As a new volunteer with Above the Net, I spent time at the Richard Craig tennis courts on Monday, June 14, 2021 before heading out for my own tennis practice that night. As I walked up, I noticed that some of the older kids who arrived early were already on the court with Coach Guy. For me, this was an immediate tell; the kids are learning to love the game, not just learning the game.
I observed the patience and kindness with which each child was treated and appreciated seeing the smiles on parents’ faces as they watched their children stepping into a new experience. The whole environment was full of encouragement.
In a short hour, I heard both giggles and questions. I saw timid learning and confident repetition of skill. I was reminded of the feeling of trying something totally new and how intimidating that can be--for so many different reasons. I am proud of these young people, and I don’t know them yet.