Tennis and Life Camps

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Trying Too Hard/The 90% Rule

One of my pet peeves is when I hear an announcer say, “Well, they may not have won, but they gave it 110%!”  Or a coach, “Unless you’re giving me 110%, go home right now!”  I want to say to them, “Were you not required to take math when you were growing up?” Full effort, […]

The Reason Behind TLC’s Success

Five years ago today Tennis & Life Camps was changed for good forever.  What happened that day is, in my estimation, the most important reason we have filled camps faster than any time in history; why our retreat camps have expanded and grown and our message of inclusion of all has refined and set a […]

The Power of Love Love

Love, Love.  It’s how every tennis match begins.  Being Valentine’s Day, let me tell you a tennis love story.  It is not what you think. The following story is used with permission from the family. Carson came to our Tennis & Life Camps retreat camp this winter.  He was quiet. He was attentive.  And he […]

Life, Death, and Steve

Steve died two years ago today.  Sometimes it feels like two hundred.  Sometimes it feels like two minutes.  I expect to turn a corner and see his Steve-grin, get a high five, hear a word of encouragement.   But that hasn’t happened for exactly two years now. Death has a way of doing that. But if […]

Out of the Darkest Night

Sometimes, in a world seemingly consumed by fear and suspicion of “the other,” darkness washes over me and I consider giving into despair.  Sometimes the night seems so long, the sun feels like it will not rise.  Sometimes when someone treats me unfairly in a match, the darkness I feel makes me want to walk […]

Next Time

I was playing against an opponent who would normally beat me eight times out of ten.  Okay, nine times out of ten.  I realized my strategy of rallying from the baseline with him in the past would result in a lovely workout, but no chance of a win.  So, going into the matchup, I decided […]

In A World Of Hurt, This Is Our Commitment To You

I woke up last week with a start in the middle of the night and could not sleep again. What I have heard from campers and staff in the past week has shaken me.  Please read this all.  There is not a call to blame, but an ask for help.  From each one of you. […]

The Making of Champions

I love to win. Let’s just put that out there. Who doesn’t? But what makes a champion? I witnessed history last week. The scoreboard says that the Edina high school girls tennis team, for the first time in twenty years – let that sink in, twenty years – will not be state AA champions. That’s […]

When The Competition Heats Up, Do We Have To?

We’re in the girls’ high school tourney season in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Which makes me pause. And wonder. When the competition heats up, do we have to, too, in order to win? I will answer this with a story from a coach, a mom, and me. The coach wrote me about two TLC campers in […]

It’s Our Turn

The first summer he came to TLC, he did not smile.  Once.  He left and I remember wondering how he would navigate this world. Russell was a camper on scholarship when TLC first became a non-profit in 2011. When he returned on scholarship the following summer, there was a powerful difference.  His smile was wide, beautiful, […]