A very strange and rain-soaked tennis season ended with the SVHS boys winning, well, everything, and I gotta tell you, I kinda like it. http://www.sonomanews.com/sports/8278981-181/sonoma-takes-scl-singles-doubles?artslide=10

 

Sure it’s about the journey and all that crap but really, it feels good to win. I walked around the plaza the other day looking for a place to engrave our new NCS trophies and a group of women said, “You must be a winner!” my ego can never hear enough of that (even though I had very little to do with winning the trophies).

 

Last year was a different story: http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2017/05/08/pizza-civility-lifelong-tennis-learners/

But this year we won the league plus the individual singles and doubles titles. We spent a day in Oakley and Pleasanton doing battle with other winners in the North Coast Sectionals, quickly understanding how our small pond stacks up to other larger ponds.

 

And the boys deserved it, they stepped up this year when they needed to. Winning many tight three set matches and consistently improving as the year went on. But really our two new superstars, Carlos and Trevor, did not lose a single match at one and two singles all year, which made a big difference.

 

I have never really been a winner. Not sure where that came from but I suppose it was my parents who wanted the best but were OK with whatever I did. Tennis, high school, college, marriage, teaching, parenting, life, whatever. Could do better, always could do better, aim high but always be happy with where you land. Is it the wrong philosophy? Not for me.

 

I agree with Einstein about the key to happiness, “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” When I troll Facebook and see fraternity brothers who now own islands or are living in a very different tax bracket than I am, I feel a little jealous but not too much. Envy helps no one. Plus there’s so much more to the equation.

 

I could not drive tourists around in a wine tour bus if I was jealous of their level of financial success. Sometimes the dumb win, and sadly sometimes they even become president. Does it help to rant and whine and bitch about how unfair life is? Not so much.

 

Winning is not everything and it is not the only thing. Winning at the money game does not lead to happiness although being able to pay your bills and take vacations usually means a happier life. But look at the millions of kids around the world, perfectly happy with nothing. They have no reason to care about injustices in life because they just made up a super fun game with a stick and a rock. Play more, learn from the children.

 

And if you’re cynical like me, winning in High School means your season just got extended and you now have to drive to places like Oakley and Pleasanton and make sub plans and find a place to engrave your NCS trophies and hold an extra two weeks of practice and spell and display the word SWEEP in 10 foot letters in front of the tennis courts (OK, maybe that’s just me).

 

But all these things are good, having students say they are winners is always good, feeling like a winner is always good because really, we all are. Every one of us a miracle of science, two cells growing into 37.2 trillion, creating arms and legs and brains which enable us to hit tennis balls better than the other miracles on the planet.

 

“Success changes the chemistry of the brain, making you more focused, smarter, more confident, and more aggressive. The effect is as strong as any drug. And the more you win, the more you will go on to win.”

Ian Robertson, “The Winner Effect”

 

Wanna win more? Increase your confidence, practice and inspire empathy, surround yourself with good people, stop comparing yourself to others, play with sticks and rocks. Easy to write, tougher to do.

 

Good luck and congrats to the 2018 Dragon Tennis Team.