When I grew up, tennis was a “gentlemen’s” game. We were taught to compliment great shots hit by our opponent. We were told that close calls must be called good unless 100% certain. Finally, we were taught that tennis was not always about winning…that we should celebrate good matches win or lose. In other words…we were taught that tennis was a “gentleman’s game”.
As a coach, I tried to pass along a similar perspective to my players. Unfortunately, my plan backfired for one student in particular…one of the finest players I ever coached…only to lose him to another sport.
This particular child was said to have been born with a racket in his hand…and his mother had the stretch marks to prove it. From an early age, tennis came as naturally to him as breathing. Initiated by his parents (both were excellent tournament players) and inspired by spending time around some of the greatest players who ever lived, this young boy was destined for greatness. I never had to tell him to practice.
With more than just a well rounded game, this kid also knew how to win. His deep passion for the game was inspiring to many for this boy truly loved to play tennis. Winning matches was simply a byproduct of his desire to play. Wild horses couldn’t have stopped the kid from playing.
I suggest you read the whole story by Brian Parrott on the “American Tennis” Journal. It’s very well written. – CLICK HERE