By Ricky Becker
About 10 years ago, I had a lifelong memory when I was asked to practice with Pete Sampras for a day when he was in New York City while his wife was filming for a movie. Except for the fact that he stuck me for the court and ball fee even though he made about 600 times more than me that year, he...Read more
By Joel Ross
Do you take control at key moments? Do you make everyone on your team better? Do you know the strengths of your team members and give them opportunities to produce results using them? Do you make good decisions under duress? Do you take some calculated risks, fail occasionally, get up and keep...Read more
By Joel Ross
I just filled in as "guest instructor" at one of our QuickStart after school programs in Pelham, N.Y. for kindergartners, about 5-years-old. There were 12 children in the class. Each child had a racquet and sponge ball. The first exercise was hitting the ball up with the racquet, letting the ball...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
Caroline Wozniacki has fired her coach, Ricardo Sanchez, after two months. Sanchez responded by saying, "Wozniacki ... she must be more aggressive." He continued by adding, "Wozniacki should be a racehorse, not a pack horse." Perhaps if Coach Sanchez called his student a "pack horse" sooner,...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
The energy expenditure numbers in the five-hour, 53-minute epic, Australian Open men's finals are astonishing. According to Dave Martin, senior sports physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sports, and David Hornery, author of the report, "A Review on Fatigue in Tennis," Novak Djokovic and...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
The giants of tennis keep moving forward at the Australian Open. Four Grand slam winners, as well as the top four seeds, are still alive on the men's side in the quarterfinals including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and former U.S. Open Champion, the 11th-seeded but...Read more
By Ricky Becker
Boys'18's: 2011 January regionals had 5 easier cutoffs; 2012 had 3 that were easier Boys' 16's: 2011 3 easier; 2012 5 easier Boys' 14's: 2011 4 easier; 2012 4 easier Boys' 12's: 2011 5 easier; 2012 3 easier Girls 18's: 2011 4 easier; 2012 4 easier Girls' 16's: 2011 5 easier; 2012 3 easier Girls 14'...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
Forgive me if I'm slightly underwhelmed by the news as reported by Longislandtennismagazine.com that the Tennis Channel will have, "Thirteen Days of Televised Match Coverage for Australian Open." It's a reminder that since last September, very few Long Island households get the Tennis Channel since...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
I've just returned from my annual holiday mountain biking trek to Tucson, Ariz. It's not easy for me to escape from tennis responsibilities while in Tucson because the 12's and 14's Winter Super Nationals are here, and this year, five of my players competed. While watching a student one afternoon...Read more
By Ricky Becker
From my experience of working with two of the stronger junior programs around and now going out on my own, I have seen two different styles in terms of coach quantity for junior players. I have seen situations where some juniors want one coach and view any time/money spent with a different coach a...Read more
By Ricky Becker
I started coaching when I was 15-years old at a country club. If I remember correctly, I was paid $20 an hour at the cluband I was more than thrilled. IAt the club, I taught adults and kids (many of whom went to my high school.) I went on the next couple of years to teach a handful of local uniors...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
Each Sunday morning, I direct the Reebok Academy for The City Parks Foundation at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. This past Sunday, I was asked if Fernando Verdasco could use one of our courts. It was a request I couldn't refuse. Up close, Verdasco is an imposing athlete;...Read more