Friday Fashion Face-off: Fun-Sized Edition

You know how the runt of the litter is usually the feisty one? Scrappiness grows out of necessity: Fight or starve.

Same principle applies in tennis. Some of the most dogged competitors on the pro tour are average-sized, or even petite. Too often, we treat shortness as some sort of handicap, when in fact it can be a source of strength. The current #1 on the women’s tour, Simona Halep, is the shortest of the top ten, at a compact but powerful 5 feet 6: Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Fun-Sized Edition”

The Long Gray Wall

When I was a young kid, my mother used to take me with her when she was meeting her friends for tennis. The park where she liked to play had a long gray concrete wall–really long, and really high. This was back when handball was a popular activity. In the evenings, you could usually find three or four handball games taking place simulaneously on each side of the wall.

But during the mornings, when my mom took me to the park, the wall stood empty. I’d bring along my little wooden racquet and hit against the wall while I waited for my mother to finish her game. I wasn’t very good so I ended up doing an awful lot of running as each inadvertently angled shot caromed off the wall. But I was young and energetic, and chasing down my ball to give it another whack with my racquet was all part of the fun.

Later, when I learned to control my shots a little more, I’d go to the wall on my own. I’d deliberately hit my groundstrokes inside-out, working forehands down the length of the wall and backhands on the way back. I could complete three “laps” of the wall before my lungs would give out. Continue reading “The Long Gray Wall”

Consistency (Yawn.)

During practice, our team coach Tom likes to call out pop quiz questions, especially when we’ve just screwed something up. By now, we’ve heard the questions so many times we could answer them in our sleep.

When one of us makes an unforced error, he calls out one of his particular favorites:

“What’s the biggest weapon in tennis?”

“Consistency!” we dutifully bleat. Baaa. Continue reading “Consistency (Yawn.)”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Adidas Adidas and Cult Jam

(🎶 Hit the beat, now…🎶)

Did you catch the Zverev brothers play last week at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.?

Alexander (familiarly known as Sascha) is the groundstroke-whipping baseliner. He’s widely regarded as the successor to the top of the game when the Big Four finally retire.

Older brother Mikhail (Mischa) plays the rare serve-and-volley game. Though less successful than Sascha, Mischa brings equal entertainment value to the court. Last week’s match was the first time the brothers have met in an ATP-level tournament.

I was hanging out on the couch, enjoying the match, when my husband walked in front of the television screen and stopped. Sascha was serving, and my husband made an involuntary noise of disgust. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Adidas Adidas and Cult Jam”

Meet the Coach: Erin Reeves

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing tennis coach Erin Reeves, 2017 recipient of the USPTA’s High School Coach of the Year in New England. A graduate of Fairfield University, Erin coaches the girls’ tennis team at Wayland High School in Massachusetts. Under her leadership, the team made it to the finals of the 2016 state championship before winning the whole enchilada in 2017. Erin also coaches adults and children at the Needham Pool and Racquet Club.

Do you have a particular philosophy toward teaching tennis?
In general, the longer I teach, I more I realize you really have to meet people where they are and then work to find ways to challenge them to make them better. On my high school team we have a range of levels, and each girl wants to get something different out of their experience. I try to make it fun for everyone while giving each girl the opportunity to improve their game. Continue reading “Meet the Coach: Erin Reeves”

August’s Tennis Challenge: Hydration

(In talking to a friend the other day, I realized I had given short shrift to my August hydration challenge. Here’s a longer post about this month’s goal…)

You know how every problem in your life is your mother’s fault? Well, here’s another one I’m adding to my list: Ignoring my thirst. Continue reading “August’s Tennis Challenge: Hydration”

Friday Fashion Face-off: A Lotta Lotto Prints**

As promised, we’ll devote this week’s face-off to the latest prints from Lotto. I want to say right off the bat that I have nothing against prints. In fact, I recently told my daughter that at this point in my life, I prefer a top with a print because it deflects attention away from my aging face. Without missing a beat, she pointed at her chest and acted out a confrontation with some imaginary man: “Hey, buddy! My eyes are down here!”

She cracks me up.

So I’m all about prints these days, but there has to be balance. There has to be proportion. Most of all, there has to be an attractive print. Sorry, Lotto, but yours don’t cut the mustard. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: A Lotta Lotto Prints**”

July/August Tennis Challenges

August is here, which means it’s time to review the results of my monthly challenge for July…and set a new one!

I’m not going to lie to you. July was tough. My goal was to hit 3,100 serves, or an average of 100 a day for 31 days. If you recall, my goal evolved from simply adding a knee bend to learning an entirely new service motion.

I can’t count July as a success. I tried to adjust my mindset, picked out cute outfits as incentives, and watched a Sharapova serving video as my model. But I neither reached 3,100 serves nor came anywhere near mastering my new motion. If anything, my serve is worse than it was before. Continue reading “July/August Tennis Challenges”

Getting a Grip, Part 2

Last week I wrote about my search for an overgrip that can stand up to sweaty palms. Although I did manage to find a better overgrip, I thought it might be worthwhile to share some ideas about how to prevent your hands from becoming an oil slick in the first place. Continue reading “Getting a Grip, Part 2”

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