Archive for January, 2012

Rituals, Superstitions, & Quirks – Oh My!


The photo above is from my 15 year old son’s room.  His shoes are lined up perfectly – perfectly spaced, perfectly aligned – what 15 year old boy does that???  And, yes, the rest of his room, as well as his racquet bag, is similarly arranged.  During tournaments, he eats the exact same thing for breakfast each day, the exact same thing for lunch, and the exact same thing for dinner.  His before-bed-during-a-tournament ritual is well-rehearsed and impeccably executed each night, too.  When I, More >

A Matter of Fitness



If you don’t want to know the outcome of the Djokovic-Murray semifinal match, stop reading now!

I watched that match with great interest, especially as it moved into the 5th set.  Both players were looking a bit fatigued, and it was obvious that this match was going to come down to who was the most fit – both physically and mentally.  While Djokovic has traditionally been plagued with physical ailments which caused him to either retire matches or More >

High School Tennis


For the past two weeks, my son has been going to his high school tennis team tryouts after school and drills.  Given the individual nature of his sport, the idea of trying out for a team is a relatively new concept for my son.  And, the idea of playing matches without worrying about ranking points is completely foreign to him.  Thankfully, his coach gave him a handout spelling out the do’s and don’ts when trying out for a school team.  My favorite tip is:

  • Act like a champion, dress like a More >

The Alternate List Redux


I wrote in an earlier post about life on the tournament alternate list.  Now, let’s talk about a different kind of alternate . . . the on-site alternate.

When you’re on the alternate list for a tournament, you have the option of showing up to the tournament site on the first morning of play and asking to step in if anyone in the draw doesn’t show up for his/her match.  Each tournament has slightly different rules for how they work the on-site alternate thing, but, basically, if you show up, More >

What Can We Learn From the Pros?


Going back to my last post on active viewing, I wanted to expand and talk a bit about what we – and our kids – can learn from watching the pros in action.

I have been spending a lot (understatement!) of time watching the Aussie Open this week.  I’ve seen some good stuff and some not-so-good stuff, all of which has taught me lessons that I can share with my son.

Did you see Marcos Baghdatis play Stan Wawrinka?  Did you see Marcos have a meltdown then start destroying his racquets on the More >

Active Viewing


With the Australian Open now in full swing, this is a great opportunity to do some active tennis viewing with your child.  What do I mean by that?  I mean, watching “tennis with a purpose” as our friends at call it.

For those of you in the States, the Aussie Open is a great tournament to try this since the matches are airing early in the morning or at night when your child is most likely home.  Maybe you can watch during breakfast time or for a little while after dinner before More >

Q&A with Coach Lisa Dodson


This next Q&A is with Lisa Dodson.  Lisa currently lives and teaches in Northern California.  She is a certified USPTA Pro 1 and PTR coach with over 30 years of teaching experience.  She was also a ranked player on the WTA tour.  As you will read below, Lisa is a passionate coach who has much to offer in the way of player development.  Enjoy!

ParentingAcesWhat was your junior tennis experience like? Did you go straight from junior to the pros or did you play college tennis?

Lisa Dodson:  My More >

Life in Limbo


As a precursor to this post, you might want to go back and read my earlier post on the USTA ranking system and how it works.  That done, let’s talk about life in limbo aka The Alternate List.

With the new smaller draws at the USTA tournaments, there is likely to be an alternate list for most age divisions.  The alternate list is simply a document listing the registered players who were not ranked highly enough to make it into the main draw but who, in the event that a main-draw player decides More >

New Rules for the New Year, Part 2


Another rule that was piloted in the Southern Section in 2011 but rolled out nationwide for 2012 concerns 10-and-Under Tennis (aka QuickStart or Mini-Tennis or ROG which is an acronym for the different colors of the  low-compression balls).  From this point forward, all 10U tournament play will take place on smaller courts (36×18 feet for 8-and-unders, 60×21 feet for 10-and-unders) with low-compression balls.  If a 10U player wants to play on a full-size court (78×27 feet for singles) with More >

New Rules for the New Year


For those of you living in USTA’s Southern section, some new rules went into effect January 1st.  For those of you living in other USTA sections, these rules are probably coming to you soon since Southern tends to pilot changes that are then rolled out nationwide.

The rule that I want to address today concerns Southern Level 3 tournaments.  Even though my son has been playing USTA Southern tournaments for several years now, we got no notice of this rule change.  How did I find out about it?  I More >

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