Quantcast
nodot nodot
Circle Game
March 2000 Article

Contact to Greg Moran

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

Get Greg Moran's book Tennis Beyond Big Shots at Amazon.com

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Caroline Wozniacki
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Dominika Cibulkova
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Marin Cilic
tennis ball David Ferrer
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Circle Game By Greg Moran


 

Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
Quit Tennis? Don't Even Think About It!!!!!

Greg Moran Photo
Greg Moran

Let's put our cards on the table right away----we're getting older. Much as we may try to hide or deny it, any of us who are over thirty will soon begin to feel the effects of aging (if we haven't already). Father time sneaks up on us slowly and we all do our best to ignore his calling. Our skirts or shorts have become just a touch snugger but we're much more willing to go along with the discomfort than we are to admit that our bodies are perhaps spreading out just a bit. The skin around our faces and, for that matter, other parts of our bodies, have become a bit looser, but that's okay, we just stay away from the mirror. We're stiffer after a tough match but we rationalize that by saying that we really "did a lot of running."

At some point however, the truth hits us like a Sampras serve and we are forced to admit that we're not kids anymore. In fact, we are now, oh my God, middle aged. For me, the truth hit a short while ago over a weekend. First, during one of my lessons I had brought out a radar gun to have some fun with my students. They all had a great time serving and trying to reach the 100 mph mark, and then they wanted to see me serve. Now, I have never had a tremendously hard serve, usually slightly harder than Jimmy Connors and significantly softer than Venus Williams', and I knew roughly where my time on the gun would be.

WRONG!!!! After I had hit a few warm-up serves and began to crank it up, so to speak, I was hitting what felt the same pace serve as always, but the gun was displaying a speed several mph less than in the past. "Batteries must be going," I thought but nope, they were brand new. Aging wake-up call #1.

That night I was sitting with my daughter watching television when she decided that the new grey whiskers that had suddenly popped up on my chin were infinitely more interesting than the rerun of FRIENDS we were watching. Aging Wake-up call #2.

Finally, on Sunday, my wife and I went out for our usual run and, as always, told the kids that we would be back in about 45 minutes. When we walked back through the door the kids asked what took us so long? Our 45 minute run, which we ran at the same pace (or so we thought) we had for years, now had taken over an hour. Aging wake-up call #3. Great weekend I had.

Anyway, the point is we are getting older, and no matter how much exercise and nutritional discipline we do, we can't avoid the inevitable decline in our athletic performance. The same effort will simply not produce the same results anymore. We begin to struggle to get to balls we once reached easily, our bodies get a bit stiffer and we begin to have those nagging injuries that we never had in our earlier years.

For many tennis players, this inevitability is too much to bear, and as soon as their performance on the court begins to decline, they say to themselves, "tennis is becoming too difficult, I can't play as well as I used to so why play at all? It's time to try golf."

My response to all of you out there with those thoughts is "Bite your tongue!!!!" Will you ever play as well as you did when you were younger? Probably not, does it matter? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!! What many players view as the downside of their tennis careers as far as their level of play is concerned, is really the beginning of the most enjoyable time of their tennis lives.

THE EVOLUTION OF A TENNIS PLAYER

I believe that the evolution of a tennis player is a three stage process. STAGE 1 begins when one first picks up the game. Whether the game was picked up for reasons of health or simply because it looked like fun, Stage 1 is when a tennis player is at their purest. They're brand new to the sport, eager to learn, able to laugh at themselves, and they simply have a great time on the court . Stage one players can often be heard to say "God, do I love tennis." At this point, the joy of playing, or attempting to play, the game is the most important thing in the players minds.

Problems begin to arise when a tennis player moves on to STAGE 2. They've been playing for a little while, are beginning to improve a bit, and then the dreaded tennis ego emerges. Suddenly, the game becomes soooooo serious and each time they take the court it becomes a test of their worth.

Stage 2 players become concerned with who they play with, how they look, why they can't hit that topspin backhand and when they are going to be "A" players. You very rarely hear a Stage 2 player speak of how much fun they had after a match. They much more often talk about how "I beat Bill" or "How could I lose to Jane?" For your typical Stage 2 player, the focus has shifted away from the game itself, and moved inward, with the player now judging themselves by their performance on the court. Temper tantrums, broken rackets and comments such as "I hate this game," are typical characteristics of a Stage 2 tennis player.

An aging Stage 2 tennis player is the one who is most at risk for giving up the game. Unfortunately, their level of play has become the barometer of their enjoyment of the game. When their performance begins to slip, due to getting a bit older, they are faced with three choices: they can refuse to acknowledge it and put themselves through continued torture trying to recapture their athletic youth, they can quit the game and start all over in another activity, or they can realize that they are standing on the threshold of Stage 3, the happiest time of their tennis lives.

STAGE 3: THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION OF EVERY TENNIS PLAYER

When a player walks through the door to STAGE 3, he leaves his ego behind and has, in a sense, come full circle and returned to STAGE 1 where, once again, the game is number one and the overriding goal is not wins and losses, but simply FUN.

The pressure is off. A STAGE 3 player has gotten over the need to constantly prove himself on the court and remembers the reasons they picked up the game in the first place. Certainly, they still do everything possible to play their best, but they approach tennis from a much different, more relaxed, perspective. They realize that they are not going to Wimbeldon unless they buy a ticket, and allow themselves to simply enjoy the game. As always, they have goals but their goals have moved away from wins towards longevity. A Stage 3 players number one priority is to keep playing the game, with whatever talent and physical capabilities they have, for as long as possible.

One of my favorite writers was the late Dr. George Sheehan. Dr. Sheehan was probably the sport of running's most respected writer and his philosophy of longevity as ones top goal has shaped many of my thoughts on tennis. Once a front of the pack runner, Dr. Sheehan battled cancer, yet never stopped running. In fact, near the end of his life, he was still running in races, though he found himself in a truly foreign place--the back of the pack.

In a recent issue of RUNNER'S World magazine, Joe Henderson, a close friend of Sheehan's, described a scene which I feel displays not only Dr. Sheehan's attitude towards running, but also the approach that all tennis players should bring to the game.

In the last race Dr. Sheehan ran he found himself running in last place with another, younger runner who was, at the time, injured. I'll respectfully quote Joe Henderson here; "The runner turned to George and complained, "You know, Doc, we used to be good."

"George came right back with "We're as good as we ever were. We're doing the best we can with what we have. You have an injury and I have an illness. But we're still out here, giving our all. No one can do more or should do less."

Powerful words which we should all try to live by. Do the best that you can with what you have. Try to be the best that you can be, but remember where you are. If you're in your 40's, try to be the best 40 year-old tennis player you can be. If you're in your 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's the goal is the same. Play hard, enjoy the game but remember that the winner, in not only tennis but in life as well, is not the one who comes in first, but rather the one who comes in last-----last to put down the racket.!!!!

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Greg Moran, all rights reserved.

Greg Moran is the Head Professional at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, Connecticut. He is a former ranked junior and college player and certified by both the USPTA and USPTR. Greg has written on a wide variety of tennis-related subjects for numerous newspapers and tennis publications including Tennis, Tennis Match and Court Time magazines. He is also a member of the FILA and WILSON Advisory Staffs.

Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Greg by using this form.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Tickets 11/7-11/14
 
Davis Cup Finals: France vs Switzerland Tennis Tickets 11/21
 
Chris Evert Pro-Celeb Tennis Classic Tickets 11/22-11/23
 
2015 BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells 3/11-3/22
 
2015 Miami Open Tennis Tickets 3/23-4/5
 
2015 US Open Tennis Tickets 8/31-9/13
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
December 15, 2014 Between The Lines: Player of the Year 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Racket-Back Myth by Tom Veneziano.
 
November 2014 Tennis Anyone: Coil by John Mills.
 
November 2014 Turbo Tennis: Double Your Pleasure by Ron Waite.
 
November 11, 2014 Between The Lines: Woman of the Year 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
October 2014 Wild Cards: Roger Rolls Through 300; Serena Wins First Championship In Cincinnati by Vince Barr.
 
Tennis Warrior: Five Powerful Tennis Concepts by Tom Veneziano.
 
October 2014 Tennis Anyone: Why Can I Not Poach? by John Mills.
 
October 2014 Turbo Tennis: Momentum Revisited by Ron Waite.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 5 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 6 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 7 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 8 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 21 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 20 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 19 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 18 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 17 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 5 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 6 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 7 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 8 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 2 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 1 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Grounds Admission Pass Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY National Tennis Center 8/26-9/9
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day Tickets Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy