Lawn Tennis for Ladies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 79 pages of information about Lawn Tennis for Ladies.
spectator.  I think I am not wrong in saying that there is no other game at the present time in which this combination of the sexes does not tend to minimize the enjoyment of the player and the interest of the spectator.  A mixed foursome at golf is poor sort of fun for the man, unless the ladies are quite first-class; the game is rather spoilt for him.  Mixed hockey is an abomination; splendid sport absolutely spoiled for both sexes.  But a mixed double at lawn tennis seems like a distinct game, so different is it to the other forms of lawn tennis and so well adapted to the combination of both sexes.

Then it is asserted that strenuous games mar the appearance of girls.  This charge was very deliberately brought against hockey for women some little time ago in an influential London journal, and was rightly and promptly answered by a spirited article with illustrations of some well-known lady hockey players—­proof positive of the fallacy that hockey damaged their appearance.  I am afraid most of these contortions are the product of the snapshot camera.  It must be remembered that instantaneous photographs show players of games as they are really never seen.  Girls are doubtless in the ungraceful position represented for a fraction of a second; but the time is too short for the eye to see, although the camera, worse luck, catches the view, and what is more, registers it for ever!  Though a girl should always try to be as neat and look as nice as she possibly can, even when playing a strenuous game, it is hardly possible or natural to be “just so” every second of a long struggle.  In fact, I think it is more interesting to see a girl not absolutely immobile.  I prefer that she should show some signs of excitement, that her muscles should be strained and her face set.  This has a very real pleasure of its own, and I do not think it unsightly.  Public speaking and singing may distort the mouth and disturb the facial muscles to a most ludicrous extent and give the eyes quite an unnatural appearance; but I have never yet heard it said that a man or woman should give up either because of its effect upon the appearance.  Why, then, should women abandon athletic exercises, which they enjoy so much, and which do them so much good, merely because, just for a moment or two perhaps, their appearance is distorted?



Players, even tournament players, often ask how they can improve.  “I have been at the same stage so long; what can I do to play a better game?” That is not infrequently the question.  Now I think many who are very anxious to advance go to work in the wrong way.  To my mind, the great point to remember when you are practising is not that the match must be won, but that all your weak strokes must be improved.  We all know our special failures; if not, some kind friend will soon point them out to us.  Tackle these doggedly in practice.  Strokes

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Lawn Tennis for Ladies from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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