Category Archives: Sports

Did You Know: Tennis

Tennis is an increasingly popular sport and just so happens to be one of my favorite sports. If you’re a person that plays or is wanting to learn some facts about the sport, here’s a few things you might not know about tennis.

-The longest match ever recorded was played between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010. It lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes. John Isner won the match and occurred over three days.

-Wimbledon is the only major tournament played on grass. The Australian Open and U.S. Open are played on hard courts and the French Open is played on clay.

-The modern game originated from Birmingham, England in the late 1800s as “lawn tennis”.

-Prior to the use of rackets, people used to play using the palms of their hands.

-Tennis balls were originally white but then yellow balls were introduced at Wimbledon in 1986 so the players could see the ball on the court better.

-The  courts were originally hourglass shaped. The rectangular courts came into being in 1875 for the Wimbledon tournament. A standard tennis court measures 27 feet wide and 78 feet long. For double matches, the width of the courts is 36 feet. The net is 3 feet 6 inches high, and it divides the court in half.

-A tennis ball weighs 2 ounces or 56.59 grams.

-The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus became the first set of sisters to ever win gold medals in the Olympics. This happened at the Sydney games in 2000.

-After Roger Federer, a phenomenal men’s player, won his first grand slam, Swiss tennis officials gifted him a cow. He was the first man from Switzerland to ever do something like that.

Tennis is a wonderful sport that a person can play throughout their life. If you are a person looking for something fun to try, I would suggest giving this awesome sport a shot. It can be a lot of work but tennis is a great source of exercise. It really gets you moving and it’s also a great sport that’s fairly easy to learn and a great sport to explore with friends. And if you’re not into playing the sport, maybe try watching one of the major tournaments. Wimbledon is coming up so that might be something worth watching. So whether or not this information is new, now you know a few things about tennis. Have a great week and stay cool!

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Losing is Good for You

Winning feels great and makes a person happy, but there isn’t too much one can learn from winning all the time. A person can become arrogant and lazy and that’s why losing can sometimes be good for someone. It allows them to learn from their mistakes and do better next time. The article “Losing is Good for You” by Ashley Marryman contains many relatable points that can be applied to my life as well as the lives of others.

Ever since I was little, I’ve been involved in sports. My coaches have always been supportive and pushed me towards excellence. When I was younger, I was praised for participating in events, performing well, or winning tournaments, and there would be certain rewards that I earned. As I became more experienced and older, the rewards for performing well or winning were trophies or plaques awarded by the tournament directors. When I was twelve, I was on a club volleyball team and I was one of the strongest players on the team. My coach was constantly praising me and it felt good at first but then it started to get old. According to Marryman, “Awards can be powerful motivators but nonstop recognition does not inspire children to succeed”. I didn’t feel as motivated to give 100% because the praise didn’t feel genuine, since my coach was always praising me. My parents worked hard to develop humility and help me understand that winning does feel good but it’s just as good to lose because you’ll learn from your mistakes and do even better the next time you go out and play. In tennis, I’ve always had a high ranking and been known for my good record. About two years ago, I went through a long losing spell and that was definitely not a fun time. My dad did his best to get me out of the losing streak and eventually I was able to succeed again and from that experience I learned that “you’re going to lose more often than you win even if you’re good at something. You’ve got to get used to that to keep going” (Marryman). It was so rewarding to win after so many loses and I was able to grow as a resilient athlete. I’m more motivated to work hard and succeed.

I guess losing really can be good for you.

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Thinking Positive

Whether it’s in sports, school, work, body image, or life, it becomes very easy for people to focus on what they are doing wrong and all of the negativity. People want to succeed at what they’re doing and feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. However, it can be challenging, when one is constantly telling themselves, “This is terrible,”, “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I don’t think I can do this,”. Thinking positive is a way to turn those thoughts into something positive that will help you achieve your goals and feel better about yourself and whatever you do.

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In sports, all athletes struggle with the pressure of wanting to win, not let down their coach, teammates, and parents, and perform with perfection. They also struggle with the ups and downs in their performance and when they are going through a rough period, they tend to think negatively which will only make things worse. Two words that are heard often are “can’t” and “don’t”. There are a lot of coaches out there who will tell their athletes, “Don’t hit the ball out,” or “Don’t lose,” and that causes the athletes to think about what they should not do versus what they should do. Then when athletes have talked themselves into doing the wrong thing, they start to believe that they can’t shoot a free throw, or land their back flip, or hit a float serve. Everything can go downhill if this negativity isn’t stopped in its tracks.

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For example, in tennis, I can be very hard on myself. Now that I’ve been cleared to start running and playing a little bit of tennis again, my dad and I have been playing quite a bit so that I can get back into shape for the high school season. I haven’t played in about six months and getting back on the court for the first time was great, but there was frustration that came with it too. My groundstrokes were definitely not what I remembered them being and I struggled to get the ball in the actual court. My dad would ask me how my groundstrokes felt and I told him, “I’m not getting the ball in the court” and “I can’t seem to hit forehands”. After I told him that my dad told to focus on what I can do right for the next shot. I’m much more successful when I focus on the positive and what I can do to improve versus how bad my last backhand was.

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The idea of thinking positive has been something I’ve been working on for a long time in tennis and life in general but it can be hard. It’s very easy to slip into a negative mindset but when you focus on what you can do to get better, you’re probably going to improve and feel better about yourself.

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These same ideas can be applied to how you see yourself as a person and your goals in life. Maybe you think that you aren’t pretty or you don’t fit in. Those same two thoughts could be turned into something positive. Even in something “ugly” or negative, you could find something “beautiful” and positive to think about. And with the whole “fitting in” thing, isn’t it better to be yourself and discover who you are than fake it and be in unhealthy relationships? If you think that you aren’t good enough to try out for something, too shy to ask a teacher about something in class, or you’ll never be able to go on that trip to Japan that you’ve been dreaming about forever, you’re probably right, if you aren’t doing anything about it but complaining and thinking negative thoughts. If you think positive, you might not reach your goals when you hope you will but you’ll get there eventually. And if you don’t give going for your goals a try, how will you know you could have accomplished them anyways?

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So with those same thoughts up above, you could turn those into “I’m going to make the best of this situation” “I’ll work towards my goals and achieve them”, and “I can do this”. Turning your negative thoughts into something positive, will help you out in the long run. Set goals for yourself, stick to those goals, and think positive. The road to your goals might be rough, but in the end, all of your hard work will have been worth it. You can do this!

Tips For Tryouts

Whether it’s for volleyball, tennis, or whatever sport/activity you compete in, you’re going to have to tryout to make a team at some point. Tryouts can be stressful sometimes and I want to help make it easier and less stressful so here are a few tips for tryouts.

1. Relax and have fun! If you end up making the team, that’s great. And if you don’t make the team, so what? At least you had fun trying. There will be plenty of other opportunities to make teams and try other sports or activities. So knowing this, you should just relax, play your game, show off your stuff, and have fun.

2. Control what you can control. The two things you can control are your attitude and effort. You can’t control the coaches and evaluators (although that would be pretty cool), the place and time the tryouts are held at, the other people trying out, the drills you do, and so on. So many people worry about those things going into tryouts that they forget what’s really important and what they should be focused on controlling. When you focus on controlling only your attitude and effort, you perform well, feel relaxed, and have fun.

3. Wear something bright so that you stand out from the rest of the crowd. From experience, a lot of people will either wear black or white to a tryout. You want to be noticed and have the coaches and other players watching and keeping an eye on you.

4. Stay positive and don’t get down on yourself. This goes along with the first tip for tryouts. If you shank a pass or miss a layup, or hit your serve in the bottom of the net, it’s not a big deal, just as long as it isn’t happening on a consistent basis. No one’s perfect and we’re all human, so if you make a mistake figure out what you’re going to do right next time, and execute it. Relax and you’ll do fine. Also, don’t get down on yourself if you don’t end up making the team, there other teams to tryout for and other opportunities.

So when you all head into tryouts just remember to relax and have fun, control what you can control, wear something bright, and stay positive and don’t get down on yourself. I really hope these tips will help you all succeed in tryouts. Good luck and have fun!

Super Bowl XLIX

This year’s Super Bowl has come and gone and what an amazing game it was!

Super Bowl XLIX was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The New England Patriots played the reigning champions the Seattle Seahawks. The Patriots were led by Tom Brady and entered the Super Bowl with a 12-4 record for the regular season and were first in the AFC East. Seattle was led by their quarterback, Russell Wilson and also made an entrance at the championship game with a 12-4 record in the regular season. They were first in the NFC West.

Super Bowl XLIX

The minute the game started, the intensity was on. It stayed fairly close for the first half and people all over the nation were anxious and tense to see who would come out on top. Finally, the Seahawks scored a touchdown widening a gap in the 2nd half of the game. All hope seemed to be lost for the Patriots in the fourth quarter when the Seahawks were at the ten yard line and ready get a touchdown once more.  Wilson decided to throw the ball and it was intercepted by Julian Edelman (11) of the Patriots, turning the game around. Shortly after that, the Patriots scored and were in the lead. 28-24 was the score when the clock ran out and the Patriots were the 2015 Super Bowl champions. The game this year was phenomenal and it was a bummer to see either of the teams lose.

Super Bowl XLIX

Not only was the game great, but the halftime show with Katy Perry was the best one the Super Bowl has ever had. Katy Perry sang a mix of many of her top songs including, “Roar”, “Firework”, “Teenage Dream”, “Dark Horse”, and “California Gurls”. There was a giant tiger that she walked on, dancing and singing sharks and palm trees, and in the end, Perry was flying high above the field on a rocket /firework and fireworks went off in the end. Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot also made appearance during the halftime show with Katy.

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In my opinion, the commercials this year were not at their best. The Doritos commercial with the man on the airplane was funny, and the Budweiser commercials with the puppies were great, but the commercials featuring Loctite, the man and his blue pill (Fiat), and Kim Kardashian (T-Mobile) were very strange. When it comes to Super Bowl commercials, I like it more when the commercials are funny and easy to understand. A majority of the commercials this year just didn’t work for me.

Super Bowl XLIX

I hope that you all enjoyed watching the Super Bowl (even if the Broncos weren’t in it), whether it was the actual game, the commercials, or the halftime show. Can’t wait ‘til next year!

Super Bowl XLIX

Having the Right Attitude in Sports

“I can’t do it.” “That team’s too good. We’ll never beat them!” Does this kind of talk sound familiar? It could be in your head or actually coming out of your mouth or a fellow teammate’s. Those two quotes sounded pretty negative, huh? Saying those kinds of things might not seem like a big deal but in the long run they could be. It could mess up your attitude in not just sports, but life. Here are five thoughts about having the right attitude in sports.

  • First off, what is the right attitude? Well, being optimistic in low times or moments when your team is down and having that competitive, classy, and fiery personality is the right attitude. Thinking smart about your options and the future is also having a good attitude in sports. Respecting your opponents, teammates, coaches, refs, parents, fans, even yourself, and so on contributes to this as well.
  • Losing is something that a lot of athletes take harshly. Some take it seriously, calmly, and some don’t even care. When you lose, you shouldn’t take it as the end of the world or the end of your athletic career. You also shouldn’t just brush it off of your shoulders like you could care less as to what just happened. When you lose, you need to take it as a learning experience, forget about it for that day, and then briefly reflect on it the next day at practice or whenever you can. Use losing to make you stronger, not bring you down.
  • Some sports like volleyball, for instance, require a team. Team is a part of the word teamwork.  Now when girls on a team start up drama and turn their backs on each other, that’s not teamwork or a team at all is it?! This goes back to respecting everyone and everything around you. You might have issues with a girl on your team and you might not have very nice things to say to her but the second you step in that gym or step on the court, you are friends. You guys are teammates. You love each other and work together as if you are best friends. You win and lose and work together as a team. Your attitudes towards each other are caring and respectful and you are willing to help them. And then the second practice is over and you are out of the gym, you don’t have to be friends. You don’t have to hang out or even talk to each other. You still have to respect that teammate as person and you can go your separate ways. Your attitude can go back to whatever it was before you stepped on the court but you still have to respect them.
  • Believe! When you believe in your training and your skills, you can almost do anything! I had some friends that went to a sand tournament to qualify for a bigger tournament and they were playing two girls from one of the top clubs in the state. They put their minds to it, believed in their skills, and went out and beat that team, getting third in the tournament, and qualified to go to the bigger tournament. They believed in what they could do and got pretty far!
  • Lastly, before you go out to compete. Prepare yourself mentally, and physically. Let yourself visualize yourself having a good game or time or shot. Warm up by stretching or jumping or getting some last minutes reps in so you can get yourself into a positive, confident, ready-to-go mindset.

I really hope that all of you athletes can use some of these ideas to better yourselves and teammates so that you all can have a good or better attitude in sports.

Having the Right Attitude in Sports