Tennis and Life Camps

Not Everybody Likes Me???

The truth is, not everybody likes me. This is a hard truth for someone who has spent a great deal of his life wanting to be liked. But it is, nonetheless, the truth. And it is essential to know in going forward with any endeavor of importance without being paralyzed. When my daughter, Madeline, now […]

I See It

Summer camps end today.  I could say, “Where does the time go?” but after 36 years of this, I have a pretty good idea. This is what I see that I could not see 36 years ago: I see a Tennis & Life Camps that will thrive long after I am dead.  I do not […]

I Stink

“I stink.” Not words you expect to hear when you come upon a court of little tykes who had been 15 minutes ago having fun and laughing at the games they were playing on court. But, in the shade, sitting cross legged by himself while the chaotic energy of other eight year olds swirled around, […]

I Can’t Control The Rain

It is raining this morning as I write this.  We are indoors with drills. For many years at TLC, we had a saying as a staff about weather.  “Only God and Steve can control the rain…”  Steve Wilkinson, co-founder of TLC, was like Moses parting the Red Sea.  He looked up at the sky and […]

When Trouble Comes

It is never a matter of if.  It is always a matter of when.  Trouble will visit our minds and our lives.  If we know this, we do not have to be afraid.  We can face it without saying “Why me?” and say instead, as Arthur Ashe said when he contracted AIDS through an unscreened […]

Trusting Your Second Instinct

This morning, outdoors, at 6:45 AM CDT, I was destroyed on court by my buddy. He played brilliantly. He set up shots beautifully, and executed put-aways as effortlessly as if he were strolling down the Champs-Élysées . My own racket felt like a trampoline. I considered at one point stopping play, placing it between two benches, […]

May Day! May Day!

What if you started every game in tennis behind Love-40 against opponents of equal ability?  How long before TLC’s Three Crowns of Positive Attitude, Full Effort, and Good Sportsmanship collapsed in on you? Today is May Day, the day of May baskets.  May poles.  May Day celebrations of spring (that season which does not occur […]

Forgetting and Remembering

Yesterday would have been Steve Wilkinson’s 76th birthday.  And I forgot.  He would have been ok with that. One of my favorite memories of Steve was his wandering the courts in the Swanson bubble with the list of all 100 campers’ names in his hands.  Learning the names somehow came easy to me, and that […]

Trying Too Hard/The 90% Rule

One of my pet peeves is when I hear an announcer say, “Well, they may not have won, but they gave it 110%!”  Or a coach, “Unless you’re giving me 110%, go home right now!”  I want to say to them, “Were you not required to take math when you were growing up?” Full effort, […]

The Reason Behind TLC’s Success

Five years ago today Tennis & Life Camps was changed for good forever.  What happened that day is, in my estimation, the most important reason we have filled camps faster than any time in history; why our retreat camps have expanded and grown and our message of inclusion of all has refined and set a […]