Gearing Up for Superbowl Weekend

How many millions of American’s are gearing up for Superbowl weekend? I’m sure more than I can imagine. This annual event is watched by all walks of people, usually crowded around a bowl of nachos, popcorn, and BBQ hotdogs and burgers. I find it interesting when my family and neighbors get together for this sporting event and completely don’t pay attention to the game – they are just there for the commercials and the halftime show. How odd is that?

 

Superbowl weekends were huge for my family when I was growing up. My dad owned his company, Roofers Wellington, so the weekend was his time to relax and kickback. My mom was a school teacher and enjoyed spending quality time with my dad, me and my three sisters. We were definitely a tom-boyish household who were dedicated Miami Dolphins fans, but we still could put our ballet slippers on afterwards and out dance anyone.

 

I enjoy having family and friends over to the household, however it can become stressful. If I ever thought hosting Thanksgiving was difficult, hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years AND Superbowl weekend is unheard of. But we’re doing it. Here we are – hours of cleaning the house, prepping food, and driving ourselves crazy in the process. I honestly have no idea who’s going to win this weekend, but I’m going to enjoy the experience as it comes.

Tennis Form

To an outsider, playing tennis is nothing more than hitting the tennis ball back and forth. Swing! Run! Swing again! It seems almost hypnotic. The sound the ball makes after bouncing off the racket also becomes hypnotic. You can simply hear the power of the swing. You can also hear the air as it quickly travels through the tennis racket. It’s fairly amazing, even for the players to hear while they are playing. But tennis is more than just running back and forth and hitting the ball across the net. There has to be near perfect form on the court.

By this, I mean that there is a specific way the tennis player must hit the ball. There is also a specific way in which the tennis player must run back and forth. They aren’t simply running side by side. They are pivoting with their feet. Oh yes, now we are learning more. They more an outsider watches the game, the more they pick up on small factors of the play.

When the tennis player hit the ball, they are using a full range of motion to hit the ball. This gives them the greatest power so that the ball shoots across to the other side. The goal is for the ball to go so fast that the other player isn’t fast enough to catch the ball on the other side. But tennis players are fast. Over time, they learn how to move quickly. They learn how to read what the other player is about to do. They know how the other player will hit the ball. And they know what to expect, most of the time. Sure, the hitting player can try to trick the player on the other side. But if don’t are fast, it’s going to be a great game!

Tennis’ Cousin

Tennis is a wonderful game which has been around for nearly two hundred years. It began in England, where it is still wildly popular. The only sports which are arguably as popular in England are soccer, cricket, and rugby. Tennis has crossed the pond. And by that I mean Tennis has crossed the Atlantic ocean. It’s a popular sport in America as well. I think it’s more popular in the United States than it is in Latin America. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it’s because soccer is really the big sport down there. Latin American countries always do so well in the World Cup! But, back to tennis, the sport has seemed to have given birth to another sport. Or, I like to say that it’s tennis’ cousin. That sport is racquetball.

Racquetball is a sport which is played indoors. You can find a racquetball court in gyms all across America. The reason racquetball is only played indoors is very specific. You need four walls to play the game! Or, you need at least three, I suppose.

Like tennis, racquetball uses, well, a racquet and a ball. Doesn’t this sound similar? If it does, it’s because tennis uses the same thing! However, the racquet and ball in racquetball are both a little bit different. The ball is rubber and the racquet is shaped differently. Whereas the tennis racket is more circular, the racquet in racquetball is still circular, but less so. It’s almost as if the circle comes in a little bit in the middle and at the base of the racquet.

I absolutely love racquetball. It’s a great sport for the winter when it’s too cold outside to play tennis. As a matter of fact, sometimes I like racquetball more at all times! But we can never forget that it all started with tennis.

An Old Memory

The last time I played tennis an actual tennis game was about 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve played other sports. Basketball, martial arts, and baseball have been very fun for me. It seems like playing tennis is an old memory to me. However, I would like that to change.

I remember playing tennis in elementary school. I believe I played in high school as well. When I played, it was usually in the school gym. The school gym was normally a basketball court. It was an empty room. However, the room could be converted to a tennis court!

They first brought the tennis net and laid it on the floor. That’s how you see how long it is, and if there is room for the net. Some gyms are large enough to have multiple tennis nets. My gym, being part of a larger school, was also larger.

A school gym can get wild. The games played during this class are regulated. But they aren’t official matches. Therefore, players can get rather rowdy. This could be, in part, if the crowd is rowdy as well. If the crowd wants a wild match they will cheer and shout things at the players. Tennis is not a contact sport, but it can get very aggressive!

While I haven’t played in a long time, I would like to play again soon. Tennis was a great part of my childhood and I have great memories of playing this sport. I also played racquetball, which is like a close cousin of tennis. One can find a racquetball court in many gyms. One can find a tennis court in just about every city, mostly found outside. A simple online search will be able to point the player in the right direction. I should hope to play soon!

Indoors Vs. Outdoors

Most cities have a tennis court. Most of the time the tennis court is located outdoors. Sometimes, the court can be found indoors.

There are pluses and minuses to each. Let’s talk about the outdoor courts. This is more of the “natural habitat” that people think of when they think about a tennis court. Tennis games happen outside. Therefore, practicing outside is better for those practicing to win. At times, there might be gusts of wind. For the person used to this, they will be better off during a real tennis match.

Now imagine the person who trains outdoors goes up against someone who trains inside. The person who trains inside would likely be at a disadvantage. Another disadvantage for the inside trainer would be that the flooring is different outside than it is inside.

The person who trains inside, however, will have the advantage if a game takes place indoors. Why might a game be played indoors? The number one reason is inclement weather outside. If it’s raining outside, the game might be moved indoors. Also, if there is snow outside, there surely won’t be a tennis game outside. The game will have to take place on an indoor tennis court.

When I play tennis I don’t have a preference as to if the court is inside or outside. What matters most to me is that I’m able to play the game. That being said, if it’s too hot or cold outside, I might prefer to play indoors. However, if it’s a beautiful day, I will probably prefer to play outside. I’m sure other people think the same way because this is fairly straightforward.

To find a local tennis court, a player should simply go online and search for the closest one. Keep in mind the weather outside! Knowing where both types of courts are will maximize the ability to play either way.

The Best Sport

Yes, we are talking about tennis! Asking this question will likely garner more than a simple yes or no answer. Depending on who you ask, the question will develop into a conversation not only about tennis but sports in general.

If you to ask a tennis player this question they would likely say tennis is the best sport. This is common sense. A non-tennis player would likely say that tennis is not the best sport. This brings us to ask an important question. What does the best sport even mean? Does best mean which sport has the most players? Does best mean which sport burns the most calories? Does best mean which sport is the most popular to watch on television or in person? Perhaps best is a mix of all of the above.

There are many benefits to tennis. First of all, playing tennis burns a lot of calories. Unlike golf or baseball, the tennis player is constantly moving. Furthermore, every time the tennis player hits the ball, they must use a fierce energy. Tennis also assists in cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercise is known is help people live longer and healthier lives.

Another great thing about tennis is that people in all age ranges can play. It’s unlikely you’ll find someone who is 65 years old playing football. However, tennis is a common sport in retirements communities. Going the other way, someone who is 5 years old probably won’t be playing football either. That person who is 5, like the one who is 65, can play tennis.

Tennis is a sport is a low bar to entry. Many cities and community center have tennis courts available. Another thing, learning tennis is easy! All a player has to do is hit the ball over the net. With practice, it gets even easier. To learn more about why tennis is arguably the best sport, watch the video below.