Becoming A Professional Tennis Player And Tennis Coach Despite Lifelong Pain

Adam Field, UK

Summary: Adam has a skeletal condition that causes arthritis and pain. He uses a wheelchair and deals with pain on a daily basis. When in school, Adam saw someone playing wheelchair tennis and decided that was the game for him. More than 20 years later, he now coaches the sport himself. 

First Game Changer: Never giving up:

After giving up her job, Julie tried several other careers, but none were suitable for her condition. She was forced to give up work entirely, which left her very low.

First Game Changer: Taking on some advice

When he was 14, Adam was able to arrange his own tennis coach. Progress was slow in the early days; not only had Adam never used a sports wheelchair before, but he’d never really held a tennis racket.

However, the speed of the game and the sense of power is what motivated Adam to get better. His drive to be better at tennis than anyone else spurred him into taking it from a hobby into a professional career.

Over the following 20 years, Adam moved through competitions of various levels until he was representing GB on the world stage. Doing so, he ranked 8th in the world for doubles and 10th for singles. But along with an impressive world ranking, playing tennis also taught him life skills. Adam learnt to drive so he could get to games and learnt a different sense of independence.

Playing tennis helps Adam to take his mind off the pain he experiences every day. While it never goes away, being on the court gives him something else to think about. It’s also helped him to improve his fitness, which makes managing his condition easier.

The professional life of a sportsman is often very short and so for Adam he needed to find a way of utilising his skills for the next stage of his life. Adam now coaches others to play wheelchair tennis. Importantly, though, he still gets the same buzz from coaching as he did from professional competitions.

The little things that help Adam through the bad days are:

-To still try, even if you think it’ll be difficult.

-To still try, even if you think it’ll be difficult.

-Getting out there and doing it is the first step to success.