Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Competitive Edge...

Somehow I found myself in the lineup at City Finals last Friday for my tennis team.  I can only assume there was no one else available.  I say this because, prior to Friday, I had not picked up a racquet in at least a month.  I take that back...  the minute I found out I was in the lineup I contacted a friend to hit with me and (hopefully) knock the rust off.  Outside of that, easily a month.

Friday afternoon, the rain rolled in.

 I was sure we would not be playing; however, the rules require you to show up at the courts and wait it out for an hour.  If it is stops raining then you get out there and dry the courts so you can play.  This is where the competitive edge starts to show itself.  Some people prefer to let the other team wear themselves out drying the courts.  Others (like myself) prefer to lend a helping hand and share the work.

Not us but you get the idea...  rolling the courts wears out your arms!
My competitive nature is an odd one.  In my heart I would love to win.  I would love to stand on the podium and take home the award.  On the court, that doesn't always translate.  I will say too that in team sports, the competitive nature shows itself differently than in individual sports (like triathlon or running).  In triathlon, I have no problem spotting someone in my age group and trying to pick them off.  I think because I usually don't know them.  In tennis, it is different.  After spending two to three hours on a tennis court having small talk, my instinct to make friends has kicked in which makes it harder for me to be aggressive for a win.  I know.  Odd.

Rain delay selfies :)
Friday night, I was paired with someone who was the complete opposite of me.  He wanted to win (I mean, it was for the city championship after all).  I wanted to win too but my 'nice girl who wants everyone to happy and like her' was showing and I think he could tell.  We played 5 games and it started raining (again).  We were down 3-2.  After the rain break, we headed back out and the coaching began.  Every point he was giving me instruction.  Do this. Ignore that.  Just hit the hall and let them make mistakes.  (The guy on the other side was pretty aggressive and was pounding the balls at me which is kind of par for the course in mixed doubles).  My partner was so intense that I was actually afraid to lose.  LOL.  No really.  Thankfully, we pulled out the first set 7-5 and then won the second 6-3.  Our other two lines lost so we ended up coming in second overall.

 Now if only I could bottle up a little bit of that competitive nature and take it with me to my next match.  Or maybe I could just have my partner come with me and glare at me every few points for a little intimidation factor.  :)  


ltlindian said...

That is so my story with my tennis career. I play way better when it's not a real match. Like if we were just hitting around and even playing points for fun, I play really well and you might think " wow, she's pretty good!". Get me into a real match that 'matters' and my head gets all in a mess and I can barely put a serve in. Once that first double fault happens,or I hit that easy volley into the net, or that forehand goes over the fence, my game is gone.

I have ZERO mental game. Which is exactly why I only play for fun.

Great job on the win though!!

Darlene said...

Great win. I am very competitive too. Sounds like you had a perfect partner. That makes all the difference.

Carolina John said...

Too much of a competitive spirit can really leave you on edge all the time. Knowing when it's ok for that knife to be dull is what separates the rookies from the veterans. Good call spotting the difference.

Matthew Smith said...

I am just amazed that you are an incredible triathlete and a tennis star too! And to think that I'm friends with you!!!

Way to go on a soggy tennis match. I wish I had a little more of that competitive edge too. Oh well. At least we won't blow up on the bike in Louisville.

Anonymous said...

I have the opposite problem I guess! I am so competitive on the tennis court but have trouble competing when I run. Strange.

B.o.B. said...