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Fri, Feb. 21

Howard: A thankful year of tennis and trying to keep up with life
My Point

You know life has been pretty dog gone good to you when you get near Christmas and you’re asked what you’d like and you really don’t need or really want anything.

Well, maybe it’d be fun to be 22 years old and be one of the top tennis players in the world, but that was only a dream then just like it still is today.

Okay, I’d like to be one of the top players in the 60’s division nationally, but once again - that would have to pretty much be your total life and I just can’t be that selfish to everyone I really care about - as well as it’s a bit shallow. Well, maybe I could do shallow for a couple years.

You see so many people around who have health problems and no matter how well you might be doing with the rest of your life, if you have a physical ailment - you can’t wait to get healthy again and hang on to that.

Aging in the world of tennis is an interesting journey - you can still get smarter at the game, you can refine your shots and learn to keep your wits under pressure, but other than getting in the best shape possible, you’re still going to lose a step each year and your reflexes are not going to be as good as they once were. So just be thankful you’re still out on the courts doing what you enjoy and pick your partners and opponents wisely.

Changing with the times is a real challenge.

What happened to the good old typewriter, carbon paper, an envelope and stamp? Doing things by hand is a thing of the past - except that’s what I’m used to.

Texts, emails, smartphones, Facetime, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, websites - heck, there’s an app for just about everything.

Running sanctioned tournaments is a lot easier if you can navigate the new technology.

The tournament is listed on the website, you click a tab to register, you pay with your credit card online and then you return to that site to view the draw when it’s complete.

The app you use sorts the names, helps with the seeding, creates the draw, manages and puts down the days and times to play. If you have a question you shoot the director a quick email.

If by chance the weather has delayed play, you go back to the website to read the update of times - of which the app reschedules all the matches, which is a godsend because that was a real headache.

At the conclusion of the tournament the director can get a print out of just about any data they need, and the players can see who won, what the scores were and soon after an update of who is currently ranked in each age group in their section and/or nationally.

It absolutely makes my head spin.

I’m glad I’ve been around long enough to see and then be a part of where the game of tennis and this new technology of life slowly emerged from since the mid 50’s and all the unimaginable things that take place today.

I can appreciate it even if I don’t understand or know how to use it very well.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 45 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or

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