One thing I know for sure…
You’ve picked the greatest sport on earth. Tennis is a sport for everyone. It’s packed with a healthy lifestyle, friends, challenges and rewards.
Thought a gentrified sport, yes. But don’t let that stop you. Your vibe decides your tribe even at the courts. The public courts, private clubs, country clubs & resorts.
I started at 8. That was old for juniors. I had a little wooden racquet bought at a flea market in Philadelphia.
I drew chalk lines across brick walls and dealt with funky balls. Finally, one day, the old guys behind me at the public courts needed a 4th, and I was in! Those were the days.
I went on to play competitive junior tennis. But it wasn’t until I came back to the game as an adult that I found it shaped supportive habits of heart and mind. Adult International tennis camps was an obvious next step and a passion of mine zeroing in on adult tennis.
1# Flirting with Tennis? Do it!
In the beginning it usually starts with going to hit with friends. Realizing after one hot shot on the sweet spot how compelling this sport is.
You work up a sweat running for balls which feels exhilarating and usually with people you like. What could be better, right?
Until that sweet spot gets harder to find. And friends begin advising you to take some lessons for improvement. And it’s on!
The 40-something crowd comes out big time when kids head to school or careers call for a real outlet. Whatever the case, I love it because adults are fresh, raring to go and oh so humble.
They greet new friends, talk tennis, shop tennis and take their fitness in high regard. Again, good stuff all around!
40 Love … Your best Legs yet!
“But I thought I was in shape?” A big draw to the sport is fitness & social. Many come with backgrounds of crossfit, HITT, barre, pilates, kickboxing – name it, they’ve done it.
Tennis lessons present a total body workout. And players feel gassed learning new strokes, footwork & drills.
It’s even tougher when new players hold their breath & death grip the racquet. Very normal reactions for this sport.
2# Teaching Pro vs Youtube Video?
With instruction comes improvement, sometimes diehard dedication and goals. Now a days there’s a slippery slope between Youtube videos vs. paid training with a teaching pro.
I’m all for Youtube videos to watch Djokovic’s perfection. But there’s very little teaching videos out there for the 2.0-4.0 player levels.
Roger Federer’s blessings may never be your own. So finding a certified pro to work with your own game, balance and movement is necessary.
Improvement, growth and sharing your experience is also a collaborative experience. Once you land the ‘right’ pro it becomes a team effort.
3# Blissed Out!
Once players find some solid footing in the sport people really start having a good time! They do anything to hit the courts. After work, weekends, Friday night socials or early morning court times.
You’ve heard of runner’s high? Well, welcome to a tennis high! Where that lovely dopamine kicks in and generates a feeling of well being and being blissed out.
And why not? You’re cool now. You’re in decent shape, deciding if you want to play singles or doubles, competitive or social. Either way you’ve improved your life.
You recognize you’ve come a long way baby and you have! Don’t forget that.
Some of us even honor our first tennis injury. The 1st time we strap on that knee, elbow or ankle brace lets people know we’re serious – getting good. This is our sport!
Burnout doesn’t happen over-night. But when the fun has subsided for long periods of time consider yourself a candidate for burnout.
Once we’ve been at this rodeo a while our improvement can stahl. We’re not growing like we were in the beginning and we miss that. Matches or friendly games aren’t going our way because we’re just not cutting it.
Keep in mind, your game will always need tweaking! You can have a killer slice serve, a massive forehand or a reliable backhand but it will breakdown at some point. It’s why we call it a lifetime sport.
No matter who your favorite PRO is they too break down – rebuild and grow again.
To be a good player you need to be a certain type of character. Tennis is a very mental game. It can wear on you after awhile if you attach too much importance to how well you are playing or winning.
Where’s the the fun gone? Check your social barometer around the courts? Has that shifted with your friends, teammates or even your teaching pro?
This is a biggie. I see this all the time. You relied on that high spirited connection getting into the game and you’ll want that handy again to keep you engaged & find motivation now.
Ask yourself with total honesty. When you find the source – fix it or change it.
Remember this too shall pass.
5# Stay healthy and get ready to grind again!
Bad technique or not taking proper care of yourself off court will rear it’s injury head. Do your very best to stay healthy to be able to play on your terms.
Tennis has summoned you to a great pastime with terrific people. Treasure the sport gracefully and it will reward you immensely.
The Moral of the story is… It’s a lifetime sport.
You can play it until the end 🙂
Let us know in the comments about your experience. What phase are you in right now?