We all have some type of physical problems… whether it be a nagging pain in the shoulder or a bad knee that really needs an operation. But there are always others who overcome obstacles to achieve success. For example, how about playing tennis without hips, legs, knees or feet?!
Legless Conner Stroud
Check out the picture of Conner Stroud that hangs on my office wall right over my computer. Young Conner was actually born with feet, but his parents made the decision that he would be better off without them. And coming from a tennis playing family, they encouraged four year old Conner to take up wheelchair tennis. But he wanted to play “real tennis” and here he is.
According to the Tennis.com article, “The most frustrating thing is being unable to get to the ball when people hit it away from me,” Conner says. “All I can do is try to stay positive and not let it get to me.”
Silver Ball Winning Howie and Steve
At the National 60s Clay Court Championships this week in New Orleans, two guys who I have the honor of playing tennis with every Monday (!) won the silver ball in doubles!
Howie Ames and Steve (“Lou”) Shreiner won several three set matches – including beating the #1 seeded team — to make it to the finals, where they succumbed to the #2 seeds on Friday.
And in 65 singles, my New Hampshire/Florida tennis buddy Bob Wilkie played great vs. #1 seeded Brian Cheney (6-3, 6-2). For the link to the tournament site, pls click HERE
#4 80s Nationally Gordon Hammes
Also today, I had the pleasure of playing doubles practice match vs. Pelican Bay’s own Gordon Hammes, who is #4 in the nation in 80s singles. He has a lefty, topspin forehand as good as anyone I know and he can still run as well as players three age groups below him.
While I was playing the 70 National Clays at Pinehurst last month, I had the pleasure of dining with Yutaka (“Kobe”) Kobayashi
Kobe played his first USTA tournament when he was in his 60s. He has won three bronze balls, two in doubles and one in singles in the 80s and 85s. Now he is the “young guy” in the 90s having just turned that age this year. He hopes to be either number one or number two in the nation this year, (and he won this tournament).
So now, how are your aches and pains?
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