I was trying to find some tennis videos from that era and understandably there aren't many. Was it all serve and volley even at the rec level? Did you have pushers or is that a more recent thing?
Yes even the pros mostly hit with a slightly open face and low speed and almost no topspin. It was difficult to play with a very small sweetspot and very uncomfortable on mishits due to the non-existent handle cushioning, so control, precision and low net clearance were very important.So no one was a pusher because everyone was a pusher?
I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I don’t remember much about the tennis being different when I was a kid, but I distinctly remember the club my parents belonged to when I was young had a restaurant and bar upstairs. You don’t see that kind of thing any more. I also distinctly remember learning with a wood racquet, although the game had transitioned to graphite by the time I was a teen.I was trying to find some tennis videos from that era and understandably there aren't many. Was it all serve and volley even at the rec level? Did you have pushers or is that a more recent thing?
I became a teenager in the '70s. What I remember:
- Cotton Izod shirts and cotton dress shorts (ie, they had belt loops and I believe the dress code called for an actual belt on men/boys), hellishly hot outfit to play in. Heavy wooden rockets. As a matter of fact, as ~12 year old I was forced to take lessons in the midday heat. It sucked, I hated it, and after a couple summers of that, I did not touch a tennis racket again for about 40 years. (Started playing again about 5 years ago with a new racket and clothing that is actually made for an active pastime that involves sweating, I love the game now and am totally addicted to it).
- I was playing a family pick up game on vacation once, distinctly remember seeing my father on the other side of the net smoking a cigarette while playing. Did not seem unusual to me at the time!!
- I was not there, but I remember my parents coming home from a tournament at the club. They told us children (only god knows why) the tournament was a great time, even though it was disrupted for a short time by some streakers running through. I remember this because I had to have an older sibling explain to me what a streaker was. (I don't know if this term even exists anymore. If anyone doesn't know, a streaker is someone strips down buck naked and runs through a public gathering. And yes, buck naked.) To this day, I have no idea why that would be something to do. In my experience, the type of person who is so enthusiastic about public nudity is usually the last person in the world that you would actually want to see in their birthday suit. And certainly NOT running. All the jarring, bouncing and swinging, of someone/somethings that you did not want to see naked in the first place! Anyhow, I believe I was full of regret in not being able to wittiness this firsthand, but it probably saved me/my family large amounts in psychotherapy bills.
- Last (mildly interesting) thing I remember, during the kids tennis lessons, often the award for some stellar accomplishment (rallying more than 3 hits and so on) was a free Popsicle from the pool snack hut. Not that I ever won one of those. These days when I am at a clinic and do something stellar (like rallying more than 3 hits), I ask if I can get a free Popsicle and usually get a blank look from whomever is running the clinic. Go figure.
Its amazing that the biggest Tennis Boom occurred during the 70s despite those heavy wooden 85 square inch racquets. A nightmare for any beginner Adult to swing. Let alone a kid.Heavy wooden rockets. As a matter of fact, as ~12 year old I was forced to take lessons in the midday heat. It sucked, I hated it, and after a couple summers of that, I did not touch a tennis racket again for about 40 years. (S