leglessWe 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 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.

Kobe #1 90s kobe

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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2 thoughts on “Inspirations

  1. George, you have a great website. Connor Stroud’s picture is on the bulletin board at O’Connor Tennis Center, Montgomery, AL where our son Ben is the head pro. What a great story!

    Arnold – thanks. george

  2. One could mention the great senior player, King von Norstrand – if you’ve not watched him, please do yourself a favor if y ou love to watch masterful tennis – watching King just makes me – happy – and if you watch him play, I believe that you’ll see what I mean! He doesn’t look like someone with two artificial knees – and I believe he’s on his 2nd on both knees – he won thefinals of the 80+ worldchampionships this year in Antalya, Turkey, 6-0, 6-1!

    Nick – “Long live the king!” thanks… and good luck in South America. george

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