176 TENNIS Authorities in the field of human growth and motivation generally agree that one of the major ingredients of a long, fulfilling life is passion. Passion is what gets you up early and keeps you up late. Those who are passionate about something in their lives are definitely healthier, more productive and, most importantly, happier. As a teacher, the students with whom I enjoy working the most are the ones who clearly love the game. It doesn’t matter how good they are, the exciting thing is playing with someone who loves to be on the court and who plays with passion. You should play tennis for the enjoyment of the game and for the competitive challenge that comes with the game. Don’t play it for the ‘side shows’ like white scarves or for the school to learn your name – play for the love and challenge of the game. In order to create a learner-friendly environment and achieve all that tennis has to offer you must develop a ‘healthy selfishness’. This means that you play for yourself. You approach the game with the attitude that you are a beginner and are going to make lots of mistakes. Then convince yourself that it is tough and don’t worry about how you look on the court. Selfishness allows you to realise that winning does not necessarily mean defeating your opponent – the competition is against yourself. Jimmy Connors was once asked what his strategy against a particular opponent would be. Connors replied that his strategy against that opponent would be the same as it was against every other opponent. He said,“I just go out and play my game and if I play as well as I’m capable of, I’ll be happy and the score will take care of itself.” Ask yourself the following question honestly: would you rather play poorly and win or play well and lose? Your answer will tell you about the way you approach tennis and why. Tennis Some advice for the Kearsney tennis boys: