My New Mantra



This is written on my bathroom mirror (in lipstick, not blood as my son says it appears!).  It is my new mantra.  I have asked my son and my husband to hold me accountable to following it.  It will be a challenge – a HUGE challenge – for me to do so, but I am committed.  I will report back from time to time to let you know how it’s going.  Wish me luck.

5 Comments on “My New Mantra”

  1. Does it really need to be taken to that extreme? It seems that if tennis can’t or shouldn’t be discussed in the house then maybe tennis isn’t right for the house. When I come home from work I am asked about how my day at work went. Why? Because that is how I’ve spent my entire day. Similarly, if my daughter spends her entire day on school and tennis then that is what we are going to talk about. If it ever gets to the point where something can’t be discussed in my house then I am going to dismiss that thing from my house.

    Now I would agree with you if your writing said, “I will not overly discuss tennis in the house.”

    1. I think there’s a difference between asking about your day and focusing all conversation around what happened during your day. The latter is what I’m trying to do a better job of avoiding. I guess we’re really saying the same thing, David. 🙂

      1. SSV Tennis addresses many of the issues in junior tennis. First of all, SSV is short for Serve, Stroke & Volley which is a tennis basic skills test; like baseball’s PP&K or Punt, Pass & Kick. Whereas PP&K is a junior competition in itself with national recognized play-offs; SSV as a Tennis Rating serves a much more valuable purpose in tennis. It is a credible method to objectively identify tennis ability at all levels for raw beginner to world class. It effectively measures improvement when tests are repeated over a period of time.

        This is how the test works. In about 15 minutes on a standard singles court with a basket of balls, anyone can give the SSV Tennis Rating test. Using three strings or ropes to create target areas on the court, a testor tosses balls to the player. The wide half of the deuce court is designated as a cross court target area and the wide half of the ad court is the down the line target area. A third temporary line is about 15 feet behind the baseline to create a Powerline. Points are scored for control, power and mobility. When the ball is hit, the first bounce is for control and the second bounce for power. A separate drill is run for mobility. Players objectively score between 0 and 200 with the average player having a score of about 100. Competitive matches at any level can be made when player’s scores are within a 10 point range. All the details are explained on the website

        By the way, the development of this rating test was funded by the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI over 40 years ago and was intended to be the official international method for rating tennis players world wide. Its still being used world wide without the political recognition of the governing tennis organizations.

        Here’s how SSV can effectively address issues in junior tennis.

        1. SSV can increase the pool of local players in all ability levels by disregarding age and gender making easier to get a variety of local competition.
        2. Using SSV to place players in small ability groups, players can get multiple one set matches against different players in one day which is extremely convenient for parents and players.
        3. Because SSV is objective, pros, parents and players trust the ratings which serve to seed the draws and place players in ability groups.
        4. Anyone, parent or pro can organize a series of SSV round robin type events and keep records so a ranking of players in different levels of play can be made at the end of a season.
        5. SSV is not a conflict with any teaching pros methods.
        6. SSV is not competing with USTA or any other organization. Its like a farm system to give juniors competitive experience so they can have more confidence when they play stronger events.
        7. Most important, SSV objectively answers the question; “How good are you?”
        8. SSV would allow larger pools of juniors to play national events without the waste of time and expense and frustration of mismatches that exist in the way national events are run today. If the USTA took the first day of a national event and used SSV as a qualifier (except for the top seeds if they wish), then several hundred players could easily and fairly be placed in small manageable groups; like 64, 32 or 16 draws. Without any doubt, the strongest would be in the top group and the weakest in the bottom group. Everyone could have an enjoyable national tennis experience and the best players could rise to the top without time and money on early round mismatches. The weakest national players would not be devastated even though they competed in a different group than the stronger players.
        9. The SSV Tennis Rating, which is free on the internet, could be sent to the players and their pros before the national event so they could practice it.
        10. If the local pros don’t have time, no reason why parents couldn’t test their juniors on their own.

        There are many, many success stories about SSV that I won’t bore you with. However, if you are interested, I be happy to share with you.

        Neil Johnson

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