Choose Smiles…What I’ve learnt from junior tennis

This morning on my long drive southwards. I had the pleasure of listening to Chris Evans interviewing the cast of Trainspotting. I imagine this places my age, but ‘Trainspotting’ along with ‘Pulp Fiction’ are two films with their bouncing sound tracks and killer lines, that can’t help but take me back to a simpler time. I hear Renton’s monologue and can’t help but smile.

“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family…

Choose your friends…

Choose your future…

Choose life.”

As Chris chattered to Danny Boyle and the boys, I couldn’t help but grin as they laughed and joked. You could tell that that they were enjoying being in each other company. They were looking back at the fun they had in the 90’s either from them making the films or for Chris Evans his lifestyle at the time.

However what also came over very strongly was how much pleasure they had got from the making T2 twenty years later. They knew this was another moment in their life that wouldn’t be repeated and they wanted to make the most of every second of filming.

The interview ended with Born Slippy by Underworld, ‘The Trainspotting’ theme, being played. I turned up the radio volume and let the thud of the bass fill my car and a smile cover my face.


My mind wandered to my theme, ‘What I’ve learnt from junior tennis?’. Well in this case rather than the final words of Renton’s monologue, ‘choose life’. I think what I’ve learnt is to choose smiles. My daughter won a tournament on Sunday and it is too easy as a parent to start rushing onto the LTA website to choose that next tennis tournament and to plot that next victory.

Instead I think we have to really enjoy the smiles along the way. We don’t know when the next big win will be. We can always hope it will be next week but it might be next month, next season or even next year so enjoy that moment.

So my advice is…

Choose life… Choose smiles.


I am a tennis parent, educationalist and author. My guide for tennis parents is written and I’m now looking for a publisher. You can follow me on on twitter @tennisdaduk.

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