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texacali 06-20-2012 08:57 AM

Balance life and tennis
 
I noticed in Tennis Link many of my opponents play a lot (multiple leagues, tournaments, etc.) and I'm thinking I'm at a disadvantage because I don't have as much time to devote to tennis...I think this shows in my match play; pretty erratic, misreading bounces, really bad footwork, no sense of preparation or anticipation at net.

Like many of you, I work FT, have spouse and kids, kid related sports/activities, etc. How do some of you find time to practice enough or play enough to be experienced to feel competitive? At best, I practice with my team once/week and play a match. Sometimes I can sneak in one extra day of court time on the weekend and a tourney once in a while.

I don't think I'm a total lost cause, but I think lack of court time and match play hurts, especially being away from the game off and on for over 25 years.

Thanks for you thoughts.

floridatennisdude 06-20-2012 09:06 AM

It'd be interesting to ask one of those what their life situation is. I think you'll find that it is far different than yours.

For example, I am able to play 2-3 times per week and I have similar commitments as you. A guy at my club has played in 5 leagues (senior mixed in 2 areas, adult at 2 levels and now mixed adult) so far this year compared to my one. He also does a weeknight clinic and weeknight mixed social.

His kids are grown and out of the house and he is remarried to a woman equally involved in tennis. He works from home and has a flexible schedule as a consultant. I don't have those advantages in my tennis schedule.

texacali 06-20-2012 09:17 AM

I have a perception that some have a similar life to mine but somehow still find a way to spend many hours of their week on court. I think I also do not want to put the burden of the family on my spouse...making her a "Tennis Widow". I think she has been very accomodating because she knows I love the game and I am exercising vs. TV surfing. I also want to be competitive enough that I will still be picked up by a team each season and folks would want to partner with me. Double edged sword, huh?

blakesq 06-20-2012 09:33 AM

Texacali, I like your nick. I was born and raised in Texas, and lived in California for almost 6 years.

Anyhow, i think you need to figure out how much tennis you need to play to at least maintain your level of play. I find that if I play at least twice a week, I am able to maintain, and maybe improve a bit. If I play 3 times a week or more, i can see definite improvement. If I only play once a week or less, I see definite decline in my play.

So, once you find that magic number to maintain your play, try to play at least that much. I too am married, and I have a 2 and a half year old active boy, and it is tough. Good luck!

Quote:

Originally Posted by texacali (Post 6646535)
I noticed in Tennis Link many of my opponents play a lot (multiple leagues, tournaments, etc.) and I'm thinking I'm at a disadvantage because I don't have as much time to devote to tennis...I think this shows in my match play; pretty erratic, misreading bounces, really bad footwork, no sense of preparation or anticipation at net.

Like many of you, I work FT, have spouse and kids, kid related sports/activities, etc. How do some of you find time to practice enough or play enough to be experienced to feel competitive? At best, I practice with my team once/week and play a match. Sometimes I can sneak in one extra day of court time on the weekend and a tourney once in a while.

I don't think I'm a total lost cause, but I think lack of court time and match play hurts, especially being away from the game off and on for over 25 years.

Thanks for you thoughts.


Alchemy-Z 06-20-2012 09:37 AM

I have no kids but still

Fall/Spring I practice Tues night with my team and Matches on Saturday 1 adult mens league

One tournament at the end of Spring.(local)

Summer I play Tue nights with my mens team and Thursday nights play in a mixed doubles league with my wife.

But we like to travel a lot so I never join more than one league at a time because I don't want to commit and then be out of town a bunch.

point is I play no more than you....but what your probably doing is playing a regular match (on your practice night) often we do drills to work on specific things for an hour and then the 2nd hour play 1 set.

sometimes we even go to a clinic to hit with a ball machine.

Make practice count! don't just have a social hit

Also other nights of the week I go to the Gym...where I do footwork drills strength training and intense cardio.

So don't worry as much about court time..but what you do with that time.

There are a lot of fun tennis drills (thats still mini game competition like stuff) to do with team mates that helps work on different aspects of the game.

we often play a game of doubles where you earn 3 points for a clean winner. 2 points if the winning partners have both moved up into the service boxes when the winning shot was made to force and error. and 1 point if you force an error in the 1 up 1 back formation -1 point anytime you put it into the net. play to 11 and then switch partners.


Really helps getting doubles teams moving to the net together and also preventing you from pushing the ball back and trying to go for a winner instead.and the -1 for putting the ball into the net helps you make more of your unforced errors on the other side of the net where it at least has a chance to be in play vs just giving them a free point dumped into the net.

floridatennisdude 06-20-2012 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texacali (Post 6646579)
I have a perception that some have a similar life to mine but somehow still find a way to spend many hours of their week on court. I think I also do not want to put the burden of the family on my spouse...making her a "Tennis Widow". I think she has been very accomodating because she knows I love the game and I am exercising vs. TV surfing. I also want to be competitive enough that I will still be picked up by a team each season and folks would want to partner with me. Double edged sword, huh?

It's totally double edged. You sound like a good guy and a better husband. It's probably better to have that etched on your tombstone some day than "Good Rec Tennis Player"

blakesq 06-20-2012 09:43 AM

That reminds me of an old saying. You never see this engraved on a tombstone: "Wished he could have spent more time at the office!"

Quote:

Originally Posted by floridatennisdude (Post 6646630)
It's totally double edged. You sound like a good guy and a better husband. It's probably better to have that etched on your tombstone some day than "Good Rec Tennis Player"


LeeD 06-20-2012 09:43 AM

You make it what you want.
This world needs good guys and husband/workers, besides full time rec. tennis players.
Ever go to a surfing beach and wonder how soooo many guys can spend all day surfing and hanging out?

rabidranger 06-20-2012 09:47 AM

Sounds like you have a full plate with your priorities in order. No shame in that. Your tennis game might not be quite where you want it to be, but that's not the be all, end all. Have fun and enjoy your family.

goober 06-20-2012 09:57 AM

Basically you have decide what is important in your life. For me career and family come before anything else so like you I get one match and one practice per week. If I am lucky sometimes one additional day. Tennis recreation and exercise so if someone beats me because they play all the time- just accept it.

The best thing you can do if you can only play a couple times a week is

1)really make the most of the limited time you do have on the courts. No lazy shots, concentrate and try to get your form correct on every shot.

2) Get in decent shape on your off days and keep off the weight!

blakesq 06-20-2012 10:05 AM

Goober, why do you have to attack us fat guys? :(

Quote:

Originally Posted by goober (Post 6646679)
Basically you have decide what is important in your life. For me career and family come before anything else so like you I get one match and one practice per week. If I am lucky sometimes one additional day. Tennis recreation and exercise so if someone beats me because they play all the time- just accept it.

The best thing you can do if you can only play a couple times a week is

1)really make the most of the limited time you do have on the courts. No lazy shots, concentrate and try to get your form correct on every shot.

2) Get in decent shape on your off days and keep off the weight!


samarai 06-20-2012 12:22 PM

Family comes first everything else finds its place. I can usually play 1-2 times per week due to family obligations. I do run on all off days since theres a park near the house and it only takes up 30 minutes. Keeps me at least fit for the tennis days.

IA-SteveB 06-20-2012 12:32 PM

I know people at the club who are married, have kids and still play 4-5 times a week. I am sure their wives are not the happiest about that. I am recently divorced and got back into tennis to fill some time and keep me busy. I play a lot on the weeks I do not have my seven year old and then once or twice at the most on weeks we are together. Luckily, my parents are a half mile from the tennis club, so he can spend a little time there if needed. I do make my time with him a priority but dad needs a bit of time too.

Everyone has their sense of priorities and they are all different. :)

texacali 06-20-2012 01:09 PM

Thanks for feedback...yes, family first. And my family is very supportive of my tennis. Except they said I cannot buy anymore tennis rackets. I was just amazed at how many folks can play in three leagues and on top of that, one tourney/month entered into multiple divisions. I think in the long run my game will improve, even with my limited court time.

darrinbaker00 06-20-2012 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texacali (Post 6647228)
Thanks for feedback...yes, family first. And my family is very supportive of my tennis. Except they said I cannot buy anymore tennis rackets. I was just amazed at how many folks can play in three leagues and on top of that, one tourney/month entered into multiple divisions. I think in the long run my game will improve, even with my limited court time.

Your wife and my wife must know each other. She doesn't mind me buying new shoes or new outfits, but if I bring home a new racquet, I'll be sleeping with the dog. ;)

floridatennisdude 06-20-2012 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darrinbaker00 (Post 6647835)
Your wife and my wife must know each other. She doesn't mind me buying new shoes or new outfits, but if I bring home a new racquet, I'll be sleeping with the dog. ;)

Man, does that sound familiar! I walk in with 5 new dri fits and a couple pairs of shorts and she tells me she likes them. I mention demoing racquets and I get a big NO.

beernutz 06-20-2012 06:57 PM

Hang in there it gets better. When I first started playing league in 2005 in my mid forties my kids were 7 and 11 and into all manner of extracurricular activities which managed to interfere with/take priority over my tennis.

Now almost eight years later my girls are pushing 15 and 19 and I'm lucky if I get to see them at all. Like someone already has said, it is a double edged sword--you get more time for tennis but you start to miss the quality time you used to spend with your kids (or at least I do).

darrinbaker00 06-20-2012 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floridatennisdude (Post 6647847)
Man, does that sound familiar! I walk in with 5 new dri fits and a couple pairs of shorts and she tells me she likes them. I mention demoing racquets and I get a big NO.

How we look on the court is obviously more important to them than how we play.

JLyon 06-21-2012 03:23 AM

My tennis time has dwindled over the last 5 years especially after adding to the family. My wife understands enough that tennis is a stress reliever so can get out 1-2x a week, but with 3 kids and #4 due in 2 months time is short, but couple kids starting to enjoy tennis so get out and feed some balls. Also I officiate a large amount in Spring ITA season which keeps me away from the playing part of tennis. Life is great though and would not change it.


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