Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Parallel to life?

When playing a tennis match the word momentum is thrown around quite often.

To begin with I knew what momentum is but to understand how it really affects... well that took a long time!

It is quite hard to explain, when going strong and confident in a match and the opponent serving; the server calls out the score 30-15; my mind is asking is it really 30-15?(30 being their score), didnt we win the first point,shouldnt it be 15-30? and in that haze and scrambling to create the sequence of events from the beginning of this current game, we lose this point too and the score is quickly announced as 40-15.. aww jeez thats when I start to protest verbally and voice my doubts
but it is too late! coz a point has already been played after the questionable score
and it was with everyone's agreement. duh we lose the game.The frustration only mounts.
I make an effort to quieten my mind and bring myself back to a positive frame of mind
but you know something had just happened, something akin to going downhill, may be lose of concentration? the opponents only felt stronger, we lose points, games and right before my eyes the winning match was snatched away from me.. ouch that hurt
(Later I learnt there is term of this situation!"bleeding" they say "you have to first stop the bleeding")

picture this - another match; this was mixed doubles match, we are coasting along, ready to switch to cruise mode and lo I make another confused call, curse myself, embolden the opponent and lose another 5 games, but this time the opponent makes a mistake when leading at 5-2 and we still havent given up and perhaps thats how the momemtum swung back in our favor and lead us to victory.

Both these situations confused me to no end. Later I realised life is also pretty much the same, during the course of a day say you make one incorrect decision and you get bummed about it, that leads to another mistake;you sometimes carry that negative energy through most of the day.
All it takes sometimes for things to go from positive to negative or sad to happy is probably just one small moment, one small incident....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some Reminiscing

I started playing tennis about 3 years ago with no knowledge of the rules/techniques whatsoever.
first came evening tennis with V~, then because singles was too taxing and also because I was making a fool of myself I said why not invite a few others :). It became a routine to play doubles; sometimes we would end up just three and keep furtively hunting for a 4th partner(thats another post :)

Anyways from there we graduated to taking beginners classes, started tennis clinics(which is bunch of drills run by a tennis pro for a few same levelled players). When that became a norm and with the discovery of USTA(United states tennis association) leagues; we plunged into the competitive arena and then there was no looking back.

Mixed doubles, women's(men's doubles for V~) , combo leagues etc.

USTA matches are usually timed matches, ie they end by the clock no matter where you are in the game! (except for playoffs and championship matches)

Amidst all this frenzy I realised something very unique about tennis matches!

You see the ritual goes something like this.

You reach for a match, warm up for 10-15 minutes ; play your match, finish win or lose, shake hands go home.
Now here is my point...
When you warmup for a match be it recreational like the ones I play or the professional ones-- you warmup with your opponent
Which I think is pretty unique to tennis.An opponent who you are supposed to pound,crush and defeat actually helps you warm up and that is pretty fascinating!

thank you kind opponent!