Posts tagged mental strategy

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 >

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 >

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 >

Resolutions of a Tennis Parent


In 2012, my tennis parent self resolves the following:

1.  To let go . . . of my own expectations for my son, of my control over those expectations and their execution, of my anxiety over them as well.

2.  To trust . . . my son to perform at his best and his coach to guide him expertly toward his goals.

3.  To stay present . . . to savor each moment as it comes, without judgement, and to leave what’s passed in the past.

4.  To separate . . . myself from my son, my goals from my son’s goals, my More >

New Year, New Beginnings


The new year always brings with it new hopes, new expectations, new resolutions, and new chances.  The thought of wiping the slate clean, starting fresh, can be inspiring or it can be daunting.  If the previous year was filled with success and happiness, then there is the fear that the new year won’t live up to the past one.  If the previous year was filled with hardship and disappointment, there is the fear that those things will follow you into your future.

Every tennis match our kids play, More >

Q&A with Coach Tracy Houk


Over the next several months, I will be publishing Q&As with tennis coaches from around the globe.  I hope you will find these articles useful as you navigate the world of junior tennis.  For me, it’s helpful to hear how other coaches do things and what their philosophies are regarding competing, training, parental involvement, college, the pro tour, etc.  Each coach is so different and has a different set of experiences to share with our children and with us.

Tracy Houk

Today, I’m so pleased More >

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