This one’s probably more a hoddle for me than it is for you.
Tennis has always been my first love, Been playing more than two decades now. But it’s been two year since I had a real hitting partner. When you throw in other priorities - like marathon training and lifting - you may also slip in practicing by yourself.
So I had enough! My apartment’s right across the street from some tennis courts. Over the last month I’ve spent a good chunk of time there serving. Just serving - no hitting partners, unfortunately.
And you know what? I was hitting the ball pretty darn well! I did the googling and found some tennis league to join. Sign me up for mixed doubles and singles, I say. After an hour so I should be good to go.
About 90 minutes had passed and my doules partner and I lost pretty straightforward. The frustrating thing is we were technically better players. The difference? Our opponents actually play way more often.
And so I was getting frustrated. Indeed, it is frustrating that some of the shots that used to come so easy to you now seem more difficult. Routine forehands, backhands etc. Even my serve - which had looked so good for weeks - felt unnatural.
I was trying to hide my frustration. More upset than anything for letting so much time pass without making the sport a priority. Maybe the only time I let my frustrating slip was when I hit my shoe with my racquet after a missed volley.
Then there’s the actual anxiety of playing in a match again. It’s really hard to play tennis (or I imagine doing anything) when you can’t breathe! Imagine trying to serve and noticing the following things are wrong: your ball toss is astray, legs are too straight, ball toss again isn’t high enough or too high, your swing is a milisecond too early. All these thoughts swirl and swirl and then - pshhhhhhhhhhhhh into the net.
This is going to be a bit of a longer process than I anticipated. But I have to be patient. And play lots of tennis.
Fitzie’s track of the day: I’m Your Man, by Wham!
And now for your links:
England defeat Scotland 3-1 with standout performance by Jude Bellingham
American firm in advanced talks to buy majority stake in Everton
New England Revolution players reportedly refused to train amid Bruce Arena exit