My first real tennis game … your first real bridge game
At this point I have not yet played a game of tennis. I have had lessons. I have hit balls from the ball machine. I have tried (not very successfully) to hit back Ray’s tennis shots. But I have never played a game (even without serving).
I am afraid.
What am I afraid of? (mostly looking foolish, ruining the game for everybody else, who know?)
Many years ago I asked my mom who loves to play bridge with her friends to play bridge with me at the club. I made special provision for us to play in the novice game with out score being only notional.
My mother really wanted to but she was very scared. I convinced her to play. I could see her hands shaking and her voice trembling when we started. She calmed down somewhat during the game – although she tried to make sure I was on play. Afterwards she admitted she had fun, but the ordeal was too great and she never has played at a club since.
I never really understood why it was so hard to make the leap from bridge lessons to playing a game at a club. Now I do! How wonderful are the teachers and club owners who know just how to help their students make that transition.
So as a teacher we are encouraging our students to play at home and I know we will also need to help them to make the transition to playing online and at a club.
When I told my intermediate class (who are really wonderful and very good) this story (my fear, mr mothers fear) they all immediately knew exactly what I meant. And I now understand how hard it is to actually play that first real bridge game.
I will think of my students when I go out on the court. And if I double fault every serve or miss every backhand I will try not to feel too bad about it. Some day I will do better.
If my bridge students can put take the risk, so can I.