Traveling to sports tournaments are always a fun experience. The team gets an opportunity to bond and spend a long sweaty day together. In sports, team members get to see each other at their best and worst. They are there to encourage one another after a rough game, and give a friend a pat on the back for a job well done.
Yesterday I had my first tennis tournament of the season! With the lower-than-expected turnout for players on the team this year, I am currently an alternate for varsity. In my psychology class I learned that individuals tend to fit or rise to their label. In my case I believe that it was true. Though I didn’t win all my matches, my parents claimed that I have improved from previous years, and I felt the change as well. In observing my opponents strengths, weaknesses, and strategies, I was able to improve my own style. I finally understood that ‘keep your feet moving’ doesn’t just mean try to run to the ball after it has crossed the net, but literally keep your feet moving the entire time so you can get to the ball a few seconds earlier, a few seconds that can determine the outcome of the match. I also realized that I had to do more than just get the ball over the net, I had to place away from my opponent so I wasn’t the fool running from one end of the court to the other. All of this may seem quite trivial and commonplace, however, effectively employing these tips to fit your playing style can make a world of a difference!
After playing all the singles matches for the morning, the team sat around a small table to replenish with lunch. During this break we created a list of team bonding events ranging from bonfires to scavenger hunts, to movie nights. Though this was just the very first tournament of the season, the team already feels closer together than ever before.
Next time you have to opportunity, join a community or take the initiative to form one. Belonging to a group, team, or community has scientifically been proven to help daily functioning and mental happiness. The new Blue Zones Movement has incorporated a sense of belonging in their nine main points of tips to a happy and healthy life. Act on your passions and engage in them with a friends!