As early as I can remember, playing sports is all I wanted to do. Playing sports was a passion and I remember dreaming of being a professional basketball player, baseball player, and football player. It wasn’t until I was about 8 years old, when I found the sport that would change my life. I remember finding a racquet ball racquet and a old beat up tennis ball my grandmother’s dog would chew on. I hit the ball against the wall for hours and it was the first time in my young life that I was truly challenged with a sport. I couldn’t believe how uncoordinated I felt, and how I could only rally for a few hits at a time. I became obsessed on getting better and rallying longer. Everyday, I would hit against the wall, and I would watch the professionals on television, emulating their swings and footwork in my backyard. The announcers became my coaches, and the wall became my opponent. I played against the best players in the world in my backyard. Sometimes I would be myself, and sometimes I would be Andre Agassi beating up on Pete Sampras. Somehow, I always found a way to win. It was the truest essence of my imagination.
As a father, I sometimes watch with amazement, and may be jealousy, as my daughter plays with her toys and goes into the magical world of make believe. Her mind is so pure, and her vision is so clear. I want to bottle up that magic and save it for when she grows older and society has beaten up her dreams and blurred her vision. As parents, we are to blame as well. We tell them that they can be anything they set their mind to, but most of the time, we do not believe it ourselves. I believe that my job is to encourage my daughter to keep dreaming and believing. The magic is within us, we just have to believe. I might have to start hitting against the wall again. I am pretty sure I can beat Roger Federer!