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Tennis For Soccer Moms
by Earle Palmer Brown

I read that soccer moms are no longer the most sought after voter group. Some are getting bored with driving the team SUV and tracking down illusive shin guards and are looking for some exercise of their own. This might be a good time to convert them for tennis. After all, tennis exercises a lot more muscles than soccer and you don't get as many bruises and blackeyes. If you do recruit someone, here are a few suggestions to help them make the transition; some might even be helpful for tennis regulars.

  1. If your husband starts complaining about the bills you are running up at the tennis shop remind him of the total cost of a single round of golf.

  2. If he continues to bug you on the subject inquire about the possibility of taking golf lessons.

  3. Always be sure the yellow tennis ball covering the knob on your SUV's trailer hitch is USTA approved.

  4. In a close singles match as you change courts ask your opponent "is your daughter home from college?" On the next changeover when she wonders "why you asked" tell her you thought you saw her husband having lunch downtown with a young girl.

  5. This works even better if she doesn't have a daughter.

  6. When you go into the locker room to shower and find you still have that elusive third ball tucked in your panties, call weight watchers.

  7. If there's a domestic golf versus tennis argument about what the vanity license plate on the SUV should say, compromise on "It's T Time."

  8. If you insist on playing with extra long fingernails buy a racket with at least a 4 7/8 grip.

  9. Be sure that ringer you recruited for the Mixed Member-Guest isn't on the make.

  10. Don't be the last to arrive for your doubles match or you'll likely to be the topic of conversation.

  11. Bury your cell phone deep in your racquet bag so no one will hear it ring just as your partner is hitting an overhead.

  12. If you stash the yardapes in the tennis house to watch cartoons while you are playing, don't be surprised to see them expelled when Breakfast at Wimbledon is on the tube.

  13. If you are a trophy wife --- and not really a soccer mom--- play without makeup and maybe no one will notice.

  14. The WTA in an effort to speed up slow play has reduced to five minutes the gossip time allowed while changing ends during a match. Don't feel insulted if the men on the next court refer to your match as "picket fence" tennis. That's a gentler term than "hit and giggle."

  15. If you're just starting the game and want to be competitive right off, learn to lob.

  16. If you really want to be competitive learn to drop shot.

  17. Spandex is frowned upon except for those muscle protecting bicycle shorts under your skirt.

  18. If that aging stylist on the next court gives you a thumbs up after you hit the passing shot down the line, don't assume it's your backhand he's admiring --- it might be your backside.

  19. If you are playing in that late afternoon group be sure your cell phone has every restaurant that will deliver on speed dial.

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