Let’s face it tennis players are high maintenance. We can be strong and competitive one moment and as delicate as crumbling rose petals the next. When you love and/or live with one of these unpredictable creatures, there will be days when you may need this handy survival guide.
Listen to her.
WHEN SHE RETURNS HOME FROM A MATCH:
Ask her “How was it?”
(This is important and will determine the outcome of the rest of the day.)
IF… SHE WON HER MATCH:
Listen, really listen to the dramatic retelling of the victory in its entirety. Congratulate enthusiastically.
(We love to share that intoxicating feeling of winning and keep the elation going as long as possible. Happy player, happy everyone.”
IF… SHE LOST HER MATCH:
Look her in the eyes and earnestly tell her that all the excuses she had for loosing were totally valid; agree that all the line calls were unfair; and exclaim that by all accounts she should have won. Hugs may be in order.
(If you omit any of these steps, you may find yourself victim to unwarranted outbursts of fury throughout the day… and she is always right.)
Invite her to play.
RESERVE A COURT AND INVITE HER TO PLAY:
While playing, act amazed at her skill and improvement, tell her all those lessons are really paying off. Exaggerate but don’t be too fake, we can detect sarcasm.
(No need to keep score, there’s really no such thing as ‘friendly’ competition. Any false moves on the court can shift her mood for days and you won’t even know why.)
Know when to hold ’em, know when to walk away.
WHEN SHE IS MAD AT HER COACH:
Nod knowingly; do not offer advice; do not say anything; do not make eye contact. Listen to the whole story. Suggest she should really call her tennis friend who might have better advice. Pretend you have an important call and make a hasty exit.
(Just walk away and keep walking.)
IF SHE ASKS YOU “DO THESE TENNIS WHITES MAKE ME LOOK FAT?”:
Above all and most importantly, do not hesitate. Reply as quickly as possible. There are two answers to this — a resounding “Noooo!” or “Wow, you’re so beautiful.”
(If she’s asking, she already knows the answer and just wants you to look and see her.)
If she falls, pick her up.
IF SHE COMES HOME HURT BECAUSE SHE STEPPED ON A TENNIS BALL:
Avoid looking smug or have that ‘You play way too much tennis’ face. Instead bring her gently to the couch, apply hot/cold packs, make her favorite hot beverage and turn on Netflix.
If you look closely, tennis players are just like real people.
Although seemingly a lot of effort, proper treatment of your beloved tennis enthusiast will yield great rewards. Be be there, be supportive, be a backboard, be their Valentine.
(Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to get a few flowers, chocolates or a little bling.)
Happy Valentines Day!