Special Guest Column
By “Biff” Strong
First, for those who haven’t met me, let me introduce myself. I am Corrin’s alter-ego “Biff.” Most of you know Corrin as a controversial public figure– newspaper and now blog publisher, community activist and perennial candidate for public office– but I am more of a private person.
Some might say I am Corrin’s inner child, but I resent that. Just because I like to play tennis and finally convinced Corrin to build a clay tennis court in the backyard does not mean I am not a grown-up! Tennis can be a serious business which I am going to prove to the Geneseo community in the coming weeks and months.
I really can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love tennis. At the age of 6, I was given my first tennis lesson on a backboard on the clay courts of Old Black Point, Connecticut. OBP, as the locals call it, is a summer community in the Town of East Lyme near the village of Niantic. Now it is very chichi, having been taken over by hedge fund billionaires from New York, but in my youth it was an idyllic family community.
BTW It is my firm belief that practicing with a backboard is the best way to learn the game because they are always willing to play, they never get mad if you miss a shot and they rarely fail to return a shot unless you hit it over their head. That is why I insisted that Corrin install a backboard on the new court.
Helping people learn to play better tennis is important to me because Corrin has just hired me to be the resident tennis pro at the new Genesee Volley Tennis Club. I am available for private lessons (at very reasonable rates) to help tune up your strokes or give you some tips on how to get the competitive edge for playing on a soft surface.
Later this summer I will be starting the Big House Tennis Academy which will include clinics for players of all ages and abilities, as well as a summer camp. Watch this space or your local newspaper for details.
Playing on clay is a very different, and in my view, a vastly superior game than playing on the traditional asphalt hard court. For one thing, the clay is very spongy and thus is much easier on your feet and legs. The ball also bounces higher and truer and therefore points last longer– and spin shots and lobs become much more effective.
There is a whole new level of strategy in clay court tennis, but I can’t say any more here. For that you’ll have to take the advanced course! Contact Corrin if you are interested! See you on the court!
P.S. Thanks to all the folks who came out to the Old-Fashioned Tennis Court Raising this past Saturday. 30 of you worked very hard on a very hot day to help make the Dream of my Lifetime come true. As my personal thank you, I am offering a FREE tennis lesson to each of you!