Why I See Tennis as a Metaphor for Life

 By Jan Cullinane
NABBW’s Associate for The New Retirement

This column is timely, as the world has been watching a bit of tennis recently (Wimbledon\’s All England Lawn Tennis championship just ended as I write this), when they haven\’t been debating World Cup soccer.

But more than that, it\’s short and sweet. 

The fact is, I love tennis and play several times a week when I’m home.

There is a friendly group of men and women tennis players where I live, along with great pros and beautiful courts, which makes playing enjoyable.

Over the years,  as I\’ve continued to play, I\’ve stumbled across several quotes that reflect, in my opinion, the larger meaning of tennis.

I\’m delighted to share three of them here with you:

  • “It’s no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life.  Advantage, service, fault, break, love; the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature.”  ~~Andre Agassitennis 2
  • “Tennis taught me so many lessons in s life.  One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision.  I have to accept responsibility for the consequences every time I hit a ball.”  ~~ Billie Jean King
  • “The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.”  ~~ Mitch Edberg

My take on these quotes? Simple: In addition to the social, physical, and mental aspects of tennis, it’s also a sport that mirrors life.

Jan Cullinane is a speaker, author, consultant, and retirement expert. She has been featured on TV, radio, and in many newspapers and magazines. Clients include Ford Motor Company, Deloitte & Touche LLP, the federal government, the Smithsonian Institution, Wachovia Securities, and Wells Fargo Advisors. Jan has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Maryland. Her books include “AARP’s The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement” (John Wiley & Sons), “The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life” (Rodale), and “Retire Happy!” (Hallmark Gift Books). Jan lives in Palm Coast, Florida and can speak backwards fluently!  Visit Jan at http://www.jancullinane.com/.

Jan Cullinane is the co-author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale, 2007). She gives seminars on the (primarily) non-financial aspects of retirement through her company, "Retirement Living from A to Z."