5th Annual ACES Tennis Scholarship Fundraiser and Social

Posted Posted in Club News & Events, Tennis

Established in June, 2014, The Fred Sommer ACES Tennis Scholarship is a needs-based memorial scholarship designed to provide students ages 8-17 with the opportunity to learn and love the game of tennis. Fred Sommer was a longstanding member of the Aspen Hill Club who passed away after a courageous three year battle with brain cancer. The ACES program, with additional support from the Aspen Hill Club, enables children to participate in Aspen Hill’s Junior Tennis Program. Since its inception in 2014, ACES has awarded over 50 scholarships to Maryland area students.

The Fred Sommer ACES Tennis Scholarship, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with the goal to provide year round need-based scholarships so that children may benefit from the social, emotional and physical growth that accompanies sports participation.


Schedule of Events – Friday, March 29, 2019, 6:00—10:00pm

6:00—6:30pm—Check In
6:30—8:00pm—Zumba Jam
6:30—8:30pm— Tennis Play
8:15—10:00pm—Dinner, Silent Auction and Drawing


Cost: $60 per personPre-registration required. Deadline to register: Monday, March 25th, 2019. Includes: dinner, one drink ticket, a $35 tax-deductible donation to the Fred Sommer ACES Scholarship Fund, Inc. and Zumba Jam or 2 hours of tennis donated by the Aspen Hill Club. Registrations are available at the Club.

Not a tennis player? Not a problem! Join us for Zumba Jam on the basketball court from 6:30—8:00pm!
Light refreshments will be available in the Main Lobby, plus a chance to bid early on silent auction items. You also get a sneak peek at all of the items you can win at the drawing, including:
AHC fitness, aquatics, tennis and group exercise classes and training at discounted rates.

Registration Form

Donation Form

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

Posted Posted in Tennis

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 looses 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 at 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 court be sure to try all of these great return options. Paint that beautiful picture with your great creative mind. Out wit, out play and out last all of your opponents with as much variety a possible. Keep on Playing!

Key to Success: How to Serve and Volley – December 2018

Posted Posted in Tennis

A lot of players believe to be an effective serve and volley-er that they need to possess a big serve and lots of foot speed to get to the net. This is far from the truth. In fact, it is quite the opposite. One of the biggest mistakes players make is hitting a hard flat fast serve and running straight to the net. Don’t do it!

Let’s Think About the Serve Options

Which type of serve is going to get you closer to the net in optimal volley position? The answer is a nice spin serve that is well placed. Taking some pace off of your serve will provide you more time to get closer to the net for your first volley.

Serving down the “T” will take the return angles away from your opponent, therefore, forcing them to hit the ball in more of a straight line to you. This will make your first volley easier to handle.

Serving right at your opponent can also be very effective as it will jam your opponent up and force them to hit the ball over the net defensively.

Another serve to consider is serving the ball to your opponents weaker side, either their forehand or backhand. Even if you are serving out wide, it can be effective if the return is coming back weak. It may be worth it to serve out wide. You will have to determine this as the match is played to know what is working and what is not.


The last thing you want to do is serve the ball and run straight up to the net. You will actually hurt your chances of hitting a great volley. Think about it as gradually working your way up to the net. Most players are going to hit their first volley around no-mans land or just before you reach the service line. The key to success is to run up a little bit at a time, split step, make your volley and then move up some more. This is what us pros call closing the net. You want to get to your optimal volley position after your first and potentially your second volley. Typically in doubles, the team that gets to the net first has a great chance to win the point.

What is the best volley position to be at? The answer is about three feet inside the service line. You do not want to have your nose on the net as this will give you less time to react to the ball and leave you open to be lobbed. So you want to get close to the net but not too close.

I hope this helps all my serve and volley-ers out there. Keep on playing!

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

Posted Posted in Tennis

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.


Battle of the Ages 2019

Posted Posted in Tennis

What: Adults vs. Juniors –  Doubles & Mixed Doubles

When: Friday, January 11, 2019 – 7:00-9:30pm

This is your opportunity to compete against some of our up and coming players in our junior tennis programs. Who will have bragging rights for the year, adults or juniors? Will our adults be able to slice and dice our juniors down to size? Will our juniors be able to out smart some of our adult players? All questions will be answered during this fun filled evening of tennis.

20 adults and 20 juniors are needed to host this great event! First come, first serve, don’t miss out!

Members and Guests welcome. Guests pay guest fee.

Cost: $20 + tax per player – Register by the Front Desk

Questions? Contact the Tennis Office at 301-598-5200 ext. 121!



Member Spotlight: Copeland-Sanchez Family

Posted Posted in Member Spotlight, Tennis

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…)

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

Posted Posted in Fitness, Member Spotlight, Tennis

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…)

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

Posted Posted in Tennis

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: Ikeda Family

Posted Posted in Member Spotlight, Tennis

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…)

Mindful Tennis Training – Attention, Attention, Read All About It

Posted Posted in Tennis

By: Jeff Klein, Senior Tennis Pro


All tennis instruction provides a mixture of technique and tactics. By incorporating mental training skills, you’ll better understand how distractions inherent to the game prevent you from playing your best tennis.

Mindfulness, from the Oxford Dictionary, is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. (more…)