How did you get into Tennis? - An Interview

When I first started playing tennis, it was in 1999 – August of 1999 actually.  At the time I was dating a girl in college.  She was a tennis fan and I was a tennis fan and we thought it would be a lot of fun to go practice or get warmed up for this camp we were going to.  And while I was out there, I was in my every day chair – no sports chair specific.  No strapping.  Nothing on.  I was holding the racket with no assisted device, with my hands that are partly paralyzed.  As soon as the ball would hit the racket , the racket would fly out of my hands.  There was no possible way for me to hold it.  I just kept telling myself, there is no way quadriplegic plays wheelchair tennis.  Thankfully, I didn’t believe that – I just said it.  I learned how to hold the racket.  I use athletic tape.  I tape the racket to my hand, so it is stuck in one grip the whole time.  It never changes for the duration of my training or my match – and that could be an hour or three hours.  It just depends on the duration of the match.  I would just suggest again that you get out there and try it.  And you adapt.  You make do with what you have based on your disability.  That’s exactly what I did.  I didn’t let it stop me.  My love was tennis and I found that again – just in an adaptive way.


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