Today brought a very interesting message … that really came directly from my favorite little tennis book.*
I was having my weekly “lesson in humility,” playing my New Hampshire friend Bob Wilkie in singles. Bob is an excellent player, about 6’2”, and lefty (if you know Mike Dahm, from Dayton, he is a lefty version of Mike)… and beats me every week, something in the neighborhood of 6-2, 6-3.
Today, I was playing some excellent tennis and serving at about an 80% (strong) first serve percentage; and he was still leading me 5-0!! I told him on the changeover that I was playing well enough to beat just about any of my regular opponents; but regardless of the score, I WAS HAPPY.
I had just read a chapter in my book that says: do not define your self worth by your won-loss record; but rather on how hard you practice and how well you compete. So, I just kept trying hard and going for my shots.
I managed to finally hold serve… and then break his serve. He then broke me to win the set 6-2. But I still felt good and kept on playing just as hard as I could and going for my shots.
Strangely enough, I came back to take the second set 6-3 (two breaks of serve!)! It was an hour and forty-five minutes of good singles; so we stopped. Sure, I feel great about taking that set; but it was the enjoyment of competing and playing well that was the greatest fun, regardless of the score.
P.S. Bob is close to retirement; and I am trying to convince him that Naples is the place to be!
*“The Best Tennis of Your Life,” by Jeff Greenwald.