March 11, 2010
Throughout their careers, Northwestern seniors Lauren Lui and Samantha Murray have been two of the driving forces behind NU's rise to the level of perennial powerhouse. During their final go-rounds with the Wildcats, "Speeds" and Sam will keep NU fans current on the program's latest happenings in their blog, "Serve and Volley."
Hi 'Cat fans,
Last weekend we had another road-trip, and another journey in Bruce (see last week's entry). This time we faced two Big Ten teams in Purdue and Indiana. Against Purdue we won a close doubles point and went on to take the match 5-2. Then against Indiana we had another tough doubles point and came out strong in singles to beat the Hoosiers 7-0. After two good conference wins the team is looking confident in their play.
Over the last few months we have put a lot of emphasis on the mental aspect of the game. Our coaches came up with a list of mental and emotional components which they believe are the core elements we need during practice and on match days. Each player tends to favor certain elements, and when choosing their `catalyst word,' the key to their mental success, each person's was a different choice from the list. Although obviously important in our tennis, I like to think we have implemented these skills into everyday life, and by everyday life I really just mean playing the Wii.
Because we spend so much time at the tennis center, especially in the winter when no-one wants to go outside, we have a Wii in our team lounge. Last year we spent a lot of time playing and it became part of our pre-match routine. This season we are finally starting to pick it up again. Although I probably shouldn't admit this, when we first got the Wii we made Mii characters that look like each of us so that we can all play with our own look-alikes. Speeds' Mii is by far our favourite because it is such a close reflection of her.
We only have a couple of games so we either play Wii Sports or Guitar Hero. Stacey Lee is by far the best at Guitar Hero. When she plays she shows her incredible focus (one of our mental components) and we don't even attempt to challenge her. But Wii Sports is a more even competition.
Before a recent road trip we played a couple of quick games. First up was Bowling which I won! I heard a few complaints that I only won because my Mii character has a superior skill level (thanks to the men's tennis team building it up) but I prefer to think that I won fairly anyway, probably due to my composure and decision-making (two more of our mental components). Then there was Wii Baseball, with some very interesting pitching techniques from Brittany Wowchuk and a fair number of foul balls by everyone else. So we may not have perfect Wii technique but we definitely all have an edge on the mental game.
We haven't exposed the freshman to our Wii boxing yet, but that is a whole other level of competitiveness and fight (by far our favourite components), it's about time we started that up again though.
Next up on Saturday we play Wisconsin at 1 p.m. at home in Evanston so please come out to support the Cats!