With best wishes to each other for a New Year, it's that time when we turn our thinking towards 2011 with hope and anticipation - resolutions, new commitments and goals, health and happiness. It would be worth noting, however, that the 'abundant' life we hope and wish for will not be characterized by the absence of adversity. Abundant life is in fact growth in the midst of adversity, and what better tool do we have in life to help teach us this but sport.We only need to look at the current plight of the Australian Cricket team to demonstrate this, and through the pain and adversity they are currently in will no doubt spring the green shoots of growth and recovery. That's why we love to identify with the ground level struggle of fighting for every ball - it's through that struggle and our mistakes that we learn. I got a text message last night from one of my players that read: 'Hey Mike - I won that match 3-6 7-7 (5) 10-8. Felt so ill for the whole match it was crazy. Played mediocre.' There's a good example of a little adversity and clearly a great response to it. So as you think about the New Year, don't only look towards what you might be blessed with, but also what you are going to be challenged by and how you are going to grow as a result.
A big congratulations to Everyball player Katy Dunne who today won her second ITF title in Botswana in as many weeks, bringing her 2010 haul to 4. This will bring her current ITF 18&U Junior World ranking ever closer to the world's top 100 and victories in the heat, rain and altitude of Gaborone will provide a great platform as she pushes into 2011 with the goal of making a serious impact in the very top grade ITF events. A major thanks to LTA Coach Jane O'Donaghue who has guided Katy over these past two weeks. Thanks Jane and great job Katy or as Halton coach Jemima Hayward put it, 'team Dunneaghue'!! Pictured below is Katy receiving her winners medal/trophy. Katy also picked up the doubles title as well.
Enjoy watching this short film involving some player interviews at our Mini Tennis Christmas Party.
I did something this week on impulse - sold my 'sensible' car (Skoda Octavia!) and went for something completely absurd and impractical - a huge 4X4 Mitsubishi Warrior truck. Could quite easily be mistaken for a tank, possibly even one of those 'Hummers'. Nothing flash mind you - 6 years old with 70K on the clock, 0-40 in about 30 seconds, and I'm praying now for the snow to come back. But you know what, it was fun doing it, its fun to look at sitting there taking up my whole driveway, and behind the wheel, well it's that liberating, back to the open roads (even if we're in middle class Berkhamsted) Bruce Springsteen 'Born to run' kind of feeling.Anyway, got me thinking about tennis. Tennis being a game. Tennis being fun. Those of us who are wrapped up in the 'performance' world, in the 'professionalism' of it all, lose sight of this very quickly and it can all start to weigh a bit heavy. So my 'Warrior' has come to represent that fun side of things - let's not take ourselves and our sport too seriously hey. The work has got to be done, results will get posted, and tennis will go on with or without us, so if you find yourself in a Skoda Octavia, step out for a bit and learn to enjoy the ride. It's only a game and you may find this way you play it better anyway.