Kids

Junior Tournament Tennis

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By: Elliott Datlow, Junior Tennis Director

 

Hello everyone! I wanted to take a minute to help everyone understand the basics of junior tournament play. Tennis tournaments sanctioned through the United States Tennis Association (USTA) count towards a player’s ranking (or standing) in our region, which is USTA/ Mid-Atlantic. A player needs to be a member of the USTA in order to play a tournament—all of our juniors should be members of USTA!

At the Club we have been hosting many USTA Level 7 tournaments. These are designed to be “entry level” tournaments and to teach kids about tournament play. Our team at the Aspen Hill Club believes that kids get BETTER and LEARN through competition.  We also host several “Level 5” events throughout the year for those experienced tournament players.

Tournaments are designated by “Levels,” with Level 1 (L1) being the highest level while L8 is for players just learning about tournament play. The higher the level, the more points a player earns for their ranking.  As an example, a player that wins one match at a L3 earns 190 points while a player winning an entire L7 tournament earns 165 points. There is little incentive for very strong players to play lower level tournaments.

A player’s ranking is made up of the sum of their top 5 tournament events within a year. So If I had played 6 tournaments and my point totals were 200, 210, 215, 220, 225, and 100—the event where I earned 100 points would not count towards my ranking. This is a sign that I should be playing higher level tournaments!

Tips for Tournament Players:

  • Age divisions go by 2 year groupings: 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s, 18s. So a 13 year old girl would play “Girls 14 and under” (G14u). She is permitted to play the 16s and 18s, but she isn’t able to play younger divisions.
  • ALL players that play a L8 tournament earn 50 ranking points! A player needs to win a match in higher level events to earn any points. Example: If I play a L7 tournament and don’t win any matches, I earn zero points.
  • Points earned in older age divisions count down! So if I usually play 12 and under tournaments, but earn points in the 14 and under—those points will count towards my 12 and under ranking.
  • Level 7 & 8 events are scheduled as 1 day and/or TIMED events! You will know the timeframe that the kids will play Level 6+up are 2 day events! They can take up much of a weekend

 

Tennis

Annual Tennis Turkey Social

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Join us Friday, November 22nd, from 7:00 to 10:00pm for our annual Tennis Turkey Social! Doubles match play is from 7:00 to 9:00pm followed by food and prizes from 9:00 to 10:00pm. YES, we will have our raffle to close the festivities and you could WIN A TURKEY!

You can sign up with a partner or the Tennis Office can find one for you. Members are encouraged to invite guests along to participate! The cost is $40 plus tax for tennis and food, or $18 plus tax for food only.

Sign-up today in the Main Lobby; or contact Terrance at ext. 121, terrance.scott@aspenhillclub.com.

 

Tennis

Clash Mania at AHC

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By: Terrance Scott, Adult Tennis Director

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!

 

Tennis

Key to Success: Australian Doubles Formation – September 2019

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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!

Tennis

Key To Success: Not Too Close – August 2019

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Hitting approach shots and attacking the net is a great tactic in both singles and especially in doubles. It puts pressure on your opponents to do something with the ball. Some players will try and pass you close to the lines, over your head or they will hit the ball right at you.​ This brings us to our topic of discussion. You want to get close to the net to be in optimal volley position but you do not want to get too close.

 

You always hear us coaches yelling “close to the net”. This terminology in tennis simply means move forward. You do want to close in on the net to avoid hitting low volleys at your feet, but you do not want to have your nose on top of the net. Here are three reasons why:

 

Number 1: If you accidentally touch the net during a point before the ball bounces twice on your opponents side, you automatically lose the point.

 

Number 2: If you are too close to the net, then you give yourself less time to react to the ball to hit a good volley. The more time the better.

 

Number 3: When you are on top of the net, you expose your self to be lobbed. Even if your opponent doesn’t hit a great lob, if you are too close you have no chance of tracking the ball down.

 

So, how close should you get? To measure, go half way between the net and the service line and then take one step forward, which will be your best location to stand. It is absolutely fine to step forward to hit a strong volley but make sure you recover and step back into the best volley position for your next shot. Keep on Playing!

 

Club News & Events

Summer Junior Interclub Wrap-Up!

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What a season! The Aspen Hill Club juniors finished off what they started and took the 2019 Montgomery County Junior Tennis League title with exciting fashion. Heading into the last week of the season, AHC’s team was looking good as they sat with an impressive record of 5-0—but had 2 incredibly tough matches remaining: the 2018 league champions, Palisades Club, followed by the always tough Cedarbrook to close out the season.

 

Our juniors were able to achieve revenge over the defending champs, (and only team last year to defeat Aspen Hill Club) Palisades! With the win, AHC was guaranteed their MCJTL championship. But with one match remaining, the undefeated record was on the line against Cedarbrook. The match lived up to the hype—ending at an even 9 matches to 9 matches! With this tie, all games were counted to determine the winner. By a score of 26 to 22 games, your Aspen Hill Club juniors ended the summer interclub season with an undefeated and perfect record!

 

The following week the individual playoffs took place, and AHC’s players represented The Club in excellent fashion. Here are highlights of those results:

Zane: Boys 12 singles Champion

Will: Boys High School Champion

Emma: Girls 12 Singles & Doubles Champion

Wangu: Girls 12 Singles Finalist & Doubles Champion

Nduta: Girls High School Finalist

Lizzie: Girls 14 singles Finalist

Tennis

Junior Tennis Spotlight: Junior Interclub – July 2019

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Junior Interclub season is heating up! The Aspen Hill Club’s team is off to a fabulous start, compiling an undefeated record of 4-0 to start the season. Our team is competing against juniors from tennis clubs across the area in the Montgomery County Junior Tennis League, and the kids are having a blast!

The season started out with a tough portion of the schedule, having Aspen Hill hosting 2017 champion Flower Valley followed by our next door neighbor, Argyle Country Club. The Aspen Hill Juniors, lead by brothers Mathew and Nathan Tan, defeated Flower Valley in a tough team match by a score of 11-6. The Tan brothers accounted for four of those points themselves by competing in the Boys 12 and 14 and under matches in both singles and doubles!  The Aspen Hill Juniors followed it up two days later by taking another close victory over Argyle by a score of 11-7, and also Norbeck Country Club over the next two weeks.

Another highlight of the first half of the season has been the Girls 12 and under. Aspen Hill is undefeated thanks to stellar play from Emma Ikeda and Wangu Njuguna. Both girls are undefeated in their match play. Way to go, ladies!

Last year’s season ended with a loss by one match to Palisades Club which handed them the league championship. Our kids have this match on July 9th circled on the calendar and are working hard in summer camp to get ready!

The Aspen Hill team is made up of Club members and juniors that are continuing to work on their match play in summer camp. The league is a great way to get our juniors exposed to competitive match play in a FUN team setting. The focus is on learning, having fun, and continuing to get better with every match.

 

Tennis

Key to Success: Covering The Center of the Court In Doubles – July 2019

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When your opponents hit the ball down the center of the court, both you and your partner should react to hitting that ball. The worse that could happen is that you and your partner will clash racquets and that’s OK. The last thing you want to do is not react and then look at each other after the ball passes the both of you and say, “I thought you had it.” If there is time for you and your partner to decide who is going to hit the center ball, rule of thumb when going for that shot is, the player who has the forehand hits it. This rule also applies for when overheads are hit high down the center of the court as well. The backhand player would hit a weak overhead where as the forehand overhead will be much stronger and more likely able to finish the shot. Communication is huge when it comes to covering that center ball. Be sure to say “YOURS” or “MINE.” Keep the phrase as short as possible as you do not have time to shout out full sentences such as “YOU GET IT” or “THAT IS YOUR BALL.”

Cover the middle of the court like a champion and never get stuck looking at each other with your hands up in frustration. As always, Keep on playing!

 

Tennis

Key to Success: How to Improve Your Game – June 2019

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Everyone wants to know what it takes to elevate their game to the next level. If that is you then you have come to the right place! It’s easy to take your game to the next level, the question is, are you willing to do what it takes?

Great Coaching

Find a great tennis coach who can help you clean up some of your bad habits, which can include incorrect grips and unorthodox swing patterns. Cleaning up your technique is the fastest way to get better. If your thought is you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, then be a master at what you do. Perfect your craft weather flawed or not. Do what you do and do it well.

Play More

Put in the time on the tennis court. Another simple way of getting better is simply being on the court—the more you play, the better you will get. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Participate in Classes

Participate in tennis clinics that focus on skill building. Most classes will have a set theme on one or two aspects of the game to work on during the clinic. Listen to the information, absorb the information and apply the information even if you are bad at it in the beginning. We all heard the saying, practice makes perfect.

Match Play

Play more matches. Matches are a great opportunity to measure the things you are doing well while also showing you the areas in your game you are struggling with. When competing, a loss is way more valuable than a victory because it breaks down everything you need to work on. Some players will lose a match and just say ”I didn’t play well.” My questions to you are why did you play bad? Were you struggling with your backhand? Did you not get up to the net enough? Were you not moving well? Did you struggle mentally on the big points? Did you run out of gas? Were you making a lot of unforced errors? After each match, especially one that you lost, you should take a moment to reflect on the things that worked and didn’t work. Losing provides you with a blueprint of what you need to work on.

Eat Right

Nutrition is huge in all sports. You have to fuel your body properly for it to perform at it’s highest capacity. Everyone is different so I am not going to get into too many details, but you should eat and drink the things that give you energy during your time on the court. I will tell you a lot of tennis players eat a lot of pasta before their matches to have the carbs they need to sustain. Know your body and find out what works for you.

Get your Rest

If you show up to a match tired, you probably are not going to be able to give your absolute best effort no matter how hard you try. You would not be as focused as you need to be successful. You also will probably not have the best concentration. Getting a good nights rest is very important for your success on the court.

Get Fit

Last but not least, you need to get your butt in shape. We are very fortunate to have the best of both worlds here at our Club with a full gym and swimming pool. Take advantage of it! Getting in shape helps you be better not only on the tennis court but in all aspects of your life. Benefits of being in shape on the court are as follows: you can move better to the ball, have the strength to hit stronger shots, have the stamina to outlast your opponents and you’ll be able to recover faster to play more matches in the same week.

Hopefully, you find my tips for improving your game helpful. As always, keep on playing!

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: The Tan Family

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You can always find the Tan family smiling at the Aspen Hill Club! This active family knows the importance of staying healthy and the Club has given everyone a way to be active in their own way.

 

Allen and Sunant grew up locally, both attending Kennedy High School and were members of the school varsity tennis team. Allen started tennis as a teenager after watching a some of his peers hitting the school tennis courts. He got a few friends together and they taught themselves how to play. Soon enough they were ready for the Kennedy High School Boys Tennis Team.

 

Now with two sons of their own, 9 year old Nathan and 11 year old Matthew, the couple knew they wanted to get the kids active in tennis. “A friend told me about the great program at Aspen Hill, so we came by. Tennis is great because they learn about exercise, competition, problem solving, and having a hobby for life! It’s much better than if they sat home and played video games!” explains Allen.

Nine year old Nathan is a member of Aspen Hill’s Junior Academy program, where he continues to work very hard on improving his tennis game, “Nathan is always one of the hardest workers in the class, and he makes everyone better,” explains Aspen Hill tennis professional Julien DeLaine. In fact, Nathan has been competing in USTA tournaments, winning his last two “10 and under” events. His last tournament was the USTA Orange Ball event at the Aspen Hill Club, congratulations, Nathan!

 

Matthew began his tennis in the Aspen Hill Club last winter in the Academy program. Through hard work in Academy and World Class Summer Camp, he is now a member of our highly competitive Future Stars program. Matthew was a key member of Aspen Hill’s Junior Interclub Team, tallying several key wins over strong opponents. In all of his matches, Matthew worked hard and never gave up! His great attitude on the court helped him earn several come-from-behind victories. Matthew is now competing in USTA sanctioned tournaments and his level continues to rise!

 

Sunant and Allen enjoy seeing the boys having fun on the tennis court from the comfortable couches of the Club, but they don’t just come to watch the action—they get involved too! “We enjoy the gym, it lets us get a great work out in while the boys are in tennis class,”
explains Allen.

 

Allen and Sunant, the smiles that your family shares with us at the Aspen Hill Club are contagious! We are so happy that you are part of our community and we are so looking forward to watching Matthew and Nathan grow on and off of the tennis court!