In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I put together a list of people and entities that have a significantly positive impact on tennis. They help tennis players develop, improve, and enjoy their games and lives through their tireless efforts.
Here is my list of 10 things that all tennis players should be thankful for:
1. Tennis Coaches
Teachers are amazing people because they dedicate themselves to helping others grow and improve their life skills. Tennis coaches are no different. Good tennis coaches teach you the fundamentals and techniques to help you become a better tennis player. Great tennis coaches take it a step further by training you to persevere against adversity and become a winner not just in tennis, but in life. Tennis coaches are an integral part of tennis players’ careers and I am very thankful to all of them, including mine, who are committed to improving people’s tennis games and life skills.
2. Tennis Parents and Families
The parents of tennis players sacrifice their lives to help their children reach their tennis goals. I know firsthand how much time, effort, and money my parents sacrificed to advance my tennis career so that I would improve, be happy, and succeed in life. Without my parents I’d probably be an expert cheese puff eater instead of a strong tennis player. And the rest of a tennis player’s family can also provide critical support and confidence. My girlfriend makes it a point to cheer me on during big matches whenever she can. I would like to extend a special and heartfelt thanks to all the tennis parents and families for putting your children, husband, wife, or relative’s tennis career and well-being in front of your own.
3. USTA Leagues
USTA leagues are a fantastic way for people of all ages and skill levels to compete in a fun and exciting environment. Whether you are a beginner or former top college player, there is a league for you. I have met so many wonderful people by playing in USTA leagues and had so much fun because of the team aspect it brings to tennis. I have been fortunate enough to travel the country to participate in USTA National tournaments. I also appreciate the work that league captains put in to make sure teams run smoothly and are successful as possible. I am truly thankful to everyone who helps run the USTA leagues.
4. Tennis Friends
My tennis friends train with me, help my game, support my growth, and enable me to enjoy the game. My tennis friends do more for me than just benefit my tennis. They have helped me get hired for jobs, protected me from harm, given me life advice, accompanied me on memorable trips, and made me enjoy my life to the fullest. I have met so many incredible and kindhearted people through my tennis career. I am thankful for having such great friends that I have met because of tennis.
5. The USTA and County Tennis Associations
As a board member of my local county tennis association (go MCTA!), I know firsthand how much work it takes to organize the seemingly infinite amount of tennis tournaments and leagues. It is easy to play in them, a little harder to captain, and even harder to figure out times, locations, number of leagues, matches, finances, logistics, timing, and a myriad of other variables to make leagues and tournaments successful. I know that the USTA, MCTA, and other tennis associations dedicate themselves to the growth of tennis because they know it is a healthy and lifelong sport that people love to play. Cheers to all the tennis associations out there, and thank you for your passion about the game!
6. Djokovic and Federer
These two juggernauts have produced some of the most dominant and exciting tennis matches in years. The continued grace of Federer and the soul-crushing defeats handed down by Djokovic are a pleasure to watch. They have both played numerous exciting grand slam finals against each other, including this year at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. I love watching Djokovic and Federer, and I am thankful that we have such amazing players to watch, learn from, and entertained us.
7. The Williams Sisters
It’s been over 20 years after Venus and Serena turned pro, and they are still crushing it. Serena had one of the best years in the history of tennis, and Venus is firmly back in the top 10 even while she continues to fight an autoimmune disease. These two have produced countless memorable matches and are such a huge draw to the women’s game. I hope they don’t retire any time soon, because the women’s game will have a huge void without them.
8. Sweet Tennis Gear
I’d like to think that I’m not materialistic, but I really do appreciate high-performing racquets and shoes. Tennis gear continues to become lighter, more durable, and appealing to the human eye. Now companies are even coming out with tennis sensors and smartwatches, which I look forward to testing and reviewing for you in the upcoming months. It is fun to try out all the new tennis equipment that these tennis design geniuses keep creating.
9. Tennis Facilities
It takes a lot of work to finance, build, and maintain tennis courts, and I am thankful to all the staff who put in the hard work and effort to do it. Without them, I wouldn’t be playing any tennis except in my dreams or on a gaming console. These facilities are integral to the sport because they attract tons of new and current players to play tennis through clinics, programs, and making courts available to play on. These facilities also supply most of the top pros in our tennis communities. If tennis facilities close down, tennis will go down with it.
10. Tournament Staff and Volunteers
From the professional tournaments to the juniors, tournament staff make tennis players’ careers possible. All those ATP and WTA tournaments you enjoy watching wouldn’t exist without the methodical planning, scheduling, and execution of every match by officials, ballboys, umpires, ushers, tournament staff, and all the other volunteers. I am grateful for the wonderful experiences I’ve had at tennis tournaments, but without tournament staff and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of it!
If you enjoyed this post, let me know about it by commenting below or liking my Facebook page! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!