Rudyard Kipling’s, If, was one of the first poems to which I was introduced by my mother who was also responsible for inspiring my love of tennis.
Mother liked to listen to Wimbledon on the radio, even after we had got our first television in the 1960s. Her hero was Fred Perry, who won Wimbledon in 1934, 1935 and 1936, and she often talked of how getting to hear the tennis was quite an issue as she had to do battle with her farming father who simply had to hear the Livestock Report. As Mother recalled it, the Livestock Report always seemed to happen just as the tennis matches involving Fred Perry were poised at psychological moments!
What a difference nowadays ~ I can be driving along and getting a point by point and grunt by grunt commentary from my son via his phone!
But, whatever the technological changes, the words of the poem If remain as meaningful as ever. I love this rendition from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: