Archive for September, 2012
There is a lot of complaining going on in the Tennis World – from players, from coaches, from parents, from tournament directors, from journalists – I hear it all the time! And blame – WOW! – every organization is getting blamed for the demise of American tennis, from USTA to ITF to USPTA to NCAA . . . the list goes on and on.
This blog was born out of complaints that I had myself and that I heard from other tennis parents, so I get it – I’m not innocent in the Blame Game; in fact, far from it! But, if we just continue to complain and do nothing to change the status quo, then where does that get us?
A group of brilliant tennis minds is coming together to DO SOMETHING. There’s a brand new resource online called American Tennis Journal More >
Day 1 of Qualies, ITF Tournament 1, Waco, Texas
Coach Julius (via text message to me): Game on!
Me: What’s that mean????
Coach: He just started.
Me: Ah, thanks! Keep me posted!
Coach: Very rough start. Nerves. Lots of unforced errors. 0-4.
Me: Uh oh
Coach: 0-6. Playing scared. Poor shot selection and too many short balls off his forehand and backhand.
Me: Hmmm . . . hope he can pull it together for the 2nd . . .
Coach: 1-1 in 2nd
Me: Calming down?
Coach: Not yet
Coach (10 minutes later): 0-6, 1-6. I’m speechless.
Me: Will be interested to hear from both of you after you have time to reflect. How’s he doing???
Coach: Having a tough time.
Son: I lost.
Husband: Sorry to hear that. We’ll talk a More >
ZooTennis.com posted the following email sent from the outgoing and incoming USTA presidents to Tim Russell and others involved in the Junior Competition Committee and Player Development – it confirms my wariness (click here for the link to the full email):
Yesterday afternoon, I received a link from the folks at TennisRecruiting.net to the following article on their website:
This week, a group of people concerned with junior tennis – Steve Bellamy, Robert Sasseville and Kevin Kempin – were able to spend several hours speaking with USTA leadership (i.e., Dave Haggerty, Gordon Smith, Kurt Kamperman) about the planned upcoming changes to USTA Junior Competition. That group is pleased to say that there was a very open and candid exchange of ideas.
The group shared many, if not all, of its concerns about the proposed new competitive structure, and the USTA definitely listened. The group also got a better understanding of the USTA’s long-term objectives for making these changes. Long story short, More >
For the past few years, my son has been playing with the Babolat Aero Pro Drive Plus racquet, the one that looks like Rafa’s only a half-inch longer. He’s been stringing his racquets with RPM Blast string, and, until very recently, was happy with his tennis equipment.
Since he first started using this particular racquet and string, my son has grown about 8 inches in height and put on more than 25 pounds, most of it in the last year. Needless to say, that growth has necessitated making some changes in the way he trains, the way he moves around the court, the way he constructs and plays points, and the way he adjusts his body to be in the proper position to make his shots. And, recently, he noticed that he seems to be “shanking” balls More >
A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to comment here or via Twitter or via Facebook or via email – I knew y’all would have some great suggestions for me! I love hearing about your experiences with these different tournaments and how you weigh cost vs. value. As I keep saying, it’s not just about the tennis here – sometimes it’s about the Life Lessons learned.
Here’s what we finally decided to do regarding next week’s ITF tournament in Waco . . .
I sat down and figured out what the total cost was going to be for the tournament, expecting that my son will make it through a couple of qualifying matches and maybe, just maybe, into the main draw: flight, hotel, rental car, gas, meals, and his coach’s daily fee. A conservative More >
My son has been asking to play an ITF tournament for over a year. Since there are very few even played in the US these days, it wasn’t hard to deter him. However, a friend’s mom told me I should sign him up for the one in Waco, Texas, because it’s a lower-grade tournament and might be a good first experience for my son. I went on the ITF website, registered him for an iPin (ITF’s version of a USTA number, I guess), and signed him up for the tournament. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, the Acceptance List came out, and my son’s name appeared waaaaaay down the page on the list of Alternates. Not the Qualifiers (yes, ITF junior events have a Qualifier that starts 2 days prior to the Main Event – you have to win 4 More >
My son’s fitness trainer had a little chat with him last week about his nutritional needs and how best to meet them. My son is growing taller but is still lacking in the “cushioning” category – i.e. he’s all lean body mass with very few physical reserves or extra fat on his frame. His tennis coach (and his mother!) thinks he needs to bulk up a bit in order to have enough stamina to withstand the physical demands of competing in the Boys 18s.
The trainer told him, based on his height and weight, he needs to be consuming 115 grams of protein EVERY DAY. Since neither he nor I had any idea how that translated to real-world eating, we turned to the Apple iTunes Store, figuring there HAD to be an app for that.
We found a free app called More >
This week, I did something I hadn’t done for 14 years – I went to work for a boss other than myself.
When it was getting close to the time for my son to get his driver’s license, I had one of those AHA! moments and realized I was going to need something else to do with my afternoons once my chauffeuring skills were no longer needed. While I was very content with my schedule of teaching fitness classes, playing tennis, Facebooking, Tweeting, blogging, and hosting my radio show, I knew my mental health was going to suffer if I didn’t find a reason to get out of my house for at least a few hours each week. So, I started telling everyone I knew that I was looking for part-time work.
Part-time, for me, meant (1) I couldn’t work Mondays or More >