New Year’s Resolution Gets the Ball Rolling

Nolensville resident, David Luehr, was doing what most do at the beginning of the year – making New Year’s resolutions.

He not only wrote down what he set out to accomplish for the year; he put an action plan into place. After making the resolution to play more tennis, he jumped in his car and drove to the nearest tennis court to him, which happens to be the courts at Nolensville High School. Although it was raining, Luehr saw two boys playing on the courts. It was seeing those two boys playing that prompted him to post on a Nolensville Facebook Page about creating a tennis community.

After countless replies to his Facebook post, Luehr created a Nolensville Tennis Community Facebook Page.  In just 24 hours, the group added over 160 members. We spoke with Luehr to learn more about his passion for tennis and what’s next for the Nolensville Tennis Community.

When did your interest in playing tennis begin? 

My dad died in 2011. He was great tennis player during his time in the army during the Korean War, played as an amateur at Wimbledon in the 1960s, and went on to be a teaching pro in the seventies and eighties. He also played on the team at Oregon State University. I always watched with amazement as he could make tennis look so effortless as he would glide around the court.

I never took tennis seriously as a youngster, but when he passed away late in 2011, I wanted tennis as a way to keep me close to him. I also felt that as a man in his forties, exercise was something I badly needed. So I went out and bought a racquet and some balls.

My hopes were that my teenage daughter or wife would join me in my new-found love of tennis, but I fear they were quickly “put off” by my intensity and passion to excel at tennis. So, I went at it alone!

After some really embarrassing experiences with local tennis hacks during the very hot summer of 2012, I decided that I needed some professional help, and I discovered Mike Martin at the Williamson County Rec. Center (the indoor sports complex in Brentwood). He is the Tennis Director for WCPR and also a great tennis instructor. Mike also plugged me into the tennis community in Williamson County and before you knew it, I was playing league matches every week and really enjoying the game of tennis.

In the last year, however, due to some minor injuries and other things happening in my life, tennis began to take a back-seat for a while. With the traffic getting worse and worse, I sometimes found the drive all the way to Maryland Farms arduous, so one excuse after another, I found myself not playing as often as I would like, and not getting the exercise I need. For some of us, exercise is a complete bore. I love the fact that I can get the best possible workout with tennis and enjoy it completely.

As you were planning New Year’s resolutions, you also wrote an action plan which prompted a drive over to Nolensville High School, what did you find when you arrived? 

When the New Year came upon us, I vowed to get back into tennis and thought how wonderful it could be to have tennis available here in Nolensville. I then remembered that the new Nolensville High School has built some tennis courts so I drove over to the school (which I had never seen) and was amazed to see four beautiful tennis courts. I was inspired to see two young people playing tennis in January on the wet courts.  The young men were excited to try out their new racquets they had just received during Christmas. While I was taking photos of the courts, I asked one of the young men if he played on the Nolensville High School Team. He told me that he did not, but if he could get good at tennis, he would love to.

After taking those photographs, you came home to put a message on the Nolensville 411 Facebook Page, what happened next? 

Once I returned home, I though how wonderful the sport of tennis had been for me, and I wondered if other people in Nolensville felt the same way. I also yearned to meet some new tennis friends closer to home. Thinking of the young men playing on the wet courts, I thought and wondered if there would be a benefit to reaching out to the community through social media to see if more people would be interested in getting together to play or learn tennis at the new school courts. I put out a couple posts on Facebook and the response was overwhelming. Expecting that my efforts would garner me, 10-15 new friends, to play tennis with, I heard from over 200 people!

In a bit of a panic, I realized that I had created a monster, so I quickly created a Facebook Group page called Nolensville Tennis Community and invited them to sign up. Within 24 hours we had 160 members. I believe Nolensville has spoken; we want tennis here!

With so much interest in this group, what would you like to see happen next? 

I am currently working with the staff at Nolensville High School, including the Athletic Director Will Hester and the tennis coach at Nolensville High School, Brian Bass. We will be discussing opportunities to create organized get-togethers including clinics for all skill levels, matches, or whatever. We want to make sure we get the school’s blessing before we go too crazy. Hopefully, the Nolensville Tennis Community will tell me what they want, and I will do my best to help organize it.

My personal vision would include regular week-end clinics, lessons available through Williamson County Rec. and perhaps even get a league or two going for both singles and doubles play. In the future, I am sure we could form some Nolensville-based USTA Teams if people show enough interest.

Thanks to David Luehr for taking time out to talk with us.  For those who live in the Nolensville area and are interested in joining the Nolensville Tennis Community, visit their Facebook page for more information.

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