Student Spotlight

Sarah D.

Nick Parker
Sarah has always loved tennis since she started at the age of 6. She went to a tennis clinic twice per week and after a couple of years advanced to a USTA Tennis team. She was playing beautifully and was ready to advance to another level when she was devastatingly hurt at school. As a result, she was not allowed to have any activity involving her wrist, which meant no tennis for nine months. She was completely crushed, was in physical therapy for about 6 months and gradually started introducing tennis back into her life. About one year ago, she was finally given the green light to play at the level she was before her wrist was severely injured and was able to rejoin her USTA tennis team. Sarah felt an incredible amount of joy when she was finally able to play tennis again.
Sarah came back with so much passion for the sport, all of her coaches took notice. This past summer she was ecstatic when she discovered that she could sign up for the summer tennis program, practicing at least 3 hours per day, 5 days a week in over 90 degree heat. We were shocked when she was asking her coach to set up additional matches after she had just played three hours in the heat of the day! Triumphantly, her perseverance paid off when she entered her very first USTA Tennis tournament at the introductory level and won! The next four months she moved up to the intermediate level and diligently worked towards her goal of moving to the advanced level by winning three USTA Satellite tournaments. This was an arduous goal. She set to work, by starting the school year practicing 4 days per week about 2 hours per day with additional USTA team tennis or tournament matches on the weekends. She loved every minute of it. She then asked to bump up her tennis schedule to 5 days per week averaging about 2.5 hours per day, with additional USTA team tennis or tournaments on the weekends. She also became more focused and motivated on school work as a result of the discipline she learned with her tennis goals. Sarah has managed to increase her tennis while not reducing her scholastic activity. Her joy of playing tennis, dedication and diligence were rewarded when she reached her goal in November of winning her third Satellite tournament! Her coach loves that Sarah takes instruction positively and then actively applies it to her game. Furthermore, her coaches have thoughtfully made numerous comments about her integrity, perseverance, strength and passion for the sport.
Overcoming the injury with such determination was not easy. Sarah still has remnants of the injury and has to take extra care with her wrist given how much tennis she is intent on playing. She ices her wrist every day, wraps her wrist with athletic tape before each time she plays tennis, sleeps in a wrist guard, and strengthens her wrist muscles. Sarah is exhilarated, elated and excited by her success and the upcoming opportunities to play in advanced level tournaments.


Concentrating on her tennis goals and maintaining her high level of scholastic achievement are made possible by home schooling through Sky Mountain Charter School. We are so grateful for this amazing school. 


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