There was an interesting post a few weeks ago about asking whether people have picked up tennis later in life http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=407302 I am one of those who decided in Aug '11 that I wanted to play the game I've always watched since I was a kid (i'm 34 now). and you know what? I'm so glad I did because I love the game more now I play as I can relate and appreciate the game more. The beginning picking up the basics was extremely tough, I did a 4 day intensive course on the fundamentals and from then on, I played a few games with friends and work colleagues - it snowballed from then on and I joined a local club in Sept and was introduced to the club coach and was paired off with one of the members (Dave) so I have someone to practice and play games with. From Sept to Christmas, I've been playing against Dave 2-3 times a week who is 7 years my junior and have been playing tennis since he was 12 so he is a pretty good player and no surprise beats me 9 times out of 10. I still try and get some 1-to-1 lessons with the coach in between the games as I still need to drill my shots, serves, footwork and positioning and groove these so I could apply these in my games. I've got to the point now where our matches are more competitive but I know that practice/drills and lessons is crucial in my early development. For the initial 6 months of this year, I want to focus on this rather than just playing sets. Now Dave is the type of guy who likes to win a lot and takes enjoyment beating someone but seem to be only interested in playing sets only and blasting winners all day. I'm all for a competitive game but I want to spend quality time developing and drilling good form. I always want to start with 30mins warm up hitting, practice a few serves before moving onto games but he starts to moan 5mins in and wants to start the sets. Having explained this to him, he started ranting about playing games and getting beat is the only way to learn to become a better tennis player. WTF! Gaining match experience is one thing but in any sport, you also need to practice and build/develop skills and THEN apply these to real match situations - I've been there before as I've played basketball all my life in highs school right through to college so I know the importance of training. With that in mind, I feel maybe it's high time I should find someone else to practice and develop my game further. What do you guys think? Please share your experience on how you started and tips to improve.