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Provincial team coach shares perspective on life without tennis

Jan 18, 2021
written by: Tennis Manitoba
written by: Tennis Manitoba
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Tennis typically takes up a lot of Robert Kennedy‘s time and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

He’s a teacher at Constable Finney Elementary School by day, but in the evening, you can most likely find him on a tennis court. As you already know, that’s not the case these days with the province in lockdown owing to COVID-19.

“Most of my evenings revolved around doing something with tennis whether it’s coaching at the provincial program or working at the Winter Club. It’s kind of strange that I have a lot of free time on my hands,” said Kennedy.

He’s staying in shape by skating at outdoor rinks and keeps busy by listening to music and reading. But there’s definitely a void as he’s been coaching since 1983. He said he misses the tennis community and the energy he feels when he helps others improve their games. So, what’s this coach have to say to players who are in the same boat as him right now and missing the game?

“Stay focused on the things you’re in control of. You’re not in control when it opens or anything like that,” he said.

“Too many times kids worry about falling behind and thinking ‘Oh, I need to do this,’ and at times, there are things bigger than the sport. This puts things into perspective also.”

A concern for athletes in all sports right now is that they feel they’re falling behind. It may be hard to look at the big picture and not feel that way, but Kennedy said it’s all about perspective.

“You can approach it in different ways. You can say this is terrible and people are falling behind, or you can view it as the same thing as getting ‘injured’ but in this case, everybody is ‘injured,'” he said.

“So, you have to take time away from being on the court and doing physical things, but there are mental things you can work on and physical conditioning things you can do that you should be doing in your training anyway. This gives you an opportunity to kind of focus on those things.”