By Aneish Sawney (21S06T), Boys’ Captain and Portia McCully (21S03G), Girls’ Captain
You stand with your feet apart, knees slightly bent, and lift the ball into the air. You stare at the ball as it slowly sails into the sky and think back to the multitude of training sessions, gruelling conditioning workouts and intense psychological preparation, all for this one moment, this one point, this one serve.
Now, tennis is not just a game of pure power, but also a form of art. Rather than sending ballistic missiles up and down the court, tennis requires a certain kind of elegance. Each point must be delicately crafted to outsmart and outlast the opponent through the use of a variety of shots, be it a lob or a dropshot.
The aim of tennis, simply put, is to hit fluorescent green balls over and over again till your opponent is not able to get it back to you. Do that four times and you win a game. Do that six times and you win a set. Do that twice more and you win the whole match.
But why would you want to know about this intricate and magnificent sport in such simple terms? Beneath the dull, hard concrete surface lies so much more!
Your mind is your powerful weapon as you anticipate your opponent’s next move and plan how to outsmart them before your body takes over and executes the perfect shot with utmost precision and grace. As a wise man (our head coach, Weber Oh) once said, tennis is 5% skill, 15% physical, and 80% mental.
In order to attain such levels of competency, we train three times a week, with each session lasting approximately two hours. Our official training sessions are on Wednesday (2pm-4pm) and Friday (5pm-7pm), as well as an unofficial self-training session on Tuesday (supposedly 4pm-6pm, but we’re flexible). However, during the tennis competition season, we ramp up our training efforts, with many of us staying back almost every school day to train, even with no official training.
The highlight of the year is the competition season in April. It usually lasts about 1.5 months. During the season, it is a grueling time for all of us. Training sessions are focused more on tying up the final loose strings to bring out the best in our games, and keep us in tip-top shape.
If you wish to join us, you’ll have to attend one of our trials, where our head coach will assess you based on a few factors—skill level, physical fitness and general attitude. Anyone that has an interest in the game is welcome to attend these trials and join us on your journey toward the ‘A’ division championship in 2021.