By Ricky Becker
For starters, every child is different and unique. However, as a baseline, the USTA has done a comprehensive study on world class players and what level tournaments they played as juniors. What they came up with is that a player has the most long-term potential if they have a 2:1 win/loss ratio...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
While watching the Wimbledon Men's Final between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych, I heard NBC broadcasting legend Dick Enberg ask John McEnroe about a comment made by Andy Murrey after his semifinal loss that "Nadal's ball just feels so heavy on my racket." "What?" Enberg asked, "does that mean?"...Read more
By Ricky Becker
Not Important For Getting Better In A Drill Group: 1) Exclusively playing with better players - When a parent says their child wants to be in a group that is stronger than their level, this tells me that the child wants to artificially feel like he/she is stronger than he really is or maybe the...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
I just came back from the USTA High performance camp in Boca Raton, Fla. Several of the best 11 and 12 year olds from across the country, as well as their primary coaches, were selected to participate, including a student of mine, Brenden Volk. I have a few observations from this experience that I...Read more
By Ricky Becker
An interesting comment was made to me in 1995. I was having a little give and take with some of my California college teammates when I mentioned that I won an Eastern Sportsmanship Award when I was a junior. My roommate and #1 singles player commented, "Winning The Eastern Sportsmanship Award means...Read more
By Eric Dietsche
It’s now official. Now that the Spring Break trips have begun and it is also possible to play on outdoor courts again (at least in the Berkshires—if you’re somewhere further south, you may have been playing outside much longer), the spring season has begun, and the restlessness of the winter has...Read more
By Ricky Becker
A lot of times people want to go out and seemingly do well for their young child. "Who are the best coaches in the area?" They may ask their friends. Truth is, the coaches who are known as top coaches are top coaches for a completely different demographic than the one a 6-8 year old is in. The best...Read more
By Eric Meditz
I was recently at a dinner party at a friend’s apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I got caught up in a conversation with some guy who said that he worked in the city as some sort of financial or investment banker. I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about, because I was trying not...Read more
By Ricky Becker
My sophomore year at Stanford I was taking a class on 19th century American history. This is a topic that I found really, really interesting. For the first time that I could remember, I found myself at class listening, concentrating and trying to follow what my teacher had to say. I found this...Read more
By Ricky Becker
People often say to me "You Must Have Loved Tennis As a Kid." Truth is, as a kid, I never specifically loved tennis. I loved sports. And still do. As a 12-year old, I played soccer, baseball, basketball and tennis. Unbeknowst to me, my parents saw me as what I was, a go-with-the flow kid who will...Read more
By Jason Wass
As your watching the French Open, try and help your own game by learning from the pro's. During the next 2 weeks at Roland Garros expect to see longer points on the red clay. Its always interesting for me to watch how players construct each point. With longer points being played you will start to...Read more
By Ricky Becker
I swore that I would never buy the Agassi book "Open". In the interest of full disclosure, my two experiences with him with both somewhat less than extraordinary. Firstly, he mocked my college teammate/friend ON-COURT after they played in the first round of the Sybase Open in San Jose. After...Read more