Nicholas Rasetti: Tennis

For my CIP, I’ve been playing tennis at the Saiin Park Tennis Courts with a local recreational program. Every Tuesday, Ben Bellick and I show up at 6PM and get to practice honing our tennis skills, both with each other, with Japanese, and under the guidance of the people running the program. Even in the short time I’ve been playing for since coming here, I can already see a lot of improvement in my game. On top of that, it’s a great way to blow off stress and relax without going out and spending too much money.


Although not particularly a Japanese activity in and of itself, I feel like tennis is a good window through which many aspects of Japanese culture and people can be seen. For example, one of my most common observations throughout my time on the courts was the willingness of the Japanese to lend a helping hand whenever you need it. They’ll gladly take time out of their own development to help you by explaining how you can improve your form or showing you what the right method is. Even with the language barrier, they’ve really done their best and I’ve learned a lot as a result. They have no obligation to help me in that way, but they’re always willing to, and for that I’m extremely grateful.


In addition to a willingness to help whenever I might need it, they’re also very encouraging and supportive. Anytime I might whiff a ball or make an error, they’re quick to jump in and tell me not to worry about it, or “Don’t mind!”. While this might not seem like much, when you’re trying your best to get back into a sport you haven’t played in a long time and are making a lot of errors, it can make all the difference. It’s much easier to laugh off an error along with everyone than to feel uncomfortable because you feel like people are silently judging you.  Overall, it’s the little things that make it a true pleasure to go out and play tennis with the friendly Japanese folk down at the Saiin tennis courts.


-Nick Rasetti

2 thoughts on “Nicholas Rasetti: Tennis

  1. Nick, this sounds a wholesome experience for you to have a regular sport time per week during this semester. I think your CIP is such a relaxing way to temporarily clear distracting thoughts and immerse yourself in the workout, which is necessary as we are studying abroad. Also I’m glad you have met those nice Japanese folk and got along with them. No matter what kinds of activities we participated in, the course of interacting with Japanese people and experiencing Japanese life is memorable.

    • Jingzhou, thank you so much! It really was relaxing, and I was surprised by the insights into Japanese culture I was able to get through Tennis. It was a great way to exercise, and the people were so nice. The CIP has really been a great part of the experience, and I can tell that, despite our very different CIPs, we both had a relaxing, informative, and memorable experience through our CIPs. Thank you again for your comment. It’s been a great semester! I’m glad we were able to be friends.