Tennis is a game that requires a certain amount of maturity to play well. The more the better.
Lots of people play tennis, but a “tennis player” has learned not only the strokes and strategies but has mastered the ability to compete. More aptly, how to win and how to lose with dignity and class.
An accomplished “tennis player” probably has a collection of awards and trophies but he also has lost quite a few close ones that he still remembers well. He always shakes his opponent’s hand; win or lose.
A “player” has his or her integrity intact even after having been cheated. The temptation to cheat back is in all of us but the “player” is experienced enough not to go there.
A “player” will not break rackets, spew filthy insults, “tank” (give up effort), act “cocky”, or make derogitory remarks about other players.
A “player” has the confidence to enter a tournament and put his or her reputation on the line.
The world needs more “tennis players” who respect the game and realize that the game is far greater than all the players who play it.
Gary Sherby is tennis director at Racquets and Togs Tennis Center, 115 Bradford St., just off the downtown square. His tennis tips appear Sundays.