3 Quick and Easy Ways to Refresh Your Tennis Life

Tennis is an ever evolving sport and whether you’re new to the courts or have been serving up aces for years, it’s never a bad time to go back and brush up on your knowledge and skills. At USTA Mid-Atlantic Section (USTA MAS), we want to be the one stop source so you can get the most out of what you are putting into your tennis game. USTA MAS has many resources and platforms to help you in your tennis journey. With that being said, we’ve compiled a list of three quick and easy ideas to help you refresh and enrich your tennis life so you can rock the courts all year long!

Tip #1 Refresh your Skills

“Practice makes perfect” is what they say and it’s true! Tennis is one of the most dynamic sports where you have to be sharp in your mental game as well as your physical game. During National Tennis Month, USTA Mid-Atlantic created a weekly series of one-minute video clips to demonstrate different techniques and tennis strokes that you can practice right on your local courts! Stroke of the Week is a great way to launch yourself into new heights gaining new tennis skills to know or perfecting and refining mastered tennis skills along the way. 

Tip #2 Refresh your knowledge about your Tennis Community 

Though you may know a little bit about USTA Mid-Atlantic Section and the tennis community we are creating together, there is always so much more to learn! As a nonprofit organization, we strive to grow tennis and make the sport accessible so that ALL people can experience the benefits. This is the heart of everything we do at USTA MAS and we truly believe that through tennis, we can create character, community, and well-being for all. Did you know that USTA Mid-Atlantic provides: 

  • Scholarships to youth players with financial need so they can stay in tennis and gain the character building benefits of the sport; 
  • Grants to help build or refurbish tennis courts that stimulate communities and increase access to quality tennis infrastructure; and
  • Financial and other resources to community tennis providers and organizations that support tennis programs that build community, character, and well-being?

In fact, in 2021, we were able to fund programs that helped 800 people find their community through tennis! And that’s just one example of the ways tennis is making a difference and changing lives – there’s more in the 2021 Annual Report. It is really special when you are a part of something that helps others; learn more about how you can make a difference in the community here. 

Tip #3 Refresh your knowledge of tennis rules and tennis lingo!

Rules and regulations are one of the most important aspects of playing tennis. It is perfectly okay to not know every single rule during a tennis match, but it is important to try and understand as much as possible and learn the rules of tennis. The rules and regulations can vary based on the match such as a singles match or doubles match. Luckily, USTA has compiled numerous resources all in one place that detail every single tennis rule you could possibly have a question about! Plus the more you become acquainted with – or refresh your memory on – certain rules, it can help enhance your experience on the tennis court. Plus, when you know the rules and are confident, that can encourage more sportsmanship and that always makes tennis great! 

Another big confidence booster in tennis is knowing the right lingo! There are a lot of acronyms and terms that get thrown around while you are on the tennis court. If you are just starting in tennis you may be wondering what terms you should know so you can keep up with everyone else on the court. And learning how to speak the tennis language can be pretty fun! Knowing what to say and how to talk about tennis can give you a leg up on your competition. We have a full list of every tennis term and the definition of each tennis term you need to know! 

And that’s it! Refreshing your tennis life doesn’t take long at all and as always, USTA Mid-Atlantic is here to help you along your journey. Put these three tips in your tennis bag and you’ll be able to ace any match that serves up your way! 

To stay up to date on all things tennis in the Mid-Atlantic make sure to follow USTA Mid-Atlantic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

Beat the Heat this Summer

May is National Tennis Month, the unofficial start to summer and the season of much warmer months! We’re slowly creeping up to summer and summer-like temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic and you know what that means: lots and lots of heat! 

As tennis players, you may have been playing indoors in climate-controlled conditions during the winter months and playing tennis outdoors during the more temperate spring weather feels pretty glorious. Transitioning from indoor to outdoor play, and from mild to hot weather can be a little bit of an adjustment especially if you’re not used to it or ready for it. You’ve got to prepare! 

We want you all to have an amazing summer tennis season and be prepared to play your best tennis even when the temps are rising high. So we’ve created a list of reminders of how to beat the heat when playing tennis so you can continue to rock the court this summer! 

Tip 1: Stay Hydrated

Hydration, hydration, hydration! Ensuring you’re keeping yourself hydrated before AND after a practice/match is essential to keep your body going. To do so, replenish with the same amount of liquid as you lose through sweat. That’s about 32-85 ounces during an hour of play. Try to hydrate well before outdoor play to avoid dehydration! If you’re looking for an extra boost, try Vitalyte, an electrolyte powder that replenishes nutrients at a faster pace. The best part is that you can take it on the go to any match and/or practice!  Check out more information on why hydration is so important to help you rule the court.  

Tip 2: Fuel Up

Food is energy; it’s what keeps your body going! It is important to fuel up with a balanced meal 3-4 hours before a match. In addition, to keep energy levels up during a match, it’s a good idea to have a light snack 1-2 hours beforehand. If allowed by the facility, bring an energy bar with you on court and have a couple bites during changeovers. 

Tip 3: Keep it Cool

Ice packs and coolers are great ways to physically cool down and also keep your drinks cold while you’re playing. You can cool down faster during changeovers by applying ice packs against your neck, underarms, and core, but avoid putting ice directly on your joints and limbs. Looking for a new cooler to take with you to the tennis courts? The USTA Mid-Atlantic Store from the Spoiled Office has great options if you’re looking for that perfect cooler that you can easily store your items in or even a new water bottle – plus these items allow you to rep USTA MAS! In addition, make sure you are wearing breathable clothing. Wearing breathable fabric during play is an effective way to stay cool. Clothing with mesh panels can also help prevent overheating by allowing your skin to breathe. 

Tip 4: Sun Protection

Sunscreen is essential to protect your skin when you are outdoors playing tennis! Sunburn can increase skin temperature and cause the body to be less efficient in cooling itself. Applying sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapplying at least every 2 hours can help prevent any discomfort that may follow with being in the heat so long. Also, packing a hat, sunglasses, and UV protective clothing can bring extra protection while you’re playing on the court! 

Summer brings some of the best memories on and off the tennis court. This list should have you ready to ace this summer season! If you’re looking for a way to get involved and play tennis, you can find tennis programs in your local area so you can take part in something fun all while being active! Plus USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis creates community, character, and well-being benefits that can last a lifetime. 

To stay up to date on all things tennis in the Mid-Atlantic make sure to follow USTA Mid-Atlantic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

Getting to the Top with Top Court

Are you looking to level up your tennis game in 2022? Then one option is with USTA Mid-Atlantic’s official e-learning partner, TopCourt. An innovative digital platform, TopCourt offers lessons with top pros to help you maximize your game. 

We thought it would be fun to give a member of our local tennis community a chance to test the platform and give us his opinion. We asked Bethesda, Md. player Thomas Pablo to try it out and let us know what he thought.*

Thomas played tennis growing up and rediscovered his love of the game five years ago when his oldest son started playing competitive junior tennis. He has won multiple Level 2 National Doubles Tournaments and three years ago, won the Bronze Ball in Men’s 50s Doubles Grass Court Nationals.  Also, Thomas and his son, a Division One College tennis player, regularly compete on the Father/Son National Level. Thomas states “I love the sport and I really want to take my game to the next level.” 

Thomas started using TopCourt and gained access to a variety of pro tennis players teaching classes on the platform. Thomas selected lessons with these pros multiple times: player Alexander Zverev, player Venus Williams, coach Brad Gilbert, player Andrey Rublev, and players Bob and Mike Bryan (Bryan Brothers).

Thomas Pablo Playing TopCourt

Here’s what he says about TopCourt: 

TopCourt lessons are full of pearls. The ones that jumped out at me were all the lessons on strategy as well as the lessons that offer little details that are easy for the average player to overlook. Here are the most notable insights that I learned: 

BRYAN BROTHERS (Lessons on what you need to know for your doubles game including Volley, Doubles Return position, Doubles Volleying position, Doubles Serve position)

In the Bryan Brothers’ series, they mentioned the danger of serving out wide. They said “great players are all good on the wings and can shape the ball down. Serve tight (i.e. Jam them in doubles) and limit their power.” They also mention that the first serve percentage should be 75%.  

ALEXANDER ZVEREV (Lessons on how Zverev approaches the Forehand, the Backhand, and the Return)

The Zverev lessons were quite detailed and a good window into his thought process which clarifies why and how he is executing his game plan. He mentioned what to do as a tall player as well as the importance of hitting with a closed stance. Zverev said a closed stance allows you to “create the most angles and that your shot is hidden from your opponent.”  In addition, he broke down the footwork and the stroke so that you could focus on execution if you wanted to practice.   

BRAD GILBERT (Lessons on latest drills and tips for club players and aspiring pros including the Dunk Volley and the Swinging Volley)

Another real winner was the Brad Gilbert lessons. A former top-five player in the world with limited athletic gifts, his tennis mind is next level. When he taught the swinging volley, he said “take an aggressive approach to BIG targets.” That was a revelation that I wasn’t expecting.  

After watching the lessons, the single biggest positive of the platform is that in every lesson the advice is high quality. What you see on Top Court is different from what you might experience at your local club, because you are gaining inside information from current pro tour players and coaches directly from their own game and training regimen.

Another positive was being able to select the top players who might be more in line with my game style and body type. For example, my son is 6’6” so being able to have him watch Alexander Zverev, who is also 6’6”, was really valuable.  

Thomas Pablo Playing tennis

The biggest con for the platform is taking it from your computer to the court. The time between watching the lesson and heading to the tennis court requires you to take really good notes and read through them when you practice. If you are serious about getting better, then it should not be a problem at all – especially if you can partner with someone that has seen the lessons and can help you replicate them. 

I think the best use of this platform would be for players who can train together and gather insights from the lessons then keep each other on track when practicing on court. In my case, my son and I have been watching the lessons together, talking about what we liked and didn’t like and then we have tried to take it onto the court and practice. Our next step is to use some of the doubles strategies in actual matches.  

Overall, this is a great platform for all ages. Adults are naturally more inclined to think about their game, but juniors are likely more adept at utilizing the technology. The nice part is that this platform is affordable and can reach a wide audience. 

Looking forward to lots of TopCourt in 2022. I still have Gold Ball Dreams!

USTA Mid-Atlantic thanks Thomas Pablo for his thoughtful comments on TopCourt. We hope that you found the article useful and will check out this exciting e-learning platform. For more information, please visit TopCourt

To stay up to date on all things tennis in the Mid-Atlantic make sure to follow USTA Mid-Atlantic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

 *USTA Mid-Atlantic provided T. Pablo a Top Court subscription in exchange for his review. USTA Mid-Atlantic is supported by our tennis community audience. This post contains an affiliate link and if you go through the link to make a purchase USTA Mid-Atlantic may receive commission. Keep in mind that USTA Mid-Atlantic links to this website because of their quality. This commission helps our vital work to grow tennis and increase access to the sport for all people in the Mid-Atlantic region

Dream Season for 2.5 Team of Beginners

Well-being thanks to tennis was a key to success

Lifting the gate latch, Kristy walked onto the tennis court in Richmond, Va., for her very first USTA Mid-Atlantic League match. Never in her 40 years would she have expected to have arrived here. Her heart pounded with every step she took as she walked over to greet her doubles partner and opponents. She was so nervous and unsure what to expect. She had put the work in but did not know if it would pay off on her newly forged path as a 2.5 beginner league player. 

Kristy gave tennis a try because her young son decided he wanted to play and began learning the sport. 

“My 5-year-old son decided he wanted to try tennis and ended up loving it,” Kristy said.  “Seeing him enjoy the sport made me think it would be something fun for us to do together as he gets older.” 

Well-being thanks to tennis was a key to success on the court for this 2.5 team

She too began introductory lessons and made pretty good progress in her beginner’s group.  Soon after, Kristy was asked to join a 2.5 USTA League team in 2020. All of the women on the team were in the same boat, starting and learning the sport in their late 30s just like Kristy, and never playing in USTA League before. 

“I don’t know of any other sport that you can pick up later in life and pretty much play until you are well into your senior years. I truly feel like anyone can pick up a racquet and learn to play,” shared Kristy. 

The team was composed of people from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, scientists, business owners, stay-at-home moms, all coming together and being put to the test during that fateful first USTA Mid-Atlantic League tennis match. 

Kristy won it decisively 6-1, 6-2 and remembers thinking to herself, “maybe I’ve got the hang of this now!” Her teammates thought similar thoughts having taken all three lines that day. 

But the dream season would have to wait – the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans and the season was cut short. 

“During the COVID shutdown, the outdoor courts at my club remained open and it seemed to be the one thing from ‘normal life’ I was able to keep doing,” expressed Kristy.

Tennis was becoming so much more of an important aspect of life for her than she could have imagined when she started her league tennis journey just a year prior. The well-being benefits of the sport emerged front and center, including social and emotional benefits. 

“As much as I love tennis, the social element has been one of my favorite benefits,” says Seredni. “Playing tennis, I have met so many exceptional ladies who I am now lucky to call friends. Tennis has been the thing when you are having a rough day or week, you can always look forward to… I honestly can’t imagine my life now without tennis.”

Even though the 2020 season was short, Kristy and her team had 2021 in sight. 

Kristy commented, “we really started off as a group of strangers who very quickly became a tight-knit group of competitors. We were all so driven and excited and couldn’t wait to see what we could do. Our chemistry on the courts was off the charts and when we were off the courts we were celebrating births of babies, pregnancies, job promotions, really just supporting each other in life which I think was a huge part of why we were so successful.” 

Tennis in the Mid-Atlantic Section brought them together and delivered on well-being benefits and connections on a deeper, social and emotional level.  

Well-being was key to tennis success for this 2.5 USTA Mid-Atlantic league team.

“Something just clicked,” Kristy recounted. “We all seemingly hit our stride at the same time going the entire 2021 League season never dropping a line.” 

This remarkable outcome for the FIRST full season of tennis for the team paved the way for a trip to USTA Mid-Atlantic Sectionals and all the way to the Championship match!  

Kristy’s team was crowned 2.5 Finalists in Mid-Atlantic for the Adult 18 & Over (.5) in 2021. A dream accomplishment many seasoned teams aspire to achieve. 

Thanks to USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis creating a deeper well-being in Kirsty and in her teammates’ lives, they succeeded more than they could have imagined. 

“This past year, really throwing myself into USTA tennis, has been so incredibly rewarding.  From success on the court to meeting new people and making new friends, I have really enjoyed every minute on the courts…Whether you are looking to play for fun or looking for a competitive league, I promise you there is a league for you. And for people thinking about donating, do it!  Watching juniors learn the sport and love playing it is so much fun!  There are so many things for these kids to learn on a tennis court that will translate to life skills.” 

No matter when you start or your level of experience with the game, you can gain the well-being benefits tennis provides. And with YOUR help we can make sure more people, especially those without access to tennis, experience the incredible benefits of the sport through a variety of tennis programs and services from the USTA Mid-Atlantic. 

Make a tax-deductible gift today to support tennis programs in the Mid-Atlantic region that create community, character, and well-being for all. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn more about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Summer Guide to Tennis

The Ultimate Summer Guide to Tennis

In the Mid-Atlantic

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis

Here in the Mid-Atlantic, you can tell summer is right around the corner. The weather is heating up and that means the tennis courts are getting busier than ever. We know you’re lacing up your sneakers and popping open a fresh can of tennis balls to get to the action this summer, but first, we want to ensure you are prepared for the conditions. Tennis is tough enough without the sun beating down on you during your match, so we’ve got some tips and tricks on how to properly prepare to beat the heat and make the most of your tennis experience with the ultimate summer guide to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic.

Hydration is Number One:

Staying hydrated is going to be a major factor in your performance and health this summer. If you’re going to be playing out in the heat, make sure to start drinking water at least 24 hours before your match for peak hydration and to stay cool during your match. We recommend you to bring at least a quart (32 ounces), if not more, to your match to make sure you don’t lose your edge. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis - player returning a forhand

Don’t forget to replenish those electrolytes after those grueling games… Drinking during the changeover is also crucial to prevent getting sick or cramping. We recommend bringing Gatorade, Pedialyte, or something similar during a match because these drinks offer the perfect balance of sugar, sodium, and electrolytes. Another helpful summer guide to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic is to be prepared with snacks! Make sure you have enough fuel to keep your body healthy during those long matches under the hot, hot sun. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis Insider Tip:

  • Pack your tennis bag the night before, this way you can rest easy knowing that you are prepared with water, Gatorade, and yummy, healthy snacks for your important match the next day. Plus when you prepare the night before there’s no additional stress or rushing around before your match!

Clothing and Apparel to Wear in the Heat 

What you wear can be just as important as what you put in your body. When playing in the heat, you need to make sure you stay dry and cool with light-weight, moisture-wicking fabrics. Additionally, consider wearing wristbands to keep your hands and racquet dry from sweat, allowing your grip to stay firm. Finally, wear during your match is a hat or visor to keep the sun out of your eyes and keep your head and face cool. Keeping the sun out of your face helps you keep your head in the match. 

If you’re interested in what local tennis shops in the Mid-Atlantic specialize in for types of tennis equipment and apparel, make sure to check out our blog on preparing for the season in fresh new gear. Take it from the experts who specialize in making sure you get out and play with the right equipment. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis Insider Tip:

  • Don’t forget the sunscreen when you are getting ready for your match! Make sure to apply sunscreen generously and often before and after your matches to keep from burning. 

Tennis Events to Get Excited about When You’re Not Playing

Summer 2021 tennis events are back and we are so excited to celebrate tennis with you. As you are planning your summer vacation or weekend getaways, make sure you take note of the high-level events that are taking place in the Mid-Atlantic. There are some great professional and recreational events taking place right in your backyard. 

Citi Open (July 31- August 8) – Secure your tickets today! The tournament is operating at 50% capacity this year, so make sure to act quick. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic League Championships 

  • Goucher College (July 30- August 2)
  • Columbia Association (July 23-26) , (August 20-23)
  • More dates are being added, so make sure to bookmark this link and check back in. 

Don’t forget youth tennis this summer

  • There are plenty of opportunities for Juniors to be a part of team events here in the Mid-Atlantic. We encourage your junior player to sign up for a Team Up event. With this event, junior players have fun while playing competitively on a team. Plus, juniors can nab a free USTA membership now. So grab that deal to kick off their summer of tennis right! 

How to Get Involved:

There are so many ways for you to get out and play this summer in the Mid-Atlantic region. If you are looking to uplevel your tennis game and satisfy that competitive edge, we highly recommend you participating in USTA Mid-Atlantic Leagues. Here you will be able to play on a team for a chance at a National championship. Now if that doesn’t sound like the best summer ever, we don’t know what does.

Plus, make sure to stay connected with USTA Mid-Atlantic on social media and follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to join the tennis conversation and engage with other players in the area.

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USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. Learn about our impact in the Section and how you can help bring tennis to more communities throughout the region.

By Patrick Twomey: an intern with USTA Mid-Atlantic. Patrick is an upcoming sophomore at the University of Tennessee