Column: Make it easy(ier) on yourself
Originally Published: August 22, 2007 9:21 p.m.
Tennis isn't a hard game to conceptualize. You have one or two players on each side who hit the ball over the net before the ball bounces twice. The person (singles) or team (doubles) who doesn't get it back over the net or hits it outside the lines loses the point.You take turns serving or receiving each game and the team that wins four points first (and is ahead by two points) wins the game. After you've won six games (and ahead by two) you've won the first set. When you win two sets, you've just won your first match.Pretty simple, right?Add in to the equation a couple cheap racquets, a can of balls, the local public tennis courts and you're more than ready. Maybe you should get online and print out the rules and scoring, just for reference.What's a tie-breaker? When do we switch sides? Who serves first? Who returns from what side? You have to get it into which service box? How many chances to get the serve in and standing behind which line?Tennis pros really hate to see new players get frustrated. Getting a handle on the game can be complex. Thank goodness it only takes two players to have a decent match, but looking at it a bit closer, it takes the right two players to really enjoy the process. Not to mention that after a while you probably will want to spread your wings and play others.Where to find those others?If you're older and singles really isn't anything you can handle, it will take four players plus some substitutes. What seemed an easy group to put together just got a little harder.In Prescott, many of these problems and questions can be dealt with by reading just a little further.There's a local organization called the Prescott Area Tennis Association that has taken the time to compile a website, www.pataonline.org. All kinds of goodies are available there including a listing of tournaments, clinics, a players list with abilities and phone numbers, times and sites for Drop-In-Tennis and many other related tennis items.There are two main areas where tennis is played avidly, the Prescott Racquet Club (1 Kingswood Drive, 778-0708) and Yavapai College (778-7071). Both sites offer different tennis programs and the more serious weekend and sanctioned events.There are four courts at the Armory off Gurley Street. Prescott High School has six newly rebuilt courts that are open to the public on a first come, first serve basis.Tennis can be one of the most enjoyable sports in life, so make it easy on yourself. Find the right avenue for what you want and get started. Enjoy life before it passes you by.(Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with more than 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at email@example.com)