It was two days before the high school tennis state championships.
*Snap.* I broke my wrist.
As I heard the words “You can’t play for eight weeks,” I was devastated and more importantly I was disappointed for letting down my team. My disappointment vanished quickly as my teammates rallied around me and I rallied for them cheering on from the sidelines that year. This unwavering camaraderie and friendship with my tennis teammates on and off the court was a major dose of motivation for me. The following year, we came back even stronger and we became the second public school since 1987 to win the team State Championships.
This is high school sports. This is #MyReasonWhy.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is celebrating National High School Activities Month with the launch of the #MyReasonWhy campaign. They encourage people to share their reasons for participating in high school sports and activity programs in an effort to highlight the benefits of these activities.
Tennis provides myriad of benefits for youth and high schoolers that mirror many of the benefits NFHS touts. From physical activity benefits to strong academics, tennis develops life skills and teamwork at an early age that carry on to adulthood.
Often people may not think of tennis as a typical team sport, but with high school tennis, Junior Team Tennis and USTA League – team tennis is abundant. Personally, I couldn’t have built a better, stronger team through tennis than I did in high school.
I had been playing tennis competitively in USTA Junior Tournaments most of my life and found that high school tennis was the perfect complement to my junior play. It provided me the team component I wanted while also increasing my play experiences against other top players.
Those experiences and friendships formed with teammates is what motivated me to then play tennis in college and have continued to motivate me to play USTA League tennis now.
I asked around the USTA Mid-Atlantic office and here are a few reasons why our staff participated in high school sports and activities:
“I played tennis in both high school and junior high because I loved the team component it provided me and it kept me active.”
“My reason why I did high school sports was the teamwork, healthy competition, character building and fun of it all!”
If you participated in high school sports or activities, especially tennis, what was your reason why? Or if you currently are involved in high school sports and activities – players, coaches, program supervisors, what’s your reason why? Share it with us on USTA Mid-Atlantic social media AND share it with NFHS using #MyReasonWhy.
Lindsey Keeler, is the director of adult programs at USTA Mid-Atlantic and a proud Red Mountain High School Tennis Hall of Famer.