I’m lucky enough to have a court practically in my back yard. In preparation of a first round tournament match today, I headed out to the courts with a basket of balls anticipating some solo serving practice. Then along came a young boy of about seven years decked out in World Cup soccer gear. He amiably started throwing balls back from the other side. While calculating some hip movement along with the toss, along comes another ball. They keep coming over like missiles. The kid had quite an arm. Obviously, the mental side of my serving practice is shot so I collect balls and then start sorting out some old worn out ones since simple housekeeping now appears the order of the day. I look at this kid and wonder how he’s going to take these old balls home. He is black and speaks little English. I head over to the car looking for a bag. I mosey back and go through quite the effort in helping him understand that these balls are now his to keep.
Next, the both of us head over to visit with an Indian daughter with her father rallying over at court one. Through watching these folks through the corner of my eye before my new little friend came along, I’d learned that the daughter had some good ground strokes. I ask if I can join in. I take the two on but we had to send the boy packing with a racquet to play by himself ‘cause the old fellow is deaf and blind so potentially there would have been an accident in the making. Indeed, the dad somehow cracked a good ball in spite of his conditions. Some time later, dad had enough and we all went our separate ways. I gave the little boy a high five and he scurried delightfully home with some balls to hopefully start his life-long tennis adventure.