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Sunday, October 18, 2015

How tennis teaches you patience, control, focus, how to have fun and keeps you healthy

I've been into tennis for decades...off and on. Now, I'm into it in a big way, playing 4-5 times a week, and loving it.

Yes, this is me, before I got off the hard courts, and now play only on clay.

Tennis, which contains not one normal movement, is a real challenge because most of us like to attack problems head on. Does tennis? NO. To execute every shot in tennis you have to turn your body either left or right, and that calls for focus and control. Of course, you also have to position yourself in the right spot, keep your eyes on the ball, have the right grip, right swing, and right follow through, but if you do all things, the ball will go where you want it to go with plenty of power to knock the socks off your opponent.

Okay, so tennis requires focus, patience, and control. Bigtime. It's said you have to hit a stroke thousands of times to make the mind-body imprint so the movements become a habit. It may even be millions of times. I'm not sure. I'm still working on consistency.

Tennis is also a lot of fun when you execute properly because you win the point. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and pure joy when that happens.

The most important thing tennis can do for you is keep you healthy. Sitting is the worst thing for the body. Moving it is the best. Our bodies are meant to move and tennis accomplishes that. Also, if you play on clay or grass court, you'll protect your joints while exercising. And it's a lot more fun to play a game than work out in a smelly gym...at least it is for me.

Also, we all need to get at least 15 minutes of exposure to the sun (the best source of vitamin D there is) 3-4 times a week; up to three times that if you have dark skin. Playing outdoors is a great way to get that exposure, but play before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m.

So, if you haven't explored tennis, do so. And let me know how it goes.