Normally people belong to multiple types of communities where people identify themselves. For me, in this part of my life, the most significant community I take part in is the UT men’s tennis team. The guys on the team are the people I am with at least five days a week. We are all very close on the team, most likely because we can all relate to one another. Not only because we play tennis, but because we all relate to each other on what it is like to be a student-athlete, and the struggle it is having to practice for almost 5 hours a day and still having to work on our academic duties.
Nine out of the twelve players on the team are from Texas, and they all listen to country music. I am from Mexico, so I personally do not know much about country music; I just listen to whatever the guys on the team are playing without even knowing the names of the songs. They love to play country music when we are in the bus travelling to matches, so I have learned the lyrics to some of the songs. The playlist we play on our home matches also includes a couple of country songs that the team in general likes. They do this because it gets them fired up and excited for the match with those songs. For the members of the team who do not like country, there are other songs that we enjoy in the same way they enjoy country.
I am uncertain whether some of the members listen to any songs in particular, but I know one of our seniors is a big fan of a country band named “Florida Georgia Line.” He told me he likes this group because normally country songs and country singers tend to be sad and somewhat depressing and this group gives of a better vibe and makes him happier.
I do not think the team uses country music as a way to distinguish themselves from other communities. They just enjoy and listen to country music, in my opinion, because it is what they are used to as Texans, and is part of their southern culture. As a community, I have to say we don’t avoid country music. However, there are two French guys on the team who absolutely hate country music and always want the rest of the team to stop playing it and are always complaining because they do not want the tennis team to be seen as the team who listens to country music. The reason that the French guys on the team dislike country is because they probably have a hard time relating to the lyrics of country music since their culture is different. Although they have been more patient about it lately, so who knows, they might end up liking it after all.
2 Responses to Country Music in my Community
I really enjoyed reading your post. Being a student-athlete, I understand your struggles of having to balance school and tennis at the same time. I think we have very similar outlooks considering we are both foreign and play a sport. I was in your shoes not too long ago. I didn’t understand what country music was about, and that led me to ignore it as whole. Growing up in Singapore, no one listened to country. I don’t think we even have a country radio station. It was all about hip hop, rap, rock etc. Although there might be a handful guys on the swim that dislike country music, it still brings us together and like you said, they might end up liking it too.
This is a great post. In high school I played varsity tennis and while we did not have our own courts we had public courts a couple miles away that we would practice at. Even though it was not our choice country was always playing in the background during practice and even on the bus rides to matches. There were a few players on my team, like yours, who despised listening to it and would put on their headphones and rock out to some rap. For the rest of us though the music brought us together, it made the long drives to Tyler a lot shorter and a lot more fun. I really believe that country music and sports make a great combo and can really bring a team together and I think your post really shows that.