Text by: Parashie Sidhwani
I have been playing tennis for almost five years now and often people ask me why I enjoy playing this sport. Well, to be honest, I give credit to one person who inspired me to play tennis ever since I was in Grade 2. I must have been around eight when I was watching television and witnessed the finesse and agility with which this man was using his tennis racquet. It was just like a mystical wand of a magician. What mesmerized me, even more, was the way I could easily connect to him, even though I did not know who he was; all I knew back then that I wanted to do the same thing that he was doing; and he was none other than Roger Federer. Although I started playing tennis because of him, now I realise the deeper impact as to what, why and how I am still enjoying this sport even today:
#5: Gives a sense of belonging
There are so many people playing tennis and once I started playing, I knew I had so many people around me talk to me about the sport. Sharing a common interest with several other people gave me a sense of belonging. Whenever I was bored, anxious, or needed to share the excitement of one of my favourite players winning, all I had to do was step into my community shoes and I could go and talk to anyone in my class. When someone understands exactly what your saying, it has such a positive impact, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what I had, that bliss of belonging and being understood with my tennis community.
#4: It’s a great stress buster
At some point in our, we all need one activity that will help you release the stress from all your daily problems. For me, it is tennis. Walking onto the court, feeling the breeze brush past my face, keeping an eye for the green ball, running until my limbs give up, all of it, literally all of it, is enjoyable to me. What’s even more fascinating is looking at the world around me from a tennis court. It’s complete freedom. The only thing stopping me is those white side-lines or boundaries, nothing else. No people and just nature. So, whenever I am in a bad mood, all I have to do is go and put my heart out on the tennis court and in just in a matter of a few seconds, I am back to normal, back to the calm and composed me.
#3: Gives me mental strength
Tennis is exactly like the journey of life. The ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, all of them are part of this sport, preparing you for the real world. Playing this sport from such a young age has taught me to push myself no matter what comes my way, whether it is a practice or a match, whether I am losing or winning. What’s most important is putting in my best effort. Furthermore, it makes me think like a mature individual because it always gives me a sense of the world of nature, presenting me with opportunities, capturing the right moments, rising to the occasion with grace and tenacity, hence showing me, that this sport does not only make me grow mentally, it also makes me rise above myself.
#2: Makes me realise the importance of physical fitness
Coming to one of the more obvious reasons is physical fitness. Over time, I have learned that physical fitness is not a habit, rather it is a matter of self-respect, which is why I learned, that it was necessary for me to play a sport to stay fit as an individual. What makes the physical fitness components in tennis interesting for me is it includes agility and endurance to the core. Since all these components are included in just one activity, it pushes me to my highest capabilities, testing my limits in each one of them individually.
#1: Forging long-lasting friendships
The most important part of one’s life is the long-lasting friendships that we create. Playing so many tournaments, talking to new people, all of these have helped me build friendships that I will cherish forever. What makes these bonds so remarkable is that you can share one of the deepest emotions that can shake you up the most i.e. anxiety. It is extremely beneficial to have that one friend who understands what you go through when you play tournaments, what you go through when you lose a match, helping you consolidate yourself. Additionally, friends like these can easily put themselves in your shoes, giving you more concrete advice and motivating you because they understand this pain themselves. Very nice!
I believe tennis is a sport everyone must try out, and it doesn’t really matter whether you’re a 4-year-old child or a 60-year-old adult, it is imperative for you to play tennis so that you can create memories like I have, from tournaments to training. I will never be able to forget even a single part of my journey. I believe the importance of tennis should be known to everyone, because, tennis is just like a mind game of life, you win or lose before you even step on the battlefield, so why not give it a hand?
About our writing program student:
Parashie Sidhwani is a Grade 9 student at Oberoi International School, Mumbai. She is greatly passionate about tennis, art, piano, and writing. Although she dreamt of being an astronaut at NASA, she wishes to pursue journalism or architecture in the future.
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