Very Exciting News. With A Tinge Of Sadness
Ive been very preoccupied over the past month or so... trying to keep up with my business here but also with my son... the tennis player. He is in his senior year at his online high school in Oregon.
As some may know, he dreams of one day being a professional tennis player and everything we have done so far is getting him closer and closer to that goal, but hes also very bright and we felt that he should give himself some time and not go pro at 18. Too much stress and worry for an 18 year old to cope with so, we have, since last September, been working on achieving a scholarship to a university in the USA.
Its been a rather tortuous journey as many coaches are not as scrupulous as you would like them to be when conversing and discussing things with 17 year old prospective recruit. So we have had quite a lot to deal with. He has had over 40 division 1 schools wanting him to play for them. Some were totally unsuitable for various reasons - the coach talked continuously about what he would do if his players were not performing well, or the coach was so laid back that he got the assistant coach to do all the talking. We had one that offered the world - well the world of a 17 year old tennis player desperate to go to uni - but wanted a decision long before we could get across there to check it out in person. So many other issues, its been quite a rollercoaster and whilst I LOVE rollercoasters, I really do not want to repeat this one.
One coach told him just before Christmas that he would reach out after Christmas with an offer that my boy would find impossible to refuse.... it was to a good school, not the best school that has approached him but nevertheless one he was seriously considering.
So the coach rings him up after Christmas, he is all excited for the offer..... only to be told that they have no money left and cannot offer him a tennis scholarship!! The cheek !! I was furious!! You don't treat a brilliant tennis player like that. We talked to his recruiter in the USA and was told that they had recruited a much more junior player than my boy for much less money, more fool them!
So our quest for the right school continued and within a day of that call, he had 5 more schools wanting him to go there.... one in New Jersey, one in North Carolina, one in Illinois, one in Florida and one in Tennessee. He talked to all five coaches and his recruiter helped him whittle it down to the top 3.
So January 30th we fly to Newark, spend two days at the school in New Jersey, then fly via Charlotte to the school in North Carolina, two days there, then back via Charlotte to Florida and two days there..... quickly two days visitng family in Mississippi and back to Spain via the UK. In all 14 flights in 10 days...!! I loved flying... not so sure now....
Each school had offered a great tennis scholarship and because my boy is bright, a full academic scholarship too..... !! Its funny how things turn round on a sixpence... I am sure this is the same in business too, so never give up on your dreams, because the day after you give up might be the day your success will shine through !
Its a huge deal committing as an athlete to a school ..... As a male tennis player, there are never full rides in the first year, too many full ride football scholarships but second year onwards things tend to change, but his scholarship adds up to 83% so delighted with that.
They had a signing ceremony at his tennis academy in Spain where he committed and picked up the cap of the school he has chosen. He is going to NEW JERSEY ! So phenomenally proud of him.
Our goal when we left our family in the UK and went to Spain for him to join the tennis academy there was for him to achieve a signing for a Division 1 school, and we have DONE IT!!! So proud of him....
But it comes with a tinge of sadness...
He is my last child. He will fly the nest and start the next step of the journey to becoming a professional tennis player, but he will leave me behind...
I will go back to the UK and leave Spain.
Dont feel too sorry for me, I do have a lot of things lined up, not least of which my online business here, but it is going to be a huge change for me. No longer will I be the power house behind his tennis, stringing rackets, driving to venues, sorting out schedules, making nutritous meals. He will be surrounded by a university that will take over these tasks, and a college coach ready to take him on the next step.
I am so happy that he is about to do this, the college is amazing and I wish I had had this opportunity when I was 17, but that was a long time ago and will have to be satisfied with watching from the sidelines.
It is a success story, 6 years in the making, and knowing everything I know now, I would still do it !!