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Standing on the baseline, I twirl my racket once, bend down, and look up. Sweat drips off my face unto the hot, hard court as the opponent throws the ball into the air and serves it in play. I move into position and hit a forehand straight down the sideline past the opponent volleyer. 15-30. My teammate and I move to our appropriate spots and the game wears on.
My mom first introduced me to tennis as a young boy, but we rarely played and I never acquired much skill. During my sophomore year, I decided to take up my racket and join the tennis team. Although it was my first year officially playing tennis, the coaches saw my determination and resilience. They offered me a spot on the varsity team as 3rd Doubles. I accepted their offer and practiced each day with other members during the season. We all supported each other and pointed out areas that needed improvement. The competitiveness has taught me that unless you're prepared to give it 100%, you're going to lose. Likewise, if you lose your focus for a second, you will most likely commit an error and lose a point. Tennis has motivated me to always work hard and to never give up.
As I prepare myself near the net for a possible return, I realize that tennis is a demanding sport that has forged me into determined and focused individual who will achieve a goal, no matter the cost.