taking up tennis

This beautiful photo is Copyright Arvin Rahimzadeh.
Several weeks ago, N came up with the brilliant scheme to have of play tennis regularly.  We went out and bought the cheapest rackets we could, as well as two cans of balls, and started the same afternoon.

In my obsession with planning, I decided we would go every Monday and Friday thereafter, to which the gods decided they would make it rain every Monday and Friday.  We've therefore been playing sporadically, and often on wet courts, if not in the rain.

I'm terrible at tennis, and when I started, I'd guess about 10% of my serves were legal.  This meant I was (and still am) thoroughly trounced any time we played a set.  Two weeks ago, I decided that I would have to complete 50 successful serves before we could play a game.  Fate being what it is, of course, the first time I tried my 50-serve goal, a thunderstorm commenced after I spent a half hour reaching 15 legal serves.  We waited it out, finished my goal with soaked tennis balls, and played two games before going home.  N had to serve both since my arm was sore.  Incidentally, he also won both.

In addition to giving my arm a harder workout, the wet tennis balls forced me to serve overhand, since bouncing them for an underhand serve was rather difficult.  Although everyone seems to be recommending me to do underhand serves to start, I find overhand to be more intuitive, and it's obviously more powerful too.  The only problem is that now that I want to hit everything overhand, which doesn't get as many balls over the net.  One step at a time, I guess.

Since then, I've gotten much better at serving.  I'm good enough now that it's boring for N for me to do my warm up--before he had to both be encouraging (so I would keep going) and run around a lot more when my aim was worse.  As a result, I've reduced it to 25 legal serves before we can play.

Tennis is definitely less of a workout than running or biking, but the game aspect gets me to do it more frequently, so it's hard to say which is better long-term.  I don't like that one arm gets more of a workout that the other, but I'm ambidextrous enough that once I get decent with my right arm, I might play with my left arm occasionally to balance things out.

All-in-all: it's lots of fun, but I've got a long way to go.  Any tips, pointers, or suggestions are welcome.

1 comment:

JBB said...

Keep going. Tenacity pays off. When you come home, we will try out the W's court. And we don't have rain here... but it did rain today :/