Sometimes having an addiction can be an addiction in itself. We are used to depending on something to feel good that we will replace it with anything to have that feeling back. Omaha local Jack Mallett overcame alcohol addiction by playing tennis games and has been sober ever since then. Mallett can inspire others to become clean and how the love of a game is stronger than any harmful addiction that can try to take over your life.

Playing tennis did wonders for Mallett in which he became more social and helped get his body moving. When Mallett was young, he worked at a local drugstore as a soda jerk and became addicted to a prescription pill that would keep him awake long enough to practice the trumpet all day. This addiction did not last long as Mallett did not like the side effects of paranoia that the drug brought to him. Instead, Mallet took up a drinking habit and drank alcohol every night for fifteen years. Mallett got his wake-up call when he collapsed at work and was sent to the emergency room as a result of his alcoholism. His boss felt no choice but to give him an ultimatum: either achieve sobriety or get fired.

On March 31, 1976, Mallett finally quit drinking. He felt like he needed to replace one addiction with another that was healthy and more beneficial to his life. He remembered how he once played tennis when he was a teenager and enjoyed playing it. Mallett decided to pick up on tennis again by buying a twenty dollar tennis racquet and a pair of tennis shoes. He would hit tennis balls against the wall of an abandoned grocery store and little kids would volunteer to climb up the drainpipe to get the balls that would end up on the roof.

Mallett would travel to compete in age group tournaments in the United States. His greatest achievement in tennis was creating the Clay Courts Association where he and a few others advocated to the addition of three clay courts on top of the three existing ones at Omaha’s Dewey Park. Now in his nineties, Mallett still plays tennis recreationally three times a week. Playing sports can be a great way not only to be in great shape but to keep yourself busy with something fun and will not make you think of abusing substances again.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.