By Steven Kaplan
The new crop of young American players has not been looking too impressive at the 2011 Australian Open, in fact, they look as weak as any upcoming group of rising Americans I have seen. Charles Bricker of World Tennis Magazine said several days ago that, "The American women's game is in shambles."...Read more
By Ricky Becker
Some USTA/Eastern Changes 1) Rest Periods: BG12-18 – after 2nd set, in the best of three-set match: “mandatory 10-minute rest period during which no player shall practice.” Coaching will be allowed. In Layman's Terms: The 18's now has a 10-minute break in between a 2nd and 3rd set. My Opinion: No...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
While I admire and agree in many ways with Ricky Becker's idealistic viewpoint that the integrity of the tournament ranking system is the priority, in his blog, " Some Major Junior Tournament Rule Changes in 2011 for National Tournament ," I ultimately disagree with his conclusions. Ricky believes...Read more
By Ricky Becker
Happy New Year! As 2011 rings in, be aware of some new junior tournament rule changes effecative 1/1/11. Rule 1: National Open Qualifiers : The number of players qualifying for a USTA National Championship from the immediately preceding USTA National Opens will decrease from the top three finishers...Read more
By Ricky Becker
Things that show me a soft player.... 1. Losing matches 7-5, 6-0. 2. Somebody who would rather get angry than figure out what is going wrong. 3. A pre-teen who just wants to hit rather than actually work on technique. 4. Somebody who hates playing pushers. 5. Somebody who talks a serious practice...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
If someone asks you to play tennis wearing ankle weights, run away as fast as you can while you are still able. Remarkably, some tennis coaches have their young students use external weights, such as ankle weights, weighted vests and weighted rackets. This dangerous practice will undermine...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
I think it's important to disclaim here that as always, this blog is my singular candid viewpoint and I am neither encouraged nor censored by the editors. The Mission of the USTA is to "Promote and Develop the Game of Tennis." The first Strategic Priority they list to achieve this goal is "...Read more
By Eric Meditz
Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge Rafael Nadal fan. I respect his talent. I respect his drive to be the very best. I respect the way he competes and handles himself during his matches. I even respect his entourage of family members he always has in his box supporting him during his matches...Read more
By Ricky Becker
One day at a slow group lesson/drill group I said to Nikki, "Nikki, I want you to go to court four and play a set against Julia." Nikki rolled her eyes and said something to the effect of she didn't want to play a match. she just wants to groove her strokes and play baseline games. Nikki (not her...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
The term "coach" refers to "the direction, instruction and training of an athlete." Most tennis players have many coaches who have participated in various capacities throughout their career, but all coaches are not equal. A coach may provide lessons and advice many hours a week, for many years, to...Read more
By Steven Kaplan
I am told that some Eastern Tournament hosts have a reputation for "fixing" their draws. Players who regularly participate at these host clubs seem to have favorable draws more often than simple luck and chance would dictate. If these suspicions are true, then this is regrettably dishonest behavior...Read more
By Ricky Becker
A Private Lesson: Pros: You have the option of tailoring the lesson to what you want. You can get the best technical instruction with a private lesson. You can also get exercise or learn strategy or even just hit if you want. If you want to reach your best long-term potential, you need good...Read more