Field tennis is one of the most exhausting sports to play, but boy is it FUN ! You don’t really notice how times goes by, so you can pretty much get lost in it.
What about taking up tennis with your spouse ?
It’s something that we’ve discussed with other sport enthusiasts, and something we’ve wondered ourselves. After all, your spouse is your best friend, and if you like then, and you like tennis as well, why not combine both ?
It could be a great idea, and it could be a terrible one as well. Depends on how well you can manage conflicts, since tennis can get really competitive.
So is it ok or not to play tennis with your spouse ?
We say yes, and we’ll explain why.
It’s a competitive sport, yes, but it forces you to work together. Even when you’re playing against each other, you’re still learning a lot about one another. Where your partner tends to serve, how hard they send the ball back.
Are they tactical and coordinated, or do they jump at the ball with full force but no real plan ?
It’s something that can and will test your bond, and in our opinion it’s a great workout as well.
So yes, you should play tennis with your sweetheart, as long as you keep these things in mind:
1. One of you will be more competitive
Like, taking it way too seriously, screaming on the court and really living that match, counting sets and keeping score of who’s serving.
In our case, Dragos is the competitive one. I couldn’t really care about who won, I just like the game and running to meet that ball so I can send it back.
Of course at first we argued over it.
“You don’t care about the game !”
“You’re taking it too seriously !”
“Try a little harder, and please focus.”
If that seems familiar to you, it’s something a lot of couples have gone through. It’s kind of unavoidable, especially if you’ve never been in a situation where you have to play something for fun, but also seriously.
The most important part is how well you manage this conflict, and what conclusions you draw.
In our case, we kinda got over it, Dragos not really expecting me to count serves and I stepped up my game, improved my form.
If you find yourselves completely unable to make it work, take some time off this sport and talk things out. It’s probably a sign that something else in the relationship is not alright and you might need to fix that.
Whatever the case, try not to take it to heart. Neither of you. Because, no matter how important tennis is to both of you, you are first and foremost a couple and that matters more than the score.
2. Don’t bring the score home
Whomever won, it’s fun to keep score, but it’s never fun to argue over it or rub it in someone’s face. If your S.O. won the game against you, don’t mope around about it.
Sure it might hurt your pride a bit, especially if you’re not used to losing a match, or your partner is the least trained one. Try to let it go.
Or if you’re the one who won that match, don’t keep bringing it up. No matter how well your spouse seems to be going along with it, there will be a point when they’ll have enough. And when they finally tell you to quit it, you might be unreasonably upset over it.
This is an even bigger topic if you played 2 vs 2, even worse if it was couple against couple. You know we all secretly compare ourselves to other people, and other couples. We’re human, show me someone who doesn’t.
If you lost the game to another couple, because one of you had terrible form that day, or just made the silliest serves, it will be veeeery hard to resist giving them a hard time for it. After all, they’re why you lost right ?
Well, this is even trickier to handle. But the main point is the same. Don’t argue, nag, criticize. A game is a game, and should be played seriously.
But part of good sportsmanship is knowing how to be a good loser, and a good winner as well.
Accept your defeat, and go about the rest of your day. Your next game might be better, who knows ? And even if it’s not, unless you’re professionals and live off tennis competitions, losing a game every now and then is really alright.
3. One of you might need more training
In that, even if you both start out completely clueless about tennis and sports in general, one of you will learn faster. Or better. One will be more or less behind the other partner, and that’s alright.
We’re all different, and even if you both turn out to be exceptional tennis players, one of you will be better. That’s just the way it works.
So where does that leave you ? The better partner helps the other one learn better, or helps correct their form. Work together as best you can.
However, if you see no improvement, consider bringing an instructor in. Tennis is notorious for being an expensive sport, since the training itself can be expensive. But you can just take a few hours until you’re both happy with the progress you’ve gained.
What you need to remember about working with an instructor, is that he might give different adjustments to one of you. So one of you might need pointers with how to properly hold the racket, and the other might need more practice swinging or calculating a proper trajectory.
The point is, some of these adjustments might come as a surprise, especially if you’ve been playing for some time now. Do take them seriously and improve your individual form, but try to keep the added tension outside of your relationship.
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4. You’re going to need a strategy.
Especially when you play against another couple, or just regular 2 on 2, you’ll need a strategy to follow. Playing against one another might be fun, and you’ll learn how to best beat your S.O. like it’s a life and death match, but make sure to practice playing on the same side of the net as well.
It’s very different when you have to work together and cover for each other, even if it might seem intuitive. It’s not.
One of you will jump for the ball even if it’s meant for the other partner (I am guilty of this) and end up just getting in each other’s way.
Or maybe one of you is better at serving, but when playing 2 on 2 each of the players needs to serve.
The point is, you’ll need to practice, and practice, and practice together until you get it right. Maybe there’s something what you need to work on especially hard, so make sure to have patience with each other.
If you have the instructor with you, be sure to ask him for ideas on how to put together the best strategy for you two. He might be able to see some things that you can’t notice, since he’s viewing you both from the ‘outside’.
Any time you wonder whether you should take up a sport with your partner, remember that you can do this. There’s people who will tell you that you can’t and it will ruin your relationship, and people who will tell you that of course you can, it’s the best thing ever.
Use your own judgement, and think of your couple. If your relationship’s good, and you have a history of managing stressful situations properly, then you might just have a shot.
If your relationship is fairly new, and you haven’t had the opportunity to test it, this is your chance. You can test your goodwill, and general cooperation.
We hope this article will help you make a decision, and gave you enough of a heads up to know what you should be careful for.
Good luck and stay healthy !