Advantage. Service. Fault. Break. Love. Life is like a tennis match, writes Andre Agassi in Open, one of my favorite sports autobiographies. Matches mirror lives in miniature full of wins, losses—and lessons.
For the past 20 years, I've been teaching tennis on the Peninsula. As Rolling Hills Tennis Club-Sponsored Pro, I'm gifted with the most beautiful classroom. And I find my subject matter is surprisingly varied.
There's much talk today about character-building in public education, or lack of it. And with education cuts impacting programs across the board, students' suffer greatly when faced with fewer opportunities for physical education in schools.
Tennis, in particular, is character defining. And building. Playing tennis reveals the true personality, especially in a match. Who can forget John McEnroe's tantrums, or Jimmy Connors' notoriously rude "outsider" behavior? All students no matter what their zip code must master respect, the essence of discipline.
The best technology, sports and academics are nothing without respect. It begins at home and is reinforced in the classroom, and on the court. Not every student has the advantage of tennis lessons, but schools nationwide must focus more on physical education and sporting behavior.
Everard Tennis is a Palos Verdes Tradition for more than 20 years. Everard can be reached at 310.403.2564 or at www.pv-tennis.com. Find him on Facebook.com/pages/Everard-Tennis.