Originally Published: July 18, 2005 11:04 p.m.
Tennis for most players is a recreational sport. It’s about getting out in the clean air, moving around faster than we do at work, collecting some sunshine, moving all of our limbs, and competing at a level of play that falls within our ability level.
After all is said and done, a beer with the guys or lunch with the girls might be even more what it was about, a sporting and social event.
We might even imagine that what we do is on par with the professional tennis we see on TV, even though in reality we know that’s not really true....right? “Hey, remember the shot that I hit ...?”
The idea that we are inwardly, fiercely trying to win is something that we don’t want to outwardly try to show too much. This sport called tennis is what’s taking the place of going out to hunt. The fall back to caveman days ... kill or be killed, the weak die and the strong survive.
Okay, so that just might be pushing it a bit further than what it really is, too.
Many of us play in a set game two or three times a week. But on occasion we decide to really test the waters and play in one of the local one-day or weekend competitions.
Singles is the ultimate test. But doubles is what most put out there on the line knowing that with only half the court to cover, we just might survive without injuries.
It’s important when you play in one of these extravaganzas that you pick the right partner. Someone you can feel comfortable with, that speaks your language and makes you feel OK even when you make a mistake. But what if you make more than your fair share?
My partner isn’t smiling anymore. Their body language is not feeling good, there are no more, “It’s OK, shake it off” statements. Guess this will be our last tournament together.
The day after a tournament our body feels like it’s been in a car wreck. Tub soaks, massage therapy, Icy-Hot smells, and a bottle of some type of pain reliever may help us get through the following week.
Our mental state reverts back to the best shots of the match (unless our partner or opponents are around) and if we happened to not win the finals our partners (in our minds) should have played a bit better and just maybe we would have pulled it off.
How many people even know who won Wimbledon this year? So the good thing is your friends certainly aren’t going to give your last results – good, bad or ugly – much attention. So don’t sweat the small stuff.
Make sure your weekly schedule is full of tennis. And continue to play in a tournament or league every month or two. We can’t be considered “Weekend Warriors” if we don’t join in the fun and go through the process ... physical, social and mental.
“Tennis Channel Open...Old Franklin Templeton Tournament May Move”
Money talks and ... you know the rest of the saying.
But the men’s professional tournament that has been held at the Princess Resort for many, many years during the early spring may be moving to a new site. In fact, it could possibly be moving out of the State of Arizona.
The Tennis Channel Open, as it is now called, was purchased by founder Steve Bellamy last year and he states that he’s still working very hard to keep the tournament in the Valley of the Sun.
Places like Tempe/ASU, Surprise, and Litchfield Park/Wigwam Resort have made offers to take over as the site for this pro tournament.
Another area that may have a major interest is Indian Wells, and that depends if they keep their masters tournament at that site, which normally followed the Scottsdale tournament.
Bottom line, if Arizona gets to keep the men’s pro tournament here we (the tennis enthusiasts) need to try and support it a little better.
•Don’t forget, join in the “Beat the Heat Doubles”. Saturday, July 30 from 5-9 p.m., for A-B &C divisions by ability, not gender. Cost is $15 per person with prizes going to all finalists, plus snacks and lots of fun. Call 445-1331 to enter.
•Join in the Prescott Senior Olympics. Go by the Armory on Gurley Street and pick up a packet of information on all the events to enter.
(Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 445-1331 or email@example.com)