Tennis would have to be one of the most ridiculously over rated sports in the history of people running around chasing balls due in large to the 'people' who run the sport. The things I have witnessed over the years has given me much dialogue for both this site and my rather inventive book that I have put together over the past few months.
Take for example my hometown here in sleepy hollow, Albany, WA where for some reason tennis went from having people lined up at the car park on Saturday afternoons to get their name up on the board to play 5 or 6 sets against the best that the Community offered to what it is today, not a blip on the local sporting calendar. Why ? The wrong people in charge of it all, among other things.
Certain sports in certain towns can be made or broken by Committees and unfortunately tennis in my home town was taken over by people who lacked an education in the sport but were full of their own self importance which was unfortunately the reason why the sport lacks a heart beat now days.
Do we simply play the blame game or do we do something about it ? Here's what I did several years ago.
I went to no less than FIVE major Businesses in town and explained where I saw tennis at the time as to where it was many years ago in this town and I asked for a minimal amount of sponsorship to get at least one new tennis tournament on the local calendar, not just any tennis tournament however. I suggested a competition that pitted juniors against seniors, juniors playing with seniors and just about every grade imaginable to just about every tennis player in the region with a 'tweaked' scoring system to spice things up.
I also added that I was not at all interested in putting my name to it as I do not big note myself as many others do in this game either locally or elsewhere, I simply felt the sport needed something a little different than the Albany Open in January . Why ? Because that's when half the town leaves for holidays. You need a date on the local calendar that has all local players available.
I simply asked for nothing more than a local Business or two to jump on board and give the dying sport of tennis a much needed lift in Albany, WA.
No replies, no one was interested and I in fact knew three of the Managers personally who I have hit tennis balls with and against for many years who I would also consider as friends', ( And I don't have many ).
That's one thing I tried, I also suggested a Men's Sunday Competition because of the fact that Saturday afternoon hit and giggle doesn't really get the juices flowing for anyone who can hit a reasonable tennis ball. Most clubs however would rather have 50 people turn up on a Saturday arvo and sit off every second set whilst sipping cups of coffee and talking about how the weather is and how the rain fall has affected the local wheat crops.
When I was a kid two clubs in town had Saturday and Sunday tennis such was the desire to play and such was the way in which the sport was run. It was run with a vision to make it a sport that would see adults and kids mingle together and test each other, to lift each other's standard, to build a club and to maintain a club. Today I see nothing of the sort, it's more a free for all and who can come in, make a few bucks here and there, talk the talk at a Walt Disney Committee Meeting and pat each other on the back about how well the sport is going. A real comedy routine. Here's another for you.
Many locals don't like me due to my rather outgoing way of explaining how things are and some have even gone to the lengths of saying they will not play a local tennis tournament if I turn up ! This was relayed to me by more than one person around five years ago. So this is what I have done over the past 18 months, I have played a total of ZERO tennis tournaments and I have put in a total of ZERO dollars towards any local tennis club membership. Now here's the funny part.
I know for a fact that certain people don't play local tennis tournaments due to their inability to actually play the game at all yet they blamed yours truly for not playing, but hang on I haven't played for a year and a half and those 'people' still haven't graced local tennis tournaments. Wouldn't be because they lack the balls to put it on the line would it now ? C'mon GT that's a bit harsh.
Personally I played EVERY single year that I ran a local junior tennis coaching program and not once did I offer an excuse, no injuries, no 'Business meetings' I simply turned up and played and you know what ? I won more than I lost. That set an example to my students. 'Our Coach can play the game, he doesn't just talk about it'.
Tennis takes balls, in more ways than one, it's all very well to talk about how good you were, it takes guts to actually put it on the line, that's where the industry now harbours 'people' who have no idea how to walk the walk, they simply talk a good game.
I hit tennis balls locally under duress for years, my wrist is absolutely f..... yet I had a cortisone regularly just to get through and when my club wanted me to play for them in the Champ of Champs did I take the easy way out and play dubs ? No I put up my hand to play singles and I still own the local record for five titles, not once was I interested in playing dubs like the fragile ones who were too soft to put it on the line.
Locally tennis now is a sport I am more than happy not to play because no one owns a clue on how it should be run. I have offered ideas but the Committee members of most clubs are there for a reason, they never knew how to play the game so they simply play it in a Board room where they own every title imaginable and are simply 'unbeatable'.
My old Coach Holmsey who I wrote fondly of in my book had more than just the ability to play and coach the sport of tennis, he owned a brain that knew how to manage the sport also and that requires intelligence.
That's what tennis needs in every single town, intelligence, not Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck and many other Walt Disney characters running the show who own a head full of very little except self importance and delusions of grandeur that never amount to anything.
Silly sport tennis, run by real silly 'people'...........
Nuf said. Over and out.