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Tennis? Anyone?

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I was a pretty good soccer mom for the two seasons Alex played the game. I was a really good karate/stick-fighting mom, having earned my own black-belt in another life. I was even a good football mom and was happy to finally learn how that game is played. I’m an excellent lacrosse mom because that game is a blast to watch and they get to play in Aspen. I’m afraid, however, I’m not going to be a very good tennis mom. First of all, I like to cheer. I like to cheer a lot, and loudly. You’re expected to cheer for soccer and football and karate and lacrosse. So I do. (Sometimes a bit too much, apparently. During one game years ago, Alex actually stopped mid-play on the field and shouted, “Mom, please go wait in the car!" I was eventually vindicated when his lacrosse team lost the only game I couldn’t attend, and his teammates said they lost because I wasn’t there to cheer. Ha! So there!) In tennis, cheering is seriously frowned upon. I don’t think anybody does it. I just sat through Alex’s weekend-long USTA sanctioned tournament and there was definitely no cheering. Not even clapping! What kind of sport doesn’t even warrant clapping? I also don’t understand how tennis is scored. The game itself is easy to understand. Hit the ball over the net. I get it. But scoring? Did they make it difficult because the game itself is so . . . . not complex? It’s not really that exciting as a spectator sport. Much like golf in that respect. (I know, boss. Just blew my Christmas bonus.) At this tournament, when I wasn't watching Alex play, I entertained myself by listening to a couple 12-year-old players constantly berate their own play and yell at themselves after every swing of their racket. It was weird. Really weird. Where was that pressure coming from, I wondered? I’m pretty sure they didn’t have Nike contracts. No college scouts were around. Nobody was cheering more for one player than the other, that’s for sure. Maybe they were upset because they didn’t understand the scoring thing either. I’m also not big on that throwing-the-racket-temper-tantrum maneuver that a couple kids demonstrated. My son did it once and I almost went out on the court and dragged him off by the ear. His coach saw it though and admonished him from the sidelines, to which Alex responded, “Oops, it was an accident." Uh-huh. One that will cost him extra rounds of push-ups at practice today! Alex gets his taste and talent for tennis from his dad and his Papa (his dad’s dad). Both are very good tennis players. (I’ll refrain from adding “back in the day" since Christmas is coming! ) And both would make much better tennis moms than I ever will. Regardless of my own thoughts on the sport, it’s one my son very much enjoys right now. So I’ll be there, cheering silently at his matches, and counting the days until lacrosse practice starts this spring! P.S. He placed third in his singles group at the tournament. That’s my boy!

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