even won a few points.

Then, Ju started playing to win. It was clear that I was outmatched. I would hit a shot right down the middle and would receive a shot right in front of the net, forcing me to run. Then, if I was fast enough to get to that ball, I would get one zipped right past my head to the back of the court.

Right as my tennis skills were improving, I began to feel winded. Tennis is an extremely tiring sport if one has not prepared properly, and I wasn't prepared.

"You know this is only about half a match, right?" I heard Jan say from the sideline after about 20 minutes of play. The sun was scorching, and I was starting to feel fatigue, but I continued because it was so fun.

Despite my losses and exhaustion, the practice was extremely relaxed and had the feel of a pick-up basketball game. Everyone was just having fun while competing in a friendly manner.

I had a great time. It was a great experience playing with some of the best high school girls’ tennis players in the state.