Serving Up Joy

Ainsley Ullyatt, Writer

Amidst the competitive and often stressful world of tennis, our Lady Lions tennis team has decided to focus on a different kind of victory this season: joy. Every year the LuHi tennis team chooses a theme to encompass the attitude for the upcoming season and joy has been chosen for the 2023 season. As Christians we are called to lift one another up in joy, as mentioned in Ecclesiastes 4:9, which says, “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” The players have done a phenomenal job of embodying the passion for Christ in the sport that they play. During each match, they work endlessly at keeping a positive spirit, no matter what the score is. The coaches take time at the beginning of each match to do devotions to remind the players who they are playing for. God has given them amazing opportunities, so the important focus when playing should be glorifying Him through their heart posture.
Lillie Hendricks, the number-one singles player, said this about how joy represented the focal point of tennis,“For me personally, I realized a couple games ago, was when I was down some points I just looked at the rest of the courts and saw everyone else playing and that just lifted me up because I realized that no matter what happens I’m playing as a part of the team and that helped bring me joy when I was down.”
Lillie has been playing the sport for 6 years and loves to lift others through her actions and words. Her bright optimistic attitude makes all the difference when her teammates are down and need some uplifting words of encouragement. For Lillie, “joy” means having peace in knowing that you are part of a team that will always be there for you in your best wins and also the toughest losses.
It is hard to rewire athletes’ brains to be confident in their God-given abilities even when the outcome of the competition is less than expected. The coaches teach the players to look at defeats through a lens of joy, so they are reminded that they play for an Audience Of One. The verse of the season, Romans 15:13, reminds them that playing tennis should be about giving glory back to God and finding joy in Him.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”