Written by: Scotty Dog

Tennis is a great sport played by all walks of life around the world.  It is a sport in which individuals participate for many reasons.  These reasons can be grouped into two avenues of potential outcomes. The first of these reasons being the person wishes to be a professional and make a career of it.  The second reason why people play tennis is to enjoy a sport promoting health, socializing, and skill.  I will discuss these two avenues players can choose to pursue.  From my experience, I will provide ideas on why one would play tennis from a positive, negative, and realistic approach.

Being a professional tennis pro is a dream many people have, and seek to obtain.  For such people, to make lots of money, travel the world, and lift a Grand Slam trophy in triumph would be utopia.  People would recognize you throughout the world, your picture could be on billboards, and you would not even have to wait in line at exclusive restaurants.  You would probably even increase your odds of bonding with the best-looking people in the world because of your international success.  If becoming a pro does not work out, the potential alternative of receiving a scholarship may be an option; the knowledge that all the hard work was not wasted can be quite comforting.

From a negative perspective, it can be viewed as a job requiring long hours off and on the court to perfect the skills and endurance that a world-class athlete needs.  The threat of injury always lingers in ones mind, as a simple accident could take away all the time and effort put into training.  Life on the road following the tournaments could become tiresome, acquaintances would come and go, and aggressive journalists could prey on every possible detail of your private and professional life.  The pressure required to win would increase, which inevitably affects ones state of mind.

Realistically, to be one of the best in the world, for the usually brief window of time it is possible, is an achievement few are able to experience.  Unless you have helped invent or are sponsored by Air Miles, have unlimited financial resources, or were successful panning for gold, the money needed to be on tour is substantial.  When looking at prize money the winners receive on tour, I remind myself of the expenses these players have from food, massages, flights, restringing, accommodation etc… Most players these days need corporate or governing sport association sponsorship, or need to be fortunate enough to have money from another source.  In addition to adequate financial resources, it is mandatory to have the ability to perform consistently well and to have the facility to develop these skills while young.

The other reason people choose to play tennis is for the simple pleasure it offers.  To be active, to learn new skills, and to meet people, are all wonderful aspects of participating in this sport.  When playing tennis, you also, in all likelihood, have a better chance of meeting a potential partner and parent to your future children, as opposed to meeting them in a grocery store. It is also true that the dexterity, motor skills, coordination, reflexes, aerobic and anaerobic endurance one develops on the tennis court is directly transferable to other sports- greatly benefitting the athlete.

In considering the negative aspects of pursuing tennis professionally, one could be deterred from pursuing this path. For instance, you may get sore from working out, thus bothering your partner continuously for massages. Your personal relationship may suffer, as you may be unable to go out for dinner due to a scheduled tennis match.  There is also the distinct possibility, should one be so imprudent, for grave financial loses when boldly betting on your own match.

In playing tennis for simple enjoyment, you are a part of 99% of all tennis players in the world, and part of a friendlier atmosphere; the club membership fees are not as bad, after all, as the numerous plane tickets needed, should you have pursued pro tennis.  A social benefit from having acquired tennis skills, is when traveling you can always pop in to a local club and connect with fellow players; for an individual proficient in tennis, is an individual with friends. And with the many friends you can make playing tennis over the years, you can enjoy playing right up until your seniority.

I do not mean to deter any player from pursuing their goals.  I hope all tennis players can benefit from whatever aspects originally attracted them to the game, such as having fun and being active.  Every person has a choice to make when determining which avenue they wish to follow, whether that is potentially becoming a pro, or coming to the realization that achieving a beautiful ‘zen’ moment while striking a glorious forehand winner down the line can be just as satisfying.

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