"Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying
when you know you can lose."
Brady played in his first USTA junior tournament yesterday. Two weeks before the tournament, he started a "countdown" on a piece of paper in his room. I can't even describe how excited he was to get to the chance to participate in this tournament. I on the otherhand was not as excited. I felt sick in my stomach the day before and the day of the tournament. He would be competing in the 10 and under age group...but I knew that meant playing against kids that are 2 and 3 years older than him. That makes a BIG difference in the level of strength and play. I made this perfectly clear to him that it wouldn't be easy...I know that he's used to winning...and this would not be the case. Brady said, " even if I lose Mom, I will still get the practice and it will make me get better." Okay...so he definately did not get his confidence from me!
The first match Brady played against a boy that was 9yrs old. We watched from an enclosed glass viewing area on the second floor above the courts. (To add to my nervousness, this room where all the spectators and parents are...is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. No talking, clapping, nothing. What a stuffy group of people...I mean seriously?! Not my kind of crowd that's for sure.) So, Brady and this boy are all alone down on the court, warming up, making calls and keeping score all on their own. I was so proud of Brady and how he handled himself. A few times I found myself tearing up...I would have never as a 7yr old, put myself in that kind of situation. Brady had some great rallies, had a couple of deuce games and never gave up. He lost 6-0, 6-0. After his match, he ran to the net and shook his opponet's hand. On our way to meet him...I wondered if he would get teary when he saw us. Would he be sad he lost every game? Would he be ready in another two hours to play his next match? We couldn't wait to give him a big hug and congratulate him. When he came skipping up the steps to find us, he had the biggest smile on his face! He was so proud of himself. He said to the other boy, "you're a really great player." I'm not sure we've ever been more proud of him than we were that very moment.
This picture was taken after his second match.
Brady played really well his second match. His opponet was 10 1/2 yrs old. At one point during his match, Brady looked up and gave us a thumbs up. Brady lost 6-0, 6-1. So, for those of you who aren't familiar with tennis scoring....it means, Brady lost 25 games and won 1. When he won his first game (towards the end of the match)....he jumped up so high and did a big "fist pump". He was elated. That one tiny victory was all he needed. We thought for sure this tournament would be an eye opener for him. Maybe he would realize he needs to get a little older and a little stronger before he starts doing more tournaments. On the way home, Brady said, "how long until my next tournament?" Oh boy.
Congratulations Brady on your first junior tennis tournament!
We are so PROUD of you!
Love, Mom & Dad