Posts Tagged ‘tennis’
A light drizzle was falling as I passed the tennis courts with the dog. This being 7.30 in the morning the only people out were the people who had to be – like me and the dog who would not otherwise get a walk before the evening.
But also there were the tennis players – the very keen tennis players.
I was just thinking how keen they must be when a ball pinged into the netting right beside me making the whole structure shake. That had been one powerful serve.
And that was when I saw her. Standing at the opposite end of the court, eyes narrowed like Clint Eastwood squinting over the top of his Magnum 44, she could not have been more than ten years old.
Bam! she let fly another. The coach got to this one – but he had to run. I was mesmerised. How did anyone so small hit a ball so hard? The boy on the next court looked a couple of years older but he was nowhere near her league.
Since I’m not normally out dog-walking at that hour, I had no idea the children had their lessons before school. But that seems to be the way it is these days: If you want to hit the big time you have to practise hard, practise early and start when you’re young.
There was a father standing under the roof of the pavillion, hands in pockets, watching.
“Is that your daughter,” I asked him. “I can’t believe how hard she’s hitting that ball.”
In fact he was there with his son. But he chuckled: “You’re right. All the boys are scared of Harriet.”
We chatted for a minute or two about tennis and children and chauffering duties.
And then, of course, I said: “By the way I’ve got something here that might help with the cost of tution. Would you like to see it.”
There was just a touch of desperation in his voice as he said that anything would be welcome. So I told him about my friend who’s son is now at a private tennis academy – about how they had to move house to one with a tennis court.
Digging out a DVD, I said non-committally: “It worked for him. Take a look.”