My favorite sports event/memory/moment is ... the day of my first ever singles title as a tennis player. Every moment of that championship point is framed in my memory, a timeless photo album; the serve, the short return, my approach to the net, and then my final, put away volley. It all seemed so important and so meaningful. Then in February of 2016, my wife and I received our first child. Only nine months later as I watched him play on our living room floor, he picked up a ball and began to awkwardly hold it it and to throw it, then crawling to chase after it. There was no real skill, no purpose, but merely the unbridled expression of pure joy. Merely, for the love of it. Take away the varnish of skill, of victory, of defeat, of glory, and what remains? The unbridled joy, the simple love of sport. That memory, that moment, is my favorite memory in sport.
Jose Funes is the General Manager & Director of Tennis at Centercourt Florham Park. Jose is a USPTA-certified tennis instructor and he has been instructing groups and individuals of all levels for over twenty-five years. He has participated as a Developmental coach at 10 & Under and 12 & Under USTA Developmental camps. He began playing and competing in junior tennis in the Bahamas and after moving to New Jersey, Jose played high school tennis for Newark Academy and in college competed at the Division I level for Seton Hall University. Jose believes success and achievement in tennis are guided by attention to detail and hard work, rather than talent. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is therefore not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle