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Talking Tennis: Character-Building on the Court and Classroom

With budget cuts in public education nationwide, district officials must focus on keeping sports an active part of the curriculum.

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. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robin Katherine Roth, ABD December 04, 2012 at 08:10 AM
I've had the privilege of knowing Everard for many years. Truly, he gives more than lip service to notions of sporting behavior, which he reinforces on the tennis court. As a classroom teacher, I'm impressed with his teaching techniques, professionalism and the care and attention he shows his students. I am also convinced that discipline on the court and athletic field translates into a more enriching learning experience for all students. Bravo to Everard for starting this blog and adding his fresh, unique perspective.

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