Unexpected Ace

Every ball has its rhythm; but what happens when the ace comes to bounce?

Welcome to the Bolinger Court 😀

When faced with a challenge such as a fastball, you must react quickly and in the proper way.  Luckily iUP freshman Brooke Bolinger is a star in her academics as well as on the court. An avid tennis player and a busy freshman, her schedule can mirror a tornado, but as every person does, she has learned to figure out what her rhythm is. She has been playing tennis for around 8 years and has fallen in love with it, participating in many tournaments and a few clinics here and there. She had around 3 tournaments a month so one almost every weekend. “Academics always come first, but tennis is pretty close behind,” Brooke says. “I was an active little kid, and I did try many sports; however, tennis ‘clicked’ the most.”

“Houston, we have a pandemic…”

As Brooke started to figure out what her pace of life looked like in real-time, things started to get a little wonky. When the pandemic was first initiated, her training center and gym shut down so she could only practice with her mom in the driveway. After a few months of the hum-drum practice routine, summer came along. By this time of year, Brooke and her friend had switched clinics and in no time, they found themselves making friends. Even though the pandemic may have stripped Brooke of her ability to go and socialize with other teens, her tennis skills have improved since the virus hit. “Since I have had more time to train during the pandemic, I feel like I have gotten so much stronger and better at tennis, and luckily, tennis is an outside sport, so social distancing and mask-wearing are not a problem.”

When the Ball Bounces Wrong…

There are many aspects of tennis that Brooke enjoys, but she says that “the thrill of winning” is what drives her most. That being said, there have been times where she has wanted to quit and has gotten aggravated. She states, “I aspire to be Simona Halep and one reason for that is because she is such a fighter and doesn’t give up.”. Maybe Brooke isn’t perfect at the sport, but noticing tennis icons such as Halep has helped her identify places of improvement and of strength.

“Just Keep Swimming”

“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence”. Maybe tennis isn’t always the easiest sport to conquer, but just because it is difficult does not make it impossible. If there has been anything that Brooke has learned over the course of the pandemic, it has been this: “You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never as the end”. “View difficulty as a test of capability, and see how much stronger you have become when it all comes to pass,” Brooke advises. With the swing of a racket, you might not get anywhere; but hold out hope; the ace is coming.