For all my competitiveness, I always try to make it a fun experience in the end. It is probably why I prefer park tennis and club tennis, over leagues and tournaments. I don't like seeing people become deadly serious, cutthroat to the point of cheating.
I definitely don't like the idea that my team is unquestionably great, right or wrong. I am a big individualist. I like the boxer alone in the ring, the lone cyclist in the mountains, the chessplayer alone at the board.
But I also love social doubles, no matter what the age of the participants. I like seeing personalities express themselves in the game, the banter, the friendliness.
Well, I'd like to see what people prefer out of their tennis lives and the reasons why. Share some experiences here, your favorite partners, your greatest moments in tennis.
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One of my favorite partners: Paul Quinn. I met him through an internet tennis ladder in Los Angeles. We have been very good pals for five years. He's the classic serve and volley guy, loves Federer and an elegant game. He introduced me to Burbank Tennis Center and probably got me back into the game more than any other partner, after my ten year layoff.
Loved playing with Dave for his competitive nature! I knew I was in for a tussle whenever I had a match with him. Even though I knew I had little to no chance of winning, the matches were fun. The best part is after the match though! hehe. Beer and food!
Ah, when I met Dave, he mentioned he had "no grip". As soon as he said that, I said, "Now, I've gotta see this guy's game." That's a very Bruce Lee thing to say. lol
He also subscribes to the 1" punch theory. He used to say "Schin, when you play tennis, you should be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
Hah! The famous "Be water, my friend". Well, being water on the tennis court is a great idea. Someone should be Fed, Nadal and Djokovic all at various moments. The Ultimate Tennis Player! lol
You forgot to mention Timmeh in there :) Use the one handed slice no bouncer on call.
Hah! I hit one in a rally tonight. Priceless weapon. lol
I had a wonderful social doubles, pick me up game with three ladies in San Bernardino. The market night had a band playing all sorts of eighties songs. I was hitting serves by myself and they asked me to doubles. Each lady had a unique game, each effective in its own ways. We were busy laughing and having a ball. I couldn't get enough of the reactions. I'm glad they asked me to play tonight.
I've had only a few pick up games and ended up getting to know those folks as well. No ladies though but it must be your personality that drew them to ya! You and your ladies Mr. P!!!
I like both casual and competitive play, for different reasons. I love playing with my friends: friendly atmosphere, occasional trash talking, chance to learn and try out new techniques... No pressure really, unless you count the competitiveness of not allowing your 3.0 partner to score too many games off your 3.5 self, lest he start thinking that maybe you're overrated, he he he! Competitive play, on the other hand, is an entirely different animal. As I'm still fairly new to league play, I get nervous before each match, since I don't know what to expect from the opponents. Do they have a fast, well-placed serve? Can they volley? How well can they return my serve? All these unknowns test my skills in ways I've never known before. Sure, you can do pick up games with strangers at the park, but it's not the same thing. I take a far more casual approach to those games, though by no means am I less competitive. I guess it's really more about the effect on my rating, the team's record, and the "public" record (anyone who cares to peruse your record needs only to know your name, at least in USTA).