Joyner ’21 Reflects on Her Time at West PointA Letter to West Point

By Ana Joyner ’21

“I want this more than anything else in my life” was one of the many thoughts racing through my mind as I tirelessly tried to run my opponent around the court, only for her to retrieve the ball, launch it into the sun, and back onto my side. It was the Patriot League Finals, and we were fighting to overcome a 1-0 deficit against Navy. We had lost the doubles point in a close match, and although it is not required to win a dual, the momentum was clearly in Navy’s favor.

One of the most challenging parts of tennis is the mental component. You can spend countless hours working on your technique, perfecting your tactics, and becoming a physical specimen, but it all means nothing if cannot adapt to changing conditions or push through when you are down. Sometimes you have bad days. Sometimes there is wind. Sometimes your opponent lobs every ball into the sun. And sometimes, you don’t really know why things aren’t going your way. Frustration is natural when you feel that your hard work has not paid off, but the ability to overcome adversity separates good and great players. The mental game is the hardest to master, but sometimes the only thing that you can truly control.” Read more.

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