A Winning Season on Amazon!
Book Blurb: Precious, precocious high school girls’ tennis team bewilders middle-aged coach while bonding together.
“Jesus,” I said, mustering all the sincerity half a century of experience could manifest, “loved tennis.” A brief pause. “He preached tennis all the time.” A longer pause. “And each and every tennis player could be said to be one of His disciples.” The girls stared at me in muted wonder, even Ella (a self-avowed atheist) waiting for me to support my outrageous claim. So, I did: “The entire Gospel of Jesus,” I declared, “condenses into a sermon on tennis: One, it is better to serve than to receive. Two, the default score is luv all.”
Guest article by Author and Coach – Raleigh Rogers
High schools no longer have the deep pockets to finance athletics they once had. Coaches are asked to do more, such as getting a commercial license to drive the bus, which I did. Although Dick’s Sporting Goods has recently agreed to sponsor our team, supplying two tennis nets and two rollers (to remove water) for next year, I was hoping I could generate a unique set of income using a unique skill I possess, e.g., writing.
I was a ghost writer (for students and professors) at Harvard University for nearly twenty years, and I write (I have been told) with great passion and care, and I was hoping a series of short stories about the often bewildering behavior of teenaged girls (bewildering at least to me, their naïve, middle-aged, male coach) might generate a unique stream of revenue to help finance the team.
I live in a very small town, where tennis just doesn’t have a lot of support, and when I returned home from Harvard (to the bucolic town where I had grown up, to the home in which I had grown up—because my mother had been diagnosed with cancer and given ninety days to live)—I discovered the girls at the local high school (where I had gone to high school) did not have a tennis coach, and had not won a match in three years. Consequently, after my mother died, I volunteered to coach.
Over the six years that I have, now, been coaching, the girls have gone from 0-13 (my first year) to the third round—quarter finals—of the state duel team tournament (in this, my sixth year as coach). Also, a girl on the team has won county player of the year five years in a row and counting, and two girls, who had never played tennis before ninth grade, now play on teams at division one colleges.
Still, we have no money and very little support, because it is such a small town, and although; I can afford the tennis balls (and to pay for their meals at a fast food restaurant after a match) I was hopeful I might could do more, by writing a series of literary fiction short stories, and selling them in digital format for $1 on Amazon.
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Fifteen minutes later, an accommodating octogenarian in a beat-up Coupe barreled up behind the bus and hammered his horn, before racing anonymously away.
From the back of the bus, I heard the giddy screams, glimpsed the dancing in the aisle (through the rearview mirror), and listened as the freshmen congratulated their captain, Claire, on her pulchritude, and themselves for impelling the world to acknowledge the same.
A Winning Season on Amazon!