Senior tennis player pushes through pain to find success

Sophia Bradley

Playing and competing in a sport with an injury can seem like a big obstacle on the way to success, but athletes still try to compete and improve even with their problems. Senior Maddie Moore plays tennis and suffers from a shoulder injury from two years ago but receives encouragement and help from her teammates to keep going.

“I’m kind of just able to push through the pain because I know that I’m doing it for the team,” Maddie said. “They motivate me, and that gets my adrenaline going.”

Maddie first injured her shoulder while playing war canoe, which is flatwater racing, is a  at a summer camp two years ago. Ever since then, she has been getting help from her coaches and teammates.

“We started working through a program of strengthening, flexibility, and mobility to try to help her compensate for the injured part of her shoulder,” tennis coach Jordan Kazmierski said. “We’ve been trying to build up the other muscles around her shoulder so that it doesn’t hurt as much because she can recruit other muscles to help carry the load.”

Her teammates are aware of her shoulder issues, but they see Maddie pushing through the pain during her games.

“I’ve seen Maddie wear a compression sleeve on her shoulder sometimes, and I know that she is in pain some days, but she doesn’t let that hinder her game at all,” teammate Emma King said. “She has become more aggressive and confident in her match play. She has made countless comebacks, and that is reflected by her motivation. She is never one to quit or reduce her input because of discomfort or difficulty.”  

Though her shoulder problems haven’t gone away, she continues to compete and practice with and for her team. 

“She does not quit,” Kazmierski said. “I’ve never seen her quit. There’s been moments where she’s been hurt or sick and she still goes on the court and competes with 100% effort.”

Like many athletes, Maddie looks up to professional players and strives to compete and play like them.

“Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal are very different players, but I like both of them,” Maddie said. “I like Serena because she’s overcome so much and Nedal because he’s just an amazing player.”

The younger kids on the tennis team look up to her since she is a captain and senior player. Good behavior and good helping skills are very important qualities that Maddie shares with the team.

“Even though tennis seems like an individual sport, it’s really helpful to have all your teammates there encouraging you,” Maddie said. “Since I’m a captain this year I have to be a role model so the kids have someone to look up to and model their behavior after.”

Her coach sees that she has great tennis and leadership skills that she is great at sharing with her teammates. She works hard to be there for her team and give as much input and help as she can to anyone who needs it.

“She is a great leader,” Kazmierski said. “She has leadership qualities and is selfless. She puts the needs of others first. She is an incredibly hard worker and has a will to succeed. She’s also a verbal leader and is always there to mentor the younger players and really help them grow.”

Maddie’s coaches and teammates all see her leadership qualities and her perseverance. Even though she struggles with her shoulder problems, she knows the importance of staying strong for herself, her coaches, and her team.

“Maddie is constantly encouraging and strives to know everyone on the team personally,” Emma said. “She takes ownership for her mistakes and victories and pushes others to do the same. She sets the best example for the team to follow: a mentally and physically strong teammate who is ready to conquer any challenge.”