Last year, the Mid-Atlantic Section had over 15,000 adult league players, 6,000 junior tournament participants, 700 schools teaching tennis, 1,200 Tennis on Campus players…the list could go on and on. Mid-Atlantic tennis is so much more than these numbers, though – what defines Mid-Atlantic tennis is the stories behind these numbers. We want to share these individual stories that make tennis in the Mid-Atlantic so special. Welcome to the first post of the ongoing “This is Mid-Atlantic Tennis” series, where we’ll tell these stories. To share the story of your tennis journey, please fill out this form.
“I am a 55-year-old man who absolutely loves the game of tennis. I began playing tennis when I was 12 years old. My parents got divorced and my Mom became a single parent and I was dropped off at the tennis courts at 7am and picked up at 4:30. This began my love of the sport! I was a decent player, the years rolled by and I played with some success in high school and won the conference championship in doubles. I played some college tennis at a small Div III school.
My career has been in the entertainment industry most of my life, currently I run a manufacturing company who makes products for concert, performing arts, and churches. Tennis fell by the wayside and I didn’t pick up a racquet for almost 15 years. More recently, I began regular playing to help lose weight…I had ballooned to over 300 lbs. I suffered a severe knee injury playing, but worked through it. My real love of the sport would be tested over the last 6 years.
Sadly, my shoulder hasn’t done so well. I have torn my rotator cuff four times. The four surgeries have lead me to travel from Virginia to Texas to have one of the nation’s foremost surgeons perform my latest surgery. The good news is I am currently learning to play left-handed. I have played right-handed my entire life, and the transition to left-handed playing is progressing very nicely! The other impact is my my soon to be wife is a beginner player and we are able to play together, take lessons together and spend time together.
The many tennis surgeries have given me a sense of perspective on how important the sport is to me. I have felt a true sense of satisfaction helping coach the local boys high school team and giving lessons to juniors. Tennis is my stress outlet, the court is my sanctuary of a sort.”
Mike Rampmeyer is a longtime league player from Newport News, Va. Every tennis player has an interesting and unique relationship with the sport, and it’s these seemingly “everyday” stories that make Mid-Atlantic tennis so extraordinary.
No matter what your tennis journey has been, we want to hear it! Share yours here. Mike was also the lucky winner of our drawing to win a TennisWarehouse gift card during the month of April!