Tennis is a sport that can be taxing on both the mind and the body. Because tennis isn't always the most fast-paced sport, you get to spend a lot of time analyzing your next move, celebrating a nice shot, or lamenting over a mistake. If you've had a particularly poor match, you can feel like giving up the sport entirely. However, deep down, you know that you love the sport too much to ever do that.
I played high school tennis and it was one of my favorite extracurriculars. So many memories were made on the courts, on the bus to away games and at my teammates' houses. Like any sport, tennis has its own idiosyncrasies and inside jokes that only the players would be able to understand.
Here are 50 things you would understand if you played high school tennis.
1. Your sport was probably not the most popular to play at your school, nor was it the most funded.
2. The term "are you sure?" still causes you to rage.
Yes. I'm positive the ball went out. Do you really think I'm going to go back on my word?
3. The ball machine still gives you nightmares.
4. You trusted your doubles partner with your life.
5. Your tan lines were ridiculous, as was your perpetual sunburn.
But that tan in October was pretty clutch.
6. Team bus rides and dinners were incredible bonding experiences.
7. There was always that team that you knew was going to slaughter yours.
But you always tried to lose with dignity.
8. Saturday tournaments involved lots of snacks and secretly trying to sneak in your piles of homework while cheering on your teammates.
9. "I got it" and "Mine" were constantly heard being screamed across the court.
10. The marching band was always your practice's musical accompaniment.
11. Taking a ball to the face or chest was just something you had to learn was always going to be painful and well worth the sacrifice.
12. The wind was either your best friend or your worst enemy.
13. Rain meant two things: either indoor workouts and/or the squeegee.
The squeegee didn't mess around.
14. Tennis skirt wedgies were a thing.
15. You would find tennis balls in various purses and bags, not remembering how they got there.
14. A freshly tightened racket was a thing of beauty.
15. You would unleash a guttural sound after returning a pretty powerful serve and wonder what zoo you escaped from.
16. Serving an ace and wanting to do a little touchdown dance...
... But you were a tennis player, not a football player, and you needed to remain classy.
17. You still feel bad for all the mean things you thought about your opponents in your head, bad words and all.
18. You know love means nothing and that if you want a soft serve, you should go to Dairy Queen.
19. Pulling a muscle in your back while serving felt like a betrayal by your body that you just couldn't get over.
20. Playing at a school with a legit singles court was majestic.
21. The scoring system was pretty confusing when your first started playing, and only being able to drink water at certain times in a match was excruciating.
Tennis etiquette, you gotta love it.
22. Losing in a tiebreaker was tear-jerking.
23. If you played on a girl's team, it was pretty common to see girls cry after losing and if you were on a boy's team, racket rage was real.
24. Shaking hands with an opponent you did not like took a lot of strength.
25. Talking to yourself on the court was socially acceptable.
26. It was all about that footwork.
27. If you were short and your opponent was tall, you knew those lobs were coming at you fast and furious.
28. Those never ending rallies where you felt you aged four years after someone finally scored.
29. Always praying your partner's serve wouldn't hit you in the back, butt, or head when you played doubles.
30. Running after balls all over the court was the most tedious thing ever, as well as waiting for the next match over to have a break in play so you could go and get said ball.
31. Those bruises that would turn purple and green on your elbow and thighs from over serving or hitting.
32. Playing a lefty or righty, whichever was your own opposite favored forehand, was a special kind of hell.
33. Those one-handed backhand people were actually not human.
34. You knew hitting an opponent immediately meant your point, and you would really try to aim for their shoes, but sometimes the sun would get in your eyes and you would get them somewhere else.
That sun can be blinding, you know?
35. Up or down? M or W? P or D?
36. Those balls that hit net but still made it over made you want to sit on the court and contemplate life, whether you were the one who hit the ball or your opponent.
37. If you left home without a ponytail holder, lord have mercy on your soul.
38. Some tennis dresses were the ugliest creations known to man.
39. Your bag had sunglasses, hats, and sweaters, and leggings because seasons did not care if you had a match that night and starting off a match at 3 p.m. and ending it at 7 p.m. could mean going from 80 degrees to 50 in a matter of hours.
40. Night matches were awesome because of how lit the courts got (get it, lit?).
41. Playing at sunset was amazing because of how vividly orange and pink the sky would become.
42. Your racket was like your little baby and it needed the best tape and dampener. My dampener was a rose #swag.
43. Sometimes you needed to think of someone you hated to really hit a nice volley.
Whether that be an ex or a teacher, that decision rested on you.