Nadal? Not at All!
My kid is a great tennis player. And I’m a champion tennis spectator. We make a great pair, this mom who loves tennis and loves her kid and the kid who burns through a pair of tennis shoes every three months when he’s training hard.
Well, we make a great pair when he’s playing and I’m watching. Recently, though, I pointed out that I’ve spent the equivalent of a Mercedes on his tennis lessons and that it should merit me a few free lessons from him.
He graciously took me out to the courts and spent a couple of hours working on my game. Finally, he shook his head in frustration and gave me his assessment:
1. My grip is screwed up. For those who don’t play tennis, it means I hold the racquet wrong.
2. My serve is horrible. Mostly, that’s due to the fact that I hold the racquet wrong.
3. I’m not very coachable. In other words, I wasn’t getting what he was trying to teach me.
4. Basically, and these are his words, “As a tennis player, you suck.”
After his assessment, whatever game I did have was shot. Every time I served, I heard his voice saying, “You’re not holding the racquet the right way.” In fact, I even double faulted an entire game with his words echoing in my brain.
Every shot, I heard him telling me I was holding the racquet wrong. I got so confused I couldn’t tell the difference between what was my wrong way and what was his right way.
Then the new season started. And I was in the lineup for the very first match. In fact, I was playing a position higher than I’ve ever played in my life – all with a screwed up grip and a hideous serve. I had to suck it up and get out on that court and just play the best I knew how.
Granted, I was playing with a really great partner. And granted, she’s the reason we won. But to my credit, I didn’t cause us to lose. In spite of me, we won.
Let me say it again: we won. And it felt great. I walked just a tiny bit taller for the rest of the day. And of course I let my kid know about the win.
That night, after I brushed my teeth and washed my face, I walked into my closet and pulled my pajamas out of the drawer. I pulled my sweatshirt off and then peeled off my tennis top. And that’s when I noticed that my tennis skirt was on backwards.
Now, I realize that tennis skirts can get all twisted around. But this wasn’t just a tennis skirt. It was one with the compression shorts built into it. I don’t know how, but I wore that sucker backwards all day long and never even noticed.
Did I mention that we won? Even with my screwed up grip and my hideous serve and my backwards skirt?
I’m going to have to wear that skirt backwards for the rest of the season.