Thriving Tennis: Reflections from Seaside's Director Amidst the Pandemic

Seaside’s Tennis Director reflects on how the sport thrived during the pandemic

Last time, we took a look back at the early days of Seaside Tennis. Now, we’re talking about where Seaside Tennis is today.

The last year has been (believe it or not) “good” for tennis. Early in the pandemic, tennis was rated as one of the safest activities. We play outdoors, and it is easy to stay socially distanced on and off the courts. Of course, most of us already knew that, but nothing like a crisis to emphasize how important tennis is to the world.

Currently, Seaside Tennis is busy every day. There is no longer an off season. I really never had much of one anyway since I filled slow times with ladies’ groups. Between spring break and summer is a short lull, and we just hosted 25 women from Huntsville, my former stomping ground, for a weekend of tennis drills and round robins. These ladies loved playing tennis and also enjoyed the shops and restaurants in Seaside.

We have added clinics daily to our already robust program. We now have several groups of “tennis friends” that play once or twice or more weekly. I have hired a third pro, and all of us are busy enough to ask for off days. Those are harder to come by than they used to be. And you had better sign up for any Seaside Tennis activities you want in advance from now on or you might not get in.

The past year has taught us many things. We, currently and forever, will bring our own towels and water to the courts. There is nothing wrong with a racket “high five” rather than a sweaty handshake at the end of a match. It seems even a little more fun. Why weren’t we washing our hands more often? And the pros on tour have to get their own towels instead of the ball people handling them every time. These seem like good changes to the game of tennis. What were we thinking by touching the same water bucket, swapping sweat, and not being as clean as we could?

The present is a good place to be, and the present state of tennis is just fine. Sure, your backhand still needs work and let’s not even mention that service toss. But think of the fun we have on the courts working on these. I just saw a picture of Lucy, one of my junior tennis players, playing in her first tennis tournament. What a smile she had on her face. That is why I do what I do. My tennis players really enjoy their time on the courts at Seaside. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, call or come by the shop to book your court, clinic, round robin, or lesson. The present holds fun, education, and friendship that we all need to be experiencing right now. Don’t dwell on the past or get too far ahead of yourself. Living in the present is a good piece of advice after all. Carpe diem!

See you on the courts.


Eye Opener Clinics, Mon.-Sat. 8-9 a.m., Mon.-Thurs. 9-10 a.m.

Round Robins, Fri.-Sun. 9 -10:30 a.m.

Courts are open for play daily 8 a.m.- dusk. Please call (850) 231-2214 to reserve courts, book lessons or sign-up for clinics and round robins. Find 30A TENNIS and SEASIDE TENNIS on Facebook for weather updates, news and events.

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