Love 40

Tennis for fun, sport and fitness

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The headline is not about drinking, it's a tennis score and a sad one at that. Sometimes after my tennis partner essentially wipes the court with me, I feel like throwing back a few 40s, but drowning my sorrows in a big bottle of beer won't improve my game.


We play for fun and exercise even though our serves are weak, our returns are questionable at best and when we do get a volley going, the excitement usually gets the best of us. The urge to return my opponent's fast spinning serves by issuing a smack down return requires that I react with precision and control—both elements are key to not hitting a "homerun" over the tennis court fence. Similar to the Tom Hank's line in A League of Their Own, "there's no crying in baseball," there should be no yelling in tennis, and I break that rule as often as I hit myself in the elbow with my racket.


Grunting while serving like Serena Williams or returning the ball with an expert swing and a punctuated sound effect doesn't count. I'm talking about verbal outbursts—at times using choice words that have no place on the court. Sometimes, I will say to my tennis partner, "I hate you" or "You are a jerk" and those things are not true at all. Even though losing hurts and leads to verbal assaults for some players, there is hope.


The Idaho Tennis Association boasts more than 1,000 members in Southern Idaho. The nonprofit organization coordinates leagues, school programs and hosts clinics to promote and develop the growth of tennis in Idaho. During Tennis 101, players can sign up to hit a public court on Saturday mornings through Sept. 26 and learn the basics of the game. The game of tennis is a fun way to exercise, socialize and nurture a competitive spirit. The Idaho Tennis Association's motto is fun, family, fitness.


I think my partner and I will sign up for some affordable lessons, but it looks like I'll have to work on my vocal outbursts on my own time. I think I will use the Idaho Tennis Association's motto anytime he is beating me or goes for a cheap shot that I couldn't possible return by yelling something like, "Hey! We are supposed to be spending fun family time and working on our fitness."


Locations: Fort Boise Park, Meridian High School, Riverglen Junior High School


Saturdays through September 26, 2009


Time: 9-10:30 a.m.


Cost: One Saturday clinic: $10 per individual or $20 per family (maximum of four players per family), Idaho Tennis Association, 1108 N. Cole Road, Boise, Idaho 83704, 208-322-5150, www.idaho.usta.com.


Other upcoming tennis instruction opportunities include Tennis Skills and Drills for Match Play. Adults can improve their tennis skills by signing up for instruction on the Fort Boise tennis courts led by LeeAnn Berry. The classes are open to players in the 2.5-3.0 level. Organized match play will be used to apply the skills learned, and groups will be formed when necessary to separate levels of play. Class is limited to 10 participants. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 22-Oct. 15, $73 for Boise City residents; $112.60 for nonresidents, Fort Boise Community Center, 700 Robbins Road, Boise, 208-384-4486, www.cityofboise.org.

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