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Alex Smyth's Training Trip Blog: Day Four
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 03/13/2013
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Photo Courtesy : Richmond Athletics
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Editor's Note: Senior Alex Smyth will chronicle her time with Spider Tennis on the team's trip to Florida, this Spring Break. Below is her fourth entry.

Day 4 of our time in Florida was a bit different from the past days in that majority of it was spent inside our rooms.  The weather did not cooperate much today, and it rained until about noon.  Knowing we would have a late start to the day, all of us were able to sleep in a bit, and be the ultimate couch potato. Elizabeth and I watched various shows on VH1 and Bravo that were very entertaining to say the least.  After killing our eyes with hours of daytime shows, we decided to go walk on the beach for a change of pace.  We walked 3 miles total and came across some very cool shells that came ashore from the tide, and a carnival in the works.  I didn't know carnivals were held on the beach, so it was interesting to see the grounds being set up. 

After our walk, we headed off to practice.  Thankfully Mark found courts closer to our hotel which cut our driving time drastically.  Practice went well today all around which is always great after a tough match.  The one thing that is tough as a captain is to keep everyone motivated and on a positive path during a tough season.  All season I have been stressing the importance of team bonding, and being united on and off the court.  Often players will think very individualistic and not understand that the name on their jersey is more important than their self.  College tennis is very different from junior tennis in that you don't need one match to win, but four.  Although a player may win their personal match, it doesn't necessarily mean the match is won in favor of the overall team. 

I was happy to see that post-Boston University everyone was excited to be at practice, work out the kinks, and devote themselves more to the team cause then just their individual wants.  In order for us to be successful in the coming matches, and particularly the A-10 tournament, we will have to come together as a team and keep the big picture in mind- four matches to win, not just one.  Today was definitely a step in the right direction.

Despite my enjoyment of being on the practice court, my favorite part of the day would have to be our team dinner at Peg's Cantina.  The Mexican restaurant is in Gulfport, Florida, and is owned by Mark's sister, Peg.  The atmosphere was very unique and intimate, and the food was absolutely amazing.  All of the food is prepared with fresh local ingredients. I had the chicken enchilada verde, and it was out of this world.  I would provide more detail and a picture of how fantastic this dish was, but it may actually cause me to go into depression out of wanting more.  The whole team, including Mark, licked our plates clean.  It was definitely our favorite restaurant of the trip thus far. To be honest, I don't see anything topping it!! Aside from the food, it was also great to meet Mark's sister, her husband, and son, who are involved in all aspects of the restaurant's success.  If Peg gets a chance to see this blog post- my teammates and I absolutely LOVED your restaurant and want to thank you for having us!

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