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Wed, Jan. 22

Column: New technology great, but tennis world misses old-school routines
'My Point'

When you’ve been “Old School” for most of your life, the younger crowd wonders why you seem to be behind the times for what’s taking place in today’s world of tennis and everything else going on around us.

Some of us are just doing our best to hear what’s up on the Tennis Channel, if indeed you have that available to you, or to read the current TENNIS magazine, let alone look up all kinds of things on the internet or have special apps for the most recent coaching methods, nutrition tips, tournaments and player results from all over the world - at a moment’s notice.

If you’re at all like many “Baby-Boomers”, you still like to still get a newspaper in your driveway, sit at the kitchen table eating breakfast reading and staying current with not only tennis news, but local and world events. Unfortunately there isn’t much tennis news to be had in most newspapers except when the Grand Slams are being played.

Social media is where it’s at - Facebook, Twitter and such - what other reason could there possibly be for having one’s nose attached to I-phones on a minute by minute fixation, no matter who you’re around or what you’re doing. In today’s world is that considered rude, or normal? Due to all the new technology soon we’ll know more than we probably want to.

Players will look to a screen to see if every ball was in or out during play, a gadget will keep score for you, tell how long you’ve been playing, how many phone calls and messages you’ve missed, now many calories you’ve burned, steps you taken, and when you need to pack up and get to your next appointment.

We shouldn’t be surprised - ever since McDonald’s could make us a quick hamburger and fries, let us order into a speaker, drive-through and send us on our way in a matter of minutes, things have taken on a life of their own.

Personally I miss the kicked back times of spending a full weekend playing a tournament and its socializing - not being on the “fast-track” while enjoying more of the journey I guess. Most people are in such a rush that when planning events now it can’t be numbered in days, but hours. And when a draw comes out, the number of phone calls you get to try to help people with their schedules can be daunting.

What would happen if we had to go back to the way things were before all the electronics took over - probably shouldn’t even think that way; our parents said that about TV, faster cars, shorter work weeks, music and such - and going back to a wood tennis racquet and white tennis balls wouldn’t be all that enjoyable.

For some of us older folk, guess we need to learn to roll with the punches and maybe take a class on how to use the latest and greatest new confounded gadget.

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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