I was 13 years old attending summer camp. The tennis courts were clay. I had never stepped on a tennis court regardless of the surface.
The instructor told me to shake hands with the handle of the racket. I did so. It produced an Eastern forehand grip. Then later he asked me to place my right hand on the top of the handle of the racket and place the racket between my thumb and forefinger. It produced a continental backhand grip. So far so good.
That day I was only taught the forehand stroke. It felt fluid. It felt somewhat effortless. It was reminiscent of my baseball swing. It felt good. I hit a lot of forehands between 13 and 31 years of age.
I was 31 the day I met my wife. We both expressed how much we loved the game. We played tennis on our first date. We saw a tennis tournament on our second.
Years later the game cemented my relationship with my son. He may love the game more than either of us. Our daughter loves the game as well.
It may be just a game, but it’s more than that with the joy it brings our family. A lot can happen when a 13 year old steps on a tennis court.