Halo Effect: Dash Smith

Toss, reach, serve. The ball high in the air, Dash’s left arm outstretched behind his head, and then above, forward and through. 

A crisp sound reverberates through the courts. The neon yellow sphere zooms through the air landing on the other side of the court with a pop. 

Dash Smith, like any other tennis player, serves to start every game. His serves won him at least 9 games just this season. 

“I’m happy about my performance this year,” Dash said. “I hope to beat Latin next time I play them.” 

Like other players, he goes to practice, warms up with the other players, and takes his breaks, but unlike other players Dash’s commitment strives him to push himself farther. From playing with college players, to supplementing his craft and always trying to achieve greater things.  

Dash has been playing tennis since he was 5. The hot, midday summer sun shining down on him, venturing out onto the hot courts in the summer heat — nothing has stopped Dash. 

Dash’s talent isn’t a hidden one, and although his skill is apparent to any spectator of his matches, he doesn’t publicize his success. You wouldn’t think the tall boy walking around with his ends bleached would be a shining star. The halo effect of the bleached hair follows him in the hallway. 

Being supported by his father, the 5-year-old sought tennis as a fun sport to play. Pushing through during a COVID-19 slump because he couldn’t play with others, and feeling unmotivated, he kept his dream going. 

“During COVID it was hard to stay motivated to play because I couldn’t play with others,” Dash said. “I felt like it was pointless to keep playing.” 

 For Dash, tennis is a way to get active and find a community. It’s a way for Dash to stand out and shine in the crowd from the very first serve to the last point in every game.

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