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Wed, Oct. 16

Howard: Tennis wishes for Christmas
My Point

Santa is arriving soon and hopefully if you wanted something bad enough and expressed it in a pleasing manner it appeared.

Some of the wishes I’ve written out here are in regard to our tennis community and need to take place on a year-round basis but I’m sure you’ll get the idea.

That: all players move up a skill level; they get the racquet, shoes, outfit, warm up and tennis bag that brings a smile to their face; the people, young, old and in-between that have never played tennis or want to get back at it find the courage, time and right outlet to give it a shot.

Anything that has the possibility to add 10 years to your life should be on your list of priorities.

That: when you’re on the court playing or drilling you’re met with fun, laughter and challenging competition; the people you meet and become friends with open themselves up to continue adding others into the fold - just as you and they were accepted; we take the time to help lessor players by hitting and encouraging what their next challenges and steps will be, just like others helped us.

To give a bit of our time in the planning, organization and implementation of our community tennis events and programs.These efforts are constant if the game is to thrive and stay vibrant.

That: you participate.Maybe you’ve had your good old regular game the past 5 years twice a week and that’s been good for you.Try pushing yourself to go outside that circle every once in a while.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained; you consider competition within your ability level.Instead of just wishing you’d meet some new people in a fun and healthy environment, put the thought into action by getting in a college tennis class, a USTA League, a series of weekly lessons or clinics - or try drop-in-tennis.This may make you a little uncomfortable, but spreading your wings a little will also be exciting and open new avenues of friends.

Kids (in my opinion) need to get a wide range of exposure to all kinds of activities - tennis has so many great attributes to teach everyone, especially children; so all of us who know and love the game of tennis should grab up the kids (grandkids/neighborhood kids/littles) we have access to and enjoy a bit of leisure time hitting some easy low compression balls to give them a lifetime outlet to encounter and try out.

Maybe you have the capability to sponsor a child for some lessons or clinics or can help in an after-schools tennis program.

This game of tennis may be the best lifetime sport ever invented. I wish your games to be very competitive, but also nice and fair. There’s no real place on the tennis courts for poor interaction.Yea, there’s nothing wrong with questioning what might be a bad call, but unless you have a lot of money on the outcome - going much further isn’t worth it.

Volunteer: Give some of your time or send a check to help your local tennis association promote the game for your community.

It’s all about people, programs and kept up facilities that offer a wide range of activities for all levels and age groups that let everyone enjoy what this great game has to offer.

Here’s to a very Merry Christmas to all the tennis players and everyone else in the area in hopes that all your holiday wishes come true!

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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