By Nima Movassaghi
We share the pain of that dreadful sound every morning at 7; it’s a sequence: iPhone alarm, eyes open, “Let’s go!”
Every week is different from the previous week; every day different than the preceding day, yet we find ourselves in mid-February with the heat wandering back, asking ourselves why it feels like September. It’s simply our imagination. We’re in the middle of what has been an unusually cold winter in Southern California. Those dog days of August and September have been long passed. Long gone are the grueling fitness sessions that are intended to get us back into “match-shape” at the beginning of the school year. Expectations now grow each week.
It’s the time of year when each student-athlete is in a very clear situation: Seniors who haven’t signed their National Letter of Intent/Committed (a record nine Weil students signed first semester), have completed and submitted applications. It’s a waiting game now to examine their options and make their college decisions. Juniors are training and studying with the intent of earning roster spots at their dream schools during the signing periods next year. For freshmen and sophomores, the objective is simple: put forth 110% in your tennis and studies to set yourself up for a successful college placement in a few years.
Days are long. Practices are grueling. Saying “no” to a gym workout AFTER practice and fitness isn’t ever an option for me. The SAT’s bring an extra element of stress to the table. I find myself micro-managing every aspect of my day; I won’t leave practice on a missed shot; I’ll prepare all of my post-practice nutrition during lunch and leave it in the fridge so I can maximize my time. I see other students doing this as well. There’s a trend; those who are doing their best to control the whole process on their own terms end up where they want to be and achieve success.
One thing that separates Weil from other athletic training academies is that there is more than one “result” that is viewed as successful. There’s a whole spectrum; a number of student athletes take the academic road (getting high SAT/ACT scores, high GPA’s, working hard in tennis) and end up competing for a top Division III tennis school, and top 25 academic school (Tufts, Wesleyan, Pomona, etc.). Others find a balance somewhere in the middle to ensure that they can juggle high-level tennis and school.
Each student has their own goals in mind, and it’s neat to see them work towards these goals in an environment where administration is pushing you to reach your goals, rather than their goals. Open-support and full commitment from the college placement team (Director Mark Weil, Head Coch Mohamed Badran, and Assistant Coach Etienne Emanuel) in regards to OUR goals is the main reason that Weil can boast better college placements than any other athletic preparatory school.
In a few weeks, February will be over. Spring will arrive. As the process carries along, success stories will develop. Each new day will present new challenges for student-athletes to conquer. One thing however, will never change.
iPhone alarm, eyes open, “Let’s go.”