| By Barbara Wyatt
Photo courtesy of Getty Images


It hit me the other day. Not a tennis ball, but a realization.

Our tennis pros hung up their racquets and stayed home during the pandemic. These men and women made the same financial sacrifice as personal trainers, physical therapists, restaurant and café owners, bookstore owners, and other small businesses. They forego their income for the safety of their friends, clients, and family.

In the last month or so, tennis pros knocked the dust and cobwebs off their strings in order to hold private lessons and perhaps a small drills class, as the numbers of virus infections showed signs of decline.

It is time to thank them. Book a private lesson.

Throw away all excuses about why we do not take tennis lessons and jump in.

Or at least, do a split-step.

You are rested. Your knees, wrist, and elbow are in great shape (or so I hope). Maybe you haven’t had a lesson in 20 years. Maybe it’s been three months. It doesn’t matter, book a lesson.

Over the years, players have created dazzling excuses on why adult recreational players avoid tennis lessons:

“I’ve played tennis like this for years.”...“I couldn’t learn anything new at my age.”...“It’s expensive.”...“I’m out of shape.”...“It’s only for kids.”...“This works for me.”

Our pros hung up their racquets for our safety. We have returned to restaurants, bakeries, and barbers to support our local economy. Our tennis pros deserve us.

If you are reluctant because a stroke is embarrassingly flawed, use my excuse:

“I’m a little rusty. There’s been a pandemic.”

It is the only excuse left. A splash of hand sanitizer and I am back, smashing deep volleys.

Not ready? Then pay for a lesson for a deserving youth or a youth beginning class.

I might buy a lesson certificate for an opponent and enclose it in a charming “Good Luck” card, with a personal note to work on their backhand. Watch the mind games begin!

These associations provide a find-a-pro search: United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and Professional Tennis Registration (PTR).

Thank you to those on the front line: truckers, farmers and food production workers, delivery personnel, grocery and pharmacy staff, police and fire and emergency personnel, medical workers, our military, transportation drivers, and more.

You continue to work tirelessly. You are awesome.


Barbara Wyatt

Barbara Wyatt is a Writer, Photographer, USTA Official, and Mobile App Developer of iKnowTennis!, the tennis rules app. Her poem, Ode to Tennis, an amusing poem on the joys and frustrations when learning tennis, is available at Amazon. She can be reached by e-mail at BarbaraW@iKnowTennis.com.