Cistercian Tennis

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Cistercian Tennis

Noah Vetter, Writer

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This year’s tennis team may have been one of the best sports teams at Cistercian because of the many new players that had been given a large role in the team. Since I was curious to find out how Cistercian Tennis had become so good, I went behind the scenes to question Nico Lopez about his thoughts on the team and his own personal growth at Cistercian.

One of the most heavily stressed points in our interview was the importance of building a team environment. Though our team has good players in both singles and doubles spots, we need to have a team, not several disparate individuals. Nico is a great tennis player and we have Ankit already earning his keep, but most of the time it is that third singles or second doubles spot that will decide a win. That is why it is important to work in practice as a unit and cheer each other. No team is perfect, but by lifting up teammates and giving energy to each other, one gets much closer to having a perfect team. Cistercian being a small school heightens the level of brotherhood needed to achieve this bond between teammates.

I have always heard that in tennis it’s important to have a short-term memory in regards to mistakes. Since tennis is more mental than physical, you have to win mentally to win the game. Though I have stressed teamwork, another contributing factor to the tennis team’s recent success is the great players we’ve had come in that apply themselves. Some of the guys on the team have been playing tennis since they could hold a racket. Others may have started in seventh grade. No matter their experience, our tennis players have been and continue to work hard to improve their game. Though Cistercian is not the key contributor to our athletes’ work ethic, it is known as a place that teaches us to work hard in mind and body regardless of pre-existing talent.

One of the greatest gifts of Cistercian is the making of leaders. Many Cistercian students acknowledge ourselves as being mentally gifted rather than physically talented. Growing up tall, lanky, and scrawny, Nico was not naturally gifted in the sport of tennis. He had to start out losing, but he fought through it as many great athletes have done. As a freshman, Nico played as the first singles spot, no easy task. Nico was not able to carry the team. Tennis is a team sport where we need three wins to get the W. Even if he won every single time we played, we still would not win. Since he was leading the team at the number one spot, he had to grow up and actually become a leader to the tennis team. One of the things he quickly realized was to know what you can and can’t do. Nico said that he learned to see the difference between helping people individually or as a team. By boosting the team’s energy, rather than working with a particular person, he was able to establish a good the team environment. 

Cistercian tennis is a lot like the other sports. We have some guys that are great and others that are not as talented. The universal thing that is found in every Cistercian team, regardless of wins and losses, is the brotherhood and companionship between teammates. One thought that Nico had hinted at during our interview was this: Cistercian isn’t the place where kids come to get really good at a sport. It is the place for us to become leaders in our community and brothers with one another. 

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