Archive for Neal Hagberg

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 […]

The Power of Love Love

Love, Love.  It’s how every tennis match begins.  Being Valentine’s Day, let me tell you a tennis love story.  It is not what you think. The following story is used with permission from the family. Carson came to our Tennis & Life Camps retreat camp this winter.  He was quiet. He was attentive.  And he […]

Life, Death, and Steve

Steve died two years ago today.  Sometimes it feels like two hundred.  Sometimes it feels like two minutes.  I expect to turn a corner and see his Steve-grin, get a high five, hear a word of encouragement.   But that hasn’t happened for exactly two years now. Death has a way of doing that. But if […]

Out of the Darkest Night

Sometimes, in a world seemingly consumed by fear and suspicion of “the other,” darkness washes over me and I consider giving into despair.  Sometimes the night seems so long, the sun feels like it will not rise.  Sometimes when someone treats me unfairly in a match, the darkness I feel makes me want to walk […]

Next Time

I was playing against an opponent who would normally beat me eight times out of ten.  Okay, nine times out of ten.  I realized my strategy of rallying from the baseline with him in the past would result in a lovely workout, but no chance of a win.  So, going into the matchup, I decided […]

In A World Of Hurt, This Is Our Commitment To You

I woke up last week with a start in the middle of the night and could not sleep again. What I have heard from campers and staff in the past week has shaken me.  Please read this all.  There is not a call to blame, but an ask for help.  From each one of you. […]