Archive for December, 2011
Overheard and overseen at junior tournaments . . .
- Mom of 2 junior players: That ball was on the line. She should’ve called it out!
- When the official left the court to attend to a medical time-out during a particularly contentious match involving a notorious cheater, and the other player refused to play without an official on the court . . . On-Court referee: The Code says play must be continuous. Player: The Code also says I’m entitled to a line judge!
- Tennis Mom’s complaint to the tournament director after her (seeded) son lost to a non-seeded, formerly top-20-in-the-nation-but-returning-from-injury player in the first round: This isn’t fair! We traveled all Fall so my son could improve his ranking so he would be seeded in More >
I’m reading a really great book for my book club (The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, in case you’re curious) and came across a passage that struck a nerve with me:
[Daughter] Madeleine had been trying to beat [Father] Alton her entire life without success. This was even more infuriating because she was better than he was, at this point. But whenever she took a set from Alton he started intimidating her, acting mean, disputing calls, and her game fell apart. Madeleine was worried that there was something paradigmatic in this, that she was destined to go through life being cowed by less capable men. As a result, Madeleine’s tennis matches against Alton had assumed such outsize personal significance for her that she got tight More >
Over the next several months, I will be publishing Q&As with tennis coaches from around the globe. I hope you will find these articles useful as you navigate the world of junior tennis. For me, it’s helpful to hear how other coaches do things and what their philosophies are regarding competing, training, parental involvement, college, the pro tour, etc. Each coach is so different and has a different set of experiences to share with our children and with us.
Today, I’m so pleased to introduce Tracy Houk. A San Francisco native, Tracy grew up playing tennis on the courts in Golden Gate Park. Her playing experience started in the junior 12s division playing tournaments all over Northern California through the 18s extending her More >
If you think good nutrition doesn’t play a major factor in success on the tennis court, think again!
I have spent this weekend at the Australian Open Wildcard Playoff tournament where 8 American men and 8 American women competed for a spot in the main draw of next month’s Australian Open. In the first round of the tourney, after winning the first set then losing the second in a heart-breaking tie-breaker, Jack Sock found himself up a break in the 3rd set against long-time rival Dennis Kudla. Instead of closing out the match, earning himself a spot in the semifinals the next day, Jack had to retire because of cramping.
Cramping? Indoors? In December?
First of all, Jack Sock is 19 years old and looks to be in great physical condition. More >
Over the next several months, I will be doing Q&As with tennis coaches from around the globe. I hope you will find these articles useful as you navigate the world of junior tennis. For me, it’s helpful to hear how other coaches do things and what their philosophies are regarding competing, training, parental involvement, college, the pro tour, etc. Each coach is so different and has a different set of experiences to share with our children and with us.
Today, I’m so pleased to introduce Roy Coopersmith. Roy played tennis in junior college – spots 1, 2, and 3. He played professionally while stationed in Europe in the Army, having two very impressive wins over the number 25 and 38 ranked ATP players. He was also on the All Army team More >
There’s something really special about seeing your child develop such that he’s suddenly beating players that he had routinely lost to in the younger age groups – seeing the process in action, so to speak. Those victories are especially sweet when your child is just coming back from an injury. My son had one such victory this past weekend.
In the semifinals, my son had to play a boy he had lost to in his first year – first month! – of the 14s. That 14s match was extremely contentious, so much so that my son ended up getting a point penalty in the third set on his opponent’s match point after the boys had argued repeatedly over line calls and let calls. It was a horrible match to watch. My son’s behavior, as well as that of his More >
About a year ago, I got an iPod Touch which, for someone without a Smart Phone, is kind of the next best thing. And then I discovered the world of Apps, specifically tennis apps.
My favorite is one I happened to download for free called TennisStats. It allows me to track my son’s matches in terms of first and second serve percentages, winners and errors, percentage of net points won, and aggressive margin. And, it tracks the stats for both players so you develop a player history and profile of opponents. Mostly, though, it gives me something useful to focus on while my son is on court.
This past weekend my son played in his first tourney in 8 weeks. Before the tourney, his coach emailed me and asked me to report back on my son’s More >
It’s been several weeks since my son’s back injury, and he and his coach feel like he’s finally ready to play tournaments again, so we’re off to Alabama this weekend. As I started thinking about getting ready to head out of town, I figured some of y’all might be interested in what we take when we hit the road. Of course, if you’re flying somewhere, the list might look a bit different, but here’s what we take with us for a weekend tourney within driving distance of home:
- Portable tv, DVDs, and XBox – we only take this on road trips longer than about 6 hours, just so my son has a way to stay busy instead of bugging his mother by asking, “Are we there yet?” a gazillion times.
- Power strip for the car – this comes in very handy when your More >
Over the next several months, I plan to do Q&As with tennis coaches from around the globe. I hope you will find these articles useful as you navigate the world of junior tennis. For me, it’s helpful to hear how other coaches do things and what their philosophies are regarding competing, training, parental involvement, college, the pro tour, etc. Each coach is so different and has a different set of experiences to share with our children and with us.
For my first foray into the Q&A world, I’m so pleased to introduce Yvonne Gallop. She is a USPTA/USPTR certified high performance coach who works in the San Mateo, California, area. Yvonne competed on the women’s pro tour from 1975-1980 and currently competes on the senior tour. Her More >
As we parents make our way through the world of junior tennis, we can sometimes feel a bit like Lewis and Clark trying to navigate through the Rocky Mountains to get to the Pacific Ocean. One of the easiest , or so it seems, decisions is who is going to coach my child. There is always a coach who can find room in their program for a newbie. “Just come join our beginner class on Tuesday afternoon, and I will take care of everything that has to do with your child’s development as a tennis player. We have a proven method that has worked for many youngsters over the past decade, and we are sure your child will fit right in here.”
As time goes on we can sense that our budding young superstar is not so happy with the coach or class. After More >