Thursday, August 13, 2015


The left hand in tennis  ( or the right hand for lefties)

 The non-dominant hand ( the left for righties and the right for lefties) is generally ignored by players but is actually one of the most important components for most tennis shots. Here are some Pro Players demonstrating the concept for you (along with League Players):

1. Forehand:
To hit an effective forehand it is necessary to coil with the body to avoid 'arming' the ball.

The Terminator,Greg Tellier,using his left hand to coil

2. Backhand:
Use the left hand to pull the racquet back. This will place your shoulder in the right position.
John Kasten shows how to use the left hand to take the racquet back

3.The Serve:
The left hand is crucial in the serve. Keeping the left hand outstretched can make the toss more consistent and prevent the hitting shoulder from dropping and prevent the serve from going into the net.

Rain Man Kevin Dodd shows how it is done
3.The Overhead:
Pointing to the ball with your left hand helps you turn your shoulders, guage the distance and keep your head up on the smash

High Priestess Milly Back shows the right way to track the ball

Pay attention to your non-dominant hand and use it to help you dominate your shots !

                                                    Sunday Funnies
                                                    The Young Guns
Vyda Vandenberg, Girl's 17 and under winner
 There was a lot of merriment at the Woodstock Tennis Club last weekend when a bunch of juniors competed in the area's only low compression tournament on clay. Apart from being a lot of fun,there were very thrilling matches. As is the case in this situation,everyone was a winner !
L to R: Ned van Loan,Joseph Ciardi,(14 and under winners) and Archie Lewis-Harris,Slava Koblov(finalists)

Ned van Loan and Joseph Ciardi show us how much fun tennis is

Archie Lewis-Harris(12 and under finalist) with winner Ned van Loan

Boys 12 and Under Singles
Ned van loan defeated Archie Lewis-Harris  6-1, 6-4

Girls 14 and Under Singles
Lila Freeman defeated Aliyah Feeney 6-1, 6-2
Girls 17 and Under Singles
Vyda Vandenberg defeated Katherine Kerster
Boys 17 and Under Singles
Brad Hack defeated Sam Feeney 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
Boys 14 and Under Doubles
Joe Ciardi and Ned van Loan defeated Slave Koblov and Archie Lewis-Harris 6-4, 6-4

                       Karen does it again !
Tennis pro Karen Gill
You have to hand it to Karen:first she organizes a tennis themed fund raiser for breast cancer,then she follows it up with organizing an immensely successful Woodstock Open Tennis Tournament and now for a hat-trick she organizes a low-compression ball tennis tournament for kids aged 12-17 ! This is the only low compression tennis tournament within a 60 mile radius. " It makes it so convenient for parents not to have to travel and return the next day",said Karen,vowing to make it an annual event at her club."These kids are so competitive and yet exhibit sportsmanship", added Karen. Isn't that what tennis is all about ?
           The Amazing Don Pellmann
Ever heard of Don Pellman ?
He broke 5 world records in the San Diego Senior Olympics this week. 
One minor detail: he recently turned 100 years old.

 Tennis is a game of a lifetime. Tennis players can remain active in the game if they are able to or want to. In fact the USTA  
has a 90+ age division that most of us are not even eligible to participate in ! It has been a well established fact that people who play tennis regularly are healthier,look and feel younger than their chronological peers.
That's why Don Pellmann is such an inspiration to League Players.
              Yogi Berra-isms for League Players
Image result for yogi berra died
Yogi Berra (1925-2015)
Yogi Berra was an iconic Yankee player known for his catching as well as his one liners which sounded absurd but had wisdom embedded in them. As a tribute to him,here are 10 of them which can be of help to League Players:                              
 1. “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”
 And so is tennis-well maybe not 90% but the mental aspects of tennis are important in focus/fugue states ( scroll down for  earlier article ) and when matches get tight.
2. “We made too many wrong mistakes.”
Unforced errors are the commonest kind of errors that lose matches. Don't go for impossible or hasty shots especially on important points like at 30-30 or 30-40.
3. “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
There comes a point in a match when you have to make a decision like at set point . Do you serve hard or spin it in ? Do you go for a winning shot or just play soft cross court rallies till your opponent misses ? In all cases, make up your mind and stick to your plan. Like anything in life it may or may not work but at least make a decision and try to execute.
 4.“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
Always have game plans (A/B/C) before you step on court. Are you going to come to the net or play back ? Are you going to attack the backhand ? Be clear in your plans even if you don't know your opponent. If Plan A does not work switch to Plan B or C.
5. “You can observe a lot by watching.”
When you watch a match or watch on TV, don't move your head side to side like regular spectators. This is the time you can focus on other nuances. Observe the back swing,finish and what the player does AFTER hitting the ball or BEFORE receiving it.There is more that happens in tennis than just hitting the ball.
6. "How can you think and hit at the same time?"
Once you are playing you should stop thinking about the mechanics of hitting the ball. Thinking while hitting will hamper the stroke.
7." You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you."
In tennis there can only be one winner in a match but that is not the end. The next time you step on court it's a brand new match.Regardless of the reasons,the winner put more balls in play and therefore played better.Deal with that,get over it and go on to your next match.
 8."Even Napoleon had his Watergate."
No one can win all the time.Even if you are the better player in a match up, your opponent can beat you on a given day. This is nothing to feel ashamed or brood about. New day,new match !
 9."If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be."
League Players will agree that it's never perfect on
 the tennis court ! Always expect the unexpected and no result is a foregone conclusion. Just go in there and play as perfectly as you can by focusing on the fundamentals.
10.It ain’t over till it’s over.
No explanation needed- as League Players well know !
   Woodstock Open Tournament a big success !
Tournament Director Karen Gill

 Leave it to Karen Gill to run an enjoyable tournament ! The 2015 Woodstock Open was the most successful local tourney this year with record participation,great matches and record attendance. The spectators who faithfully came to watch the matches were not disappointed by the close matches,shot making skills and the hospitality accorded to them by Karen Gill and fellow pro, Steve Josephs. A number of League Players participated in the tournament. 
Even Zane,the wonder dog was in attendance and stayed awake !!
                                                     Apart from providing food to the players and spectators, and making everyone feel welcome, Karen also thrilled the crowd by winning the Mixed Doubles crown.
Nice job,Karen !
             Lessons from the 2015 US Open

1. Spirit of Tennis:
Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta . Does this picture reveal who won ? Exactly !
The women's finals ( which did not feature a certain American Diva) was how tennis should be played in the true the spirit of the game. Both players wanted to win but were prepared to celebrate if the other person won. True they were childhood friends,true they were Fed Cup team mates and true they were both from Italy-but their camaraderie transcended their competitive nature and made spectators cheer and forget they had originally come there to see an American Diva win a Grand Slam.

2. "Get the ball over the net and run and forget about Serena" :
Image result for Roberta Vinci
Sound advice for League Players from Roberta Vinci! Regardless of who your opponent is, if you can chase down the ball and get the ball over one more time it increases your chances of winning the point. Among recreational players,if you can get the ball over the net 5 times,your chances of winning the rally increases.

3. The Serena Choke:

Image result for Serena Williams
It does not matter how famous you are or how intimidating your game is : everyone chokes. Choking in a match situation is when your attention gets so far in the future that you neglect the task at hand. Then anxiety sets in,the feet get heavy and the strokes get tighter. Many players face it especially at the closing stages of a match when you have almost won but start missing and your opponent seems to be getting stronger. Serena on the verge of a Grand Slam was playing an opponent who had never taken a set off her. As the match neared its conclusion,Serena made uncharacteristic errors and the rest is history ( or did not make history).
4.When they were yelling 'Roger,Roger' I imagined they were yelling 'Novak,Novak'  :
 Image result for djokovic
There are different ways pros use  this dictum. When you are up 40-30, imagine you are down 30-40. When you are up 4-3,think you are down 3-4. This will help you approach the point differently. In this case Djokovic was able to imagine people were cheering for him rather than for Federer.

5. Sore loser:
 (Getty Images) 
 Roger Federer’s loss was just as agonizing as Serena's -yet he took the time in the post-match interview to answer questions in three different languages ! Roberta Vinci ,who lost in the Women's Singles final,despite being not fluent in English responded to questions with grace and humor . Serena Williams,on the other hand,  rambled on for a few minutes, cut off or refused to answer questions, ended her own interview and walked off.

There can only be one winner in a match but how the loser handles defeat is a real test of character. 
People think of her as a champion but forget many incidents when her conduct was less becoming of a champion like these:                              ********************* 

          The sound of tennis at Forsyth Park...

....while the hills are alive with the sound of tennis in Saugerties !

                    Get the fugue outta  here !!
  "Tennis is a lonely sport, probably the most lonely. You're out there with no team, no coach and no place to hide. That's why tennis players not only talk to themselves but answer. And yet all that loneliness eventually teaches you to stand alone. The high standards that tennis imposes on us, the self reliance it demands of us, that's the reason why tennis has produced so many of life's great game changers."
                  -Andre Agassi
In music, a fugue is a blend of many differing voices to create a multi-layered composition. In psychology,the term 'fugue' refers to a state resulting in a departure from reality,amnesia,confusion,panic,and intense distress often precipitated by stress.
 Image result for choking in tennisImage result for panicked tennis player
                                  Almost every League Player has been in a fugue-like state at some point in at least one match. All of a sudden they lose their way,keep missing shots they had previously hit as winners, and exhibit other patterns like squandering leads,double faulting (when they were previously hitting service winners),feet feeling like they are enclosed in concrete,energy sapped, aches in muscles suddenly appearing,'can't wait to get off the court' feeling intensifying and a slowly expanding not-so-good feeling in the pit of their stomachs. This is the fugue state related to tennis players.
 Image result for choking in tennisImage result for breathing out tennis
                                                     Some might call this 'choking' which is the fear of losing and playing tentatively hoping the opponent will start making errors. The fugue state can lead to choking but a fugue state is not the same as choking-it is far worse.

                                                                     Image result for panicked tennis player
  In a fugue state there is amnesia,confusion and intense distress-amnesia concerning how well you were playing and what you did to get this far in the match,confusion in shot selection : aggression vs tentativeness and panic as the match keeps slipping away causing increasing distress. The first area that gets affected are the legs. Players have described it as 'leaden' , 'jelly like' and 'tired'. Then there is a loss of focus as the brain gets cloudier and indecisive. There is also the perception that the opponent is starting to play better though in reality you are playing worse. This is a defensive mode your mind starts to prepare as the prospect of a loss looms on the horizon. ("My opponent started to play amazing tennis" is easier to say and believe in rather than " I started to play worse and lost the match from the brink of victory". )

So here are some ways you can counteract the fugue state when you are ahead:

Image result for breathing out in tennis
1. Take the 'losing is not an option'  attitude. Though this may seem stating the obvious it does work most of the time: look at some of the greats : Jimmy Connors/Michael Chang/ Roger Federer/ Rafael Nadal/Andy Murray. They all play their A game all through the match win or lose.

 Image result for aggressive tennis
2. Play aggressively. You might miss a few but you will also send a message that you are not going to back down.
3. On crucial points match your opponent's shots i.e. crosscourt for cross court,down the line for down the line. A fugue state is not when to change directions.

4. Move at least one step for each shot. Exaggerate feet movements.  
 Image result for aggressive tennis
5.Make your opponent move for every shot.

 Image result for aggressive tennis
6. Hit the bottom of the ball. In a fugue state,players come off the stroke and either hit too flat or with too much topspin. Hitting the bottom of the ball prevents the ball from hitting the net.

 Image result for aggressive tennis
7. Hit up on the serves with spin. Try to miss your serves long.

Image result for breathing out in tennis
8. Very important: Breathe out when you hit. Take a couple of deep breaths between points.

 Image result for aggressive tennis
9. Relax your grip as you wait for the ball.Hold your racquet in your non dominant arm in between points.

  Image result for aggressive tennis
10. Above all attack the ball,attack your opponent's weakness and attack your opponent's conditioning.    

The fugue state disappears as quickly as it appears if you do not let it overwhelm you. 
You might as well  come off the court feeling like a champion even if not the winner. 


Woodstock Open to have consolation rounds!
 Woodstock Tennis Club, Inc.
The Woodstock Open Tennis Tournament being played at the Woodstock Tennis Club from September 12th is going to have consolation rounds. That means even if you lose the first round,you will have more matches to play !
The surface is clay ( so easy on the body !) and the tournament director is Karen Gill who conducts the tournament very efficiently.
Application is available here:  

              Find a tennis court....       
The 2015 scholastic season has started and here is a guide to open courts.
As a rule,the dates in black are away games -hence courts are available all day. The red dates are home games and courts will be unavailable from 3 pm till dusk.
On other days,courts will be used for practice  from 3-5 pm.
(This schedule is subject to change.)

 Forsyth Park




























No scholastic tennis scheduled

(Kingston High School courts will be unavailable on all days till 5.30 pm even on non-home game days)..
Kingston High School:

        Blue Man Group tests new tennis courts !
 Scott Rubinstein and tennis partner, decided to dress in blue to test the new courts in Saugerties
                                 Here is their analysis 
The men in blue have tested the spanking new blue courts and the news is good ! The color is US Open Supreme Court blue and the surface also plays like one would expect at the US Open. The courts reminds one of clay courts. The bounce is even and the ball sits up without skidding away. That makes the court slow enough for the ball to stay at a good height for a swing at it. Like clay, drop shots tend to die. Serves slow down after bouncing on the rough surface. So there will be fewer service winners.The surface is gritty which means your shoes can grip the ground . That also means that the balls will get fuzzier or even eaten up after an hour of hitting. And because the courts are slow,there will an opportunity for more balls in play during a rally-hence a better work out
 Overall they are the best outdoor hard courts in Ulster County and worth trying out. Since there is no end in sight regarding the resolution of the Kingston Forsyth Park courts,it may be worth taking the ride to Saugerties to try these courts out. 
Saugerties unveils new courts !!

Newly resurfaced courts at Saugerties
While the jokers in Kingston are kissing a certain body part asking for your vote in the upcoming elections, tennis players are kicking the same anatomical region with some tremendous tennis at Ulster County's newest tennis courts,at Saugerties' Cantine Field.
League Player Bill Blake ( in black) and company

League Players Ernie Enzien and Nils Schlebusch enjoying a Sunday hit

The courts have a blue surface much like the ones at the US Open.
They are soft and slow -much like the people in charge of renovating the Kingston Forsyth Park courts !              

          Trumpisms for League Players
'Trumpisms' are quotes from President Donald Trump . ( Now in case someone wants to dispute his title, he is the President of his company!). His bombastic verbiages might offend people
 but,in some instances, might actually help League Players ! 

Here are just a few of the helpful pieces of tennis advice from Mr. Trump:

1. “The point is, that you can never be too greedy.”
                                                  Image result for aggressive tennis
There are matches you play where you might be too aggressive and go for a lot of shots needlessly. 
You cannot expect to win all points .Sometimes,even against a weak opponent it pays to scale back and play steady. Every time you are way ahead you can take a couple of risks. But for the most part,rein in your game.

2."You’re generally better off sticking with what you know."

     Image result for aggressive tennis
  A match is not the time when you want to keep trying to hit shots you don't own. Of course it is important to try out new shots you have learned in a match situation but not on important points

3.“Even if the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, I won’t lose a penny !” 
    Image result for concerned tennis player
 This is good advice for the 'off days' when you don't seem to be able to hit the ball well. This is when you have to reach inside and refuse to lose. Keep the ball in play. Go for high percentage shots crosscourt and spin your serves in. Sooner or later the flint will spark and your game will start to catch fire.

4."Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make." 
 Image result for determined senior tennis player
A good coach is different from a qualified coach. Everyone learns differently and you need a coach who can make a difference to your game and not because of his resume. The number of lessons you take is less important than the type of lesson. Investing in the wrong coach will make your game go in the wrong direction and you are better investing in no coach rather than in a bad coach.

5."Listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds.":  

Image result for determined senior tennis player
There are several moments in a tennis match when you have to make an instant decision: where to serve on match point,which shot to hit at deuce, whether to attack the net at ad-out etc;  You never can predict the outcome in such situations. This is not the time to analyze. You have to go with your gut feeling.. Even if you lose the point you won't feel as bad since it was an instinctive decision.
                         Line Calls
                            Image result for bad line calls tennis
Though League Players do not make bad line calls, this amusing video will give you some insight on line calls. Perhaps it might even bring back some memories of the time you were hooked on a line call !


                         First Look :
            Saugerties gets 4 newly resurfaced tennis courts !
The newly resurfaced courts at Cantine Field ,Saugerties. Nets going up after the paint dries !

 While Kingston politicians were grandstanding ( though 'grand' is a misnomer to describe these elected officials nor do they  have the backbone to 'stand'), Saugerties quietly went to work to create Grandstand worthy tennis courts ! In fact 4 of them !! At a fraction of the price budgeted for Forsyth Park courts !! The new surface is similar to the courts at the US Open with a blue court surface and good traction.
                        Tennis players keep scratching their heads wondering whether tennis courts at Forsyth Park will ever be renovated. The Kingston politicians should start scratching their heads too,but they are too busy scratching another area.......

       Indifference, Ignorance and Incompetency !
(The views expressed in this article are the author's.
 It is not the official view of the MHVTA (unofficial thoughts-yes,official view-no !!)
Is it really possible to keep your eyes on the ball when you have to keep your eyes on the cracks ?

Read the above article in The Kingston Daily Freeman (yes the same newspaper that virtually ignored the 2015 Ulster Tennis Tournament but chose to cover the Ulster Ladies Golf Tournament in great depth and even the (and this is a fact) the Kingston Beach Volleyball tournament ! )

The article describes the political machinations and snickerings that have virtually made the tennis court renovation at Forsyth Park come to a standstill. This ,despite the $20,000 donation (and a recent extra $5000 pledge) by tennis benefactor Mr. Ron Woods,the fund collecting efforts by MHVTA( including their financing and converting 2 tennis courts into a parking lot  at Forsyth Park ),the generous contribution by League Players and the possibility of a wispy USTA grant.

At the present time,the proceedings concerning court renovations have ground to a halt ( though we get reassurances that everything is 'progressing as planned'.)
So to justify the title of this article:
1. Indifference: The Forsyth Tennis Courts have been in disarray for years. They are part of Forsyth Park. Yet authorities have been indifferent to it. They spent a lot of money in rebuilding the children's park  which we agree was a worthy project but which was in less of a state of disrepair than the tennis courts but had more of a voting bloc and thus more politically beneficial and made all the bigwigs look good and worthy-the bigwigs who even forgot that the tennis courts were part of the park ! In contrast,Saugerties had tennis courts renovation as part of their Cantine Field upkeep project and passed it in their budget without any political juggling.This is remarkable in a town,like Saugerties, where baseball and softball are more popular than tennis,but it shows that they consider tennis courts as part of their parks.

2. Ignorance: The person in charge of the Forsyth Park renovation says in the news article that he was  'not aware of the donation' made by Mr. Woods ! The donation was the main impetus to get the courts renovated and the person in charge was unaware ?!?

3. Incompetence: No need to elaborate on that !!

We can see why a political outsider like Donald Trump is surging at the polls. 
People are fed up by bureaucratic bungling by political insiders and are desperate for a savior
-even if his name happens to be President Trump !!!


             The Serve and The High Elbow 
The trophy position  shown below can send a deceptive message to League Players because of the low position of the hitting elbow. In reality,you want a HIGH elbow when you contact the ball on the serve. This enables you to extend your arm,generate more power and get the ball over the net.

Even if you start low (as in the picture above),you need to finish with a high elbow (as in the picture below)

A low elbow(above) spells trouble for your serve but good servers (below) always keep their elbows high

 Image result for tennis serve       Image result for tennis serve    Image result for tennis serving
2015 Ulsters champ Jack Maddocks clocked 120 mph serves with a high elbow

Woodstock Tennis Club pro Karen Gill  gets her serve in with a high elbow

As a League Player (below) demonstrates, keeping a high elbow  can  drop your racquet head behind your back and let you hit at full extension by keeping  the racquet head high.
A high elbow and good racquet  drop also helps keep your head up and eyes looking at the ball

With a high elbow your racquet arm will extend fully as you pronate and  land in the court

                                        Saugerties leads the way !!
Tennis Court Company hard at work in Saugerties
Unlike Kingston, Saugerties loves its parks and tennis courts !
Courts in Saugerties getting a makeover

While Kingston is full of idle talk (euphemism) and political grandstanding (more euphemism), Saugerties has heard their tennis players ( a mere fraction of the number of tennis players who play in Kingston),passed it in their budget and started repaving,repairing and resurfacing their 4 tennis courts-at a cost less than 1/5 of  the proposed budget of Forsyth Park courts !! 
Which means that Saugerties legislators not only listen to their tennis players,they also keep their promises in a timely manner and are more fiscally savvy !!*
*(  "This is Donald Trump and I approve this message !!" ) 

Post-tennis match recovery foods you might   never think of ! 

1. Tart Cherry Juice:
                   Image result for tart cherry juice                               
Substances called 'anthocyanins'  have strong
anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Anthocyanin-rich foods, like  tart cherries deliver substantial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. In a recent study,women who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for 3 weeks showed decreased levels of inflammation . The more inflammed they were at the start,the better their improvement. In another study,runners who drank tart cherry juice at the start of a race had less inflammation and faster muscle recovery
Women who drank tart cherry juice showed a reduction in the level of inflammation in their body, with the most dramatic results seen with women who had higher levels at the start. - See more at:
researchers from Oregon Health and Science University gave juice made from tart cherries to 20 women between the ages of 40 and 70. The women drank the juice twice a day for three weeks.
Women who drank tart cherry juice showed a reduction in the level of inflammation in their body, with the most dramatic results seen with women who had higher levels at the start.
- See more at:
researchers from Oregon Health and Science University gave juice made from tart cherries to 20 women between the ages of 40 and 70. The women drank the juice twice a day for three weeks.
Women who drank tart cherry juice showed a reduction in the level of inflammation in their body, with the most dramatic results seen with women who had higher levels at the start.
- See more at:

researchers from Oregon Health and Science University gave juice made from tart cherries to 20 women between the ages of 40 and 70. The women drank the juice twice a day for three weeks.
Women who drank tart cherry juice showed a reduction in the level of inflammation in their body, with the most dramatic results seen with women who had higher levels at the start.
- See more at:

2. Salmon:
                                              Image result for SALMON
Salmon has Omega-3  fatty acids which helps reduce post-exercise muscle inflammation. Omega-3s lower the amount of prostaglandin, a naturally produced compound in the body that can increase inflammation. (Aspirin and Advil work by inhibiting prostaglandins ).And salmon,unlike aspirin, provides lean protein as well !

3. Pickle juice :
 Image result for pickle juice as recovery food
This is endorsed by none other than Pete Sampras himself ! A perfect combination of  high sodium and potassium lost in sweat this is Pete's favorite recovery food.
Rich in sodium, magnesium and potassium, pickle juice has enough, if not more, electrolytes than many of the popular sports  drinks. 
A research study showed how a group of young men in Utah were given 2.5 ounces of either straight pickle juice or deionized water once their exercised-induced and electronically stimulated cramping began. The group downing the pickle juice stopped cramping within 85 seconds, while those who drank water continued to seize up. The findings determined that pickle juice relieved cramping 37 percent faster than drinking water, and 45 percent faster than drinking no liquid at all !

4. Hot peppers : 

 Chili peppers are packed with B vitamins, particularly B6, which helps transport oxygen to all the body’s tissues, including muscles. This is used by Dave Hahn as a post-mountain climbing recovery food. Who is Dave Hahn,you might ask ? Hahn has reached the top of Mount Everest 13 times -a record for a non-Sherpa !

5. Chicken Fried Rice:

 A favorite among cyclists in Tour de France ! Noted nutritionist Allen Lin,who advises cyclists in the world's premiere cycling event says: “Nutrition is also about  enjoying what you eat". 
Fried rice not only fits into the category of 'healthy' but can also be a delicious comfort food. It also works as a recovery food for a number of reasons including providing calorie replacement and the fact that white rice gets absorbed quickly. 

And imagine the benefits if you sprinkle it with hot pepper sauce !!

                The Nick Jasso Serve
Nick Jasso,2015 Men's Open finalist at the Ulsters, has an unusual motion worth imitating-especially since clocks over 100 mph consistently.
The unusual part of his serve is how he starts his service motion. He raises his hitting arm first, keeps his ball tossing arm low.

 The advantage is that it keeps his hitting arm in a 'ready to fire' position and makes it less complicated when he is ready to strike the ball. The disadvantage is that it takes the arm out of the kinetic chain and he now has to make sure he bends his knees to get the dynamic power. If his legs tire or he does not bend them his serve is in trouble especially since he keeps his feet together.
 By keeping his right elbow low he is able to increase his angle of attack as he gets into the trophy position. Note  how his right shoulder is lower than the left. Many servers have their shoulders level which does not  give the serve enough up and thus the serve hits the net,
 His knees are bent  as he raises his hitting arm and gets in the classic trophy position
 Notice how he leans into the court. This along with the knee bend will make up for the loss in power due to the early arm raise. League Players should try to imitate his 'upness': Arms up,head up,eyes up
He leans further into the court as he drops his racquet . 
Another 'upness': he is now launching upwards
You cannot see a better serve position(above) even at the pro level: Good racquet drop,right elbow pointing up,eyes glued to the ball and feet in orbit. Some may say that he does not tuck his arm against his chest to prevent his shoulders opening too soon- but this is again a product of him raising his right arm early  (see 1st picture). By lowering his left arm early, he is able to turn unopposed and harness power by rotating his body.
His hitting arm has pronated and he has a great wrist he lands on the court. One related observation: look at how his shirt rides up his back. All good servers like Pete Sampras exhibit this 'shirt look' at the end of their serves. It is related to extension and  bending their back forward instead of bending at the waist. 
He lands a foot inside the court bracing himself by extending his right leg. Many players 'fall' into the court but Jasso 'lands' in the court. Notice how well balanced he is upon landing.and ready to go to the net if needed-but with his 120 mph serve he probably won't have to !

                                        Karen Gill....What a gal !!
Woodstock Tennis Club pro Karen Gill
 Ulster County champ,USTA League tennis star, 
Eastern section's # 1 ranked player,Woodstock Tennis Club pro...the list goes on. But apart from being the sweetest person you would not want to be playing against, Karen also has another passion : to raise funds for Breast Cancer Options,a non-profit group helping women affected by breast cancer.
Tennis Players resting after the clinics

Every year ,Karen holds a tennis evening (using local pros who volunteer their time) to help tennis players hone their skills and contribute to a worthy cause as well. 
Karen Gill with helper

Karen has successfully raised thousands of dollars for Breast Cancer Options..(And don't forget all the accolades she has won on the tennis court ! )
 That makes her a true champion in our eyes.

              3 tips to hit the ball on the rise
Agassi made it famous and now virtually every top pro does it 80% of the time. Hitting on the rise means hitting the ball sometime after it bounces and before it starts to fall. The advantages of this are many: since you hit the ball a fraction of a second earlier it also steals time from your opponent,you can use the balls kinetic energy and increase the pace of your shot (since the kinetic energy reduces as the ball starts to fall ) and since you have to  hit the ball with a closed face,you can hit it harder and still keep the ball in.
Here's how to do it:

1. Rhythm: From 'bounce-racquet back -hit' it becomes 'bounce-hit'.
Try saying,'Bounce- hit' to develop the rhythm
2. Closed racquet face: Since the ball is going to scurry off your strings keep a slightly closed racquet face.
Image result for Closed racquet face                              
3. Prepare early: As soon as you determine which side the ball is traveling to (forehand or backhand),take your racquet back and wait for the ball. Once it bounces hit the ball before it peaks.
Hit the ball as it travels upward and before it peaks
     Food for thought for League Players
League Players never discriminate against opponents. Though the object is to beat the player on the the other side of the court,there is a mutual sense of respect regardless of physical,religious and cultural differences.
 But when an opponent walks on the court, sometimes players rush to judgement based on the opponent's appearance: e.g. apparel,equipment,shoes,racquet bag etc; when the focus should be on the opponent's tennis skills.
With the raging debate on racism,after the recent church shooting, here is an interesting video on how we view appearances :

            Saugerties Tennis Courts to get makeover 
                ( while Forsyth Park still has not installed windscreens....)
It's official. The Saugerties Town Board approved the budget for resurfacing the Saugerties tennis courts. Even though  a sports town, tennis is not the most favorite sport in Saugerties. However there are enough people who use the courts and the town decided to repair and re-surface the courts. Bids have been received and work is scheduled to start as soon as the money is appropriated.
                                        In contrast,Kingston courts don't even have wind screens up on the courts post-Memorial Day ! 

  Forsyth Park

                    Lisa Carbone serves notice !
Why is Lisa Carbone not wearing a hat in the picture above ? It's because she has thrown her hat in the ring ! With her new, improved forehand and serve she is a force to contend with in the Mid-Hudson Tennis League. Email her if you want toi set up a match against her !

         The ones who decided not to  watch 
      pay-per-view boxing to help Project Nepal !

With Coach Saif Ali
With Coach Samantha Goodluck

                You made them so very happy....
                               Thank You

  Thank you for supporting Project Nepal !
A special thanks to Ed Fondiller (Total Tennis owner) and James Steinberg/Matt Canzonetti ( HVIT owners) for letting us use their tennis courts for free.   
                Keep the faith in your tennis skills !
                    Keep the date in your calendar !!

When:Sunday 5/3/15
Time: 5-7 pm
Where:Total Tennis (meet outside on the hard court by the parking lot)
Fee: $25.00
( Every penny goes to earthquake relief)
See you there !!

                       Not their fault.....
Earthquake survivors in Nepal need your help
Nor his......

       Project Nepal Tennis Clinic
Where: Total Tennis
When: Sunday 5/3/15
Time: 5-7 pm  
Fee: $25.00 ( ALL the money goes for earthquake relief )

See you there,League Players !

                           Project Nepal  
All they can do is look for your help...........

Tennis is not all fun and games. Sometimes League Players can play tennis AND make a difference in people's lives .
The MHVTA along with Hudson Valley Indoor Tennis ,Total Tennis and Saif Ali ( see article below),have joined hands to help the devastated people of Nepal,a tiny country at the foot of the Himalayas, which was recently hit with a catastrophic earthquake.
We are conducting a tennis matchplay/clinic event. For a fee of $25.00 ( every penny going to Project Nepal), you can play tennis and get great coaching tips from the best pros in the area.

Our friends at HVIT/Total Tennis have donated courts for free and all the pros have donated their time and expertise.

How many times have you played tennis while helping 
the down trodden at the same time ? Now is your chance......

            Please contact            n                                   *****************************************
                Tennis Coach with a pedigree
Saif Ali comes from a family of famous tennis players
Does Saif Ali have  great tennis genes or what ? His father coached top players in India including multiple Grand Slam champion Leander Paes. His uncle was India's legendary Davis Cup captain and coach for several years coaching tennis greats like Vijay Amritraj and Ramesh Krishnan. His cousin was India's top player on the international scene and later Davis Cup captain. 

Saif himself has trained with top pros and is an accomplished player.
                                      And,now, he is in town looking to teach you tennis this summer before he travels south for the winter. 
League Players : Do not miss this opportunity to get lessons from Saif Ali. He can be reached at
or by phone : 917 873 0472 .
          Ageless rivalry ( but don't ask their ages)
Perennial Ulster County champion with friend and tennis rival.                                  
(Note:Perennial Ulster County champion,Wayne Schaeffer, is on the right)
                        Coach of the Year
                       Guillermo Ripoll-Brenot   

 As a collegiate player Guillermo led his team to four conference titles, three regional championships, and three NAIA National Championships.

Guillermo Ripoll-Brenot ,originally from Argentina, has a great track record in tournament play with stellar performances. Apart from a 100+ mph serve he has a great South American one-handed backhand. He has an undefeated record in the Ulster County Tennis Tournament,though his appearance in the French Open is subject to debate.
Our own Ambassador Francine Wizner raves about him as he helped her rise from a C player to a competitive B player.
 Just his achievement with the Ambassador is sufficient reason to name him Coach of the Year.
Guillermo teaches at Total Tennis and is accepting the challenge to take your tennis to the next level.
Like him on Facebook and call him for your next tennis lesson.
You are GUARANTEED to improve !
                  The Terminator Part 2 has a new foe......
David White aka The Terminator Part 2 has reason to look worried !
                        ..........Introducing The Jayminator !!      
The Jayminator Jihyuk 'Jay' Han
                            Tennis in the shadows (....again)
This pile of wood chips (above) casts a gigantic shadow beside the Forsyth Park tennis courts. For those who think the town is working on its promise to renovate the tennis courts,think again. These chips are for the mega restoration of the aging ( but not dilapidated) Kinderland park next door. Meanwhile the aging ( and dilapidated) tennis courts(below) remain a silent spectator. 
To be fair,the MHVTA is working on plans to start renovating the courts in the near future. 
However this pile of wood chips is a stark reminder why tennis and tennis players are considered by authorities to be just a pile of ..never mind.
                         Court Time
With the advent of the scholastic season,here is an overview of court usage ( or court denial to League Players) for the coming weeks*:
*A few pointers:
1. On HOME game days (marked in red) courts will not be available from 3 pm to dusk
2. On AWAY games (marked in black) courts will be available all day
3. On all other days courts will not be available till 5 pm due to practice.
4. Kingston High courts will be unavailable till 5.30-6.00 pm on practice days.
5. Courts are available during weekends and during the day
6. Some 'hidden'courts like Loughran Park(Kingston), Hurley Park(Hurley) and Andy Mill Park (Woodstock) are always available and not used much.

1. Kingston





























4. Forsyth Park 


Mon 04/20/2015







                   Good cop,bad cop

The police have been getting a bad rap these past few months. 
To reverse that trend we asked the advice of a canine police sergeant stationed at New York's Grand Central Station to help League Players. 
Watch his demo below and let this good cop make you a bad cop on the tennis court:

1. Always be alert:

Never let your guard down. Be alert and on the lookout for opportunity to attack.

2. Recognize:
Sharpen your skills by playing more matches and attacking tennis. This will help you recognize when your opponent is vulnerable.

3. Get ready to pounce:
Make your move : Go to the net or hit a drop shot/lob/passing shot/hard ground stroke -anything to  finish the point.

By being alert and always waiting for opportunity,you can change the context of the game in your favor.

        Empty courts (gasp !) on a 60 degree Sunday !!!
Until The Terminator arrives...
Greg Tellier aka The Terminator wants to lead by example....
Says he:"The League has officially started !
Get on the court and play !!"

When to play a let (...and when not to)

A let is generally a serve or point played over due to interference.

1. Serve let: This is the commonest form of a let. When a serve hits  the net and then rolls into the correct service box,it is a do-over of the serve in question..

2. First serve : If  interference occurs during a second serve causing an undue delay then the server gets two serves.

3. Any interference when the server has started the service swing entitles the server to 2 serves.

4. Ball interference: If a ball or other object rolls into the court during play interfering with play,either player can call a let and the server is entitled to 2 serves. (Remember it has to interfere with play. When your opponent has a put away shot at the net,and a ball rolls behind him,you could call a let but most people would not as the ball would not have interfered with the put away shot.)

5. Player : If a serve hits the net cord and hits a player or his partner on the fly,it is a let. 

When not to play a let:

1. Outside interference: As in loud spectators,babies crying or  sirens going off.

2. If a serve hits the receiver or partner (without hitting the net first) the point goes to the server.

3. If a ball rolls on the court between 1st and 2nd serves: As per USTA rules,the time taken to clear a ball from the playing area is not considered basis for getting two serves.

4. If the event did not actually interfere with play. 

5. If an out call is reversed,the player who made the wrong call loses the point. ( 'Let's play it over' is against the rules. )
   This never happens to our Super Senior League Players.....

      Super Senior sign ups in progress for the
              2015 Mid Hudson Tennis League . Please sign up soon !                               

How to make things happen on the tennis court
There are 3 types of tennis players:
Those who don't know what happened,
Those who wait for things to happen,
And those who make things happen.
Even though most matches are won on the number of errors rather than winners, the 'winningest' players turn things around to their advantage. They play a proactive instead of a reactive role in deciding their fate. In other words they take their game to their opponent and challenge them to play better. They do not wait for their opponent to make an error-they force them to.This is especially true in the closing stages of a match or when the match is evenly poised.

1. Go for it : 
Take a chance randomly

 Every now and then try to hit an ace or a winning return. This is a good strategy to tilt the scales. You might just hit the perfect shot and win an important point.
2. Keep your opponent on the move: 
Wear down your opponent

You will be testing his/her conditioning as well as not letting them set up for a shot.
3. Get to the net:
Play the net when you get your opponent on the run

Send the message: "Pass me if you can'. Even if you do get passed it will still put pressure on your opponent to come up with the shot.

4. Don't play defensively : 
Defensive tennis can lose tight matches

Play to win rather than not to lose.
Hit with intent. As you hit more aggressive shots many of them will go in and force errors from your opponent.
5.Body language: 
Bad body language
Good body language
Theories abound regarding how this works but it does. Pumping yourself up on court will keep you playing aggressively.

 Don't wait and hope for your opponent's error. Go and get it !!
             An impassioned plea from Roger Federer

                  2015 Tennis League Brand Ambassador
 Brand Ambassador Francine Wizner ( Sponsored by Bolle)
                 What is wrong with these pictures ?

Correct answer : Tennis courts with NO tennis players.

League Players,let's populate the tennis courts this year by playing in the 2015 Mid Hudson Tennis League !!
to register.

           2015 Mid-Hudson Tennis League  
FLEX LEAGUE: Play when and where you want !!

4 events: Singles/ Doubles/ Mixed Doubles/Challenger*
4 divisions: Men/Women/Mixed/Super Seniors
4 levels: A/B/C/Challenger*
1 league:
The 2015 Mid Hudson Tennis League
Signups start: March 25, 2015
Matches begin: April 15, 2015
Matches end : November 1, 2015
Fee: $20.00 per person (unlimited events)
Payable to: Mid Hudson Valley Tennis Association
                    48, Dewitt Mills Road, Hurley, NY 12443
Email :  to register
* CHALLENGER: Challenge players above your level and get a 3-0 game lead and they get only one serve!!

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good post on how it is that you should be playing on a tennis court. I've always wanted to play tennis, but never really knew how things went. Now I know how it is that I should play, what ways I need to play, and how it is that I should be going about things.