I thought it might be the only chance for me to get involved,and decided to join the team. Mr. Cockerill was assigned to be our coach. He isa tall, strong old man with a red face. I loved to listen of what he said,because I felt he was giving me a valuable lesson especially during practicehours that he thought it could be use for the game. My first lesson was not thatgreat.
I had to pick up the balls most of the time. I was unable to hold firmlya tennis racket’s grip. I practiced very hard almost every day after schoolincluded the weekends. There were few times I wanted to quit the challenges, butmy friends had given back my courage. These friends of mine had started playingtennis two years before I came in to join the team. Their skills were so muchimproved compared to me.
They were willing to stay and practice with me. I wasalso happy that my oldest brother, an excellent singles player helped me out atthe start. At home I often admire his awards and whispered to myself that;”I would never get one like this all my life. It is impossible for me to bean athlete. ” In the beginning, I knew that I wasn’t a good player, but itdidn’t stop me from joining the team. However my father was worried that if Icame home so late at night, I wouldn’t have enough time to study for otherclasses.
He didn’t allow me to be involved in this kind of activity. I wanted tobeg my dad to let me continue, but we didn’t have a good communication with eachother. I felt either very guilty for not joining the team or for going againstmy dad’s will. He would disown me if I didn’t listen to him. I felt I was pushedto the edge of a cliff.
His attitude had emotionally hurt when I personallyheard it of what he had treated me. I couldn’t stop crying for days. My tearsjust ceaselessly drooped. My coach worried why I didn’t look so well in class. He asked few times, but I couldn’t find a way to start explaining the wholesituation.
I really wanted to resolve this problem as soon as possible. It wasmy dream to be in tennis team, and Mr. Cockerill was the only person who cantalk to my dad. Finally, he actually did let me join the team.
In the end, Irealized that how difficult it was for me to be on the tennis team. I shouldplay my best in order to please my dad, my coach, my friends, and for SanFernando high. During the first tournament, I was very nervous and excited atthe same time. It was my first competition; I couldn’t hold my racket still. Myentire body was shaking, but luckily no one noticed that. Mr.
Cockerill gatheredus in class and explained what the strategies would be and how we should play. He also reminded us to have a positive attitude even if we lost the game. At theend of the game I lost to my opponent with a scoring 3-8. I felt very happy thatat least I had made some effort for my score, and I took me few weeks topractice. Mr. Cockerill was very kind and so understanding.
He didn’t only slowanything about the lost, but he also took well care of us with cookies, fruitsand drinks. I had followed his teaching, “as long as you all do your best,I am very please, and I ask no more than that. ” I kept it as anencouragement. My time was devoted to this game at least one or two hourseveryday. Mr. Cockerill was very satisfied because I would never complain aboutthe practice section and I always gave smile at him.
I practically never won thegame myself, although I had learned to improve my skill from those experts whohad been playing for years. I didn’t feel that bad because it took me a fewmonths to be Varsity. I didn’t win any game, but I could tell myself each time Ihad to play that, “I have done my best. ” Once, during a game, Itwisted my ankle when I served the ball. I said nothing to my coach, because Iwas afraid to let him down nor I wanted him to be worried. They didn’t realizehow hurt I was at that day.
I had to pretend to smile at my team. I was veryqueer; I had to endure that physically pain till the last second. It took me fewdays to recover my ankle. That was also the last game that I played for SanFernando high.
The last day of a semester, Mr. Cockerill invited all of membersin the team to the banquet. There most of my team members had received theiraward letters and trophies. At last, the final trophy was given as an”inspiration to Kim-Anh Le,” he yelled out loud. “It is forme?” I was so surprise and looked around the room to see if he was kiddingme. I was speechless at that moment.
As I walked up to the stage to receive theaward, I heard all the clapping hands toward me. Mr. Cockerill gave me a hug andwhisper in my ear, “you deserve it, honey. I am very proud of you. “This beautiful day has always been there ever since I graduated.
It was such abest memory that I had treasured in my heart. It couldn’t describe how myfeeling was at the banquet, but Mr. Cockerill had adhered to my mind, he wasalways there for me to look up to. All I really wanted to say is “thanks toMr. Cockerill for giving me a best lesson that I have ever had.” Now I haveable to play tennis without any help.Sports and Games