The Cate boys tennis team, thanks to the guidance of former coach Robert Bonning, is committed to teaching life lessons that will serve players long past their time at Cate. The most important values we try to instill in our players are sportsmanship, teamwork, and a commitment to success.
Sportsmanship: For Cate tennis, sportsmanship means respect for yourself, your opponents, and the game of tennis generally. We look to players like Federer and Nadal for examples. We know they are always trying their hardest and want to win every match, but when they do lose, they are humble and respectful and praise their opponent rather than blame themselves. In tennis, the saying is that good sportsmanship is shown when a match is finished and both players are walking off the court and you can’t tell who won or lost.
Teamwork: Many tennis players at Cate start high school competition without ever having competed on a team. The transition to a team is naturally difficult in a sport that is so focused on individual achievement. Moreover, in high school tennis, individual success rarely translates into team success. For Cate tennis, teamwork means players putting the team before themselves. During practice, that may mean experienced players embracing the opportunity to practice with new members of the team to help them improve faster so they can make a bigger contribution to the team. During a match, singles players may be asked to play doubles, or vice versa, if that means giving the team the best chance of success.
Commitment to Success: Success, for Cate athletes, ranges from learning the fundamentals of a new sport to preparing to compete at the collegiate level. For players on the Cate varsity tennis team, whether one’s individual goal is to become an important contributor to the team or to prepare to compete at the college level, those goals are rarely achieved without a daily commitment to success. That commitment, for all tennis players, means hitting every ball in practice with the purpose of improving. The commitment and focus required to complete these tasks often translates into success on and off the court.