I’ve been playing tennis this year since about the middle of May. On average, I play about once or twice a week with my friend, who also happens to be a co-worker (which makes it convenient). I would say we’ve played quite a bit. It may surprise you that in that time, we have not played a single competitive point despite the numerous hours spent on the court.

So what exactly do we do out there? We essentially just hit the ball back and forth. We try our best to let the ball bounce just once at most but sometimes we don’t care. My goal is to just get the ball back over the net and inside the lines. It’s not really competitive at all. Sometimes, if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll hit a ball with a bit more pace or I’ll try to paint one of the corners with my shot. For the most part though, we’re just trying to see how many times we can hit the ball back to each other without dumping it into the net or letting it go long or wide. It’s good exercise and I enjoy the challenge of trying to be consistent with my shots.

Tomorrow though, we go into uncharted territory. Two other co-workers have been playing tennis this summer and we have arranged a doubles match. My partner has never really played a doubles match before. We only just practiced his serve last week. As you might expect, it needs a lot of work. It maybe fair to say I have a lot more match experience than my partner but I suffer from performance anxiety. I’m capable of hitting wonderful shots while we warm up but once we start playing for real, the nerves creep up on me and I wind up either hitting the ball into the net (because my shots are so meek) or I sail it super long (I somehow lose control of my power). It’s an indication that my mental game is weak.

So it’s looking like it might be massacre tomorrow but I hope to at least win a single game.

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