The last two weeks have seen me limp on to a tennis court in two events to test whether or not the old legs can still move and whether or not the mind can get me through some matches.
Personally I despise the feeling that tennis hands to me physically however I love the test it presents to me mentally because as someone who writes about the sport and coaches on a part time basis I feel it a necessity to go through what active players go through.
It's all very well to write about it and teach it but if I can't do it myself then really what is the point ? Tennis is a sport where you must be able to walk the walk as well as talk the talk or you may be labelled forever as someone who 'talks a good game' yet has no idea how to play it.
This of course must be looked upon realistically according to age and physical capabilities.
Ok, this is what transpired;
Two weeks ago I teamed up with a young fella, a 23 year old who is in the prime of his life and we had a win, albeit by just two games in a local doubles competition where we won our first two matches by the score of 7-5. Doesn't get much tougher.
Matty was legendary and did all the work, I just went along for the ride.....
This weekend I played a singles event, well it was a team event which included doubles but I put my hand up to play the singles leg, dumb idea.
Ran into a kid in round 2 who lead me 3-1 and must've hit 35 winners against me but somehow I won the match 9-6 and took the Mens singles title, undefeated in three matches.
Each leg was either 3 or 4 matches, next year I am playing doubles, no risk.
What did I learn ?
You can still beat kids at age 48 through thinking alone because the legs don't move as fast as they used to so naturally you may have an edge in experience if nothing else.
I suffered that much pain mentally and physically in that match that I never want to experience ever again yet I gave it a go, it worked out, if nothing else I am prepared to have a dip against the youth of the game.
John McEnroe once said " The older I get, the better I was ".
I was never good, I just learned to put a ball over the net as a kid at age 12 and that lead me to still try to beat kids at age 'Dinosaurus'.
Silly idea, never again, but it keeps the thought process active as a coach and writer of the sport of tennis......