Tag Archives: tennis

Get to Know Me

Happy Father’s Day, everyone! I hope that you all have a great day hanging out with your dads. They deserve the day off. 🙂 I just realized that in my three years of blogging, I’ve never really told you all too much about me and my personal life, my likes and dislikes, and some of my favorites. Well, I guess that’s kind of what this blog is dedicated to, but still. Here’s some facts about me and now you get to know me!

I’m left-handed despite both of my parents being right-handed.

Get to Know Me I live in Colorado and absolutely love it.

I picked up a tennis racket for the first time when I was six months old.

Get to Know Me

I used to tap dance competitively. I was also training for pointe in ballet until I hurt my foot. 🙁

My sister, who is a year-and-a-half younger than me, is my best friend.  I don’t know what I would do without her. XOXO

Get to Know Me

I love hanging out with my family.

I hate oatmeal. The texture is disgusting.

Get to Know MePolar bears are my favorite animal.

My favorite color is like a pastel or icy blue.

Get to Know Me

Winter is my favorite season.  I’m weird.

I love soft pretzels.

Get to Know Me

When I was four, I told my parents I wanted to be a pirate.

I hate spiders and any bug that moves really fast.

Get to Know Me

Weiner dogs are the best kinds of dogs to own, in my opinion.

I competed in a pageant called National American Miss for two years.

Get to Know Me

I love student council and community service projects. Volunteering is also a lot of fun.

People tell me I’m mature for my age.

Get to Know Me

I want to either become an orthopedic surgeon or orthodontist.

I can do a decent impression of Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and also Kristen Chenoweth.  I’m gonna cram two facts in one here and also say that I love Disney movies and really all things Disney.

Get to Know Me

When I was seven, I really wanted to change my name from Ana to Sheridan. I really liked the name after watching a Bratz movie.

I finished my last semester of junior year with a 4.4 GPA. I should’ve finished with a 4.5, by I just couldn’t hold onto my A in calc…

Get to Know Me

 

My poetry is mostly published. Yay! 🙂

I find crocheting challenging.

Get to Know Me

My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip made by Tillamook. (That’s a brand.) 😉

I have a keychain collection and one of my goals in life is to visit all fifty states in the U.S. and collect one from each state. So far I’ve visited Colorado (duh), New Mexico, Florida, California, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. I haven’t been to Nevada or Ohio but I have keychains from there too. 😉 It’s not the greatest list but I’ll also be adding New York and Nebraska pretty soon.  I love travelling and I hope that’s something I get to do a lot of in my life.

Get to Know Me

I hope you all have a great week and an awesome Father’s Day today. I hope you also enjoyed getting to learn some stuff about me. See you next week. 🙂

 

 

Good Job Me, You Hurt Your Back

Well, I can’t seem to stay out of my physical therapist’s office and I can’t seem to stay away from injuries. I know, I know, you can clap now if you’d like. At a tournament, that is still happening this weekend, well specifically at my match yesterday, I hurt my back. Not quite sure how, but I’m pretty sure it’s sprained.

I’ve sprained my ankle before, so I know what that’s like but I honestly never thought you could sprain your back. Here’s some information on how back sprains work.

A back sprain is similar to any other sprain in that they occur when you overwork a muscle and then it becomes overstretched or torn. A sprained muscle can also be referred to as a pulled muscle. When this occurs, usually there is pain that worsens with movement, decreased mobility, and muscle cramps or spasms.

Back Sprain

Most times, what helps a sprained back is rest, ice, and some form of an anti-inflammatory. Back sprains, as in the actual muscles themselves, typically heal after 1-2 weeks but then for the body to fully recover, it can take 4-6 weeks.

This unfortunately means that I will be doing a little bit of sitting but that’s okay! Most times, a weak core can cause injury to the back, and so that means that I’ve got some work to do on my core. Tennis is a very back and core oriented sport and with my weak core, my back has been taking all of the heat. My core is decently strong, considering I’ve played a lot of tennis and done a fair amount of conditioning for my core, but I guess I need to make it even stronger. Maybe I’ll be able to get my 6-pack now, haha. I’ll probably go see my physical therapist this week and see what she has to say about it. I hope it goes well!

Have a good week everyone!

Last Week of School!

We are finally here! Finals week, whoop whoop. But then again, that means four days of more stress and awful tests, but it’s fine.

Looking back on junior year, it. was. hard. I’m not even joking. I remember being a sophomore and thinking that junior year was going to be easy-peezy. I was very wrong. I remember talking to some of my junior friends and asking them about junior year. Some of them said it was going to be easy. Most of them said it was going to be easy, now that I think about it. Haha, they were wrong too. I did take three AP classes, so I guess that factored into the difficulty of the year but still. Oh, man was that rough.

I spent so many nights crying and studying and crying some more. I had so many headaches and I’ve never seen myself more sleep-deprived in my life. I didn’t cry because of friend drama or anything like that, I was actually crying over my homework. I had a wheelbarrow of it every night, it felt like. But other than dealing with the academic stress, this year was actually the best. I had so much fun.

I was in multiple organizations and clubs at school and those helped make my year amazing. I was healthy this year for high school tennis and finally got to play singles, won first in my region, and got to go to state for a third year in a row! Yay. 🙂 I was in NHS and had fun working with different volunteer groups to make my community a better place. In BLUE Crew, which is a group that helps the incoming freshmen transition, I enjoyed getting to know my little ninth-grade nuggets and guide them on the start of their high school journey. In student council, I had a blast planning events and I feel honored to be able to serve as one of the three co-presidents on the executive board for next year. I also was a part of Circle of Friends which is a club that partners students with students in the intensive care learning. I got to eat lunch with one of the sweetest and most amazing kids for the past two years now. I never saw myself doing anything like that, but now it’s something I’m passionate about and look forward to every week. The kid I eat lunch with has brought a whole new perspective of life to my life and I’m so thankful for the opportunities I had junior year. I’ll get to serve as one of the presidents for Circle of Friends next year too, and I’m pumped to do that as well.

I kept the friends I’ve made over the past couple of years, grown close with some, and even made new friends that I look forward to spending senior year with. It’s insane that I’m going to be a senior soon. I helped escort yesterday at my high school’s graduation and it’s so hard to believe that I will be graduating next year. AHH!

And so I should probably leave this post here, because I need to go finish studying for my physics final. Have a good week and best of luck to everyone taking finals! 🙂

Last Week of School

Why I am a Self-Critic

Recently in AP Lang, we had a creative writing assignment inspired by a piece by Zitkala-Sa titled “Why I am a Pagan”. I chose to write about why I am so hard on myself and here is that piece. Enjoy.

Heavy breathing. Sweat dripping. Mind racing. There was no way I’m going to pull off this match. Two hours pass under the glaring sun and I’m still out on the battlefield. My back burns as the heat stabs into it. My feet burn as I dash madly from sideline to sideline in a frantic attempt to keep myself from raising that white flag. My heart burns as I watch the championship match against my nemesis go up in flames. No matter how many serves I sent penetrating the enemy’s walls or how many shots I fired evening the playing field it wasn’t enough. It never seems to be enough.

My last play haunts my mind as I walk up to the net. “You just had to miss it in the net didn’t you Ana? I can’t believe you just let that happen. It’s not like that doesn’t happen at least six or seven times in a match. You’ve been working on that! Get a grip!” My opponent and I may have ceased fire on the court but that ceasefire hasn’t reached the strident voice nagging me in my head. I hold back my frustration and overwhelming feeling of crying as we shake hands and head off the court to our families.  

I knew my family would be proud of me. They always are. They’ll see that I worked hard out on the court. Or did I? Was I good enough out there?

As I fasten my seatbelt in the car, a single tear rolls down my cheek. And then a second. And then a third. And then a flash flood rumbles down the hill. It seems like no matter how hard I push myself out there, I’m trapped swimming just below the surface of the ocean. I’m left to wander and explore the vastness of the watery depths. I’m breathless. It seems like no matter hard I work on the court, I’m doomed to endure the harsh conditions of a summitless mountain. Progress may be made but sometimes it feels like I’m headed nowhere. I see the same old trees on that horrendous mountain and every time I have to cross that river or climb over that boulder, I might vomit out of disgust. “We’re here again?! I thought we were over this already?”

I look out the window from the backseat of the car and watch as the cars, trees, and houses go by. As my dad navigates through Colorado Springs, my mom turns to me.

“Ana, you know not to be so hard on yourself. This is silly behavior. You are stronger than this. You made it to the championship, for goodness sake! Be proud of yourself for that! And who cares about some Jessica-messica Do not let that get to you, okay?”

My mom may be right. I shouldn’t let someone with poor sportsmanship like that get to me. I shouldn’t be my own worst enemy. I shouldn’t hate myself so much for losing a match in the championship of a tournament, but I have to.

Hating on myself and kicking myself in the butt for making mistakes motivates me to be better. Losing sucks, I’ll admit it, but it allows me to learn from my mistakes. I may never reach the summit of that awful mountain and I may never get to breathe the fresh, salty air by sticking my head above the water, but I’ll be able to learn from my experiences. Being critical of myself allows me to give flight to the strong, beautiful butterflies that were once weak and struggling caterpillars in my life. To some, being hard on yourself is detrimental. It’s pointless. It’s silly behavior. I don’t see it that way. I see it as an opportunity to educate myself and improve who I am. There is no limit to improvement and I am endlessly willing to become better in all I do. If this is self-improvement and growth, then forevermore, at least, I am a self-critic.

Why I am a Self-Critic
Credit to artist. Not my piece 🙂

Revealing the True Colors of Your Opponent

For the past few months, I’ve played in a lot of tournaments and seen all kinds of tennis players. Along with those tennis players, came a variety of personalities and attitudes. One thing that frustrates me about some tennis players is their lack of self-control, class, and sportsmanship.

It’s hard to understand why some girls appear as sweet and friendly when they’re up and turn into jerks when they lose a game or even a single point. As soon as your opponent pulls out their claws, you know you’re in for as show. They start yelling at themselves, hitting themselves, abusing their racket, and using profane language. They lose all sense of control and even begin making bad line calls. They might even start questioning your calls.

This can be hard to cope with on the court, especially when you’re winning. It can be difficult to keep yourself optimistic when your opponent is acting like an animal. When I played a girl like that in the past few weeks, I struggled to keep the anger that was building inside of me contained. I was able to because I was disciplined and had class, but that wasn’t the case for the girl on the other side of the net. While I may have been winning for a while, I let her ridiculous actions get the best of me and had the match slip from my hands. So what.

A lesson came from that match and it is something I’ll never forget. Regardless of the outcome, I know I outclassed her and acted like one should on the court. If your opponent begins acting like a monster, ignore it, be yourself, and kill them with kindness. Allow your opponent to dig themselves a hole and self-destruct. Never let that kind of silliness get to you. When you play your best and ignore your opponent’s actions, you’re going to succeed.

Just remember this, play with class. If you choose to lose self-control and respect for your opponent and yourself, remove the “c” and the “l” and now see what you are.

revealing the true colors of your opponent and tennis

Tennis Etiquette: How to Respect Yourself and Your Opponent

Sportsmanship is a crucial part of building good character on and off the tennis court. There are times when players cheat or do things that aren’t respectful towards themselves or their opponents. This is true for all sports, but today I am focusing on etiquette in the tennis world. Here are a few ways to show respect for yourself and your opponent on and off the court.

Don’t trash talk your opponent. Just don’t. You should never talk bad about anybody anywhere and I feel like that is common sense. Still, for some reason, people think it’s alright to make others insecure or unsure of their abilities by talking about them to others in a rude manner.

Talk about your match until you are somewhere private and quiet. This follows along with the first tip in a way. After you’ve played a match, wait to say anything about it until you’re somewhere quiet and away from your opponent and their family. My family and I always wait to talk about how a match went until we get to the car. Once you get to the car, or wherever you go to, then you can talk about what went well that match and what didn’t. If you had any questions or concerns that weren’t brought up during the match, now would be the time to spill the beans. Still stay away from speaking negatively of your opponent.

Hand the balls to your opponent during changeovers. I know a lot of girls that will simply just tap the balls into the corner or fence after serving and allow their opponent to go get the balls after getting water. I have nothing wrong with that, but it’s a good idea to be courteous and hand your opponent the balls when you’re close together. As a side note on that, if you chose to hit the balls to your opponent from the other side, hit the balls to them directly so that they don’t have to run for the balls.

Show up on time. Whether it’s a practice or a match, show up on time. You can receive penalties for showing up late to a match in a tournament, so don’t let that happen! It is disrespectful to the tournament, your opponent, and other players to show up late.

Know the rules of tennis and abide by them. This is pretty self-explanatory but ignored by many players. Knowing the rules of the game is super important. On top of that, if there is an interruption or interference during a point, call a let. Either you or your opponent can call it. Calling the score loud and making your line calls loud are also important.

Turn off your cell phone. Most clubs prefer that you don’t bring your cell phone onto the tennis court, but if you do it’s not a big deal as long as it is turned off. You don’t want your phone to become a distraction to you or your opponent.

Shake your opponent’s hand at the end of the match, make eye contact, and tell them good match. Regardless of the outcome, you need to be a good person and thank your opponent for playing, let them know how the match went, and wish them good luck with their next match if they have one.

Be kind to yourself. Being the perfectionist I am, I struggle with respecting myself and being kind to myself. If you lose a point don’t yell at yourself or hit yourself in any way. It looks silly when you do this plus you are actually harming your body when you choose to hit yourself. Plus, it becomes obvious to your opponent that they are winning mentally and have the upper-hand. If you do get angry or frustrated with yourself after losing a point, there are other ways to release that anger by tightening your ponytail or gripping your racket tighter. When I start to get frustrated with myself, I do my best to focus on my breathing and getting into a very simple rhythm that can keep my head cool and off of other things.

This list of tips on how to respect yourself and your opponents on the tennis court could go on forever and I know that there are plenty of things that weren’t mentioned here. Just use common sense when you are on and off the court and think about how you would want to be treated. By choosing to be respectful to yourself and your opponent you will probably have a better experience with tennis and you’ll learn much more about your game, physically and mentally, and also learn about all of the potential you have as a person and tennis player.

 

 

 

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 tennis a shot. It can be a lot of work but tennis is a great source of exercise. And if you’re not into playing tennis, 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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The Djoker

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen like #1 men’s singles tennis player, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is a person that has reached his full potential because he loves and dedicates his life to tennis, works to become a better person and athlete daily, believes that his family is important, takes care of himself, inspires others, and accepts whatever happens in his life and makes the best out of it.

Novak Djokovic picked up a racket for the first time when he was four years old during a summer camp in Serbia. From that moment on, he decided to dedicate his life to the sport and traded in recess and playtime for tennis lessons. He worked long hours with his coaches, who knew ‘he would become a champion [because] he was focused, conscientious, and above all, talented’ (Novak: Novak Djokovic). Despite economic and political struggles in Serbia, Novak’s family sacrificed a lot of time and money and was able to support him to travel to Munich, Germany to receive training at a prestigious tennis academy. According to Djokovic, “…family is the most important thing and you have to stick with the family”. In Munich, he was able to grow extensively as a tennis player. As time went on, young Djokovic became a more dominant and developed player winning important tournaments throughout Europe. Finally in 2003, Djokovic acquired his first ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) points and turned pro. Since then, Djokovic has dominated the men’s professional tour with 703 career wins and 63 titles (Novak Djokovic: FedEx ATP) and is considered one of the greatest men’s tennis players of all time.

He inspires tennis players, young and old, all over the world with his amazing sense of humor earning him the nickname, “the joker”, his powerful presence on the court, and beautiful technique. Djokovic has reached his full potential because of this. The 28-year old tennis player is always looking to better himself as an athlete and person. He spends long hours on the court as well as off the court perfecting his technique, sticks to a strict, healthy diet, and conditions his body often to improve his strength. Being #1 in the world can be a tough position to hold onto, especially with players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal challenging Djokovic often. Djokovic says that to keep his top spot he vows “to work twice as hard” (Stutchbury). Even though Djokovic is #1 in the world and has been successful, he has dealt with failure along his path to reaching his full potential. Djokovic says, “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances”. Being able to accept his mistakes and losses have been able to make Djokovic the strong person and tennis player he is. On top of balancing his personal life with his tennis schedule, the #1 singles tennis player founded his own foundation which helps “preschool-aged children from impoverished areas get the chance to learn and play in a safe, creative, and nurturing environment” throughout Serbia (About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation). With the help of many volunteers and generous donations, Djokovic’s foundation has already been able to build 18 schools, support 325 families, train 636 teachers, and help over 10,000 children (About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation).

Novak Djokovic has reached his full potential because he has taken advantage of his talents and abilities. He knows that he can make a strong impact not only on the tennis court but around the world. Djokovic said, “I believed I could do it” and that he did.

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Works Cited

“About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation.” Novak Djokovic Foundation. Novak Djokovic Foundation, 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

“Novak Djokovic.” Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. 30 Mar. 2016.

“Novak Djokovic: FedEx ATP Win/Loss: ATP World Tour: Tennis.” ATP World Tour. N.p., 2015. 01 Apr. 2016.

“Novak: Novak Djokovic.” Novak Djokovic. N.p., 2012. 30 Mar. 2016.

Stutchbury, Greg. “Djokovic Vows to Work ‘twice as Hard’ to Stay at Tennis Summit.” Evening Standard. N.p., 31 Jan. 2016. 30 Mar. 2016.

How to Stay Warm After Tennis Matches

High school girls’ tennis season is in full swing here in Colorado! This week we had our first two matches, and thank goodness we didn’t get any snow! However, we did get to enjoy (notice the sarcasm) the freezing cold temperatures, wind, and even rain. It can be extremely difficult to get warm after your match let alone stay warm. The last thing you and your team wants is a bunch of sick, cold girls. Here are a few tips on how to stay warm after tennis matches.

-Bring layers of clothing. As ridiculous as this may sound, it really isn’t. It gets COLD after you get off the court. You may be warm right after you play, but you’ll cool down real quick. Bring extra pairs of socks, gloves, hats, sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, thin and thick, warm jackets, leggings, sweatpants, and whatever else you might need to layer. For my match on Monday, I had my windbreaker, tennis hoodie, and winter jacket on. While managing to look like a big, fluffy marshmallow, I also kept myself comfortable and warm.

-Blankets are a necessity. Fleece blankets work great to keep a person warm, however they don’t work well for the outdoor world of tennis. With the dirty, muddy ground, rain and snow, something thick, washable, and water-resistant will be better off. Some of the girls on my team have recommended bringing sleeping bags. Not too bad of an idea!

-Get into your sweats immediately after you get off the court. Like I said earlier, you may feel warm and comfortable right after you finish your match, but you’ll cool down really quick. With your sweat and the sun going down, you’ll want to warm yourself up in your clothes/blankets/sleeping bag as soon as possible.

-If possible, bring or have access to warm food and drink. Not only will your stomach be pleased with the nourishment, but your body will be warmed up inside and out. Make sure to load up on carbs and potassium so that you keep your energy up and prevent yourself from getting too sore the next day. I recommend warm pasta or bread of some sort for carbs. Soup, like chicken noodle soup wouldn’t be bad either. Bananas are great sources of potassium.

-Stretch and move around. Stretching will most likely only help your muscles relax and feel good after a long match but it could also warm your body up. Move around by jumping, walking, or doing a little jogging. Get your blood flowing and your muscles working. Just make sure not to overdue anything or hurt yourself.

I hope these five tips will help you all survive your tennis matches in the cold, end of winter weather. Spring is on its way soon and we won’t have to deal with the yucky, freezing temperatures much longer, so hang in there! Good luck to all of you with your seasons. Stay warm!

How to Stay Warm After Tennis Matches

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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