So thank goodness there are really nice moms out there. My faith in humanity is temporarily restored. My post-concussion former lacrosse playing son is now officially involved with his high school tennis team. But he’s going in bruised and battered.
Once I realized his symptoms had ceased, I researched and reached out to a very involved tennis Mom I knew from lacrosse. Here’s the humanity part – she then took the time to talk to one of the main coaches about my son and his concussion situation and what a great athlete he is. In turn, that coach took the time to call me personally about getting him involved at this late date. This I am certainly not used to as it seems many high school coaches are not into parent conversations, to say the least.
After asking about his tennis background (he played team tennis a few summers back and was one of the fastest, though skinniest, kids in lacrosse), the coach suggested I bring him to the camp that was that very day in a few hours. They had been running morning and afternoon training camps for two weeks. Wow, I was thrilled, this was happening. He warned that these kids were pretty good but suggested my son ‘give it a shot’ and then come to the next day’s camps as well. It wasn’t too late.
Foreshadowing note: these are the LAST two days of a two week intensive training camp. And my son’s only sport activity has been three private tennis sessions after a 4 month concussion sport hiatus from a lacrosse injury.
To my amazement, I talked my son into going. We got there and my stomach began to sink. These tennis kids looked beyond HARD CORE and I tried not to let the fear for my son’s very life show in my eyes before I left. I drove off afraid for his already fragile post-concussion ego.
At pickup, he was wrecked, both physically and mentally. I felt horrible. He felt he did not measure up to these kids’ skills and had no business playing tennis. I think a few curse words were used, his head hung incredibly low, you get the point. It was bad. Fast forward a few hours – I learned that the coach had failed to mention that the afternoon camps were for area CHAMPIONSHIP tennis players – some college aged. These kids were lifers, had been playing since birth. Some even had sponsors and everything. For real. What a great entry for my broken son. I could not have felt worse.
Thank goodness the coach called that night (again, the humanity) to check on him and encouraged him to come to the less intense session the next morning. The next day went beyond well (no comparison) and I now can see a glimmer of my son’s former swagger in his eyes, bruises and all.