Wimbledon 2019: Serena Williams

Singles tennis match on Wimbledon center court

The Underdog Alison Riske

Tennis is a beautiful and passionate sport that brings out the best in people: hard work, strength, desire, will, motivation, determination and toughness. You must be willing to wake up every day and give it your all; you have no teammates to help you out!

Serena Williams used to hit balls with her sister Venus out of a shopping cart in the rusty streets of Compton, California. Alison Riske used to hit balls in a cold bubble at a club named Windwood, in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Different stories but one common theme is evident: persistence and passion brought these players to the top of the tennis world!

If you are not able to remain mentally tough for 2-3 hours at a time, then tennis is not the sport for you. You have no teammates to assist you when you are running low on concentration or physical strength; you are out there on your own. Your career depends on how much hard work you put in since day one.

Getting your children involved in tennis is one of the best things you can do for them. The sport will teach them discipline, listening skills, the joy of winning, the pain of losing and the beauty of learning. Since you are playing on your own, it can become very gratifying to reap many wins after shedding so many tears; the feeling is priceless.

And that is what Alison Riske is set out to accomplish at this year’s Wimbledon. She will step out onto a quarterfinal stage to face one of the greatest (if not, the greatest) women’s tennis player of all time: Serena Williams. And who wins does not matter. But who leaves with a smile on their face will be victorious in the end!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Health Benefits Of Playing Tennis

Man playing tennis on clay courts

The Green Balls

The benefits of tennis can be reaped from just about anyone. It is a lifetime sport that can be started at any age, from as young as age 2 to as old as . . . well, that depends on you! Most importantly, it is fun! You can participate in singles or doubles; doubles involves two players vs. two players (make sure to pick a partner that you get along with or you are in for a two hour nightmare). Most people I have met who play tennis have a great character: they are motivated, fun and enthusiastic individuals. Tennis connects and brings people together, can be played all year round on multiple surfaces, (Har-Tru classic green clay, red European clay, grass and hard) indoors or outdoors, and is not that expensive to play. All you need is a tennis bag, a couple of racquets, strings, overgrip, clothes and shoes and a smile on your face (maybe some proper footwork too).

What are the health benefits of playing tennis? The sport increases your aerobic capacities, lowers your resting heart rate and blood pressure, improves metabolic function, increases bone density, lowers body fat, improves muscle tone/strength/flexibility and increases your reaction time. Tennis also has mental health benefits: it increases your alertness and tactical thinking, enhances the neural connections in your brain and reduces stress. Tennis is also very social; you can talk to your opponent in between games, sets or while you are hitting balls. And if you are playing at a country club, you can enjoy the delicious food and beverages served (no pun intended) after a long sweaty match! Lastly, tennis offers an escape from the world and your daily routine; when you step on that court, you become disconnected from the troubles of the world and focused on something relaxing and peaceful.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)