Finally I found some time to share my life story with you once again. A long time has passed since my last blog post, but it has been crazy and the time has flown so fast that I can’t even recall everything that has happened in the past month. We are in season and our schedule extremely hectic; we left every Wednesday or Thursday from Clemson and came back Sunday night at 3 am for the past few weekends. Missing classes, having no social time with my boyfriend and friends back in Clemson is not always fun, it can be annoying and stressful, and sometimes you only think: “Screw this”. But all we do this for a purpose, the purpose of being a student athlete, representing your university, working hard every single day, and playing with your team to win the National Title. As a student athlete, one is always dreaming about holding the national trophy in your hands at the end of the season. I can only imagine this feeling so far, but maybe my dreams will come true by the end of my senior year. It is our last chance, the last chance for 3 of my teammates and myself, to accomplish our goals and make a change in Clemson history.
Everyone has their own techniques and methods to keep focused on their goals. My personal three D’s helped me to get better every day trying to improve step by step and not losing eye on what I want to accomplish. Dedication, determination, and discipline are my focus each day as I go out on the court to practice, play my matches, and even as I strive for A’s in the classroom.
After constantly losing at the beginning of the semester, I reached the point of not believing in my abilities, my qualities, and myself as a tennis player. Without considering the fact I hadn’t played for 5 month entering the season, my expectations for myself were so high that I sometimes surprised myself with my performance or put myself down for not playing well. I lost 3-4 matches in a row, which has never happened before in my collegiate career that I can remember of. It was a lack of confidence and a fear that I will never find back to my game. It was a hard way to get out of this dark hole and turn it into a sunny day.
How did I do it? My first answer to this question was: I don’t even know myself. But when I took a step back and listened to my inner voice in combination with my memories, I realized what the turning point was. I was playing a match, maybe one of the worst matches in the past 3 years, and I just didn’t know how to help myself. My focus was solely on myself, not knowing what to do on the court and what was happening. I was lost. And I will never forget the feeling of being left behind by my coaches not knowing anymore how to help me. It was a struggle. I was not able to take information in and execute what I was told. I was just focused on my pity self. After this experience I couldn’t believe myself and in what I have turned into. It was shocking on the one hand and sad on the other. Finally, the true me came forward and said “stop being sorry for yourself and do something to make it better!” I told myself: NOW IS THE TIME TO CHANGE; and I did it.
Playing the next match I changed my attitude, my control of emotions, and my will to give all I have, but really all I have to win, and not leaving the court before its done, in my favor. This mindset and the will to execute the three D’s every single day of my life, helped me to become the person I am, and to find my personal success. Obviously I won’t win all my matches, and I wont find success every day of my life, but it will find me when I need it, such as it did when I beat #1 in the country last weekend. The feeling when success finds you is great, it is one of the best feelings in the entire world, because you know you have achieved something. The something you have worked for so hard in the past. But the journey is not over yet, there is so much more out there to achieve and experience. How does it feel to hold the national trophy? How does it feel to win the conference title? How does it feel to play my last ever home-match as a Clemson Tiger? The answer is waiting for me. Now it’s time to take every opportunity and have the will for success to find me.