Tennis Reflections: November 22

Well, it’s been another week. I got to play three times this week. I am still improving, but I’ve embarked on yet another change to my game, which makes life tough again.

Each time I make a change, I take a step backwards. However, to move forward one must take steps backwards to destroy old habits. For me, this is my serve. I’ve made massive changes to my serve, but am still lacking. I have the worst aim, and am now addressing it. I had a mixed day. Although I served well in practice today, the first round, I had plenty of double faults the second time around. This was aided by harsh winds and the outdoor nets being lowered. To compensate, we used these sticks to raise the nets to proper height. However, we couldn’t do it perfectly and therefore the net was a bit high.

Sounds like a lot, no? Well, that’s the life of older tennis players like myself. We strive to improve and we play despite obvious circumstances. We are the backbone of the sport. It’s interesting, while we are not the best players, it’s guys like me who run the sport. Without us, tennis instructors wouldn’t have income. Without us, the racket manufacturers wouldn’t have people to buy their products. Without us, the tennis clubs wouldn’t survive. We aren’t as talented as the Division One players, the semi-pros and pros, but those folks do little to maintain the sport. Heck, they get their equipment and training for free. It’s guys like me who provide jobs for the tennis instructors who were not good enough themselves to be pros.

This week I learned a lot about my game. I learned my strengths. I am a faster old guy. I was never fast as a young person, but for a 52 year old, I can run fast. Indeed, I get pretty much every ball and am there in enough time to make the play. I’m also getting good at my service returns. However, I need to do a better job finishing my follow through on service returns, especially when I play against a hard server. I tend to hit quickly, without a good follow through. Other than that, the week was quite good.

This coming week, I have one training session with my coach, and then it’s off to the mountains. Ski season is upon us, and it’s time to focus on Giant Slalom. I’ll still play tennis weekly, as I love the progress I’ve made over the past year. However, it’s my mind that will turn to the slopes, not my motivation to play. Till next Sunday…