I have learned a significant amount from being a part of the Babson men's tennis program the past four years. It has certainly been a roller coaster ride throughout my time here, but I wouldn't trade my experience for anything. I learned a significant amount both on and off the court. Being captain for three years is not easy and not always the most fun, but the lessons I have learned over my time here were some of the most important things in my life today. I learned so much about what it is like to be a teammate, leader, and overall role model, and I am extremely thankful for this experience.
A tennis team is very different than most of the other teams on campus, so it is sometimes difficult to create a team first culture. A lot of kids do not play high school tennis, and tennis is such an individual sport until college. A lot of players come in not knowing what it means to be a team player. The challenge this comes with is extremely difficult, but also very fulfilling when you see how much people grow over just a few months.
Every year we have freshmen that come in and some of them played high school tennis and others haven't. It is clear who has and who hasn't, but after some time everyone figures it out and it is a really special thing. The energy and support on the court makes a huge difference during matches and it was awesome to see how our team grew in every single match we played.
Team bonding is very important to every team and I think spring break is the most important time for this. We spend 7-10 days living together and being with each other every second of the day, which is a great experience. We went to Orlando for spring break my first three years, and this year we went to Los Angeles, which was by far my favorite spring break. We did a lot of team bonding on the beach, at the Santa Monica pier, during a tour of Paramount Pictures, and at team dinners.
In Orlando, there is not as much to do so it is harder to do more team bonding experiences, but every year you could see how much closer the team gets from before spring break to after. There is nothing like taking a trip with your team and spring break was definitely some of my favorite memories throughout my four years on the team.
The past four years have been very up and down, but it was overall an amazing experience. Not only did I learn a lot about both tennis and life, but I made some friends that I will be close with for the rest of my life. Sports teams have a special bond and it is different than any other relationship you will have in life. There is nothing like playing on a college sports team, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.
Our program has grown in different ways every single year that I have been here, and I am very excited to watch it grow even after I graduate. Although we didn't win a NEWMAC championship in my four years, I am very proud of my team for the work they put in and for the success that we have had.
Although my career ended with a loss in the conference finals, I know that I am leaving this program better off than when I started. Babson tennis is going in the right direction as we finished this season tied for the most wins in program history, and I am thankful for four amazing years of tennis. Being an athlete at Babson is an amazing opportunity that should never be taken for granted.