Aravind – The Tennis Enthusiast

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Aravind has been with our school for more than 3 years now. At school we all know of his passion for tennis. This is why the school had absolutely no hesitation in encouraging his interest and supporting it. To  follow one’s passion and to learn from the experience, to see possibilities for growth in every activity that one engages in is an underlying belief upon which the school functions. Aravind had the freedom to come in late to school so as to enable him to practice his tennis for a longer period in the mornings. The environment in school has enabled him to not only pursue his tennis wholeheartedly  but has also made him self-aware so that he can critically evaluate his choices and decisions for himself.

Recently Aravind was a runner-up at an AITA tennis tournament. Tennis,being an individual sport, requires a tremendous amount of mental fortitude and physical fitness to stay motivated and to endure challenges.

Normally unwilling to talk about his tennis, Aravind opened up saying that his silence really was because he did not feel it was necessary to talk about tennis at school. His interest in tennis began when he saw  Novak Djokovic play. His parents began actively searching for academies in the city where he could receive coaching. He enrolled in one and then fell into a weekly regimen of coaching six days a week.

At this stage, Aravind confessed that he wasn’t playing seriously. He was merely interested in the sport. He had different goals then, he declared mysteriously, without elaborating on what those other goals were. For 4 years he played this way until slowly but surely his interest started deepening. When he realized that he would like to take his tennis to the next level, he approached his parents and communicated his desire to them. The Academy that he was in at that time had too many kids for coaching and Aravind wasn’t getting sufficient play time. Along with his parents, he took the decision to change the academy.

He next enrolled in a club which had a tennis court and a good tennis coach. The coach took a personal interest in his game and he started playing for an extra period twice every week. By now he had started playing local tournaments but not ranking ones. After 1 or 2 years of this, his coach felt he was ready for ranking tournaments and asked him to apply for the card to play in such tournaments.

To his chagrin, at this point, the club and its services shut down. For two months, Aravind did not play any tennis. His family began to nudge him to think of pursuing some other sport. But, fortunately, his mother came to know of another Academy. She spoke to the coach of Aravind’s interest in tennis. The coach was willing to try out Aravind. After a week of observing Aravind’s game, the coach was convinced that he had the potential to grow in the sport. He then began giving Aravind more time to play with the seniors.

The last AITA tournament he played was the first time that Aravind had crossed the third round and reached the final. Though his opponent was ranked higher than him, he wasn’t nervous. He just wanted to enjoy his game.  After every match, he analyzes his game with his coach.

Looking back at his journey in Tennis thus far, Aravind feels that fear had been a big element that had held him back. Recognizing this, he has worked steadfastly on his fearfulness and feels he has to a large extent conquered it. He owes it to his practice of pranayama which he was introduced to by his mother. His father, too, talked extensively with him about facing challenges, about success and failure which he feels helped him expand his understanding and prepare him mentally for the matches. When in an intense situation, now, he just breathes and is not intimidated by his opponent’s stature as a player.

Today, Aravind is a more confident player. His love for tennis hasn’t diminished nor has it been overshadowed by the competitive pressures of playing in tournaments. He eventually hopes to combine the graceful elegance of Roger Federer with the perseverance of Djokovic.

Aravind has been with our school for more than 3 years now. At school we all know of his passion for tennis. This is why the school had absolutely no hesitation in encouraging his interest and supporting it. To  follow one’s passion and to learn from the experience, to see possibilities for growth in every activity that one engages in is an underlying belief upon which the school functions. Aravind had the freedom to come in late to school so as to enable him to practice his tennis for a longer period in the mornings. The environment in school has enabled him to not only pursue his tennis wholeheartedly  but has also made him self-aware so that he can critically evaluate his choices and decisions for himself.

Recently Aravind was a runner-up at an AITA tennis tournament. Tennis,being an individual sport, requires a tremendous amount of mental fortitude and physical fitness to stay motivated and to endure challenges.

Normally unwilling to talk about his tennis, Aravind opened up saying that his silence really was because he did not feel it was necessary to talk about tennis at school. His interest in tennis began when he saw  Novak Djokovic play. His parents began actively searching for academies in the city where he could receive coaching. He enrolled in one and then fell into a weekly regimen of coaching six days a week.

At this stage, Aravind confessed that he wasn’t playing seriously. He was merely interested in the sport. He had different goals then, he declared mysteriously, without elaborating on what those other goals were. For 4 years he played this way until slowly but surely his interest started deepening. When he realized that he would like to take his tennis to the next level, he approached his parents and communicated his desire to them. The Academy that he was in at that time had too many kids for coaching and Aravind wasn’t getting sufficient play time. Along with his parents, he took the decision to change the academy.

He next enrolled in a club which had a tennis court and a good tennis coach. The coach took a personal interest in his game and he started playing for an extra period twice every week. By now he had started playing local tournaments but not ranking ones. After 1 or 2 years of this, his coach felt he was ready for ranking tournaments and asked him to apply for the card to play in such tournaments.

To his chagrin, at this point, the club and its services shut down. For two months, Aravind did not play any tennis. His family began to nudge him to think of pursuing some other sport. But, fortunately, his mother came to know of another Academy. She spoke to the coach of Aravind’s interest in tennis. The coach was willing to try out Aravind. After a week of observing Aravind’s game, the coach was convinced that he had the potential to grow in the sport. He then began giving Aravind more time to play with the seniors.

The last AITA tournament he played was the first time that Aravind had crossed the third round and reached the final. Though his opponent was ranked higher than him, he wasn’t nervous. He just wanted to enjoy his game.  After every match, he analyzes his game with his coach.

Looking back at his journey in Tennis thus far, Aravind feels that fear had been a big element that had held him back. Recognizing this, he has worked steadfastly on his fearfulness and feels he has to a large extent conquered it. He owes it to his practice of pranayama which he was introduced to by his mother. His father, too, talked extensively with him about facing challenges, about success and failure which he feels helped him expand his understanding and prepare him mentally for the matches. When in an intense situation, now, he just breathes and is not intimidated by his opponent’s stature as a player.

Today, Aravind is a more confident player. His love for tennis hasn’t diminished nor has it been overshadowed by the competitive pressures of playing in tournaments. He eventually hopes to combine the graceful elegance of Roger Federer with the perseverance of Djokovic.

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