Tennis ‘serves’ valuable lessons to boys team

As the tennis season continues, the boys tennis team is growing closer to each other and learning life lessons. The team is willing to work hard and improve.

By competing in matches and being part of a team, the boys tennis team is learning valuable lessons and life skills for on and off the courts.
With practice nearly every day and matches weekly, the team spends a lot of time together.
According to boys tennis coach Jim O’Neill, the team is very close.
“We have a number of seniors that have been on the team for three years, their freshman year was the pandemic,” O’Neill said.
Freshman Jimmy Reath said that the team is like a family, which contributes to a positive dynamic.
“I think that makes the environment really good and everyone wants to be friends, which makes it fun,” Reath said.
Tennis practice after school gives the boys a chance to improve “the connection between each other,” Reath said.
According to junior Ryan Ciuba, the boys need to have a good relationship as a team or it won’t work out.
For senior Jared Archer, trust plays a large role in being a winning team.
“I believe having trust in your teammates to make the shots are key to a successful team,” Archer said.
According to Archer, a majority of the team plays in doubles, with only three players playing singles.
Double partners are partnered for the season.
Being part of the team means commitment and giving “110% effort,” Ciuba said.
O’Neill said the boys are good teammates and they encourage one another, which in turn teaches them important lessons.
“Learning to be part of a team and that commitment is valuable to life,” O’Neill said.
Showing up and being there is important to the team.
“Absences throw everything off,” Ciuba said. “When someone doesn’t show up, it switches the whole line up and then there are issues created.”
According to Reath, the players have to remember that in tennis they’re playing for themselves and the team.
“If you win a match, that’s great, but you want the team to win too and do good,” Reath said. “Even if you lose a match, you can count on your team to help you out.”
According to Reath, the team takes equal accountability for when they lose.
The tennis team wins together and loses together.
“We don’t start pointing fingers at other people, we don’t get mad at each other,” Reath said, “we prepare to go onto the next match.”
Ciuba agrees, you can’t be a “sore winner or sore loser.”
Through playing tennis on the team, Reath has learned to always “focus on what’s ahead and to move on from things.”
Ciuba has learned that tennis is mostly a mental game.
“Resilience and determination is a big part of tennis,” Ciuba said. “You have to be able to bounce back if you did something bad.”
Even though losing may seem like a bad thing, the boys take advantage of the matches to get stronger.
O’Neill wants the boys to get out and play tennis.
“I want the guys to improve and get more wins,” O’Neill said. “The matches give them that opportunity.”
O’Neill wants the team to work hard so they can be the best that they can be.
The team also helps each other out.
“There are people on the team that will help you when you need help, like Clark Vandewater and Josh Antill,” Ciuba said.