Blame it on the Wii Tennis. Since we got it about two years ago (gosh… has it really been that long?), my daughter Davi and I have been hooked ever since. We got really good and reached a ‘pro’ rank, that’s when Davi decided to take our ‘game’ outdoor. Being untrained properly, lack of knowledge on how to do the scoring, but yet her fondness of tennis kept growing, we decided to have Davi take a tennis lesson through the local Park and Recs program. We then took it to the next level, with her enrollment to Ames Tennis Academy. She’s been doing great since.
When I take her practice, I like to watch. I don’t drop her off then do errands. Though it’s a 90 minute practice, I enjoyed watching her every minute of it. I prefer to watch right on the court instead of through the glassy windows from the air-con waiting room. That way I could hear the sound of the hard-hitted ball being whacked by the racquet better. I could see better what Davi was doing, right or wrong. I could hear better the coaches’ suggestion to improve her technique. I also loved ‘listening’ to her during practice, some stuff she’d like to say to herself like “Oh come on!” when she missed returning a ball or just a simple and quiet “Ugh” when she hit really hard.
I got into it so much, I sometimes feel intensed when she couldn’t hit a ball, or couldn’t serve right. I honestly thought she could do better. Well, it looked easy enough. That’s why I wanted to learn to play tennis. Plus, it’d be fun to be able to play tennis properly with my daughter. I’d like to be able to rally with her, instead of just a hit and miss -I serve, it’s out; she serves, I couldn’t return.
I enrolled to park and Recs program and it was done all night for 10 days, Monday through Thursday, started at 6:30 pm for an hour, outdoor. The weather’s been very hot and humid lately, and as much as I dreaded to go to practice after a long day at work, I managed to just miss a day -when Davi was sick and hubby had to go to an after hour meeting. Although at first I didn’t want to go, I ended up having a good time despite the bodyache, sore shoulders, and thighs cramp.
I owe Davi an apology. For all those time I groaned when she missed hitting a ball, I couldn’t do it any better. There’s something funky about this hand-eye coordination business, because I suck! I could see the ball, knew where it’s going, I placed my racquet at the right place and time (or so I thought), but when I swung my racquet, I did not hit the ball. It went straight through my racquet as though there’s a hole in it.
On the very first day of practice, there were 7 of us. Couple of days later, there’s another guy joined. We were asked why we took this lesson, what’s our goal after it’s done. I honestly told them that I just wanted to be able to play tennis with my daughter and to understand more about this sport. I wasn’t hoping to be a technically-advanced player or to be an athlete. Just to be able to play, is all.
To my surprise, I wasn’t horrible at all. One of the coaches, who’s also my daughter’s coach, said, “Now I know where Davi got her talent from.” He said that even though my technique wasn’t perfect, I did have a good posture and basics. Among the seven, I was right in the middle ability-wise. There were two younger girls who played tennis at high school and college, and one guy who took private tennis lesson at the academy where my daughter is. There’s this one Vietnamese guy, whose name is Lam, “It’s spelled el-ey-em. LAM. Not el-ey-em-be, LAMB. No em, I’m not going to baaa.” I actually called him ‘Engergizer Bunny’ or ‘Mr. Stretchypants’ because of two things: he has tons of energy, always hyper and talks a lot while goofily plays tennis; and he always HAS to stretch for a certain length of time. I mean, the others do the ‘warming up’ but Lam does ‘the stretch’ very seriously.
Growing up in Indonesia, a badminton-lover country, I had a difficult time adjusting to tennis. In badminton, which I played a little bit, we take turns in serving; while in tennis you serve the whole time in one game. Although both badminton and tennis recognize forehand and backhand, I got mixed up in the way we hit the ball. In badminton, you hit the ball mid air; while in tennis, you wait after one bounce. That’s how I got mixed up sometimes. When I saw my opponent return the ball kind of high, instead of stepping back and let it bounce once, I hit it mid air and ended up hitting it too hard, thus out of line.
My favorite routine was ‘volley’; where you get close to the net and try to return the ball just by ‘a touch’. Kind of like ‘netting’ in badminton. My least favorite one? To serve. I know it’s crucial, but I just detest it. It’s not easy to try to hit the ball from behind the service line, diagonally across the net, in the service box.
Now, the hardest part for me is trying to keep up with the scoring system, especially when we played double. The moving of left and right, behind the line or further in, was a bit too much for my brain. Added to it was the concept of love, 15, 30, 40 and deuce. OMG… whoever invented deuce, must’ve smoked weed at that time.
But I did have fun. Regardless how many times I feel like I was going to have a cardiac arrest, suffering from butt cramps, neck strain, or pulled muscles… I’m still glad I did it.
Now where’s my Wii remote… I mean my racquet… off to the court. Love, Deuce, ouch… butt cramp!