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Confessions of a Post-SIP Competitor…

By Amy Grenier, life-long tennis player

Due to the  coronavirus outbreak, much of the world has been under  shelter-in-place (SIP) orders for upwards of 10 weeks. During SIP, we are missing so many of our favorite activities and people, and also reflecting on why we miss them so much.  

As an avid tennis player who prefers singles to doubles, I thrive on the competition and self-reliance that singles demands. Often, I play against friends, but I enjoy my USTA matches against players I don’t know even more - or so I thought, until SIP got me thinking…

Woman in the air finishing her servePhoto credit: Prashant Gurung

Why am I missing my tennis friends as much as the game itself? Could it be that the social aspects of tennis are just as important as the personal satisfaction it provides? 

Perhaps for even some of the most ambitious players, tennis is as much about the camaraderie as it is the competition. 

Sure, on the court, whether playing singles or doubles, tennis demands the most out of each of us. One bad shot or small mistake, and you’ve potentially lost the point, the game, the match. However, take a months-long SIP break, and you’ll realize that tennis is social by nature and more team-oriented team oriented than you might think. 

Mixed doubles team in tennis whites looking at each other
Photo credit: Adobe Stock

In tennis, we build local club and community teams of individual players so that we can celebrate and support one another. We congregate off the court talking about our matches, favorite pros and problem shots. We don’t need to fight each other for the pass, the basket or the goal—we know it’s all ours for the taking (even with a doubles partner!) and we can pull each other up while still playing for our best self.  

 

Filled tennis stadiumPhoto credit: Filip Mroz

SIP life has been trying and isolating at times, but it’s shown us that when it comes to the sport of tennis, we’re never alone—and that camaraderie makes our individual experiences out on the court even more satisfying. 

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