I got to shoot yesterday’s tennis match between Goucher College and Virginia Wesleyan University.
One word: Cold.
I shot the swim meet at Goucher College this weekend. Here’s one I liked. It’s tough for me to get into shooting swimming, but that’s likely just because the light in Goucher’s pool is abysmal.
I’d be curious to see what shooting is like in, say, an Olympic pool.
I’m currently halfway through my last week as a student at Goucher College, so naturally there’s been lots of time for reflection on my time spent here.
I’m overwhelmed when I think of all the different aspects of life that I and so many other students here juggled at once. So, while it’s impossible to comment on everything that I did over the past four years, I’m going to try and make some sense out of it all by posting about the most influential parts of my Goucher experience.
This is the first post in a series of several that will appear throughout this week. I usually don’t get too personal in my posts, but I won’t be able to help it for these. They’ll also likely be longer than usual, so don’t feel that you have to read all of my “thank you’s” and memories. They serve mostly as a permanent record for myself to look back on.
I came into Goucher a slick middle-infielder who had never played tennis as part of a team. I grew up on baseball and learned the many valuable lessons the game carries with it. Tennis was always an off-season activity I did to stay in shape, and up until several weeks prior to being accepted into Goucher, had no real intentions to continue playing at the college level.
I’m thankful that Goucher Athletics gave me the opportunity to do so. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion that brought me to tears as I walked off the court after my final match at Stevenson University several weeks ago.
I’m a competitive person by nature, so overall, I was disappointed with our play during my four years. As a team, we didn’t have one winning season, and as an individual, my record was far below .500.
It was incredibly frustrating at times, but in retrospect, wins and losses aren’t what I’ll take away from Goucher Tennis. What matters most is the irreplaceable leadership, friendship, and pride that builds within the program every year.
What leaves the strongest impression on me is the sheer number of hours participating at the NCAA level requires. It’s not just playing matches. It’s practicing, team meetings, fundraising, and traveling. It’s your afternoons, your sunrises, your late nights, your weekends, your Spring breaks, and your Summer vacations. Almost every day revolves around the hours alotted for tennis. It’s taught me about commitment, time management, and persistence, lessons that carry far beyond any tennis court.
Mentally, tennis is a tough game, and it just about always left me absolutely baffled. Baseball just seemed much simpler to me for reasons I can’t explain. But despite the losses, I had fun playing and I enjoyed the battle, and I’ll never lose sight of that. Goucher Tennis has given me irreplaceable memories and laughs. I’ll miss the shirtless practices on the first days of spring. I’ll miss the 6 a.m. team lifting, the 9 p.m. hit sessions, the pre-game speeches, the post-game speeches, the closet-sized locker room, the Goucher Football T-Shirt sales, the laser tag in Virginia Beach, the team dinners at the Steamy’s BBQ’s of the world, the bus rides home, and the sweet sound of the Victory Bell.
There are too many people to thank, but there are several that simply can’t go unrecognized.
Thank you to Geoff Miller, Director of Athletics at Goucher, for your dedication and enthusiasm in making athletics as vibrant a part of the Goucher community as it is, and for your personal guidance, particularly during my Senior year.
Thank you to Doug Mangi, Mike Simon, Chris Covey, Henning Jakob, and Michael Brooks, the Team Captains I played under, for being the guys I look up to. The impressions you’ve left on me are too big to put into words.
To Steve Baum and Dave Hemelt, my co-captains and “bros,” thank you for four years of friendship and many more to come. We’ll talk about it.
We Goucher Tennis people always refer to ourselves as “family,” so I posted this photograph that I took on self-timer two fall seasons ago rather than any action shot I have.
It’s full of family, mentors, leaders, and friends. That’s Goucher Tennis at its finest.
One of the things I thought a lot about while I sat at home last weekend recovering from a stomach bug was my sports portfolio. That probably stemmed from several upcoming Landmark Conference championship runs, including one from Goucher Women’s Tennis.
It’s now playoff season at Goucher, so I’m excited to start shooting lots of sports over the next two weeks. I’m hoping to make some nice additions to my collection of sports images.
On Sunday, I still wasn’t feeling up to sprinting up and down a soccer field, so I decided to shoot our intramural soccer game instead. I snapped a few keepers, but this was without a doubt my favorite.
So I’ll close it like this: Eyes on the prize – A Snorgleblasters championship victory, some Goucher Athletics Conference championship victories, and a strong finish to Senior Year.
When our own Senior Day comes around later this semester, I want it to end with a win so we can have as good a time as the Goucher Men’s Basketball team seemed to have during their recent victory over Drew University. Here’s the full story which ran with another one of my photographs.
But despite the solid victory, most of my images from the night focused on the four Seniors and their families instead.
I need to improve my shooting technique when it comes to using flash, and I think it shows here. The coloring is off, but I still think it tells a great story.
I’ve shot lots of photographs for Goucher College Athletics over the past four years.
Those countless assignments have made for some incredible memories, like the afternoon I had tears streaming down my face as I photographed the Men’s Lacrosse team take the 2010 Landmark Conference Championship on our home field. I’m a Goucher student-athlete myself, so there’s a lot of pride that backs these type of shots.
This week I was asked to shoot another one. This time, it was a feature profile for NCAA Champion Magazine.
I was happy with the way this turned out, and I’m told it will run in the magazine. Check back here for an update when the article and photograph get published!