Colbert: Getting back in the swing of things |

Colbert: Getting back in the swing of things

It's a big week at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs

— I forgot how much I enjoyed tennis.

I never played the sport competitively, nor have I ever been that good at it, but it became an addicting recreational activity for me in college. Even in Kansas’s 100-degree summer heat, my friends and I would trudge out to our university’s un-shaded courts and swing the racket a few hours at a time.

That was nearly three years ago now — a lifetime ago, for me. For whatever reason, I’ve kept my tennis racket in my car all this time, even though I haven’t once stepped on a tennis court outside of covering something for the newspaper.

This changed about two weeks ago, when I decided to go to The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs and take part in one of its Drills N’ Skills classes. I joined a novice class, taught by Loretta Conway, and spent an hour trying to re-learn the basics of swinging a racket.

Naturally, I was terrible, but Conway was patient and motivating and kept the class fun. I may not have been good, but I learned then how much I had missed the sport.

Sunday, after two weeks without playing, I went back and took my second Drills N’ Skills class. I remained with the novice group, my rusty backhand keeping me from confidently stepping up and playing with the big kids (OK, my forehand, serve and really every other aspect of my game is rusty, as well).

But, the thing about tennis is, it doesn’t matter how good you are. If you can learn the basics, simply get the ball over the net and find someone of equal skill level to play against, it becomes addicting, and fast.

If you’re like me and don’t know where to start, The Tennis Center’s classes are a good bet. The Drills N’ Skills are fairly frequent, cost $15 for non-members and are a whole lot of fun. There are a few other options, as well, including some bootcamp-style cardio tennis courses for those who think there isn’t already enough running in the game.

I don’t have an agenda with my long overdue return to tennis. Maybe I’d like to get good enough to compete in a few local tournaments, but for the most part, I find it a great way to get a workout and have a lot of fun at the same time.

As a new addict, I’m always looking for fresh faces to play against. The city has nice courts near Howelsen Hill, so let’s go swing the racket together. Though, maybe, without the Kansas heat.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

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