By Camila Wesbrooks, Former College Tennis Player
Growing up, my brother Alex and I, had almost no choice but to play tennis. We were born into it. Our parents both played on the Louisiana State University tennis team and a year or two out of college my mom became a coach. While my dad worked a nine to five job, my mom gave tennis lessons. Before I was even born I was in my mom’s belly on the tennis court, living, breathing and hearing tennis.
As soon as I could walk, my lessons began. For as long as I can remember my mom was my coach throughout my entire tennis career up until I got to college. I can truly say after many years I am grateful for all the time and effort she put in to teaching and developing my game and me as a person. It wasn’t always easy: we fought, we fired each other, we made up and we started over. No one knew me better than she did and having a mom as a coach allowed me to have the best of both worlds.
I remember having friends who really didn’t like when their parents would coach them after a match mainly because they didn’t know what they were saying and that frustrated them as kids. When my mom coached me in between a third set or after a match, I had no other choice but to listen because I knew that she had experienced what I was going through and knew what she was talking about. I won’t lie, there were times where I wanted her to just be my mom because the combination of the two was a lot, but in the end I got to where I am today because of her.
Entering college tennis without her was a major transition because I no longer relied on her, rather I had a coach that was there to guide me and help me improve. I remember how proud she was every time she would come watch me play and nothing made me happier than seeing her fulfilled. I will never forget when I finished my collegiate career she said, “You are my hero and I am so proud of you. My work here is done.” This made me smile because her purpose was completed and I was so proud to have been her prodigy.