Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Billy Kirland: Getting better match by match

Billy Kirland, plays out of TennisLosAngeles.comA little more than two years ago, Billy was looking for a new fun workout. Running distance was growing a little stale and wasn't competitive enough. The more he thought about it, the more appealing tennis became because it was a sport that he would be able to play for the rest of his life. Tennis Los Angeles helped add a new lifelong hobby. Billy has compiled a 122-84 record and won his first championship with the Spring Season 3.5 division.

Which league are you a member of?

How long have you participated in your league?
I started playing the league in the fall of 2015, shortly after I started playing tennis. I started in the lowest division and have somehow worked my way all the way up to the highest. I definitely still have a lot of work to do to get better, but it's been a fun ride so far. 

How did you first learn about it?
I heard about it when I was doing live ball at the Santa Monica Tennis Center from one of my instructors. 

How often do you play?
I like to play 2-3 times a week if possible. It's a lot more fun than running or doing a boring work out. 

What do you like most about the league?
What I like most about the league is its flexibility. You can play when you want and where you want most of the time. It's great. 

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
There are so many great players in this league who have been playing a lot longer than I have. I already have a lot of good memories. But I think the most memorable is winning a championship. It was a cool culmination of starting to figure out how to play smarter tennis. Plus I was able to buy a new racket with the gift card I won.

How did you get started playing tennis?
I played recreationally once in a while as a kid. Not a lot though, just enough to get my butt kicked by friends who took lessons. I really only started to play more seriously and consistently a little more than two years ago. It's been a blast. It's a great way to stay in shape while also getting a competitive activity in weekly. I grew up playing football, basketball, and baseball, so it's been fun to get back into a competitive sport as I get older. 

What level player are you?
NTRP rating 4.0

What do you love about tennis?
I love how any one player can beat another player on any given day. Everyone has different styles of playing. Any style can win on any given day. The game is as much a mental workout as it is a physical one. It's cool that you can continually learn ways to improve and develop your game. 

 What are your favorite pro players? Why?
Again, I really only started playing about two years ago, meaning I've only been watching tennis for about two years too. If I had to pick a favorite player though, I think it might be Andy Murray. I love how competitive he is with himself and how he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Most of the time, he's able to use those emotions to elevate his game too. He plays tennis like a football player. It's cool.

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