Welcoming Adversity (Sorry, this has the content) 8


West Coast Grand Prix

When senior tennis players get together to compete there are three things that you can always count on: talking about injuries, complaining about playing conditions and…I can’t remember the third thing. 🙂 Everyone can remember shots from 20 years ago but many are asking “where is my hat?” when it is on their head.

The largest senior tennis event of the year began yesterday. 315 players ages 55-90 showed up at three beautiful clubs in and around Naples.

Many arrived on Saturday to practice and more than a few people were complaining about how windy it was. Others who have been playing indoors this winter were carrying on about the sun. And then there are the problems with the inconsistencies of the clay courts which have dry and wet spots. Sunday there was too much glare. And, of course, the club members who walk behind the courts talking and distracting players.

As for me, I welcome adversity.

Years ago, I arrived at Montecito CC in Santa Barbara to play the National 40s Grass Championships. All the players were held off the courts until 10AM due to the typical dew on the morning grass. I was new on the scene so was not engaged in conversation with others. I overheard experienced players bemoaning how the courts looked slippery, how the location between the mountains and the ocean created a wind tunnel, how the courts were too dried out from the sun and wind, the unevenness of the surface and how the bounces would be terrible. (I mentally suggested that they shouldn’t be playing a grass court event if they wanted good bounces.)

I looked to my left and saw the Santa Ynez Mountains. I looked to my right and saw the beach and the Pacific Ocean. I thought “how blessed am I to be in this spot right now.” Life is good, even with all the bad bounces. I will start this tournament feeling happy to be here while others would spend their matches focused on problems. I’ll take that edge any time.

So when I arrived here to practice on Saturday, my opponents were worried about the wind. I was actually glad. Give me the worst possible conditions on day 1 and let me find the way to adjust and adapt. When the wind dies down, for me, the game will be easier.

On Sunday I played a practice set with a Florida player. He told me how bad the sun is for a lefty at 10:30AM. I would be “blinded” by the light when serving. I asked if he would mind if I played on the side facing the sun for the whole set. When he protested that it wasn’t fair to me, I told him that I love to welcome the adversity. Let me serve into the sun so that I can adjust and adapt as that is what I need to do when playing.

The harder the practice, the greater the adversity, the happier I am.

First match later today. Slight breeze and an afternoon sun. I am good to go


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8 thoughts on “Welcoming Adversity (Sorry, this has the content)

  • Mark Heller

    Bob,
    Good Luck! Can’t be any worse than playing in Great Neck tomorrow morning, good thing the balls aren’t white anymore!
    What are you going to think about as the ball comes over the net?
    1) Am I going to win this point?
    2) Oh is it windy
    3) Keep your eye on the ball off the bounce as you position your racquet

  • judy r goldsmith

    Yes, you are also honing your writing skills. Fun to see, fun to read. That’s a really interesting and helpful thought: welcome the
    adversity. Meeting it is beneficial. Is that Kirk Moritz in the comment below?
    I remember him from the old days at Shelter Rock !!! Small world. or not.
    And also, I wish you a wonderful birthday. Everything you want for yourself.
    Fondly, Judy

  • Riki Neuberger

    Good luck Bob.
    Here in Argentina we start next month competition.
    Hope to see you in July at European Maccabiah in Berlin.
    Your blog is getting more interesting every time.

  • Estrella Caban

    When we welcome adversity we know that it will not last for ever, and when that happens we are more than ready to give it our very best and shine! Winners don’t quit! When people tell me how bad the economy is I don’t say anthing anymore. I know I am enjoying success or success to come. Either way I am enjoying every step of the way to the bank! Thanks Bob!

  • zeljko maracic

    Hi Bobb!
    good for you,pozitive thinking,except,adapt and adjut to nature,enjoy!
    you freand from snowes,new yourk

  • Sharon Moskowitz

    Good luck! Your motto was always,”when th going gets tough, the tough get going!” I’m not one who bets, but my money would be on you! Look forward you your next update! XxSharon