After my brief lesson with tennis pro Kevin Tierney at the Ormond Beach Tennis Center, I owe out a few apologies to Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer for ever criticizing their abilities.
When I first got on the court, although I had never tried to play before, I actually assumed I was going to dominate. I thought my younger athletic days would resurrect, and that Tierney would be amazed at my skill. Ormond Beach, I was embarrassingly wrong.
I began trying to hit a pumpkin head with a ball from the opposite side of the net. Let’s just say, if I were required to hit it before I could have left, I’d still be trying to connect with that ugly thing. Some of the balls went yards behind the pumpkin, while a lot of them didn’t even make it over the net. Yes, I definitely looked like a novice, at the very best.
Next up was a volley drill, where I hit with Chris Hurst, one of the court operators. After 10 minutes of hitting the ball, everyone observing acknowledged that I was the only one who seemed to break a sweat— a lot of sweat. Hurst, a senior, on the other hand, looked like he had just stepped out of his air-conditioned home. I was told that I used too much energy and force for every swing, which, at times, still didn’t make much of a difference.
After a short break, we ran the final exercise, a four-man hitting drill that Tierney created, where there’s continual hitting action. While the others aren’t pros, guess who still stood out as the weakest link.
Although I failed to exceed or meet my personal expectations, I had a lot of fun. Tierney was very gracious with his words and friendly jokes, and with that racket in my hand, I felt like a king with his scepter, except I exhibited little power, or too much, at the wrong time. I can’t wait to redeem myself later, but, judging how I looked out there, I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be entering any tournaments in the future — near or far.