Hello Wabash People,
We are back on campus and classes are in full swing. Practice had started yesterday. It had been the third time we have all gotten together as a team. With three new faces and only one, Ricky Ritter, had graduated from last years school record team. It was a solid first day; coach gave us a quick introduction on our goals for the season. Major keys for this fall season stressed by Coach Hutchison were inner motivation, team bonding, focus, and conditioning.
To go along with Dr. Carr’s presentation on sport psychology, Coach put a heavy emphasis on motivation from within. The convocation held with Dr. Carr was heavily important for a tennis player. In being the only person on the court or having only one partner, tennis is a mental sport just as much as it is physical. The ability to convince and motivate yourself on the court and off the court to get better is huge not only for yourself but the team as well. With all athletes the goal is too improve; and with this inner motivation, improving will never end.
Inner motivation goes hand in hand with team bonding. Everyone is pushing each other to get better. With teammates pushing you that just boosts your own motivation to improve. You aren’t only playing for yourself but you have a team that relies on you just like you rely on them. Since the fall season is very short team chemistry is a key that will build champions. Three short weeks of practice is all we have until the ITA Regional Championships at Wash U. Even with having met with the full team a couple times there is great chemistry with us. We ended last year with what I believe to be some of the best team chemistry in the country. In adding three solid freshmen and losing one phenomenal senior we should be back to that elite level of team chemistry by the time we are in St. Louis.
A large portion of yesterday’s practice was conditioning and focus. Without focus it is very hard to improve everyday, not only on the courts but in the classroom as well. Since we are student-athletes and not athlete-students our schoolwork comes first and Coach has emphasized this many times. With the focus in the classroom and taking it to the tennis courts we will improve all aspects of our lives. Rallying back and forth, moving your feet, and never stopping; those motions take focus. Losing focus for a split second can send everything out of groove. While conditioning the aspects of focus, team chemistry, and self-motivation are key to success. The team will push you so you can push yourself harder, and with that you must stay focused in order to keep pushing hard. Coach Hutchison has drilled this into his teams since he began working here at Wabash. With this years team being a young team (3 SR. 1 JR. 4 SO. 3 FR.) it is key for the underclassmen to catch on quick.
This season is going to be a very fun and successful year, the freshmen are going to hop right in and contribute to the team. I am looking forward to another promising tennis season, and the way things are looking it will be another great one.