In the game on July 1st, when the other team was behind, one of my opponents told his partner to “Play for blood!” And that partner would then really get miffed with his own teammate when a point was lost: “Why didn’t you move back to the center? How could you miss that shot?” he would ask with annoyance.

I also noticed that after a point, when the first guy fed me a ball, so that I could serve, he hit it back to me low, hard, and with lots of top spin. I usually just lob the ball over in a gentle way when I feed the server.

I think of myself as an easy-going type. Though competitive, I can’t usually forget serious problems in the world or the troubles people I know are dealing with. So I don’t get upset if I lose. I mean it’s just a game, and we are out there to have fun. If my partner screws up or double faults, big deal. My main goal is for me to play well. I may become disappointed when I hit long or in the net. I may feel apologetic that I am letting my partner down or not giving the other guys a better game. But I don’t get angry.

Now I’d also heard for years that if you watch someone playing almost any sport, you can see their personality in action. If they cheat in the game, they probably do it in business. I am gentle, so I lob the ball back easily. Someone else is tough, he fires it back with vigor. But I also want to hit a hard, fast tennis ball in the game, so of course I should do it in practice and now maybe at all times on the court. I want to be tougher, rougher, gruffer and meaner in “play” than I am in real life. In fact:

I WANT TO BE A KILLER! I AM OUT FOR BLOOD!! I WILL NOT TAKE ANY PRISONERS!!!!! Read the rest of this entry »

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