I played Tennis today. I went to the Tennis court of our subdivision. While I was still outside, I noticed that there's nobody there. Usually, there's somebody staying there like they're keepers of the court. I still went inside. I inspected the quarters to verify if there's really nobody there. I was right.
I inspected the rest of the court until I decided to start practicing my serves. The last and first time I was there was when a generous old man (I forgot the name kasi, hehehehe) helped me with Tennis training. He was also the one who taught me the overhead serve, etc.
After a little while into the practice, some old man enterred the court. He asked me if there was nobody there and if I had somebody to play with. He offered to hit a number of balls, so I accepted. At start, I thought it would be an easy and quiet game until he began coaching me with what I should do. He started by correcting me and telling me that I should not do the overhead serve (which I was already getting a hang of), instead, I should try the bouncing serve. My first serve was okay, but then he coached me again that I should let the ball bounce first before I hit it. There he started COACHING me over and over again. I felt like I knew nothing, but I didn't realize what I was feeling. He began telling me all the things that he expects me to be should be doing, explaining the wrong things I do. I, on the other hand, was that silly little boy desiring to be teached to learn more. I listened very carefully to everything he was saying, as a respect too. It seemed that I owed the old man something since he was teaching me something for free.
The game went on and I was having difficulty catching up to his expectations, trying to do 'what he was telling me that I should be doing'. To cut things short, I missed a lot, sucked a lot, frustrated the 'new-found coach' a lot (although he seemed to try being patient). Although he tried to be easy on me and he tried bearing with me throughout the game, I felt that the game we had that started out as a simple (supposed to be) get-to-know-you-through-the-ball-game turned out to be a very awkward coaching session of failures. It fuelled more when two other older men who, I think, are regulars enterred the court and started playing a game of their own. When I say game here, I meant to say an enjoyable and sweat-breaking one. I, although I was ignoring it, see his jealous and frustrated glances to the active court beside us. It just tells me how much he craves to play there instead of the one we were in. He probably was imagining himself hitting nice spins already but still interrupted by the reality of me -- an amateur, a hard-learner.
I wanted him to stop anyway because I was feeling that I wasn't learning anymore. I was catching up with my own pace and what he was telling me wasn't really working out. I was trying to figure things out by myself already but didn't realize it. What's quite ironic about it too is that the first and last time before today that I played (actually, practiced) is that I hit nice shots and was getting the hang of it. My initial plan is that I'd be there and apply the things I've learned the last time I was there. If ever that old man invited me for a simple game, I'd probably enjoy one doing silly and simple (and laughable) mistakes, playing good amateur strokes that show potential instead of him babbling like a coach (no offense meant). I admit that I'm just a beginner (I don't wanna say that I'm not good) so let it be. I think he expected too much. I, on the other hand, expected to play the way I can.
The way I see it, he was limiting what I could do by 'telling me' what I should be doing already. I literally foiled, crashed, destroy my time out there. After our game, when another gentleman enterred the court (who I think is also a familiar one), he then with cheer and courage told me to try practicing in the other court alone so that they could play doubles. The happiness in his eyes were noticed together with the sheer excitement in his relieved tone of voice. I felt relieved too. At last, freed from torture and utter dictation. I can be myself, learn, be loosened up. But, there was a problem. After our, I don't know if I could call it, game, I seemed to have an aftershock. My emotions all-throughout the hits with the old man were quite surpressed in me. I was trying to please the old man, trying to imply that I was very much giving him my full attention, my two ears on that. I was trying to be a learner, but it seemed that it wasn't what I should be doing. I think he miscommunicated himself too. He got into something that he wasn't planning to do the same. He grabbed the badge of a coach while it wasn't his real intention. He might just be trying to give me some tips only that it became too much, it was coaching.
He might have the attitude of a perfectionist. People like that try to input about everything that they can although it might not be that necessary. I can't blame him then, I guess. I'm like that too (but most people appreciate what I do and they learn; I admit, though, that there are also times that I try to push too much to somebody that I get mad at them *I remember Aya, wahh, hehe*). So, that's it. Maybe we just didn't understand ourselves. We were both man-pleasers that we came to a point that we were doing something that we didn't really want to do but couldn't end because we were trying to either not hurt the person in front of us, or we were just BOUND by our attitude of not speaking what should be spoken (this is related to one of my previous blogs today). Basically, this is not about the old man. It was about US. We were in the same situation and I think we had the same attitude. It's even funny cos I was putting all the blame to the old man when in fact I participated with both our frustration. Good thing is that right now, I've resolved my part through this entry. I just don't know for the old man. He's an old man anyway; mature enough, I guess, to get over it despite that it's an attitude matter.
After that, I tried to get back with the serves again. I was regaining my pace. After a few tries, the old man whom I played with earlier told me (okay, tipped) that I should try walling. I gained some moves through the help of the old man, but lost my previous swings. I was doing good back then but now, I've lost them all. Argh! What's worse is during one of my backhand swings, I hit the ball too high and it went to the roof of one of the houses there. Argh! That one cost a lot. A pack of 3 balls costs Php 277, I think, that last time I checked. That was a new one, not to mention. I have barely used it. Now, it's gone. I also tried to ask the house-owner if there was a possibility that it slid to the ground or something like that. The house owner was nice and tried to search for balls. To her kind tries, she retrieved 3 balls (old and dirty ones) and gave it to me. I had no choice but to take it instead, maybe as a replacement for my one beautiful ball stuck on that roof forever, probably. I went home not knowing whether or not I'd be frustrated, mad, or be cool with it and look on the brighter side of things like I usually do, only that things don't get better that much when I do it.
I got home, relaxed a bit and started doing my first blog about relief and change of attitude. Whew. What I've learned is that, mistakes are innevitable -- only that you need to learn from them. I also need to be strong. I have also realized that I need God, His word, and His every-clinging strength waiting for me. Oh, He's so good. That is the only life that revived me when I got home and nothing else.
This is a case foiled, spoiled, but resolved. ;)