Hitting with Craig Sandvig in the early morning hours may leave me looking like a drowned rat, but I feel like a million bucks when the last of the tennis balls have been picked up, dropped into their baskets, and the next group of eager students file onto the courts. This feeling comes from being pushed beyond my comfort zone and being successful enough that the task doesn’t drain my confidence. It’s a fine balance to strike and one that Craig accomplishes remarkably well on my behalf.
This summer, I want to work on being “a terror at the net,” as Craig likes to say, instead of being terrorized by it. This will take time and convincing as I tame my fear of being hit in the eye…or worse yet on the head…or heaven forbid my teeth! As we set out to take my game to the next level, another goal is to think about shot selection and strategy, which requires a heady dose of brain cells before making the first split-step. “You want me to think and hit at the same time?” I whisper to myself. Luckily, at 7:30 am, Craig and I are the only two people on the courts, which is the perfect set-up to carry out his instructions: Go for every shot and make as many mistakes as you need to get there.
The only downside to all this newfound energy and confidence is that it makes me want to shop. Wimbledon started this week and that means the player’s new kits are out and for sale! This morning I logged onto tennis-warehouse.com only to find disappointment at the end of my scroll. No Wimbledon kits! Not Maria’s from Nike, or Ana’s from adidas. Clearly I must have overlooked them, and so I call the 800 number. A friendly voice on the other end answers the phone, directs me to a couple of web pages, goes silent, and puts me on hold. Minutes later he’s back on the line, apologizing for not offering the kits and unable to explain exactly why. “I’m just as confused as you are. We should’ve had them by now,” he says. At tennisexpress.com it’s the same story, same thing on the Nike and adidas sites. What gives?
If I could, this is what I’d buy to celebrate the beginning of what I hope will be more tennis in my life.