| By Ricky Becker

Firstly, I want to give myself two shout outs.  One, I have been promoted to a "featured" blogger.    Not sure what this means but I'll take it.  So for those of you who have been reading my blogs.  Thank you!!!  Secondly, for those of you who don't know, there is a big fantasy baseball league consisting of tennis coaches, former players, tennis publishers, etc.  There was even an article about it in last year's LI Tennis Magazine.  Im sure there won't be one this year because the champion was me.  Your newly "featured" blogger!  I just needed that moment to pat myself on the back. Two titles in 7 years with a league of 20 teams...not bad. I guess this is what happens when you know more about baseball than other people and you are also better in game theory.

Anyways, I want to comment on the impression I have that officials are cracking down on players who pump their fist and yell, "come on!!" after winning a point.  This is so lame.  In my opinion this is called by people who have never played the game themself.  I have yet to meet a coach who values sportsmanship more than I do but it drives me crazy when kids get warned or scolded for emotionally yelling "C'mon!" after winning a point.  If you are emotionally charged up, when you win a point, you are not thinking about trying to intimidate an opponent, you are fired up.  What is wrong with showing some positive emotion?  When you win a point, it is hard to tell yourself "OK.  Turn away.  Now pump fist."  If the loser of a point doesn't like it, guess what...win the darn point!!!  I really think this fist pumping this is misinterpreted by people who have never really played the game at a decent level.....


I wish there were more mixed doubles tournaments for ranking points.  It's not like colleges really look at USTA rankings much at this point anyway.  I think it would be a fun way for tennis players to socially spend their weekends.  Truthfully, in this day and age, aren't the social lives of high-ranked junior tennis players  spent with other competitive tennis players???


The scoring systems of Level 3 tournaments should really be standardized...and it should not be decided by games won.  It is funny and sad at the same time when you see a kid running around getting balls because he or she is playing the weakest kid in a tournament and he/she wants to get as many games as possible in.  Not really convinced that this is realistic...


Most kids know that when he/she pops a string, they should come to net.  How come the opponent, starts pushing and defers the net to the person who pops the string?  A common coaching philosophy is to take the net away from an opponent by coming to net yourself.  Why not make an oppoenent with a popped string beat you with a passing shot than an easy volley?

Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at Glen Oaks Club.  Ricky also coaches high-performance juniors throughout the year and has been the Director of Tennis at three of Long Island’s biggest junior programs.  As a player, Becker was the Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis team and ranked in the top-five nationally as a junior.  He can be reached at rbecker06@yahoo.com, 516-359-4843 or via juniortennisconsulting.com.