The women’s tennis league is  the most unique community I have ever been a part of. Where else would you find people competing and almost immediately socializing thereafter? We set out to beat the other in a grueling match, and then we lunch it out. A relationship like this can only develop on the courts.

Every week during season, we get out on the court to better our game and improve our skills during clinics. It amazes me the dedication from my teammates wanting to win the week’s match. During this time, we also size up our players for the approaching match and talk strategy. Who are they? What do we know about their play style? What are the strengths? What are their weaknesses?

Here’s where it gets interesting. Tennis is a game of the mind and the minds of women can be a scary place when they collide. Everything is copasetic until we walk onto the court. You better believe when it’s time to play, my mindset shifts. All bets are off. All friendships are put on paused. And for the next 90 minutes, nothing else matters but the game! And all hell is about to break loose. 

Every one wants a fair match. Rarely do you get one.  

Bad calls and major disputes can send an exciting match down the tubes quickly. Sure, we let it slide every now and then, but repeat offenders do not like to be challenged. Asking for ball marks is your right and allows for integrity of the game. It will give an honest answer but it will also let your opponents know you mean business.  Quickly after you have challenged a call, the game will change. Tempers may flare, but consider this is a good thing! It’s time to dig in. Emotions will distract. Let her stomp her feet and roll her eyes.  You have her right where you want her.  Now school her mental ass. This is my favorite part of the game and it is a lesson that will work in all other areas of life: Never back down from what you want.

The match is over and hands are shaken. It’s time to walk off the court and go have lunch your opponent. Here is where the uniqueness of community comes forward.Your friendship can now resume. You laugh together, watch others play, and discuss their season. You wish them the best and continue about. NO grudges, it’s all good…..until next time.  

The greatness of women supporting women at its core is all about respect. Respecting the powerhouse standing up for what she wants and refusing to take “no” for an answer. Challenge something – anything! This energy is demonstrated best on and off the tennis courts by women who come to play.