Thursday Bullet Points – 1/16/2014: The Coaches EditionChristy Vutam | January 16, 2014
- There’s nothing like taking a private tennis lesson to humble the rice pudding out of you.
- I very rarely leave a tennis lesson or a drill pleased with my game. I’m totally the Tim Tebow of weekend tennis. I’m awful in practice yet I inexplicably have won in match play (#WhosCarryingMeThisTime). I’m convinced more than ever that I’m rated as I am simply because I’m more athletic than most people who play recreational tennis are. I’m clearly doing tennis wrong. My coaches and I are still stuck on how to hit groundstrokes. And what the right grip is. Ugh, my grip. There’s a mark on my racquet grip that corresponds with a mark on my fist so I know how I’m supposed to hold my racquet. If you watch me closely while I’m playing a match, sometimes you’ll see me glance down at my racquet in mid rally to see if the marks match up.
And before I crouch down into the ready position before each point, you’ll see me mime using my racquet as a hammer to make sure I do in fact have the hammer/Continental grip.
The hammer grip, people. The most basic grip taught to all beginner tennis players everywhere.
- One of my friends, April, suggested the two tennis teaching pros I’m currently taking from actually know I’m cheating on them, and they’re purposefully making my game worse to get back at me. That is a hilarious take on the situation, and I bow to the master!
This whole working with two coaches thing really does feel weird though…
- After changing the grips on my backhand, Coach #1A thinks my backhand stroke is better than my forehand. She is out of her flipping mind, and it’s almost a fireable offense.
She’s not a big fan of my forehand. This has resulted in me not being confident in my forehand so I’m not confident in either of my groundstrokes and my game has worsened. Thanks, Coach. Because, you know, how her charges’ minds work is her fault.
- Coach #1A found out my brother used to be the number one junior tennis player in the state and asked me why I didn’t tell her this vital nugget of information. She’s thrilled that I’m related to someone so gifted because it means I legitimately can improve thanks to my awesome sports genes. And here I’d been thinking my hard work along with her coaching would make me be a better tennis player. Silly, Rabbit!
- What the heck does “good miss” mean? I’m onto this ploy of tennis coaches. They say “Good miss!” every fifth or so attempt of ours just to keep our spirits up as we mishit the ball for the umpteenth consecutive time.
- It’s almost impossible for our coaches to serve fluffy balls. Coach #1A missed more serves trying to give me such balls than she got in, and it was a pretty funny sight. I don’t even bother asking Coach #1 to slow down his serve or to take the spin off. I think it would make his back issues worse. But anyway, teaching pros should really spend some time working on their puffy serves. How else are we supposed to practice returning this ball most of our competition hits?
- Random nonsense I’ve stated to Coach #1. Poor guy.
[The day after I got bumped up]
Coach: “We are closed. Raining. “
Me: “Stop it. I need major tennis help! The competition just got way better!!”
“I just put on the most amazing lobbing clinic in my Combo doubles match and won. I am a terrible actual doubles player.”
“I slammed my racquet down twice in a match [another Combo doubles match in which my partner and I never trailed in and ultimately won]. I can’t slam it down again because it’s definitely going to crack if I do. You need to work on my anger management.”
“You know how my biggest problem currently is not making quick enough decisions? I feel like I’m one of those quarterbacks who don’t make it in the NFL because he doesn’t make quick enough reads and he gets overwhelmed by how fast the game is moving and can’t make the big-time throws that are absolutely necessary even when he does have time and does make the correct reads.
Ya know…those quarterbacks are swapped out and discarded in a pretty short manner.
- Most coaches learned to play tennis when they were prodigal kids, and one day they came to adult consciousness with expert tennis skills. This makes them unequipped to understand how hard it is to learn how to play tennis as adults.
- The problem with packaged tennis lesson deals is that there’s no incentive for the teaching pro to get the lesson in since they’ve already been paid, and coaches can just say, “Nope, too cold today.” In other news, I’m going to give up on doing anything tennis-related with human beings – players, coaches – in the winter. If people aren’t cancelling on me, then they’re whining about the elements to me. Ball machines don’t cancel. People do.
- In one lesson, Coach #1A tore apart my serve. We left the hour with that stroke in pieces. The next night, I worked on my serve by myself, and one of the head pros happened by and said the shot looked better. I told Coach #1A when I saw her a few days later about the compliment. She looked at me incredulously, “He said that after one lesson?”
- How about you, Coach, try playing tennis in this body and we’ll see how well you do.