Playing tennis is one of my favorite pastimes. I recall my tennis origins playing with my dad and brother in Fallon, NV, when I was in 4th grade. I'm sure I did more chasing balls around the court than hitting rallies, but there it is.
In high school I was very active in basketball and numerous intramural sports. There was a core group of us, maybe six or seven, who were always engaging in some sport activity or other together after school. It was the spring of our sophomore year we started playing some tennis, and continued through summer. We had the tennis bug.
Our junior year when basketball season finished we went out for the school tennis team, which had already started practices and set up a ladder. We had to start at the bottom and work our way up with challenge matches. The first few matches we played JV and continued improving. By the end of the season I got up to #3 varsity singles, and most of my buddies also made varsity. We played all the time that following summer on the outdoor courts in Riverside, CA., often under lights. There were great courts at UCR and RCC.
We all switched from basketball to tennis focus for our senior year, and I played #1 singles. I never had a formal lesson--completely self taught and improved through constant practice play with my buddies. I was far outclassed by some of my opponents, who clearly had formal training and years of experience, but I held my own and finished the season winning about half my matches. Our team also finished with a winning record in CBL standings, the best record the school ever had. I credit the group of us former basketball players for this result.
I played recreational tennis in college, entering intramural tournaments (and winning one). But then pretty much didn't pick up a racquet again for twenty years. Too busy with work, family, and playing softball, basketball, and soccer, and riding my bike.
In summer 1995 at a family reunion I played some tennis with my cousin and I instantly caught the tennis bug again. I couldn't play enough and joined Sunset Athletic Club. They have indoor courts (tennis is an indoor sport in the Pacific NW), organized practice play, tournaments, and leagues. I engaged in all these and my game improved quite a bit. Eventually I took on the responsibility of team captain, organizing practice and match play.
And that brings us to the present day. I still love the game and play two or three times per week, singles and doubles. What a fun and healthy lifelong sport!