Archive for April, 2012
In the spirit of sharing my experiences in hopes of helping others, here are some musings from this past weekend’s Bullfrog tournament in Clemson, South Carolina . . .
- Taking 5 weeks off from tournament play can (notice I said “CAN”) be detrimental. My son just wasn’t at his normal competitive level at this tournament, and I could see his confidence waning throughout his matches. Given his school schedule and our family’s schedule, along with his high school team practice and match schedule, I’m not sure that we could’ve avoided the situation, but maybe playing a local tournament as his first one back would’ve been a better move?
- Ask and ye shall receive! After a rain delay on Friday evening, my son’s first round doubles match More >
Even the Higher-Ups at USTA will admit that their website is difficult to navigate. Well, really, that’s an understatement. USTA has gone to great lengths to put some very helpful information on their site – the problem is that the average visitor can’t find it! So, in the name of identify-problem-create-solution, below is a list of links to some of the information I’ve found to be useful in navigating the world of Junior Tennis. You might want to print out this list and keep it handy then add to it as you discover more sub-pages. If you have found any other useful articles at USTA.com, please add them in the Comments section below.USTA Section Pages: www.usta.com
Click on the Find Your Section box in the top right corner of the More >
Today’s Q&A is with Jerry Hendrick. For more than 20 years, Jerry has been a college professor, college tennis coach, and father. He has three children and all of them have grown up on the court. As a result of a family health crisis, Jerry is now also an author [please see I Love You (But You Should Have Won!)].
Jerry’s oldest child, Ashley, was diagnosed with bone cancer (osteo sarcoma) when she was 16, and this led to a year-long battle as an in-patient at DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids Michigan. As a result of her illness and the family’s desire to improve her likelihood of surviving, they chose to have Ashley’s left leg amputated above the knee. Ashley ultimately survived this surgery and the treatment of her illness More >
I am very proud of my son.
In the Region 5AAAAA Final yesterday, my son’s team arrived at the courts ready to warm up with each other before playing their opponents. The weather, however, had a different plan in mind, so the official asked both teams to go ahead and start their matches with a 5-minute warm-up in hopes of finishing before the thunderstorms arrived.
Our #1 singles player, Danny, had been sidelined most of the season with a neck and shoulder issue. He had played the last couple of matches, but yesterday he had a follow-up appointment with his doctor and wasn’t yet at the courts. So, the coach moved everyone up a spot in the lineup, putting my son in at #3 singles.
The boys went on court, began their warmup, then, before More >
Have you noticed all the medical time-outs and trainer visits the pros seem to be having during their matches in recent years? Sometimes they’re necessary, but sometimes they’re a strategic move on the part of the player to shift the momentum of the match or take a time-out to regroup after a rough patch. In either case, I think it’s time for professional tennis to take a lesson from the juniors and teach the players how to care for themselves court-side or just resign themselves to the fact that the fitter, healthier player is going to win that day.
Very few junior tournaments have medical trainers on staff – it’s just too expensive for the tournament directors – so it’s really important that your junior player understands how to take More >
I know I’ve written a lot lately about high school and college tennis, but it’s just where I am right now, so please indulge me one more time!
I watched this past weekend’s Davis Cup matches with great interest, not only because my childhood friend’s son was playing for the US but also because our #1 singles player, John Isner, was a 4-year member of the University of Georgia men’s tennis team (Go Dawgs!).
As I watched World #11 Isner play against World #6 Jo Wilfred Tsonga, in what turned out to be the clinching match, I couldn’t help but wonder how Isner’s experience at UGA shaped his ability to close out such a decisive match on More >
Today’s article was contributed by our friends at the International Tennis Performance Association. Research continues to support the need for outside fitness training for athletes, especially those who are specializing in one sport and one sport only. While there is an on-going debate regarding the “right” age to start training, the consensus is that junior athletes need to do work in the gym each week in order to keep their growing bodies in balance. When you have time, be sure to look at ITPA’s website, blog, and Facebook page for more information regarding tennis-specific certifications for fitness trainers and coaches looking to have a better understanding of all the physical aspects of tennis.
Finding certified, competent, More >
I have a confession to make: I am NOT a perfect tennis parent. Shocking, I know (!), but sometimes I tend to lose perspective, letting the little things get in the way of the big ones.
Last week, my son had Spring Break from school. A few weeks earlier, my husband had mentioned that he’d like to take our son on a father-son trip, maybe fishing or skiing. Given that I’m the parent in charge of All Things Tennis, my husband asked me which tournaments were coming up during our son’s break from school to figure out how best to schedule their getaway. Of course, there were two big tournaments planned during that week, each within an hour and a half of our house and each one that our son really wanted to play. I told my husband about the More >
This week, I’m visiting my parents in Shreveport, Louisiana, where I grew up. Yesterday, I had the chance to go watch my 74-year-old dad play tennis against his long-time friend and rival in what has become a once- or twice-weekly ritual. These two guys have been competitors since childhood. They have also been friends since childhood. They played against each other in the juniors and with each other in college. Yes, the level of tennis has changed over the years. Neither one moves too well these days. Neither one has the piercing groundstrokes that once defined their games. And neither one has lost the desire to win when facing the other More >