By: Tal Jacobs, middle school boys’ tennis coach
The middle school boys’ tennis team entered its final two matches of the season last week looking to capitalize on impressive progress. Our frequent matchups with top programs have given us opportunities to hone our collective skills, as well as make individual improvements. Our three toughest opponents witnessed our growth as we were able to close the margin of victory in each of three late season rematches. One of these included a season highlight comeback against Charlotte Latin.
Trailing 6-0 after singles, the Cougars proved that perseverance in the face of certain defeat can elevate you further than victory itself. Momentum surged, and team chemistry allowed the Cougars to pull out three comeback wins and sweep all three doubles courts. Although a loss in the books, the energy and sentiment of victory was with the Cougars after a turnaround that defied defeat.
In tennis, progress can often come slowly or even seem non-existent, and other times you can turn around and see a player’s game go into hyperdrive. That progression doesn’t happen magically, but is grounded in discipline. It is a special thing to catch a glimpse of potential being converted into capability, which in turn unlocks a whole new landscape of potential. We have been fortunate to see a number of players turn a page in their development this season. Some have shown growth in developing and executing a game plan and playing deliberately. Others have found composure or resilient fight and are beginning to look like different players. But we have also hopefully been exposed to the fact that no advantage can be taken for granted and that momentum is always reversible.
Success is garnered through hard work from beginning to end. We must know this as a team as we try to polish the progress gained this season and use it as a foundation for future growth.
This story originally appeared in Volume: 6 Issue: 33 of The Cupola, Cannon School’s weekly e-mail newsletter.