On Friday, January 24th we had a fabulous time playing tennis while benefiting an extremely important cause. Our weekly Doubles Frenzy event is BACK and on the 24th we hosted a big party! We had two groups of players, one level of 3.0 doubles with the other group being 3.5+. Thirty Aspen Hill members showed up for the mix and match doubles fun. A great time was had by all, playing as much doubles as we could get in during our 2 hours of tennis time.
When the final serve was hit at 9:00pm, our champions of the week were Jeff Mund and Josephine Garnem each had the highest number of games won in their groups! When the tennis was complete everyone gathered to enjoy a drink, snack, and watch the Australian Open tennis on TV! The big winner of the night was our entire group—as their participation in the event helped Aspen Hill Club in sending over $500 to the Australian Red Cross to aide in the Australian Wildfire rescue efforts.
Just about everyone sees Tim Hahn before the reach check-in at the Aspen Hill Club. Members are greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. Tim owns the Aspen Hill Sports Shop and has spent time talking with just about every member. But who is he?How does he know so much? This month we are going to take some time getting to know Tim!
Tim’s interest in tennis began when he was in middle school—he was glued to the Borg vs McEnroe 1980 Wimbledon Championship match. After that contest, Tim started playing in the neighborhood. Before he knew it he was a member of the Walter Johnson Varsity Team. Tim continued playing recreationally while attending University of Maryland—where he studied Mathematics.
Tim’s studies lead him to a successful career in his field of study. One day one of Tim’s friends talked to him about becoming a partner in Sports World—a sports shop in nearby Glenmont, Md. This opportunity spoke to Tim, after all—he was passionate about tennis, running, and athletics in general. Tim was excited about this opportunity and jumped at the chance for a MAJOR career change!
As co-owner of Sports World, Tim hit the ground running. He learned as much as he could about tennis equipment. In fact, Tim earned certification as a Master Racket Technician. It is this ability to have a deep understanding about equipment & technology that helps bring Tim a smile as a small business owner now at Aspen Hill Sports Shop. “It brings me joy when one of our members tells me that I helped make a difference in their game. They let me know that I helped them, and I feel really good! I’m helping them be better at what they love doing!” explains Tim. Tim often uses technology to help customers with injuries, “Certain strings can help with tennis elbow. It really can make their pain go away!” Other times Tim helps players achieve more power or control in their tennis game by switching rackets. Tim’s expertise has been relied on by the ATP tennis pros—Tim has been a racket stringer at the Citi Open 13 times!
Not only is Tim “book smart” about tennis, he also has got serious game! Tim is a 5.0 player himself and plays almost every day with tennis buddy Milton White and Aspen Hill Club pros John Parsley, Jeff Klein, and Mark Ortiz. Playing tennis helps Tim feel good, “Tennis to me is about meditation, it’s relaxing. I feel good and I am constantly trying to hit the perfect stroke!”
You may have wondered around the shop and thought to yourself “Geez! Tim sure does have a lot of running shoes for a tennis shop!”—well, there is good reason for that. Before Tim’s life was centered around tennis, he focused his athletic skills in another way—as a marathon runner! Tim has run in 14 marathons, including the Marine Corps Marathon and the Boston Marathon. Tim’s personal record was 2 hours 36 minutes, which had him competing in the US Olympic trials in Korea!!! So if Tim offers you advice on running shoes, you should know with confidence that he knows his stuff.
Aspen Hill Club has been an important part of Tim’s life well before he moved in with the Aspen Hill Sports Shop. As his children, Meghan and Alex, grew up—the family had a home at Aspen Hill Club. They have grown up being fixtures on the courts and became fantastic players—both playing on NCAA Division 1 tennis scholarships. Tim is a student of the game and enjoyed learning as much as possible about tennis—becoming PTR Certified Professional himself.
Tim views Aspen Hill Club as a special place and he’s happy to call it home. “There are so many great pros here at the Club, some focus on mental aspects while others emphasize technical skills. The tennis pros do a fantastic job catering to members. I really enjoy helping my customers get set up to play and then help them find the right pro!” says Tim.
On Wednesday, December 17 we had a very special guest—Rachel Kros from USTA/ MAS! Rachel is Senior Manager of Youth Competition. Rachel oversees all junior tennis tournaments, and she came to Aspen Hill Club to educate our families on changes to the way USTA junior tennis tournaments will work! Below I’ve outlined a couple of important changes that all of our families should be aware of:
ONE Nationwide Structure of Tournaments. The 17 sectional structures and one national structure will be replaced with ONE nationwide structure of junior tournaments. The structure will consist of seven levels of ranking tournaments, with the lowest level of intermediate tournament classified as a Level 7 and USTA National Championships classified as Level 1. For entry-level to intermediate players of all ages, a non-ranking series of events called the Net Generation Circuit will focus on age-appropriate competition, development and fun.
ONE Nationwide Points-Per-Round Ranking System. The 17 sectional ranking systems and one national ranking system will be replaced with
ONE nationwide ranking system for the Level 1-7 ranking tournaments. One set of nationwide ranking tables will determine the points earned in all ranking tournaments.
ONE Standings List. At least monthly, the USTA will continue to publish National Standings Lists (NSLs), using the same Best of 6 singles and Best of 6 doubles results system, with 15% of a player’s doubles results counting toward a player’s standing. Points will count up and count down as they have in the past. These lists will be filtered by section or district when they are used for selection into closed tournaments and team competitions.
EVERYTHING Counts. While sections will continue to hold two Closed Level 3s and four Closed 4s, and in some cases Closed Level 5s, all other tournaments sanctioned by the sections will be open to all players and all results will count in the ranking system. This also permits sections to hold Open Level 4s. This means that, for example, if you are vacationing out of section and play a tournament, it will count. It also allows players who live near section borders to play across section lines and have their results count.
ONE Quota list criteria for every Section. no more endorsement requirements for Nationals. Sections will no longer impose minimum requirements to appear on a section’s endorsement list. Sections will continue to get a minimum Quota number of players into USTA National
Championships, but these lists will all have the same criteria and will be published on a monthly basis so players better understand their chances of making Nationals. The criteria provides an incentive for players to compete in-section as follows:
In the BG 18, 16 and 14 divisions, no more than three singles and three doubles results can be from tournaments sanctioned by an entity other than the Sectional Association; and
• In the BG 12 divisions, no more than two singles and two doubles results can be from tournaments sanctioned by an entity other than the Sectional Association.
It All Starts in 2021. All of the changes will take effect in January 2021. In the coming months, be on the lookout for webinars and other educational materials that will take a deeper dive into the details of the new structure.
We are looking forward to Friday, April 3rd, 2020 when the Aspen Hill Club’s tennis staff and members will team up to raise money for Fred’s Aces Scholarship Fund! Fred’s Aces is a 501c3 Non-Profit which works to bring local needs based kids into our junior tennis program! The kids apply with an essay and a recommendation. If selected, they receive a scholarship to attend a full session of junior tennis classes at AHC. Our team will be running a few fundraising events throughout the year—but our biggest event is the April 3rd fundraiser which features TENNIS PLAY, PRIZES, SILIENT AUCTION, & FUN!Please save the date and look out for more information coming soon!
I was teaching a class on Monday night and on the court next to me there were four ladies playing during their Reserved Season Contract Time. I couldn’t help but notice that all four of them were playing with the same racquet, which I also play with. The Wilson Clash has been selling like crazy and for good reason. The racquet provides phenomenal control yet allows you to give off a powerful shot with the flex from the racquet head. If that’s not enough for you to go out and buy it immediately, did I forget to mention that you don’t feel a thing in your arm during the impact of the ball. I love this racquet and apparently so does everyone else! See Tim Hahn at the Pro Shop to try it for yourself. You are in for a treat!
Alex and Yoli were searching for a place where they had activities for the whole family, and it seems as though they struck GOLD! While trying to figure out what their family could do to stay active, Alex received a marketing pamphlet in the snail-mail. The new facility offering so much enticed him to come for a visit, and the rest is history!
It isn’t tough to spot the Barresi family. Pick a day and you will usually find them smiling while being active at The Club! “What we love about AHC is the family atmosphere, our entire family has fun while we work out,” explains Yoli. Yoli adds “Nico (age 6) learned to Swim with the AHC swim instructors. Lucas (age 4) has come a long way since watching his older brother while sitting on the side of the pool!” This summer both kids have been fixtures in the summer camp, Nico has been a star in Champion’s Camp while Lucas is the social butterfly of Kids Kamp.
During the Fall and Winter season, both kids keep their activity level up. Six-year-old Nico has been working hard on his tennis game during the Junior Development clinic, where he has been learning proper technique with Coaches Julien and Elliott. Nico now has advanced up to orange ball tennis, where he has recently rallied over 100 balls in a row! In fact, his game stepped up so much that Dad bought him a new racket last week — Nico was so excited that the new racket was invited to a slumber party and spent the night in bed with Nico. This coming Fall season Nico is upping his tennis time by participating in our All-Stars tennis clinics twice a week.
Having fun in USTA tennis competitions are not far away!
Lucas can always be spotted—just look for the biggest smile! Last year he spent his tennis court time in the Young Stars tennis class, where he can rally with the red tennis balls. Lucas has fun on the tennis court, but also does not want to miss out on playing with the Childminding staff or Kids Yoga. Lucas is a very busy 4-year-old with a bright future on the tennis court!
Alex is doing his best to stay ahead of Nico and Lucas on the tennis court. The team in the Tennis Department does its best to keep Alex busy. His recent activities include Battle of the Ages, Men’s Tennis Ladder, Tuesday Night High-Performance Drills, Tuesday Night Singles Match play, and fine-tuning his strokes on the Club’s ball machine. Alex’s great attitude on the tennis court has made him a very popular tennis partner on the court.
Yoli found her place at Aspen Hill Club through her love of music and dance, “I came to work out with Alex but I was too distracted by Zumba” she said. Since that day two years ago, she finds time for herself during Zumba classes. While the boys are busy playing tennis and swimming, she definitely has been able to find her “Me Time.” In fact, she looks forward to Sunday mornings when the boys (with Dad) are playing tennis on the ball machine and she does Zumba.
On average the Barresi family is at The Club at least five days a week. They have found an incredible variety of activities at The Club, which helps keep everything fresh and fun. While the kids are having fun with their wide range of activities, it’s great to know that experts agree that this approach is best for the young Barresi athletes: “Most sport scientists and professional organizations advocate early diversification in sport” (BEST PRACTICE FOR YOUTH SPORT BY ROBIN VEALEY & MELISSA CHASE). These kids certainly are getting it all at the Aspen Hill Club!
Yoli and Alex — we are so happy that your family has found a home with us at The Club! The positive energy that your family brings is contagious to the members and the staff that surround you. It has been phenomenal getting to know you two and the kids, and we are excited about the model your family sets in motivating other
families to be active and healthy.
When you and your partner are getting destroyed from a strong cross-court returner, you and your partner should be open you make an adjustment. One of the best ways to take away the cross-court return is to play from the Australian Doubles Formation. The Australian doubles formation is when the partner of the serve stands on the same side of the court. So if you are serving from the deuce side, your partner is standing in the deuce service box. This formation will force your opponents to return their serve down the line which is a low percentage shot. Why is this a low percentage shot? Because the net is higher with an extra six inches and the court is shorter by four and a half feet.
In order to make this work, when serving you will need to stand close to the center court mark. You will need to do this for two reasons. One is to avoid hitting your partner with the serve and two because you will have to hustle cross court to hit the down the line return. Another reason to try this formation is that it catches your opponents by surprise. A lot of players have never seen this formation before and do not know how to play against it. If you can catch your opponents off guard and get them overthinking, they will probably overthink their shots and start making a lot of errors. Try this formation the next time you play and watch them scramble to figure out what to do. Keep on Playing!