It’s been a strange week. With regards to my UK Visa and my trip to Israel for Futures, there has been absolutely no progress. I have not heard a word from the British Consulate in New York, I have not had my UK visa approved yet and I have not received my passport back. Therefore, I can go exactly nowhere. My plan was to leave for Israel next week Tuesday and make it there in time to sign in and play qualifying in the second tournament of three in Herzliya. At this point I am just hoping to get my passport back in time to make the third and final tournament in Israel. It is becoming incredibly frustrating.
It seems as if things are slowly coming together. I finally managed to find out that my passport and visa should be processed by Tuesday and back to me by the end of next week. So that means I should be able to make the second future in Israel, which starts, with qualifying, on the 8th of June.
In other news, I managed to get into the Vince Dente Memorial Tournament at the Avila Bay Club in San Luis Obispo. I went to Cal Poly so it will be great to be back in the town that was home for three years. As of right now I’m entered in the singles and the mixed doubles draws, and I’m looking around trying to find a partner for the men’s doubles. I play my first match tomorrow morning at 8:30am at the Avila Bay Club. It’s all worked out quite well and it will be great to get some match practice in a familiar place.
This has been one of the most gratifying years of my life, which is honestly a shock to me because I am not playing tennis competitively (the way I used to identify myself in the past).
I was always Suzie “the tennis player” or referred to as the girl on the tennis court. So, when I decided to become the Assistant Women’s tennis coach at Cal Poly State University, I never realized how much growing I would do as a person. But working with the team has taught me so much about myself, in addition to working with such motivated ladies, and seeing them develop and grow into better tennis players and human beings. As a 23-year-old Assistant Coach, I have been given responsibilities that have challenged me to grow up quicker than I would have imagined, looking back to just last year as I was a player on this team. It has been an inspiring process and I want to share the experiences with other people who love tennis and are interested in learning about college tennis, so from now on until the season ends, I will keep you updated on my journey as an Assistant Coach.
With the season underway, life has been very busy. The Cal Poly Women’s tennis team, currently ranked 66 in the nation, have been traveling and on the go almost every weekend. We are 5-3 in dual matches, which is excellent considering our schedule. In the past month we have played 3 top 10 schools in the nation, including the past NCAA champions # 1 ranked Stanford, # 5 ranked Cal Berkeley, and #7 ranked UCLA. Most schools and teams would be intimidated with such a tough beginning season, but I believe our girls are thriving. Although we have lost all three of those matches, we have gained so much experience from it. I have learned so much from our players, including their resiliency, competitiveness, and their desire to improve. For the Cal Poly Mustangs, we have one goal this year: to be the most improved team in the nation. We may not have the talent that those top schools have, but we do have the work ethic and the love for the game. With this being said, I believe we can truly continue improving all season and become the most improved team out there.
In order to continue to improve, our girls strive to have consistent ACE scores (Attitude, Concentration, and Effort), a concept taken from our sports psychologist Jeff Trouche. It may seem like a simple plan, but to bring great attitude, 100% focus, and putting everything you have in each practice, lift, or match is very difficult. With such a young team this year (5 freshman, 2 sophomores, 1 junior, and 2 seniors) we try to focus on the basics each and everyday. How can we come out to practice with tons of energy, lots of vocal support, and ultimately get one day better everyday? In the matches so far, I realize the girls are incredibly tough and are doing so many things well. The challenge now is to play one more point tougher each game, as well as improving the basics — better first serve and return percentages. These subtle changes are going to add up and help us continue to thrive.
I know the season has started great and we are all motivated. The team is looking forward to continue to grow as tennis players, tennis coaches, as a family, and overall, as better people.
Living the dream,