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Plying A Smart Game Essay, Research Paper

On April 17, 2000 the Radford University tennis team played a very important match against Elon college in North Carolina. The winner of this match would play as seed number two in the Big South Conference tournament. Eventually, our place in the Big South Conference tournament depended on the result of my match against Elon s number four player. During the match I knew that he was better than me and I didn t expect to win. However, I tried my hardest, and learned that even though my opponent was better than me , I could still win if I played smarter than him.

As I waited for my opponent, I was thinking about how I would play against him and if I would win. It was a hot day and I was tired from my earlier matches, but I didn t expect this match to be so important for the team.

My opponent finally arrived at the court. He walked confidently toward me thinking this was going to be an easy match, probably because he was the captain of his team. When the match began, he played very well. All of his serves were hard and fast. It seemed as if he knew where I would hit the ball every time because he was always waiting for it. I lost the first set with a score of six for him and three for me.

As we switched sides, one of my teammates shouted to me that all the other players were finished with their matches and the final score was tied. This meant that the outcome of my match would decide the winner between Radford and Elon. I could feel the tension in my teammates and my coach. I knew that I had to win this match. all the spectators came watch us playing because they also knew that this was very important. They were approaching. As the footsteps grew louder, faint noises took shape and formed into words and sentences. They walked down the sidewalk unaware of the ballet performed by the leaves of the court. The group of people divided at the entrance to the court. some of them took seats on the bleachers. other people began to unpack things from the bags they had been carrying. The leaves danced defiantly around the court and the trees continued to sway the wind, but the people only noticed the players and flashes of green that burst from their rackets. I began to play more competitively, became faster and was more aware of where the ball would be. My score improved and I played the best game that I could.

I won the second set but at the end of the third set our score was tied. During the tie-breaker, I was down by 4-2 when my coach told me to keep the ball on the court and let him make a mistake. I did exactly what he said and I had a match point. My concentration was on the ball. I focused on it, rid my mind of all other thoughts except the ball. I watched as he tossed it into the air. I saw it rise and seemingly hang at its peak, a still blob of green waiting for the racket to strike it. I watched his arm reach back and then thrust forward. It was only a matter of seconds, but I lived in that moment. Time slowed down; I perceived the action in slow motion. I didn t notice the sun on his skin or hear the encouragement of my teammates. I only noticed the way in which the ball rose into the air, the way it hung there as if it were stuck, his arm sluggishly cut through the air, his racket smashing into the ball at full force. The mass of the ball absorbed the energy from the racket. Its shape contorted and it shot across the court toward me, where I waited patiently for it to arrive. The ball was out, it rolled across the court and came to rest in the shadow of a tree. The match was over. Nobody could believe it — I won the match! This was my biggest win of the season and also the hardest match I had played all year. Everybody was proud of me and all the people clapped. I was so happy because, I knew that I had won against a better player only because I played my best and was smarter than he was.

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