Children: Ana, 15; Caroline, 13; Maddie, 11; Tryg, 9
What does tennis mean to you?
I grew up playing tennis with my sister and parents, and when I was 8 years old, I started playing NELTA tournaments (with a full-sized racquet and yellow balls). I loved the game and ended up playing on my high school tennis team, college tennis team and professionally on the WTA tour. When I stopped competing, I went to graduate school and coached the tennis team while getting my degree. Through tennis, I met some of my closest friends. I also met my husband, David, through tennis – at a NELTA junior reunion. He also played tennis in high school and college. All four of our kids play tennis, among other sports.
Tennis has taught them discipline and resilience, and it has given them confidence. They are still young but have already built close friendships through tennis and learned how important sportsmanship is on and off the court. Tennis is an activity we can all do together. In the summers, we often play family doubles… with two subs!
Why do you think it is important for your children to play tennis? Also, why do you play tennis?
It’s important for kids to play tennis because they learn to be independent. They compete on their own. This means keeping score, making their own line calls and interacting with their opponents. They experience the joy of winning and the agony of defeat and learn to take full responsibility for both.
I play tennis for the exercise and fun. Tennis is a great way to spend time with a friend or a few friends and get a good workout. I basically just played for fun for the past 20 years, but about 10 years ago, a friend asked me to play on the USTA/NE Addie Cup Team. It was easy to say yes to playing on a team for New England with my friends. I’ve now played on eight Addie Cup teams, and this spring will be my 9th.
I also have been co-captain of the USTA/NE Sears Cup team for the past three years with one of my good friends. Our 2018 team is competing on the grass at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in June. These teams have had their share of wins and losses, but it’s the time spent competing for the cup with my new and old friends that I always remember most.
What is your most memorable tennis moment?
My most memorable moment was sitting with parents and my three youngest kids watching my husband and oldest daughter, Ana, play their first-round match in the National Father-Daughter tournament at Longwood Cricket Club when Ana was 9 years old. I am not sure who had a bigger grin on their face – proud father or excited daughter. I realized then how much tennis meant to our family and would hopefully continue to be part of our lives for many years to come.
What has tennis taught you about yourself and your children?
Tennis has taught all of us to be patient and to be positive. It is easy to get frustrated and discouraged when playing tennis, but you can’t let that happen. We tell the kids to keep plugging away, and their hard work will pay off.
Tennis has also taught us that being a good sport is more important than anything else. The kids are realizing already that they don’t remember the wins and losses as much as they remember the opponent who was fair, competed hard and, thus, was fun to play against. Those are the matches you remember.