By David Bolick, Sport Fuels Life Co-founder

 

Recent tennis news—retirements of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, amazing U.S. Open play of 19-year-old Spanish sensation and champion Carlos Alcaraz along with that of American Frances Tiafoe (whom I met years ago at the Winston-Salem Open), and Coco Gauff’s entry into the top ten tennis rankings—has caused me to ponder just why tennis means so much to so many.

I played tennis at N.C. State and still enjoy the game, especially when I am playing doubles with my dad and Sport Fuels Life Co-founder Herb Bolick.  I was inspired by my older brother Bert–a fierce competitor and awesome doubles partner growing up.  My mom was a huge support at tournaments. For me, tennis is synonymous with family, fitness, and friendships.  It’s taken me (and my body) to new places and introduced me to new people. 

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It’s also about being part of a team.  That may seem odd since you’re out there alone on the court, but I knew my singles performance impacted the total team score.  Doubles represents the essence of teamwork. It was always fun to watch and learn from others and to compare notes on what was working (or not) on any given day.  It is still exciting to help teams compete and have fun (that’s a topic for another day since Team Connection was founded by my dad and is ALL about supporting teams).

Through my tennis ups and downs, I also learned a great deal mentally—about myself and about other people. If you’re having a bad day, I suggest you hit some tennis balls.  If you don’t have a partner, you can use a backboard or even the side of a building.  (That’s how my dad learned.)

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 A few months ago, we featured an interview with New York Times sportswriter Christopher Clarey on his book on Roger Federer.  He once quoted this tennis legend as saying, “I never fell out of love with the sport.”  Christopher has pointed out that tennis fans also never fell out of love with him.  

Every player and every team have stories about their love of sports.  Through Sport Fuels Life, we aim to share those stories. We invite you to tell us (in a paragraph or two) how sport fuels your life or that of your team.  Share Here.

We’ll feature highlights and enjoy the collective inspiration and teamwork.  In the meantime, let’s celebrate great play and great athletes on and off the court! 

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