The symbol of stewardship for the women’s tennis team is a racket. Just as a tennis racket is used to receive and carefully return the ball during play, stewardship is about responding to the loving gifts from God with gratitude and a sense of responsibility. Our resources are meant to be used in service for others, just as the racket is used to serve the ball across court.
The Neumann Women’s Tennis team defines stewardship as all of us working together and using ourselves as a resource to get our team going and motivated. From struggling to field a team two years ago, to building a roster last year, the women’s tennis team has grown and worked together to build our team. This year we continue our efforts on working as a team, building our roster, and having a fun season.
On my team, stewardship is shown through teamwork. When we function and support each other as a team, all of us succeed. I believe that respect and reflection are the foundations for our team. In order to function as a team and to support one another, we must first show respect. We respect not only our ourselves, our teammates, coach, and chaplain, but, also our opponents and their coaches.
In tennis, we reflect on oneself before and after a match. Reflection means “to look again.” We look back on how we played and acted during our match. My team always strives to display good sportsmanship for each other and for the other teams that we play against. Before every match, our chaplain, Andrea, prays with us during a reflection. Coming together for a reflection before matches helps to bond us as a team, which in turn helps us to perform to the best of our abilities.
My team builds and maintains a culture of stewardship by being a group of friends for each other. When I reflect back to last season, all of us had to work together to support each other through our own obstacles. On the Reflection Pillar the Dalai Lama is quoted, “To be aware of a single shortcoming in oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in someone else.” We were able to reflect on ourselves quite a bit last season and were able to pinpoint our own weaknesses. Since we are a small team, we have the opportunity to get to know each other personally and to understand each other’s weaknesses. While understanding and reflecting on our own shortcomings and respecting and valuing each teammate, we were able to steward our individual gifts to better the team and to help where we saw improvement was needed. Through this teamwork and support, I saw how great my team is and how thankful I am to be able to play tennis with such a kind group of girls.