He likes it a lot
...tennis, that is. Yes, Caleb likes it. Well, he more than likes it. He loves it!!!!
Yesterday he participated in his first ever Under10 tournament. Ever since he started lessons in mid July, he's been asking when he can play in a tournament. So I did some research and located one a short drive from home, in my sister's neck of the woods.
Before I share anymore about yesterday, though, I wanted to share a few photos that I found in the archives, ones that never made it on the blog because I was wrapping up my second photography class last summer and shooting everything in sight. So these next photos got overlooked.
They were taken in September of last year. Caleb's coach Stefan had just proposed lessons to the kids. Caleb wasn't interested in starting lessons, but he said he'd think about it. So we had to go buy some kid sized racquets. Stefan just told Caleb to practice juggling the ball on his racquet to develop a feel for controlling the ball. So he would often do this on our old driveway.
That last shot cracks us up. Yep, the ball came down on his head.
Following the purchase of his beginner racquet, Caleb would often hit the ball against a small section of wall on our back lanai. Sometimes the ball would hit the exterior steel bathroom door, right next to the school room/office where I would be doing work for Patrick. Man, the sound would startle me. lol
Caleb continued to hit the ball against the wall until we moved out of our old house last December. But that was the extent of his tennis experience prior to starting lessons in July. Little did we know at the time, but that really helped to develop excellent eye-hand coordination, which gave him a jump start prior to beginning formal tennis instruction.
Now, back to yesterday.
We had to leave the house at 7am so we could arrive with plenty of time before his first match which began at 9am.
We weren't too far from where my sister and crew live. So they drove over for part of the morning. Caleb was so excited to have his extended family there to watch him. Madeline was thrilled to play with Leah and her baby doll. I was impressed with how well behaved Josh and Havi were. Not even once did we have to remove them for distracting the players. Phew!
Caleb played 4 matches- 2 boys and 2 girls. He finished 2-2. We are so proud of him!
He had such a great attitude throughout the entire tournament. He played hard and always wore a smile. In his second match, when it was match point for his opponent, he hustled so hard across the court and went skidding on his knee. All the spectators gasped. He popped right up and said he was fine. There was no way he was going to sit out his next 2 matches!
Our hearts swelled until they burst yesterday. We were so happy to see his hard work pay off. His coach (and his brother who is now playing at the collegiate level) were both impressed with Caleb's performance at his first tournament. Caleb is 8 years old, and it is the only age at which a player can choose to play either Under 8 or Under 10. All other players must play in their proper age group, regardless of skill. Unfortunately there are very few, as in maybe 1 a year, Under 10 tournaments in our area. So if Caleb is going to pursue tennis, we will be finding ourselves driving a lot on weekends. Maybe we can coordinate his tournaments with our camping ambitions. Now that would be a win win!
We love you, Caleb, and are so proud of you!