Tennis and I

To tell you the truth, I don’t know why I’m good at tennis.

Aside that, one thing I will say – if it weren’t for my brothers (and my parents for buying them rackets!), I wouldn’t be what I am today; a tennis coach. Thank you.

Tennis was introduced to me when I was only 4/5 years old. There are a set of courts behind our garden, belonging to the local secondary school. With such convenience, it goes without saying that the family would go to play there from time to time – mainly my brothers.

I can’t remember much of what life was like when I was that age. From the stories I’ve heard, I was one hyperactive little maniac kid who ran around all the time doing aimless acts. Apparently, I was the funniest too. But in terms of tennis, I only recall watching my brothers play tennis, while I would run around, trip-over, have my little crying tantrum, then run some more.

However, after a lot of screaming and crying for a go, a racket was finally put in my hand. As my brothers witnessed a series of lethal, deadly and “get-the-hell-out-of-my-way” swinging, I was told to put the racket down, for the reason that the racket was bigger than me… Yeah right! Haha (most likely for safety reasons!).

Bring on 10 years – that’s when I got a little more serious with tennis. Without any surprise, I was bigger than the racket this time. I was a little older (14/15 years old) to realise the differences in hitting a ball, but still unaware of my potential. At this age – I would call a few local friends, and have a contest to see who could hit the most amazing shots.

There would be no excuses as we all practiced on the same courts (the school ones). But one day, my friend came up to me and suggested to come down to a local club he’d recently joined. He did say recently, but I found out that he had secretly been practicing there for more than a year (cheater!)

Strangely enough though, I have to admit that if it weren’t for Peter Baldwin (my friend who suggested to go to the local club he played at), I would not have developed into the tennis player that I am today. It’s quite strange really. If anyone reading this knew Peter, he was the… (argh can’t think of the word!)… Ah! Got it – the clumsy sort of person back at that age (he’s now matured enough to understand his acts lol).

However, of all people, he’s the one who invited me. So, when we arrived at this club, I met up with the person in charge, namely Gary (the legend) King. Gary wasn’t a qualified tennis coach, yet, given his experience of play I had come to know that he was known to be one of the best coaches in Gloucestershire.

As I set foot on the bright orange shale surface of the Gloucester Civil Service, my knowledge of the game was limited as to what I was suppose to do next. Nevertheless, with a racket in my hand and my eyes on the opponent, the shots which came at me, I returned back to the opponent with what seemed to be, the most amazing hits I’d ever done. What a time to pull off the shots!

At that moment in time, I was winning against some of the top players who had all been training for some time. Peter was laughing like hell, while Gary was observing this apparent, mind-blowing play.

After a few defeats, he came over to me, stopped everyone, got their attention and declared:

“Guys, beware. This kid’s gonna be giving ya’ll ass woopings soon!”

Haha, I’ll never forget that.

That’s when tennis was really born into me. Ass wooping time.