Every time Mike gets a chance to hit the ball, you can hear the pain he inflicts in the wind. Mike, who was once considered a tennis prodigy, has come to terms with his future. He may never be “the next big thing” but he is likely to still have a much clearer future.
Most of his peers are debating between the one million dollar question: Will they turn pro or go to college. A large percentage will be broke and out of love for tennis within two years of traveling and playing against opponents ten years older for a price that becomes symbolic when you fraction the cost to achieve it. Sponsors will drop and bills will stager. Welcome to stress town. First stop Futures.
Still, with all the cons, Mike wonders. He will trade his security for five minutes of that stress. While if his now, comes in the form of putting together a resume that lacks results and ranking to be a hot commodity between College Coaches. That’s what two years of injury will do to you. Mike is not Mike any more, he simply is one of the thousands fighting for the spot.
Those who use to get the bagel treatment against him, are now signing with big name schools. Miami, Michigan, Texas, USC, now give the same answer.
“Results are just not there Mike.” Has become a sort of a very familiar phrase to hear. He has gotten used to it by now, but he still looks at his future with the same desire and fire he had while playing at the highest level.
“I want to just prove to everyone that I am myself,” Mike says. “I know how good I am, while the results are not there, I want them to give me a chance to play.”
Mike needs to wait. Waiting is key in a process of recruitment that congratulates players that sign early. Tough choices are made every second. Offers come and go. Economics come into play too much at times. Mike needs to wait.