Member Spotlight

Tennis Family for Life!

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By: Elliott Datlow

 

Julie and Andrew moved to the Montgomery County from Indianapolis, and they were looking for somewhere where the entire family could be active. Not really knowing their way around the area (yet) they did what anyone would do—they hit up the “all knowing” Google. Their Google search lead them to the Aspen Hill Club, and we are so happy that they are now a part of our community!

Julie and Andrew were not big tennis players prior to their initial info session with Membership Director Eric Suchinsky, but now it’s hard to find a day that someone from the Harrison family is NOT at the Club! Julie is into her second session of our Adult Beginner tennis program with Coach Elliott—and she is making big strides, “I promised myself that when I got good, I’d treat myself to a new racket, I think I’m there!” In addition to being a star player in her tennis class, Julie has had private tennis lessons with Aspen Hill’s newest pro, Chris Cozzillio. In addition to the tennis court, Julie has had a fantastic time joining Allison’s Body Pump class.

While Julie was new to tennis, Andrew did have experience prior experience playing tennis. Andrew has met many new friends on the tennis court and has made it part of his routine. After having his initial New Member Evaluation with Coach Ilan, he was set up with new players to meet—and he just can’t get enough!

The couple has definitely enjoyed their tennis time, but a big part of the family’s membership was for the kids! Hayden and Hazel started playing in our Young Stars tennis class, where they are learning basic tennis skills using larger low compression balls and other specialized equipment designed to keep tennis FUN for the younger ones! On a rainy day you might even find the entire family playing tennis together on the indoor tennis courts.

The family is at the Club at least 4 times a week! “Oh, we are a tennis family forever now. We just can’t get enough! And we are so looking forward to Child Minding and using the pool. There is already so much for us to do at the Club, and we are so looking forward to having even more activities!” Julie adds.

Julie & Andrew, your family has been such a welcome addition to the Aspen Hill Club community. Smiles follow your family around to all of your activities, and we are so lucky that you found us!

 

Member Spotlight

Welcome Back Jeff!

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It makes us incredibly happy to welcome Jeff back to his indoor tennis court! Jeff has been a member of Aspen Hill Club for nearly 40 years. Upon moving to the area, he began playing tennis at the Club with his IBM coworker Earl. These two gentlemen continue playing tennis together weekly for 37 years later—every Sunday morning. It warms our hearts to give our members a place to get their exercise and enjoy their tennis!

Tennis

It’s A Winner – Junior Match Play!

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Covid-19 brought about a pause to many of our junior players favorite activities including Junior Interclub and USTA tournaments. But our junior players didn’t let that halt their tennis competition! With many schools providing kids a “flex day” on Wednesdays, Aspen Hill Club saw an opportunity to return the kids to safe and fun match play. We’ve been hosting many of our juniors to play several matches and inputting results into the UTR database. These matches are played in a safe environment—kids are socially distanced throughout the event and each have their own set of tennis balls labeled with their initials. This way, players only have to handle their own tennis balls when serving.

 

Many important life skills are learned through competition including: interacting with others, problem solving, and never giving up! It has been wonderful to see our junior players growing on and off of the court through our match play program.

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Moving up the Tennis Ladder! Kehoe Family

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By: Elliott Datlow

 

Jenny’s parents, Cindy and Randy Daly brought her to Aspen Hill Club as a child while they played tennis, so when her husband Kevin expressed an interest in playing tennis himself— Jenny knew where the young family should go!

 

Jenny and Kevin both grew up in the area and met during college at the University of South Carolina. Living nearby in Kensington, Aspen Hill Club was convenient for the two of them to try something new— TENNIS! Both have busy schedules, Jenny working as a family nurse practitioner and Kevin building homes, but both have been able to dramatically improve their tennis and find a spot for two-year-old Conor to have fun while they play.

 

Kevin wanted to begin playing tennis as a way to keep active and stay healthy. As a former athlete, Kevin missed the competition— and Kevin could not wait to start competing on the tennis court! Kevin started out by taking private tennis lessons with Elliott— and before long— he was hittin’ the Men’s Singles Ladder! Kevin couldn’t get enough of the competitive match play, but he did discover areas that needed improvement. Kevin kept up with his private lessons and supplemented them by adding the ball machine unlimited package, “I just wanted to play as much as possible” explains Kevin, and that he did! The combination of match play, private instruction, and ball machine play helped Kevin make jumps in his level of tennis, in fact, he was able to get revenge on ladder players that he had previously beaten him!

 

Kevin wasn’t the only one getting active on the tennis court. Jenny started out by participating in Jeff Klein’s adult beginner drills classes, and soon, supplemented these with private lessons with Elliott. As a former soccer player herself, Jenny found she enjoyed the exercise that tennis provided, and was ready to hit the courts with new players. “After playing with Jeff and Elliott once a week for a while, I knew I was ready for Ilan’s Hit & Run Classes,” Jenny said. “Child Minding was great because it allowed me to play more without finding a sitter for Conor” she added.

 

Jenny and Kevin started playing tennis just over a year ago. Besides finding a way to stay active, they’ve discovered something else, “It gives us an activity to enjoy together!” says Jenny. Kevin adds, “I’ve now found out that so many more friends and colleagues enjoy tennis, too.”

 

You can often find Jenny or Kevin at the Club during the week, and usually at different times. The variety of program time options has made it possible for both to make time for their health on their own schedule. Additionally, Jenny adds “We love how friendly and responsive the staff members are to us. It’s a family Club and every member we’ve met is so friendly!”

 

Jenny and Kevin, THANK YOU for being such a valuable part of our community at the Aspen Hill Club. It’s been spectacular to be a part of your family’s journey to being active and healthy— and we have been WOWED by the improvement in both of your tennis games along the way!

 

Tennis

French Open – In October?

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By: Elliott Datlow

It’s October, and as a tennis fan, you know what that means! French Open??? That’s right! The French Open at Roland Garros kicks off the spring for tennis players, and occurs annually in May. But due to Covid-19 it was postponed until September! Main draw matches began on Sunday, September 27 with the finals occurring the weekend of October 10.

 

There are so many many storylines to watch out for! What I am keeping my eyes on is the level of play from the players that didn’t play the US Open. When the US Open started, there were very few events for players to play in preparation. We saw pros such as Nadal, Henin, & Barty sit out. And then we saw the players that stayed active through exhibitions such as World Team Tennis  excel—think  about the emergency of Jennifer Brady! And Victoria Azarenka’s hard work during quarantine paid off with a title at the Western & Southern Open and carried it into New York with a runner up finish!

 

In the Rome event leading up to the French, the “King of Clay,” Rafael Nadal, took an early loss. This was more than likely, at least in some part, due to not playing much competition. Meanwhile Dominic Thiem, known for doing great on the red clay, surprised us all by taking the US Open title! This is going to set up an interesting dynamic for the French Open!

 

The French Open is my favorite Major to watch and I was lucky enough to attend as a coach, helping my college teammate, Jesse Witten, on his journey as a pro tennis player. Roland Garros is a special place and every year we are treated to fantastic tennis. The pros battle the slow court surface of the red clay, and tennis fans watch in awe. This year the pros won’t have had long to prepare for their battles on the intriguing court surface—so get your popcorn ready!

 

 

Tennis

UTR at the Aspen Hill Club!

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The Tennis Department is extremely excited to announce that we have teamed up with Universal Tennis Rating (UTR)! You likely have heard about UTR while watching tennis on TV— and now you will be part of it!

 

The Club is going to offer programs partnered with UTR. Being a part of UTR is going to mean that YOU will be able to more easily play with people of your level— and that is what we ALL want! As you beat players with a higher UTR, your own UTR number will increase. We will input scores from our Club programs into the UTR system and these scores will be part of the global UTR community.

 

Dave Fish, Hall of Fame Coach with over 30 years as Head Men’s Coach at Harvard University, and co-founder of UTR, does a great job of quickly summing it up “UTR-based events yield more close, competitive matches. And, UTR makes it possible for any player, anywhere, to find a level of competition that’s right for them – enough challenge to satisfy, but not too much to overwhelm.”

Introduction: UTR Powered by Oracle is a global rating system that promotes fair and competitive play across the tennis world. All players, regardless of age, gender, geography or skill level, are rated on a same scale between 1.00 and 16.50 based on actual match results.

 

Benefits of UTR: UTR provides a real-time view of a player’s true skill level. Having a UTR enables you to track your progress, find level-based play, and expand your tennis network to play with people across age, gender and tennis silo.

 

Who has a UTR?: Every tennis player can have a UTR. UTR provides an accurate measurement of a player’s true skill level, whether you are a recreational, junior, high school, college or pro player.

 

Verified UTR vs UTR: UTR counts all results, including matches played in verified tournaments/events and non-verified matches. Verified UTR counts match results played in only verified tournaments and events.

For example, USTA league/tournament matches count toward Verified UTR and UTR. Casual/practice matches and self-posted scores count only toward UTR.

 

How is UTR calculated?: UTR is calculated by an algorithm using a player’s last 30 eligible match scores from the last 12 months. For each eligible match, the algorithm calculates a match rating and a match weight; a player’s UTR is the weighted average of all the match ratings.