While this is Spinfuzz’s first official post, I’m not writing it as if it’s the first sentence of the first chapter in what we hope will be a long history of chapters. For almost five years, I’ve blogged on a personal site (www.pulupapoints.blogspot.com) which ultimately spawned the idea for Spinfuzz. As I conversed with friends in a near-empty parking lot at our indoor tennis facility two winters ago, we were talking about how the internet has completely changed the faces of news media, communication and business visions. Gone are the days of waiting until morning to find out game scores, reading the evening editions of newspapers, watching taped replays of games and matches hours after they occurred, and national newspapers hiring tennis beat writers to cover international tournaments. In today’s microwave-style-feed-me-now world, we need to grab your attention and bring you into our tennis world right from the start.
What I found interesting, however, from talking on that frigid night in Maryland was the one element of reporting that hasn’t changed with the internet is probably the most important– the human interest aspect of what draws us into a story. Why would people follow my personal blog? Many don’t know a whole lot about me and, even for those who do, they don’t share in my daily struggles and triumphs to understand the details of what I write about in blogs. But they can maybe relate. Perhaps I paint a picture that many of them can imagine themselves experiencing, and maybe they see a little of themselves in the stories I tell from my point of view. What became an epiphany that winter night was that there are probably tennis players out there who could relate to my tennis life, the same way everyday people related to my personal life. Without exploiting my experiences as a coach and the experiences of my players, maybe we could tell a detailed story in a vague fashion that could reach out and touch “you.”
Spinfuzz was born that night.
Tennis players are a rare breed. How many sports can you name where an athlete has a personal coach, yet is not allowed to receive coaching during an athletic contest? We are taught to be self-servant from the start– it’s about you, train for yourself, compete for yourself, win and you get the credit, lose and you’re to blame. And yet, so many players experience and feel the same things when it comes to nerves and tension during a match. We look to our idols on TV to emulate and some even try to copy or imitate professionals in style, strokes or appearance, but fail to recognize some of the most important lessons the pros can teach in terms of professionalism, confidence and working through the dramas on the court.
We are supposed to suppress emotions, cover weaknesses in our game, appear to be calm, and squash our negativity, even though we may feel excited, nervous, anxious and tight all at the same time. Tennis is one big contradiction. And we, as competitive players, struggle with those boundaries because we, as individuals, are limited in what we can and can’t overcome in tense situations on the court. Without knowing where to start as a tennis parent, how far you want to take this sport as a junior tennis player, how good of an educator are you as a personal coach, one could himself/herself in an awfully big world without a clue where the next direction will lead…
That’s where we come in. Maybe when you’re unsure of yourself, wondering if anyone out there understands what you’re going through, feeling as strong as ever mentally and physically, or looking for a little tennis amusement, you could stop by to see what Spinfuzz is doing right that moment. Who knows– maybe it’ll be something you can relate to?