Saturday, February 21, 2015

We got Challenge or We got next!

Ignoring challenger, or failure to relinquish the courts.

Concern by users of the Challenge Court at Millbrook Exchange Park Tennis has been raised by those who are waiting in turn for the opportunity to "(Challenge).

Players should have the opportunity to play in the order of their arrival, and be ready to play. A sign up board might be needed, if the challenge court continues to expand its active use.

No players, or player team member, who loses on the Challenge Court should be permitted
to return to the court,  unless no one else is waiting to play.  Both losers must exit the court, and wait another turn.

Neither rewrapping of racquets, putting on any protective device [Shoes, knee braces, Sun
Screen, etc.], or warming-up should be permitted prior to entry on the Challenge Court when others are waiting.  Players should be ready to play.

Players should come and be ready to play upon accepting the Challenge. This requirement is intended to expedite play. Access to the challenge court should not be restricted because of tournaments scheduled to be played; or utilized for ladder matches, lessons, or teacher training.

To assist in enforcing this requirement, I believe that rather than a chalk board, which can
be erased, that a paper pad, protected from the elements, and utilized throughout the
day as necessary to insure fair access.

The numbered, signed list name, or player roster would show who is due up to play next.

Management personnel could use the Challenge Court record for challenges for fiscal purposes, and would demonstrate court use, or provide necessary information for the allotment of courts 13, 14, and 15 at the 23 Court, Millbrook facility.

Finally, If necessary, court use can be monitored from the Millbrook Exchange Park Tennis Office, by office personnel assigning available courts, by having the player write their name down on the counter sign-up board in the Tennis Office, then the employee gives the player,  or players a ticket with their name, and court assignment.

Court use slips could be issued from the office, and be placed on Binder Clips attached to the gate of each tennis courts, which would show the time the court in use would be free.  The next players would exchange with the courts users at the appropriate time their "court use slip."

When those players time is up: 1 hour for Singles, and 1 112 Hours for Doubles, they
would simply replace the ticket, giving the old one to one of the players leaving, whose
court they would be taking. This would not apply to the Challenge Court.

Comments are welcomed@
@nttctennis, or

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Playing the Net or Shooting the Rapids both are dangerous to your health!!

Tennis, dangerous to your health? Well, not really.  Only shooting the rapids is dangerous to your health--though I'm sure it's good exercise, and probably exciting, so I've heard.

The danger in tennis is what a tennis player is likely to do to themselves: pull a muscle, twist an ankle, hurt their Achilles tendon, injure their rotator cuff or twist a knee.

Per se, Tennis is really an easy game to play.  The difficult part in learning the game of tennis is learning to run to within a certain distance of a moving ball, that is spinning with a sometimes unpredictable bounce, and swinging your racquet at the proper time to make contact. 

In learning to quickly build your confidence in playing Tennis, I have found that it's much easier to start at the net.  Though many players, women in particular, I must add, do fear playing the net for fear of getting hit or hurt.  It's true, you might get hit at the net, but seldom will you get hurt.

Think about it!  From about the waist down you are protected by the net itself. And, from your waist to your neck, there is little chance of being injured for life.  From the head up, that's a different story, but easier to prevent. Keep your arms slightly bent,  holding the racquet  high and away from the body, as you look through the strings of your racquet, like a Fencer's Mask.
Use your arms to help establish the distance of the approaching ball.

By holding your arms away from the body, you are given a means of measuring how close the ball is to you, and that distance permits you time to get out of the way of the projectile--or
ball, for those in Rio Linda--coming towards you, as Rush might say.

By simply stepping out of the way of the ball, but leaving your racquet forward you are able to avoid any bodily harm.  Try it sometimes.  Balls off to your right or left, just go after them, but lead with your racquet.

Balls coming directly at you, which you wish to take on your forehand, simply step back with the right foot if you are right handed, putting yourself sideways to the net, but leaving the Tennis racquet in the path of the ball and squeeze.

For balls coming directly at you while you are at the net, which you wish to take on your backhand, are easily accomplished by stepping back with the left foot and leaving your racquet in the path of the ball.  The one key that must be emphasized is to squeeze the racquet just before contact.  Otherwise the racquet will spin in your hand and your volley will not be crisp, and easily directed.

This tips can all be found in the soon to be released National Tennis Teacher's College Teacher's Manual.

So you see playing the net is not as dangerous as you once thought, just remember: "Familiarity breeds contempt," even at the net.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Regaining Number 1 Tennis Ranking in America

 Regaining Number 1 Tennis in America

TEN THINGS THAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICA’S TEACHING OF TENNIS TODAY: Old School taboo; Starting too young; Bigger; Better Program Myth; Playing and Practicing; Purposeful effort; Student Immaturity; Inattention to detail; Lacking Sound techniques; Role of better equipment.

1         Old School is considered taboo: Many of todays' players don't come from private clubs, and many have taught themselves, and watched players on T.V., and are not familiar with Old School, that taught basic footwork and ball control.

2         Myth: Starting sooner will get you there faster: Many of today's parents, who themselves have not played tennis, heard that the father of Venus and Serena taught them to play, and believe that starting their youngsters at a very young age 10u might  make the difference.

3         Bigger program the better: Local tennis facilities with numerous courts are filled with instructors that have played, or are playing tennis, and looking for part-time jobs and have taken up teaching Tennis.  These players, often with no tournament, or teaching experience and limited background in sports, see teaching  tennis at the recreational level as an easy way to make money.

4         The difference between playing and practicing: Playing is putting into use what you have practiced. Many tennis players think that simply by playing they will improve.  Unfortunately, this is never the case.  One must practice so that their strokes are performed as they are needed, and done so subconsciously .  This can only occur when you are able to slow down your movement so that you can prepare by getting your racquet back, getting into position, planting you feet, for a good hitting foundation and following through.

5         Purpose of effort: Practice must be done with real results in mind.  One good example is a player who fails to follow through on the serve because of fear it will go too long.  The follow through must be done so that the serve will have control, and direction.  A player must remember that every stroke has three elements: The strokes early preparation, the contact point, and the follow through. 

6         Immaturity of student: Many of todays' youngsters are not mentally, emotionally, and physically mature for the rigors of the discipline of tennis.  For example, some learn to play with two hands because their fingers are to short to control the change in grip necessary for the one hand backhand, though two hands shortens their reach and requires them to run more.  Many don't understand the need for proper footwork that assures proper balance. And finally, losing is a part of the game that players must understand. There has never been a tennis players that doesn't make errors.  Youngsters must be taught that the only time you start at the top is when you're learning to Ski, or learning to swim.

7         Instructional inattention to detail in teaching:  Many teachers, I have observed, fail to correct footwork demands, or the need to explain why certain style, or playing technique is ineffective for that individual player, and often fail to show the cause of certain errors in stroke making because of their limited knowledge, or understanding.

8         Lack of sound approach to teaching: Anyone teaching tennis, must not only have a love of the game, but must have an understanding of the mechanics of constructing the stroke. Simply being able to demonstrate the stroke is not enough.  The instructor must be able and willing to  dissect the stroke so that the problem is evident to the student.

9         Players’ reliance upon equipment: Players must understand that, if they put in the time to practice, to learn the mechanics of producing each and every stroke in tennis, there is no reason to give credit to your equipment bag, your newest racquet, or your colorful shoes.
10     Playing –not practicing to  improve: Being unwilling to play a weaker player for fear it will damage your game, is a foolish idea that can be observed on numerous courts throughout the United States.  Playing against a weaker player is your opportunity to work on shots that a better player doesn't give you time to attempt.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tennis Anyone

 Tennis Professional Demonstrates hard to teach concepts in tennis

by: Daniel A. Young, Sr., @nttctennis 919 6510-5255
Understanding, and applying suggestions, and tips provided by well-meaning tennis coaches, and instructors often lack the necessary hook to make the message stick.
That problem has been solved in the instant use tennis techniques used by NTTC Instructors.  For example, “Get your racquet back," intones the coach, who demonstrates by holding a tennis ball head high, and tells the student to watch the ball.   When they see the ball leave the instructor's hand, they are required to throw their racquet back with the other hand, point the butt of the racquet at the ball, while the non-racquet hand points to the oncoming ball.
“Wayward ball toss.” 
You know by now that the Serve is 50% of the game of tennis, and the Toss is 50% of the Serve.
When you can’t control your ball toss: “Start with both your hands together:  As you cradle the ball, in the “Praying Mantis Position.”  Then drop both hands.  Let the back of the ball tossing hand hit the players’ inner thigh on ball tossing side.
This stops the ball's downward movement and permits the ball tossing hand to change direction.  Now, both the Racquet hand, and the ball tossing hand are raised simultaneously to shoulder height in opposite directions.  This is repeated until it becomes fluid, and natural.  It should look natural as well.
As the last set of arm movements are stopped shoulder height, Stop!  Now, brush the back of your head with what would be your racquet hand—think in terms of making a muscle--with the racquet-hand, while looking up towards the upward facing palm of the ball tossing hand.
When this can be done in a smooth, rhythmic motion, let the ball tossing hand continue upward and extend as high up as you can reach.  The palm of the ball tossing hand should be facing towards you.  This may feel awkward for a while.
Now unwind.  Doing the same movements, just doing them in reverse very slowly.

Professionalism and Fairness in today's Tennis

Better Tennis Bureau 919-610-5255

For the most part, Tennis is considered a fair sport.  Supposedly, players, according to Nick Powell, who wrote the Code of Tennis Etiquette, were required to settle any question of doubt of a ball being considered “In” or “Out” [no pun intended] was always to be decided, awarded, given, unquestionably, in favor of your opponent.  That’s fairness, Right?
Playing two on one, or what’s called Australian Tennis, is not considered fair, right; but, good practice for singles and doubles!  But usually, when a qualified fourth comes along, they might be invited to play, Right?  What if the fourth is not as talented, or is just learning to play; that competition would not be considered fair either.
Competition is pitting your ability, talents, skills, agility and mental prowess, against an opponent of equal stature; if not, what’s the purpose?  If the players are not equal, the “game” or “pursuit” is not competition at all, it’s bullying. No one likes, or wants to be bullied.
Many will tell you that tennis is the fairest sport of all. They will argue that there are linesman, or lines-women lines persons [Let’s be fair] in the Umpire’s Chair, calling the many lines, keeping the score, deciding who is to serve first, all in the exercising of fairness.
Ball persons at the ready with towels, new balls, giving equal time and attention to the professional player.
In all competitive sports, the element of fairness is taken into consideration to make the competition equal; or to “level” the playing field, to be politically correct, as real journalist like to say.
Depending upon the sport, most team chose players, depending upon their ability, skill, speed, agility, height, weight. Take the sport of Baseball.  Nine players, of different, but known abilities and talents assembled as a unit to play a game.  The same requirements are to be found in most team sports like Football, Basketball, Hockey and La Crosse.
Tennis, the sport of a life time, [and there is a reason it’s called the Sport of a Lifetime time], does not chose its players in this fashion.  As anyone knows, in an individual sport, i.e., Skiing, Ice Skating, Boxing, Wrestling; you can be as good as you want to be, without exception. Practice, Practice determination, and hard work are all that is required and, perhaps an entry fee.
Think about the team sports per se, these players are physically trying to hinder the opposing player.  Catchers, Pitchers, other opposing team members, are trying to spoil the batters attempt to get a hit or get on base, through movement, different fielding positions and signaling. 
In Football, the coaches might call the plays, or the Quarterback might stutters is signal calling to get a penalty advantage of being off sides, etc.
Tennis given all of its effort to be fair, and claiming to a professional sport, has missed one opportunity to be fair.  While you might not make the team because of your height in Basketball, because of your weight in Football or Boxing.  Tall or taller Tennis players do gain a distinct advantage in height because of the serve elevation. 
Thus, pitchers have decided advantage over hitters because of the raised pitching mound.
For this reason the Better Tennis Bureau, a creation of the National Tennis Teacher’s College, believes and advocates, that all tennis players should be given just one serve per point. 
Think of it.  One serve per point would shorten matches, would eliminate double faults, and the wait, while another ball is retrieved. One serve would save wear and tear on the arm, back, shoulders and knees. Players would have more stamina, for the third, or fifth set, if they serve and volley, by not having to go back to serve the second ball.
One serve would take away the server’s advantage, we’ve all heard about, and receivers would be mentally set to receive serve, and the rally would be immediate.
Finally, if these are truly, professional players and capable of doing what you and I aren’t capable of doing, they should be able to be just as effective with one serve; however, in the interest of drama, the Better Tennis Bureau would suggest awarding two points for a one serve “Ace.”
That's my perspective.  What's yours?