Tennis is both a solo sport yet a team sport whether you are playing singles or doubles. You have to be able to work with a coach and listen to them, you have to be able to communicate well with your partner if you are playing doubles, but it can also be an introvert's paradise because once you are in a point it's up to you on take that point and even when you play doubles you are only with one other person away from the exhausting loudness during points that may come if you were to say play a team sport in a stadium.
Yet, there is something that can still be daunting for introverts from how you are supposed to interact with others when you are competing to over-internalizing how people may percieve a point you messed up or you getting inside your own head. All of which can be mentally draining.
Many introverts just want to start the match, play, get the most out of the time to compete and get on with the rest of the day. But there are ways for you gain some of the greatest skills, happiness, and community when you make a little bit of effort.
Get to know your opponent
As counterintuitive as it sounds, it can really go a long way during your match and for your overall well-being if you actually smile and ask how your opponent is doing! Your opponent may either respond back kindly and if they don't there is still nothing to lose!
Play some doubles
Singles might be your go to but it's important to acknowledge that teamwork and strong communication will take you a long way even off the court. Challenge yourself to play doubles even atleast once every couple of months and instead of thinking of it just like another match - think of it as a fun way to compete and practice your communication skills especially in times when you are down a point. After all, life isn't just all about the wins. After the match, since you are in a group of 4 - suggest a drink or meal! Even if everyone can't come you might atleast get one person who you get to connect with in a meaningful and engaged way (i.e. an introvert's dream!)
See how you can help
In a class or a camp with other players? Learn about what they are working on and ask how you can help! As crazy as it may seem, everyone has something outside of tennis and usually can always use a friend to bounce ideas off of or could use some help. What we have found is that by offering help, players around you are more likely to put their guards down, warm up, and potentially take the interaction off the court leading to a new friend you may not have otherwise made!
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