first week!


hey let’s talk about how my first week went down in hell, i mean Florida.

I’ll start off by saying, I had an unbelievable week. I’m surrounded by professional coaches that have helped players that I’ve idolized and it’s unbelievably motivating to be in this type of environment. That being said, “this type of environment” is also ridiculously hot and humid. It’s an extra challenge that’s been added to my training for sure, but it will prepare me well for my tournaments.

I’ve been feeling pressure that I’ve felt before in my tennis career. Pressure to perform well when suddenly expectations are imposed on me. My coach, Horacio, said I can be a good pro inside top 1000. For me, this was show stopper, a booty popper. I was thinking, “This dude knows tennis so well and thinks I can be a solid pro? But does he know about my poor fitness? Does he know I’m a social guy? Does he know I’ve been complacent at times? Is he aware that in matches I sometimes feel a wave of feeling uninterested?”

These insecurities are not new to me. During my junior year at Bates, I let similar destructive thoughts take over my mind like, “What if I don’t get back to NCAA’s? If I don’t get back to NCAA’s, will they say that going abroad was a mistake for me?”

It’s only now becoming clear to me that none of these things matter. They really don’t. There’s no point in worrying if I’ll disappoint him or myself. Massive waste of energy. I should focus on the reasons why I decided to pursue a professional career and the accomplishments I’m striving for.

This reminds me of a paragraph in Tana French’s The Trespasser in her description of a murder suspect that is very fragile and worrisome.

“I’m amazed this guy manages to get out of bed in the morning without working himself into a panic attack over the chance that he might trip on the bath mat and stab himself through the eye socket with his toothbrush and be left with a permanent twitch that’ll ruin his chances of landing an airplane safely if the pilot has a heart attack and doom hundreds to a fiery death.”

This is obviously an extreme example, but it just makes me laugh. It makes me realize that sometimes I catch myself in this cycle of worry. I forget to take a step back and look at it this insecurity and fear of expectations with an unbiased eye.

With that being said, I’m very happy and surprised to hear these kind words from Horacio. It’s motivating me to working harder in my fitness and on the court. My serve is becoming an atomic bomb and my forehand is developing into a consistent weapon.

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