So Much For Getting Better This Tennis Off-SeasonChristy Vutam | February 11, 2014
Late last year, I was really looking forward to the recreational tennis off-season (November to February). This would have been my first tennis off-season with formal coaching. I had big plans. I was finally going to learn how to hit overheads, dear reader. Big, BIG plans.
Overheads terrorize the bed sheet marks out of me. I know. I ask myself the same question: will I ever run out of tennis strokes to be terrified by?
I’m shaking my head slowly and sadly. No.
If you’re a player of a certain age in my area, you could play ultra-competitive team tennis leagues inundated with the weight of play-off importance all year round. The powers that be are most certainly not missing out on opportunities to make money. Or they’re trying to kill us. Whichever theory you want to go with.
Luckily for me, I don’t qualify for the other age-specific USTA leagues offered besides 18 and Over (leagues include 40 and Over, 55 and Over, and 100 and over), and I could at long last take a mental break from all of that. In a perfect world, I would never play a gonna-be-listed-on-line-somewhere match until, ohhhhh, never. I would prefer to get this nonsense all straightened out first before I played one of those, but alas.
Finally though, I was going to have just months and months of time to work quietly on everything and emerge from the winter hibernation a real weekend tennis player all backhand confident groundstroke this and forehand winner volley that. It was going to be awesome!
And then the Dallas weather happened.
If it wasn’t raining, it was way, way cold or way, way windy. Oh, hey, look at that. Snow. It snowed on Thursday. By the way, do you know when the weather people figured out it was going to snow on Thursday? WHEN IT SNOWED.
Not that the inability of the weather people to forecast the weather has been going on all winter-long and has affected nearly every tennis plan I’ve made in the last couple of months much to my absolute consternation or anything like that.
I haven’t had a private lesson since mid-January (#firstworldproblems). And before then, my lessons were sporadic at best. Nothing’s been accomplished this off-season. In fact since I’m still in the sucking first phase of getting better at tennis, you could say that I’m worse now than I was in 2013.
I NEED my private lessons. I’m addicted to them. First of all, my mind does not stop thinking about tennis. Somebody has to listen to all my tennis ponders and steer me straight through those murky waters or else I’m not able to, you know, function. As a human being.
An aside: I’ve recently been working on going to bed early. However, when I close my eyes, my mind starts drafting posts for this here tennis blog. You’re welcome.
Secondly, yes, tennis lessons do leave me feeling broken and dejected about my tennis abilities. That’s totally true. Yet, despite myself, progress has clearly been made (my coaches’ teaching powers are greater than my learning deficiencies). Winning and making progress are terribly intoxicating aspects of tennis, and no matter how long it’s been since you’ve won or made progress, it only takes that one time for you to be hooked on this sport for good.
That’s how they get you.
Without tennis lessons, my tennis abilities sag a little bit each day. Lessons firm them up. Maybe even enhance them. And now that it’s been a few weeks since my last lesson, I don’t want to venture out into the public. There’s no telling how far down my tennis has gone. It’s going to be embarrassing.
AND because the weather has been so awful, I haven’t been able to just hit the ball machine and tuck things up that way.
Oh, no. After writing this out, I don’t know what I’m more scared of now. Having to play a real match soon (leagues start back up next week) and enduring the wrath of my doubles teammates and team tennis captains or having to do my next private tennis lesson soon and disappointing my coach with how much I’ve regressed since we saw each other last.
Swell. I started this post to write about how much I’ve missed my lessons, and I end it dreading my next one. High five, self.