Tennis

Battle of the Ages Wrap Up

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On Friday, January 11, 2019 we had our annual Battle of the Ages Event. Once again the adults finished victorious winning a very close tournament, 6 to 5. The adults displayed their wisdom and knowledge of the game schooling the youngsters once again. I am very proud of how the juniors played because last year they were destroyed by the adults and really was taught a valuable lesson. They learned that just hitting the ball as hard as they can was not going to get them far in this game. From that loss last year the juniors came back stronger this year by playing smart, using the entire court, playing with a variety of pace and they even got up to the net. Thank you to both the adults and juniors for making this great fun event a huge success!

 

Tennis

Key to Success: Overhead Placement Over Power – February 2019

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One of the biggest mistakes tennis players make when trying to win a point with overhead is by focusing more on power over placement. In my opinion, placement is far more important than trying to hit the ball hard. A lot of times an overhead is hit as hard as you can right back to your opponent. This may work against some players but against other players who have excellent hands and are very skilled at defensive shots, that ball is going to come back every time.

How many times has this happened to you? You hit an overhead to your opponent, they block it back, you hit it harder, they block it back again and then you miss the third overhead deep or into the net. We all know what happens when you or your opponent brings one more ball back. It usually ends with an error.

The key to success is taking a little bit of pace off of the overhead and focus more on placing the ball where your opponent is not. I always tell my students that I’d rather hit a 30mph winner than a 100mph ball that’s coming back. Use your short angles of the court, place the ball where your opponent is not or simply hit the overhead down the middle when playing doubles.  Your overheads will really become great when you can execute your shots with both power and placement. Until then, just keep it simple and focus more on your placement.

Keep on Playing!

 

Tennis

Key to Success: Best Return of Serve Options for Doubles Players – January 2019

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Tennis players should view the tennis court as a blank canvas and you are the artist with all of the creativity. The key to being a great returner in doubles is to be very creative and mix up your returns. Listed below are all of the best returning options for doubles players from your best to worse returns.

 

Return Cross Court Deep

It’s always great if you can return a ball right back to the server deep into their court. If done successfully, you will give the returner no time to react immediately after they serve.

 

Return Cross Court Short Angle

Hitting the return cross court short with an angle can catch the server off guard and force them to run forward barely getting to the ball. If they are reaching for the ball then there is a strong possibility of them popping it up for your partner or you to pick it off.

 

Lob Cross Court Deep

This play is effective if you are playing against someone who serves and volleys a lot. I wouldn’t suggest this for every play but every so often to keep them on their heels and potentially pinned back on the baseline. If you can execute this lob well enough then they may think twice about closing in so quickly.

 

Chip and Charge Cross Court

If you are a master at slicing then chipping their serve with underpin and charging the net can be very effective. This play could take your opponent by surprise and force them to come up with a great shot. They may even take their eye off of the ball because they are so focused to see what you are doing as you charge their way. It may even force them to just make an error.

 

Lob Down the Line

Lobbing the net player down the line is always a great option as it puts the other team in disarray immediately after the return. It also forces the server to have to run that ball down if the net player can’t get to it. If this play is used well, there is a great chance that there will be a lob coming your way for you to put away, so be ready and look for it.  If you are playing against a team that does not move very well then that lob will not be coming back at all.

 

Passing Shot in the Doubles Alley

Using this play can be risky but can be very effective if done right. I like to use this play toward the beginning of my matches to send a message to the net player not to poach. Even if my team loses the point, it may be worth it because that pesky net player may think twice about making any moves because of that one shot you hit. This shot can also work if there is a player who likes to stand very close to the center of the court. Hitting down the line will force your opponent to move more toward the line to free up your cross-court returns.  One last way this will work is that element of surprise. Every once in a while you may catch that net player sleeping.

 

Right at the Net Player

The final play is for you to go right to the net player. By hitting right at your opponent one of three things will happen. One, they will get handcuffed and hit back a weak volley. Two, they will be getting out of dodge to avoid the ball. Three, you are going to hit them. It is a part of the rules. Please remember that tennis is a gentlemen’s sport so please make sure you apologize if you hit your opponent. As you can see this play is way down on my list, our intention is never to hurt anyone so please be mindful before doing this play. One measly tennis point is not worth risking a long time friendship.

 

Next time you are on the court be sure to try all of these great return options. Paint that beautiful picture with your great creative mind. Outwit, outplay and outlast all of your opponents with as much variety a possible. Keep on Playing!

Tennis

How Often Should I Restring My Racket?

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By: Tim Hahn, Aspen Hill Pro Shop Owner

 

As a general rule you should re-string each year as often as you play per week. If you play twice per week, you should restring  your racket twice per year. All strings gradually stretch and lose their resiliency or go dead, even if you play infrequently. When this happens you begin to swing harder, grip the racket tighter to get the same results from the ball.

Swinging harder and gripping tighter makes control more difficult, fatigue arrives early and may even contribute to tennis elbow. fresh strings help your racket play the way it was intended to play. If you have any question about rackets or restringing please stop by the Aspen Hill Pro shop. Tim will be glad to assist with your needs. Tim is a member of USRSA, a Master Racket
Technician, the Yonex National Stringing Team, and the USPTR.

Tennis

Key to Success: Take the Pressure Off and Win – November 2018

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A lot of players struggle when the pressure is on during a match and fail to execute their best shots when it matters most. Listed below are some tricks you can use to take the pressure off of yourself so that you can play your best tennis.

Stop Caring and Have Fun

So many players get caught up with the end result of winning or losing that they end up putting pressure on themselves that it paralyzes their game. When you care too much, you start playing tentative and scared which prohibits you from actually playing your best tennis. You start playing not to lose instead of playing to win. The key to playing your best tennis is to stop caring and just have fun. I know it’s easier said than done but once you can master this, you will see a huge difference in your performance.

Flip the Score

How many times have you had the lead in a set or after winning the first set, turnaround and end up losing? A mental trick you could use would be to switch the score. If you are winning 5-2, pretend that you are losing 2-5. Typically, players who are behind play harder to try and catch back up. This will be very helpful if you are one of those players who struggle with closing out a set or a match.

Prepare Yourself for Success

Another way to take the pressure off yourself is by going into your matches feeling prepared. When you know that you have been working hard by taking private lessons, participating in clinics and match play, you feel more confident in your skill set to play a strong game. Knowing that you have put in the work and are ready to win will go a very long way.

Lose Going for your Shots

The worst that could happen is that you lose a match. So what, it’s not the end of the world. When you go into every match not caring about losing, you will play better. Lose a match going for your shots opposed to losing not going for them. You will keep yourself in every match if you play hard from beginning to end.

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Copeland-Sanchez Family

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Seven years ago Victoria was searching for a home where she could focus on aquatics program. Our 25-meter indoor pool brought her to the Aspen Hill Club. Swimming is a big part of Victoria’s life—and she is also fully engaged on the tennis court! She and husband Marcos, and children Aiden, Dalton and Erin have used the pool, tennis court, and an array of other roles and responsibilities to grow & learn as a family at The Club, “We had a great place for our family to grow, learn, & play” says Victoria.

Victoria continues to be a big part of the aquatics scene at The Club. In addition to being a swim instructor, you can often find Victoria taking in a water aerobics class, working out in the gym, & a constant on our tennis courts!  Marcos makes great use of the gym—and uses our weight room to get into shape for his tennis. (more…)

Fitness

Member Spotlight: Living the After Party! Werner-Schiffer Family

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Werner-Schiffer FamilyRachel brought then five-year-old Ethan to The Club to celebrate his buddies birthday party. Upon visiting the Aspen Hill Club, she was in awe! Membership Director Eric Suchinsky, offered to give Rachel a tour. Up until her visit, the family had memberships to two health clubs—one to make sure that Rachel got her fitness classes and another to ensure that Jeremy had access to an indoor pool. What they were missing was the family atmosphere that had fun for their two little ones. With the fun that Ethan had at The Club for the party, Rachel knew that one Club had everything she was looking for! (more…)

Tennis

Key to Success: Using Consistency as a Weapon – October 2018

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Have you ever played a player who never misses? These are some of the toughest matches to play and can be very frustrating. Use consistency to your advantage to beat majority of your opponents.

In my opinion, you can beat 75% of your opponents just by keeping the ball in play. The other 25% you will need to be consistent and step up and make some shots. The number one way to be more consistent is to take some pace off of the ball. The goal is to hit the ball with 3/4 of your pace. Not too hard but not too soft. You want to find the pace that you will be able to hit in which you will never miss. You take this pace of the ball and move it around the court as your opponent self-destructs. If you play well with consistency, over time throughout the match, this will really frustrate your opponent and may result in them over hitting and trying to win the point too quickly. Once they start trying this tactic, you may start to see a lot of unforced errors creep into their game. As they start missing, then you’ll know that you drew them into your web of errors, therefore, resulting in a very easy match for you to win.

Having a steadily paced ball can be a huge weapon and will help you win a ton of matches.

Keep on Playing!

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Ikeda Family

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The Ikeda family is one that you’ll find on the tennis courts! Yasu and Yoshi moved to our area from Minneapolis, Minnesota and knew it was a priority to find home for everyone to be happy on the tennis courts. How did Yasu find our Aspen Hill Club? They used Google! They saw the GREAT reviews online and stopped by for a tour. Yasu feels that he’s found a special place at The Club, “Everyone is so nice. The pros are great and keep us very happy.”

Mia, 15 years old, is currently involved in our Junior Advanced class, where she plays with other teenagers that are working towards high school tennis and tournament play. She worked on her tennis all Summer, as part of our World Class program. Mia’s coaches stress that she can always be counted on to work hard while on the court—using all of her court time to her advantage. Her focused attitude consistently raises the level of play in the class, and she is a great addition to our program. (more…)