Michelle, Gr. 6, lets us know what it was like to compete at the Junior Nationals for Tennis:
I’ve been very busy these last two weeks playing tennis in the U12 Indoor Nationals in Calgary and the U14 Indoor Nationals in West Vancouver.
To make it to the Junior Nationals, I had to play in five qualifying tournaments and ended up in the top five to be selected for the provincial team. Five girls and five boys were on Team BC.
The U12 Nationals took place at the Tennis Academy in Calgary and lasted for six days. Sixty-four kids from across Canada participated in the tournament. Each player on Team BC had to room with another player from the team. I had a fantastic time playing in this tournament and I gained a lot of experience as a tennis player. I learned about how other kids play tennis and I got to compare my game against the best kids my age in all of Canada.
In the U12 Nationals, I played 6 singles matches and I got a very good result. I won 4 matches and lost 2 and I beat a few top players from Quebec and Ontario. I won Flight 3 and took home a trophy!
The following week, I played in the U14 Nationals, which took place at the Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver. It was another amazing week for me, this time playing kids who were at least 1 to 2 years older than me. Some of girls were as tall as my mom. The opponents were definitely tougher and more experienced, but I tried not be intimidated and stuck to playing my game.
From both my national experiences, I learned that it is not all about winning or losing and getting a good result. Playing Nationals is about gaining experience and getting better. I feel that I have definitely grown as a player from the first day of U12 Nationals to the last day of U14 Nationals.
HERE IS A TYPICAL DAY AT NATIONALS:
5:30 (AM) the alarm goes off and we have to get up
6:00 quick 5 minute team meeting in the hotel lobby
6:05 we go down to eat breakfast in the hotel lobby with all our teammates
6:25 the shuttle comes to pick us up to go to the Tennis Academy
6:45 we arrive and do our physical warm up as a team
7:00 the players on the team with the earliest matches have a hitting session until 7:45.
7:45 the players on the team with the later matches have a hitting session until 8:30.
8:30 the first matches of the day begin. We cheer on our team-mates. 20 minutes before our match we do our final preparation with our team coach.
3:00 (PM) all matches usually end and we have a practice session until around 4:30
4:45 the shuttle takes us back to hotel and we shower and rest
6:00 we have dinner as a team in the hotel restaurant
8:00 team meeting in the hotel lobby and we find out what time we are scheduled to play the next day
9:00 Lights out.