Written by Illustrated News Staff Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00
It is often said that adversity can make or break you. With Herricks tennis player Mia Vecchio, it appears that adversity has fueled her. Nine months ago, Mia (now 16 years old) blew out her ACL and is on the fast track to return to the team this coming season.
As a young and upcoming tennis phenom, something like this could have ruined her dreams, but with perseverance and support from her family, this talented young tennis star is back on track.
Just prior to the injury, Vecchio was in a transition period. She had complained of knee pain, in the midst of new coaching and new management. Then the injury occurred.
“It’s funny”, she would say, “In the beginning it was kind of fun; having days off, being visited by friends and family.”
But in the back of her mind, Vecchio was experiencing cabin fever.
“After a week or two of this lifestyle, I was going nuts,” she said.
Vecchio realized that she had to keep herself from getting complacent. She found ways to motivate herself and stay hungry.
Eight months of staying home and not being able to do the thing you love can drive anyone crazy. After speaking with Vecchio’s family, they believed it was a wake up call that she needed.
Vecchio watched many pro-athletes who had gone down with similar injuries and realized this is not uncommon. For the first time in her life, Vecchio experienced junior tennis from the outside looking in. For eight months, she followed the rankings of her colleagues and took the opportunity to experience tennis from a very different perspective.
With the tremendous support of her parents Lorraine and Rudy, the right team in place, and her injury behind her, Vecchio, began her extensive rehab program. Her five day per week training regimen consisted of fitness, yoga, a specialized meal plan and regular sessions with her new chiropractor.
During the entire process, Mia watched her teammates compete, while she still had a way to go. This motivated her even more.
“I’ve got this,” Mia would assure her family.
Her parents felt her time off did her good and they have everything in place for Mia. Her recovery is at 90 percent now.
Vecchio is determined, focused and hungry to re-gain her status as a leading tennis player on Long Island. She has a great deal of traveling ahead of her with pro tournaments on her radar.