If you are even a casual follower of the DxPepper or a friend of mine on FaceBook then you know that I play tennis. You might even be sick and tired of all the updates, tweets, and info about my matches and my teams. I can dig it! There are times that I even think that I am a little over the top about playing the sport. But then again ….. I love me some tennis!
I started playing tennis in the fall of 2005 – just over 5 years ago. It did not take more than that first competitive match for me to know that I had found a sport to be passionate about. There are so many reasons why I feel the way that I do so this posting is going to be dedicated to my tennis game. I am even going to convince each of you to start playing this great sport!
Let me start with one universally acceptable reason to start any sport, the health benefits. Tennis is a very involved sport that uses lots of body parts to play effectively so it makes for a great workout. I bet that just playing a set of tennis requires the consumption of about 400 calories …. lots of leg muscle use …. a little upper body motion …. and it can sure get the ole ticker going. I have played at least one match that burned 1832 calories and had my heart rate in Zone 3 (a great cardio work out zone). That is a GREAT WORK out by any standard!
Tennis is also a great work out for the mind – I am not just talking about the peace of mind that comes from being active while outdoors – I am talking about the brain. IMO, you simply cannot win at tennis if you do not allow the brain to do most of the work for you. The problem with having to use the brain is the fact that sometimes the head takes over ….. if you lose your cool in tennis – YOU LOST! Just last Friday I played against a guy that was not using his brain and allowed his emotions to get the better of him. He lost several points trying to HIT me with the ball instead of trying to hit winners. I love the fact that I get to use my otherwise inactive brain to participate in such a great sport!
Here are a few examples –
#1 I know the rules of the sport. At least once a year I read through the rules of the game so that they are always fresh in my mind. It seems that all too often a situation occurs in a match that requires a discussion about a call or an argument …… knowing the rules sure helps to defuse some of the situations …. not knowing the rules can have the opposite effect!
#2 As a captain for USTA teams I study my opponents before my team ever plays them. The USTA site gives open access to a teams previous matches and the results. When Iam putting my line up together I spend quite a bit of time trying to predict who my opponent is going to play against us and I place my strongest line up on the court. I can spend hours trying to plan the best line and just love watching a plan unfold.
#3 While on the court I observe everything that my opponent/s is/are doing to win points or to counter my play. I also pay close attention to certain things that I do in order to gauge the strategies effectiveness. For instance, I am a net player. I play a very aggressive game of tennis and find my self poaching more than not. I keep count based on a + – count system so that I know if that strategy is working. If I poach and win the point then I am +1 …… If my count is ever -3 then I stop using that strategy … trying to keep up with about 5 different + – systems all at once WHILE playing the game ……… YES! What does he do when I serve to his backhand ….. +1, what happens when I hit a serve down the T … -1, Where does she line up when I start my serve at the singles spot? As far right as I can? … +1 ……. I LOVE IT!
I also watch what my opponents do in every situation. If you do not observe their habits, their tendencies, their style of play then ……. well, how boring would it be to just hit balls back ans forth! I am cracking myself up just thinking of a play that happened last Thursday. My partner and I were playing Aussie style while serving to the AD side. We lined up and I gave my partner the “stay sign” … waiting about 1 second and said never mind …. and then gave the “stay sign” again. I figured my opponent would think that I was going to poach and try to return it cross court. I guessed right and I had an easy put away shot hand delivered because I knew his style – I enjoyed that very moment more than the rest of the entire match!
I could go on and on and on about tennis, this play, that team, that match, that ace, that serve and volley …….. but for the sake of time I am going to move onto one last reason I love to play tennis. I play in my community with teams that are built from my neighbors. That makes my living situation more comfortable because I have made some very good friends while playing this sport and since Tennis can be played year round in Atlanta I get to enjoy my passion year round!
Chat at you all later – Need to research the Cambridge USTA 8.0 Mixed Doubles Team that we play Friday night. We are in a very close division battle so I need to put a strong line up out there.