LiveBall in LA

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My son got to partake in a very unique type of drill session on Saturday morning (thank you, Steve!) at the Pacific Palisades Tennis Center in Pacific Palisades, California. It’s called LiveBall, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.

Here’s how it works . . . there are as many as 10 people on a court with one coach feeding balls to start each point. Two people are the “kings” working together as a doubles team on one side of the net. On the other side of the net are those players vying to take More >

Our Clay Courts Experience

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Now that Phase 1 (the Florida part) of our Summer Tennis Travel is done, I thought I’d write up a quick list of things we experienced and learned from the National Clay Courts in Delray. For those of you who were there or at sites for the other divisions, please add to my list in the Comments section below.

1. Having qualies is great except for the fact that, if the draws had remained the same size as in previous years, boys who lost 2nd or 3rd round in qualies would still have the opportunity More >

As Messy As We Predicted

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Image courtesy of tsukasachronicles.blogspot.com

The player selections have been posted for the upcoming national hardcourt Level 1 tournaments, and, as predicted, it’s another big mess. (See ZooTennis.com for more details)

Like the clay court selections, there are several top-ranked players who were either selected into the qualifying event (16s and 18s) or placed on the alternate list or, worse yet, weren’t selected at all because they didn’t even apply. The recent Wimbledon Junior Boys More >

National Hardcourts Selection Process

I just received the following email from USTA regarding the selection process for the upcoming National Hardcourts and wanted to share it. I will post more as the information becomes available.

Email from USTA Jr Competition

Thank you for your entry to the 2014 USTA  National Championships.

The initial selection process for these events will be completed by Monday, July 7, 2014 and we want to make sure the resulting selection lists are clearly understood.

If you have questions about the More >

The Beginning of the End

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Image courtesy of www.urbanite-diary.blogspot.com

July 1st marked the first day of my son’s last year in junior tennis. That day came and went with some very mixed emotions on my part (though I’m guessing my son was oblivious to its implications beyond which of his friends he was going to hang out with on the beach for the day). On the one hand, I’ve been rather frustrated with the entire junior tennis process – the confusion, the changing rules, the inconsistencies tournament to tournament. On More >

Playing for Money Changes Everything (Sort Of)

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Photo courtesy of www.longislandtennismagazine.com

 

Last weekend, we veered from our pre-planned Summer of 2014 tournament schedule just a bit. After returning from a good run at Southerns, I think my son and I were both ready to stick close to home for a few days, so he decided against playing our state clay open and opted instead to play in his first men’s open tournament offering prize money to the top finishers. It was a great call.

After getting a bye in the first round, my son was slated More >

Clay Courts Wild Card Selections

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Image courtesy of www.douglasbeaton.com

The wild card selections have been made for the various age groups at the upcoming National Clay Court tournaments around the US. I emailed Lew Brewer (Director of Junior Competition for USTA) to find out how the players were chosen and to get a list of all the wild cards since a “WC” designation isn’t indicated on the competitor lists. Here’s what Lew shared with me . . .

The criteria for selecting wild cards is published in the 2014 Friend at Court.  It More >

The Good Ol’ Days

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Photo courtesy of www.fashion-era.com

 

We don’t have to go quite as far back as the image above to find the glory days of junior tennis in this country, but with all the mess surrounding the upcoming national clay and hard court tournament selections, it’s worth taking a look in the rearview mirror as a reminder of how things used to be only a few years ago. I believe we can restore the high quality – and, yes, FUN – of junior tennis in the US, but it’s going to take some major re-thinking and More >

Clay Courts Confusion

 

A child ranked over 1000 nationally got selected for the upcoming National Clay Court Championship while another child ranked in the top 50 did not. How is this possible? It’s one of the “unintended consequences” of the 2014 rule changes.

As you may be aware, the player selection lists were just published for next month’s National Clay Court Championships held in various locations for the various age groups and genders. Since my son is in the Boys 18s, his event is being held in Delray More >

Steve Johnson, Sr: Tennis Parent & Tennis Coach

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Photo courtesy of Steve Johnson

The following interview originally appeared in print on Frank Giampaolo’s website. He asked me if I’d share it with y’all, so, of course, I said yes! I’ve also included my interviews with Steve Johnson both on the ParentingAces radio show and at the 2013 US Open. Enjoy!

     

Frank’s Interview with Steve Johnson, Sr

Tell the readers about your background as a tennis parent & full time tennis coach?

I feel privileged to have a beautiful family and a career that More >

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