From professional athletes to the recreational, a support system from other people is crucial to any level of athlete!
That person or those people that take on the supporting role must 'get the athlete,' and must know what buttons to push and when. More importantly, people playing the supporting role must be ROCK SOLID during the athletes up's and down's even while they may be experiencing their own issues or lows in their own life! Those that play the supporting role often place their own goals aside to aid the athlete in reaching their goals. That to me is makes for a whale of a person with a BIG heart!
Essentially, those souls that support the athlete (pro, novice or budding) are in many ways selfless!
If you follow women's professional tennis closely then you've undoubtedly seen Bethanie Mattek Sands lighting up the courts with her killer tennis skills and charismatic ways. And there, always close by, is her husband, Justin Sands. Justin is uber vigilant of Bethanie and her surroundings, hard working, a jokester and a perfect example of a ROCK SOLID support system! We had a chance to watch Justin, who in turn was laser focused on Bethanie during a past Indian Wells tourney, live. There was no question as he sat there with his tattooed arms of steel that he was (and is) Captain America and a rock solid figure in Bethanie's life!
(Justin Sands watches wife Bethanie Mattek Sands at Indian Wells 2017- photo taken by Wristpect Sport)
And there's proof of the respect Bethanie has for Justin's vital support role and the immense love he has for her in their recent Instagram posts:
My support system during my junior tennis days was my parents. Dad was working hard to afford the family a better way of life and my mom stayed home with my sister and I. A full time job indeed but one that allowed her to also support us in nearly anything we took on, from horseback riding at a high level like my sister, to my aspirations to be a pro tennis player.
- Chauffeur to and fro
- Scheduler for lessons, tournaments, school work
- Cook, cleaner
- Homework guidance
- Motivational expert
- Mental coach (essentially knowing what to say, when and how)
- Personal shopper for anything from boys tennis shorts (the only thing that fit my skinny body at the time), to multiple tennis shoes (due to the beating I gave every pair by dragging my toe on my serve), to rackets, balls, you name it!
- Shoulder...as in to cry on
- Comedian when I needed to not take things so seriously as I stayed laser focused on my desire to be on the pro tennis tour
- And on it goes...
Stop and think about who supports you in your tennis & sport.
Even if you're playing local ball at the gym or courts like we do, think about who in your family, peer group etc supports you. It may not seem like a direct source of support (like the pro's have on tour) but if you take time to think about it, there may be someone affording YOU more time with sports. Even if they are 'just paying the bills' it's affording you recreational time! Tell that person thank you because playing a game or a sport is a privilege...to have someone supporting you on that journey is a blessing!P.S. Humbly, we like playing a small part of Bethanie Mattek Sands support system by way of our fashionable, functional AND positive infused wristbands that you'll see her sporting on court. Bethanie is wearing our Kaleidoscope wristband in image at start of story.