Category Archives: Tennis

Revealing the True Colors of Your Opponent

For the past few months, I’ve played in a lot of tournaments and seen all kinds of tennis players. Along with those tennis players, came a variety of personalities and attitudes. One thing that frustrates me about some tennis players is their lack of self-control, class, and sportsmanship.

It’s hard to understand why some girls appear as sweet and friendly when they’re up and turn into jerks when they lose a game or even a single point. As soon as your opponent pulls out their claws, you know you’re in for as show. They start yelling at themselves, hitting themselves, abusing their racket, and using profane language. They lose all sense of control and even begin making bad line calls. They might even start questioning your calls.

This can be hard to cope with on the court, especially when you’re winning. It can be difficult to keep yourself optimistic when your opponent is acting like an animal. When I played a girl like that in the past few weeks, I struggled to keep the anger that was building inside of me contained. I was able to because I was disciplined and had class, but that wasn’t the case for the girl on the other side of the net. While I may have been winning for a while, I let her ridiculous actions get the best of me and had the match slip from my hands. So what.

A lesson came from that match and it is something I’ll never forget. Regardless of the outcome, I know I outclassed her and acted like one should on the court. If your opponent begins acting like a monster, ignore it, be yourself, and kill them with kindness. Allow your opponent to dig themselves a hole and self-destruct. Never let that kind of silliness get to you. When you play your best and ignore your opponent’s actions, you’re going to succeed.

Just remember this, play with class. If you choose to lose self-control and respect for your opponent and yourself, remove the “c” and the “l” and now see what you are.

revealing the true colors of your opponent and tennis

Tennis Etiquette: How to Respect Yourself and Your Opponent

Sportsmanship is a crucial part of building good character on and off the tennis court. There are times when players cheat or do things that aren’t respectful towards themselves or their opponents. This is true for all sports, but today I am focusing on etiquette in the tennis world. Here are a few ways to show respect for yourself and your opponent on and off the court.

Don’t trash talk your opponent. Just don’t. You should never talk bad about anybody anywhere and I feel like that is common sense. Still, for some reason, people think it’s alright to make others insecure or unsure of their abilities by talking about them to others in a rude manner.

Talk about your match until you are somewhere private and quiet. This follows along with the first tip in a way. After you’ve played a match, wait to say anything about it until you’re somewhere quiet and away from your opponent and their family. My family and I always wait to talk about how a match went until we get to the car. Once you get to the car, or wherever you go to, then you can talk about what went well that match and what didn’t. If you had any questions or concerns that weren’t brought up during the match, now would be the time to spill the beans. Still stay away from speaking negatively of your opponent.

Hand the balls to your opponent during changeovers. I know a lot of girls that will simply just tap the balls into the corner or fence after serving and allow their opponent to go get the balls after getting water. I have nothing wrong with that, but it’s a good idea to be courteous and hand your opponent the balls when you’re close together. As a side note on that, if you chose to hit the balls to your opponent from the other side, hit the balls to them directly so that they don’t have to run for the balls.

Show up on time. Whether it’s a practice or a match, show up on time. You can receive penalties for showing up late to a match in a tournament, so don’t let that happen! It is disrespectful to the tournament, your opponent, and other players to show up late.

Know the rules of tennis and abide by them. This is pretty self-explanatory but ignored by many players. Knowing the rules of the game is super important. On top of that, if there is an interruption or interference during a point, call a let. Either you or your opponent can call it. Calling the score loud and making your line calls loud are also important.

Turn off your cell phone. Most clubs prefer that you don’t bring your cell phone onto the tennis court, but if you do it’s not a big deal as long as it is turned off. You don’t want your phone to become a distraction to you or your opponent.

Shake your opponent’s hand at the end of the match, make eye contact, and tell them good match. Regardless of the outcome, you need to be a good person and thank your opponent for playing, let them know how the match went, and wish them good luck with their next match if they have one.

Be kind to yourself. Being the perfectionist I am, I struggle with respecting myself and being kind to myself. If you lose a point don’t yell at yourself or hit yourself in any way. It looks silly when you do this plus you are actually harming your body when you choose to hit yourself. Plus, it becomes obvious to your opponent that they are winning mentally and have the upper-hand. If you do get angry or frustrated with yourself after losing a point, there are other ways to release that anger by tightening your ponytail or gripping your racket tighter. When I start to get frustrated with myself, I do my best to focus on my breathing and getting into a very simple rhythm that can keep my head cool and off of other things.

This list of tips on how to respect yourself and your opponents on the tennis court could go on forever and I know that there are plenty of things that weren’t mentioned here. Just use common sense when you are on and off the court and think about how you would want to be treated. By choosing to be respectful to yourself and your opponent you will probably have a better experience with tennis and you’ll learn much more about your game, physically and mentally, and also learn about all of the potential you have as a person and tennis player.

 

 

 

Did You Know: Tennis

Tennis is an increasingly popular sport and just so happens to be one of my favorite sports. If you’re a person that plays or is wanting to learn some facts about the sport, here’s a few things you might not know about tennis.

-The longest match ever recorded was played between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010. It lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes. John Isner won the match and occurred over three days.

-Wimbledon is the only major tournament played on grass. The Australian Open and U.S. Open are played on hard courts and the French Open is played on clay.

-The modern game originated from Birmingham, England in the late 1800s as “lawn tennis”.

-Prior to the use of rackets, people used to play using the palms of their hands.

-Tennis balls were originally white but then yellow balls were introduced at Wimbledon in 1986 so the players could see the ball on the court better.

-The  courts were originally hourglass shaped. The rectangular courts came into being in 1875 for the Wimbledon tournament. A standard tennis court measures 27 feet wide and 78 feet long. For double matches, the width of the courts is 36 feet. The net is 3 feet 6 inches high, and it divides the court in half.

-A tennis ball weighs 2 ounces or 56.59 grams.

-The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus became the first set of sisters to ever win gold medals in the Olympics. This happened at the Sydney games in 2000.

-After Roger Federer, a phenomenal men’s player, won his first grand slam, Swiss tennis officials gifted him a cow. He was the first man from Switzerland to ever do something like that.

Tennis is a wonderful sport that a person can play throughout their life. If you are a person looking for something fun to try, I would suggest giving tennis a shot. It can be a lot of work but tennis is a great source of exercise. And if you’re not into playing tennis, maybe try watching one of the major tournaments. Wimbledon is coming up so that might be something worth watching. So whether or not this information is new, now you know a few things about tennis. Have a great week and stay cool!

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The Djoker

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen like #1 men’s singles tennis player, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is a person that has reached his full potential because he loves and dedicates his life to tennis, works to become a better person and athlete daily, believes that his family is important, takes care of himself, inspires others, and accepts whatever happens in his life and makes the best out of it.

Novak Djokovic picked up a racket for the first time when he was four years old during a summer camp in Serbia. From that moment on, he decided to dedicate his life to the sport and traded in recess and playtime for tennis lessons. He worked long hours with his coaches, who knew ‘he would become a champion [because] he was focused, conscientious, and above all, talented’ (Novak: Novak Djokovic). Despite economic and political struggles in Serbia, Novak’s family sacrificed a lot of time and money and was able to support him to travel to Munich, Germany to receive training at a prestigious tennis academy. According to Djokovic, “…family is the most important thing and you have to stick with the family”. In Munich, he was able to grow extensively as a tennis player. As time went on, young Djokovic became a more dominant and developed player winning important tournaments throughout Europe. Finally in 2003, Djokovic acquired his first ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) points and turned pro. Since then, Djokovic has dominated the men’s professional tour with 703 career wins and 63 titles (Novak Djokovic: FedEx ATP) and is considered one of the greatest men’s tennis players of all time.

He inspires tennis players, young and old, all over the world with his amazing sense of humor earning him the nickname, “the joker”, his powerful presence on the court, and beautiful technique. Djokovic has reached his full potential because of this. The 28-year old tennis player is always looking to better himself as an athlete and person. He spends long hours on the court as well as off the court perfecting his technique, sticks to a strict, healthy diet, and conditions his body often to improve his strength. Being #1 in the world can be a tough position to hold onto, especially with players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal challenging Djokovic often. Djokovic says that to keep his top spot he vows “to work twice as hard” (Stutchbury). Even though Djokovic is #1 in the world and has been successful, he has dealt with failure along his path to reaching his full potential. Djokovic says, “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances”. Being able to accept his mistakes and losses have been able to make Djokovic the strong person and tennis player he is. On top of balancing his personal life with his tennis schedule, the #1 singles tennis player founded his own foundation which helps “preschool-aged children from impoverished areas get the chance to learn and play in a safe, creative, and nurturing environment” throughout Serbia (About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation). With the help of many volunteers and generous donations, Djokovic’s foundation has already been able to build 18 schools, support 325 families, train 636 teachers, and help over 10,000 children (About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation).

Novak Djokovic has reached his full potential because he has taken advantage of his talents and abilities. He knows that he can make a strong impact not only on the tennis court but around the world. Djokovic said, “I believed I could do it” and that he did.

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Works Cited

“About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation.” Novak Djokovic Foundation. Novak Djokovic Foundation, 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

“Novak Djokovic.” Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. 30 Mar. 2016.

“Novak Djokovic: FedEx ATP Win/Loss: ATP World Tour: Tennis.” ATP World Tour. N.p., 2015. 01 Apr. 2016.

“Novak: Novak Djokovic.” Novak Djokovic. N.p., 2012. 30 Mar. 2016.

Stutchbury, Greg. “Djokovic Vows to Work ‘twice as Hard’ to Stay at Tennis Summit.” Evening Standard. N.p., 31 Jan. 2016. 30 Mar. 2016.

How to Stay Warm After Tennis Matches

High school girls’ tennis season is in full swing here in Colorado! This week we had our first two matches, and thank goodness we didn’t get any snow! However, we did get to enjoy (notice the sarcasm) the freezing cold temperatures, wind, and even rain. It can be extremely difficult to get warm after your match let alone stay warm. The last thing you and your team wants is a bunch of sick, cold girls. Here are a few tips on how to stay warm after tennis matches.

-Bring layers of clothing. As ridiculous as this may sound, it really isn’t. It gets COLD after you get off the court. You may be warm right after you play, but you’ll cool down real quick. Bring extra pairs of socks, gloves, hats, sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, thin and thick, warm jackets, leggings, sweatpants, and whatever else you might need to layer. For my match on Monday, I had my windbreaker, tennis hoodie, and winter jacket on. While managing to look like a big, fluffy marshmallow, I also kept myself comfortable and warm.

-Blankets are a necessity. Fleece blankets work great to keep a person warm, however they don’t work well for the outdoor world of tennis. With the dirty, muddy ground, rain and snow, something thick, washable, and water-resistant will be better off. Some of the girls on my team have recommended bringing sleeping bags. Not too bad of an idea!

-Get into your sweats immediately after you get off the court. Like I said earlier, you may feel warm and comfortable right after you finish your match, but you’ll cool down really quick. With your sweat and the sun going down, you’ll want to warm yourself up in your clothes/blankets/sleeping bag as soon as possible.

-If possible, bring or have access to warm food and drink. Not only will your stomach be pleased with the nourishment, but your body will be warmed up inside and out. Make sure to load up on carbs and potassium so that you keep your energy up and prevent yourself from getting too sore the next day. I recommend warm pasta or bread of some sort for carbs. Soup, like chicken noodle soup wouldn’t be bad either. Bananas are great sources of potassium.

-Stretch and move around. Stretching will most likely only help your muscles relax and feel good after a long match but it could also warm your body up. Move around by jumping, walking, or doing a little jogging. Get your blood flowing and your muscles working. Just make sure not to overdue anything or hurt yourself.

I hope these five tips will help you all survive your tennis matches in the cold, end of winter weather. Spring is on its way soon and we won’t have to deal with the yucky, freezing temperatures much longer, so hang in there! Good luck to all of you with your seasons. Stay warm!

How to Stay Warm After Tennis Matches

Losing is Good for You

Winning feels great and makes a person happy, but there isn’t too much one can learn from winning all the time. A person can become arrogant and lazy and that’s why losing can sometimes be good for someone. It allows them to learn from their mistakes and do better next time. The article “Losing is Good for You” by Ashley Marryman contains many relatable points that can be applied to my life as well as the lives of others.

Ever since I was little, I’ve been involved in sports. My coaches have always been supportive and pushed me towards excellence. When I was younger, I was praised for participating in events, performing well, or winning tournaments, and there would be certain rewards that I earned. As I became more experienced and older, the rewards for performing well or winning were trophies or plaques awarded by the tournament directors. When I was twelve, I was on a club volleyball team and I was one of the strongest players on the team. My coach was constantly praising me and it felt good at first but then it started to get old. According to Marryman, “Awards can be powerful motivators but nonstop recognition does not inspire children to succeed”. I didn’t feel as motivated to give 100% because the praise didn’t feel genuine, since my coach was always praising me. My parents worked hard to develop humility and help me understand that winning does feel good but it’s just as good to lose because you’ll learn from your mistakes and do even better the next time you go out and play. In tennis, I’ve always had a high ranking and been known for my good record. About two years ago, I went through a long losing spell and that was definitely not a fun time. My dad did his best to get me out of the losing streak and eventually I was able to succeed again and from that experience I learned that “you’re going to lose more often than you win even if you’re good at something. You’ve got to get used to that to keep going” (Marryman). It was so rewarding to win after so many loses and I was able to grow as a resilient athlete. I’m more motivated to work hard and succeed.

I guess losing really can be good for you.

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Thinking Positive

Whether it’s in sports, school, work, body image, or life, it becomes very easy for people to focus on what they are doing wrong and all of the negativity. People want to succeed at what they’re doing and feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. However, it can be challenging, when one is constantly telling themselves, “This is terrible,”, “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I don’t think I can do this,”. Thinking positive is a way to turn those thoughts into something positive that will help you achieve your goals and feel better about yourself and whatever you do.

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In sports, all athletes struggle with the pressure of wanting to win, not let down their coach, teammates, and parents, and perform with perfection. They also struggle with the ups and downs in their performance and when they are going through a rough period, they tend to think negatively which will only make things worse. Two words that are heard often are “can’t” and “don’t”. There are a lot of coaches out there who will tell their athletes, “Don’t hit the ball out,” or “Don’t lose,” and that causes the athletes to think about what they should not do versus what they should do. Then when athletes have talked themselves into doing the wrong thing, they start to believe that they can’t shoot a free throw, or land their back flip, or hit a float serve. Everything can go downhill if this negativity isn’t stopped in its tracks.

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For example, in tennis, I can be very hard on myself. Now that I’ve been cleared to start running and playing a little bit of tennis again, my dad and I have been playing quite a bit so that I can get back into shape for the high school season. I haven’t played in about six months and getting back on the court for the first time was great, but there was frustration that came with it too. My groundstrokes were definitely not what I remembered them being and I struggled to get the ball in the actual court. My dad would ask me how my groundstrokes felt and I told him, “I’m not getting the ball in the court” and “I can’t seem to hit forehands”. After I told him that my dad told to focus on what I can do right for the next shot. I’m much more successful when I focus on the positive and what I can do to improve versus how bad my last backhand was.

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The idea of thinking positive has been something I’ve been working on for a long time in tennis and life in general but it can be hard. It’s very easy to slip into a negative mindset but when you focus on what you can do to get better, you’re probably going to improve and feel better about yourself.

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These same ideas can be applied to how you see yourself as a person and your goals in life. Maybe you think that you aren’t pretty or you don’t fit in. Those same two thoughts could be turned into something positive. Even in something “ugly” or negative, you could find something “beautiful” and positive to think about. And with the whole “fitting in” thing, isn’t it better to be yourself and discover who you are than fake it and be in unhealthy relationships? If you think that you aren’t good enough to try out for something, too shy to ask a teacher about something in class, or you’ll never be able to go on that trip to Japan that you’ve been dreaming about forever, you’re probably right, if you aren’t doing anything about it but complaining and thinking negative thoughts. If you think positive, you might not reach your goals when you hope you will but you’ll get there eventually. And if you don’t give going for your goals a try, how will you know you could have accomplished them anyways?

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So with those same thoughts up above, you could turn those into “I’m going to make the best of this situation” “I’ll work towards my goals and achieve them”, and “I can do this”. Turning your negative thoughts into something positive, will help you out in the long run. Set goals for yourself, stick to those goals, and think positive. The road to your goals might be rough, but in the end, all of your hard work will have been worth it. You can do this!

Tips For Tryouts

Whether it’s for volleyball, tennis, or whatever sport/activity you compete in, you’re going to have to tryout to make a team at some point. Tryouts can be stressful sometimes and I want to help make it easier and less stressful so here are a few tips for tryouts.

1. Relax and have fun! If you end up making the team, that’s great. And if you don’t make the team, so what? At least you had fun trying. There will be plenty of other opportunities to make teams and try other sports or activities. So knowing this, you should just relax, play your game, show off your stuff, and have fun.

2. Control what you can control. The two things you can control are your attitude and effort. You can’t control the coaches and evaluators (although that would be pretty cool), the place and time the tryouts are held at, the other people trying out, the drills you do, and so on. So many people worry about those things going into tryouts that they forget what’s really important and what they should be focused on controlling. When you focus on controlling only your attitude and effort, you perform well, feel relaxed, and have fun.

3. Wear something bright so that you stand out from the rest of the crowd. From experience, a lot of people will either wear black or white to a tryout. You want to be noticed and have the coaches and other players watching and keeping an eye on you.

4. Stay positive and don’t get down on yourself. This goes along with the first tip for tryouts. If you shank a pass or miss a layup, or hit your serve in the bottom of the net, it’s not a big deal, just as long as it isn’t happening on a consistent basis. No one’s perfect and we’re all human, so if you make a mistake figure out what you’re going to do right next time, and execute it. Relax and you’ll do fine. Also, don’t get down on yourself if you don’t end up making the team, there other teams to tryout for and other opportunities.

So when you all head into tryouts just remember to relax and have fun, control what you can control, wear something bright, and stay positive and don’t get down on yourself. I really hope these tips will help you all succeed in tryouts. Good luck and have fun!

Why is the Crosscourt Game So Important?

In tennis there are many strategies and ways to play the game. My personal favorite and favorite of most if not all professionals is going crosscourt with the tennis ball. Here’s why having a strong crosscourt game or at least developing one is important.

– A crosscourt shot is the highest percentage shot you can hit. By hitting crosscourt, you have a high chance of getting the ball in and an even more likely chance for your opponent to error.

– Most of the time, when hitting crosscourt, you are swinging across your body. Swinging across your body is one of the most natural and smooth ways to hit groundstrokes. You can hit inside out crosscourt shots and those can be pretty awesome and fun to hit, but simply going crosscourt can be good enough.

– Crosscourt shots allow you to recover to a closer spot behind the baseline. After every shot, you should recover to the middle of the angle of possible return, which is in the middle of where your opponent could hit the ball. When you hit a crosscourt shot, you can recover slightly off-center from behind the baseline. You want to be slightly diagonal from where you hit the ball. If you hit the ball down the line, you would have to recover a lot faster and a lot further from the middle of the baseline. Hitting crosscourt is efficient.

– By hitting crosscourt shots you can set yourself up for other shots that can help you be successful. You could go crosscourt several times and then when your opponent is cheating crosscourt you can hit hard, slice, or with top spin down the line. And if you get pulled wide on the court, you could hit a hard angle or buggywhip-like shot crosscourt. Hitting crosscourt is strategic and sets you up for success in points.

Having a good and solid crosscourt shot is very important to your game. It is a high-percentage shot, feels natural and smooth, is efficient and allows for a quick recovery, and is smart, strategic, and sets you up during points.

Why is the Crosscourt Game So Important?

How to Be a Tennis Player

Congrats newly minted tennis player! You’ve decided to enter the wonderful world of tennis and become the top player in the world! Here are five easy-to-follow steps on how to be a tennis player. These five steps are guaranteed to make you the best tennis player in the world and give you pure awesomeness.

1. Don’t even consider getting a racquet. If you were one of the tennis players silly enough to purchase a racquet, you’d be putting yourself and others in danger and you could save a whole lot of money! You run the risk of hitting yourself in the shin or foot or even head if you get a racquet and it hurts! Not to mention, when you run around on the court and scrape your racquet on the ground to get a ball, your racquet gets banged up and strings break. Fixing these kinds of things can be expensive and you save the money by skipping out on a racquet.

2. Sportsmanship and honesty are not key. Some coaches and players say that having the right attitude and sportsmanship will get you far in sports. But you came to win didn’t you? So this means that lying will get you as far as you want to go. You need the point to get closer to win the game or even the match so use your best poker face and make it your call. If the ball hits the line or is even a little inside, call it out! You need the point! And at the end of the match when you go to shake your opponents hands don’t even think about it because you’re obviously much better than them.

3. “Are you sure?” needs to be the mostly commonly spoken words you use on the court. When your opponent makes a call you need to question them every time. This works well to get into their heads and manipulate them. Wouldn’t want your opponent making the wrong call right?

4. What you wear is very important. To catch the attention of recruiters and scouts and even other players, you want to wear the flashiest outfit you possibly can. This means neon colors, sequins, and very happy bright thoughts are words on shirts, if you are wearing one. Make sure to always mention who your outfit was worn by like Sharapova, or Nadal, or the Williams sisters, or Djokovic. This makes your outfit seem more fancy and expensive. Wearing something bright and flashy can also distract your opponent on sunny days. You’re a walking disco ball!

5. During water breaks after a game, take your time.  Go ahead and sit down relax and drink your water to stay hydrated. You need the time to get prepared for the next game and beat your opponent. Also, if you need to get your legs and arms massaged, now is the time to prevent cramping. This time can also be used to grab a quick snack and keep your stomach happy.

How to Be a Tennis Player

Good luck to you, tennis players! By using these tips, you’ll strive in your tennis career and be known by many internationally. Have fun and are you sure?