Tim finally took the plunge and joined the Bedford league back in August. Now as his debut round comes to an end, he's back playing tennis regularly for the first time in years and has refound his love for the game.
When I was young there was a club up the road from me and I would go and play on Saturdays. I played a couple of summers towards the end of school too. But then I pretty much gave it up and didn't play properly again until now - 15 years later!
There are some wonderful free courts in Bedford Park near where I live. I'd always enjoyed tennis and wanted to get back into it. I looked at the courts longingly for a couple of years and despite having a couple of games with friends I was never organised enough to play on a regular basis. There were signs up for the league at the courts and this year I finally took the plunge - I figured being in a league would 'force' me to get back into it and give me the motivation I needed. It did!
For a start, singles is an incredible way to stay fit whilst doing something fun! I run a bit but don't particularly enjoy it. Tennis on the other hand...It's sociable, it's challenging, it's rewarding, it's frustrating! As I 're-learn' to play I'd describe my style as 'sporadic'! Like many of us who only play occasionally, I have my moments but need to develop my consistency.
At the time of writing I've played four matches. They've all been great and I've met people I'll no doubt be playing against socially soon. My first match stands out: for me, it was the first proper match I've played in years. I was surprised to find I wasn't too bad, and it was a close match which went on for two hours in the baking sun. I ached the next day though!
The league has given me exactly what I wanted: it's rejuvenated my love of tennis and forced me to get back into a routine of playing regularly. I work fairly long hours, mostly at a desk, and commute quite far too, so finding the motivation to get out on court isn't always easy - but the league absolutely provides it!
If you're at all interested in joining the league, just do it! Everyone's been really friendly, very much on the same page, just there to meet and play new and existing tennis partners. The league gives an additional bit of structure to the game and means you get some proper, fun and exciting matches which is not always the case when you go for a knock-about with a friend. It's great to play a number of different people too - learning and adapting to different play styles.
Ready to get back on court too? The next round in Bedford starts on 15th November and is open for entries here.