Archive for January, 2012
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, jokingly, asked him about all this craziness he said, “Mom, I’m a tennis player,” as if that were all the explanation I needed.
AUSSIE OPEN SEMIFINAL MATCH SPOILER ALERT!!!!!
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 lose them outright, Murray has been plagued with fatigue of the mental sort but has always been a beast physically. Today was different. Murray seemed to lose his legs early in the final set, struggling to stay in points long enough to do damage to More >
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 tennis player. Be physically and mentally prepared. Take care of all details in preparation that are under your control. Intangibles are frequently the difference between winning and losing.
One of the reasons my son wanted to return to traditional More >
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, and one of the main draw competitors doesn’t, then you get to play.
Typically, on-site alternates are put into the draw in the order they appear on the alternate list. So, getting to the site before the other alternates doesn’t help your cause – just More >
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 changeover? I’m okay with a player venting frustration – tennis is a very frustrating game, after all. However, the fact that Marcos was only fined $800 (or $750 depending on which source you believe) for annihilating four perfectly good racquets is More >
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 CATennis.com 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 getting started on homework?
Here are a few things to watch for and discuss with your child – or, better yet, have your child jot down some things he/she sees and then discuss them with the coach!
1. What type of attitude are the players displaying on More >
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!
ParentingAces: What was your junior tennis experience like? Did you go straight from junior to the pros or did you play college tennis?
Lisa Dodson: My junior tennis experience was pretty unusual in today’s terms of developing players. I was the youngest in a tennis playing family so I don’t really remember the first time I held a racket but I do know that it was heavy and wooden! I played More >
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 to withdraw from the tournament before the first match is played, might get to play. This list is ordered by ranking so that the higher your ranking, the better your chances of making it into the main draw.
For local tournaments, being on the More >