Gearing Up for League Tennis in the Mid-Atlantic

It’s one month in to 2019 and tennis players in the Mid-Atlantic are counting down the days until the spring adult tennis leagues get underway in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Spring is generally when some of the most popular league divisions play with many advancing to Mid-Atlantic Regional and Sectional tennis championships. Thousands of people join league tennis play in the spring. It is an exciting time as the snow melts, flowers bloom and tennis players get back out on the courts.gear-up-for-mid-atlantic-league-tennis

While many of us sit and pine for the days of spring when our calendars are packed with tennis matches, let’s not waste this little bit of downtime to get prepared for the season ahead.

USTA Mid-Atlantic wants to help you “gear up” for the spring tennis season. We’ve put together a series of articles that you’ll find here on the Tennis on Point blog in the Tips and Tricks category that will help get you ready.

The “Gearing Up” series will cover topics such as: 

  • The top questions players have about playing leagues – for both the seasoned player and someone returning after a break from the sport; 
  • Getting in shape physically and mentally so  you are ready for tough athletic matches with the right fitness and mindset;
  • And of course we’ll touch on some gear that you may want to have on the court with you this year.

Look out for links to the latest articles on our Facebook page throughout February or subscribe to our blog to never miss an article.

If you’ve got tips or tricks that you use to get ready for the tennis season, share them with us on social media – tag us and use #ustaspringgearup. We may also have some fun surprises you can snag to help you “gear up,” so watch out for those!

Check out the first article in the series and let’s get ready to “gear up” for USTA Mid-Atlantic League tennis!

DIY Holiday Decor Sports Theme: Tennis Ball Wreath

The holiday season is here and for so many of us in the Mid-Atlantic that means a time to take a break, relax and enjoy some down time with friends, family and loved ones. We love the holidays for so many reasons, but a big part of what makes it special is the chance to do certain activities that maybe we don’t often get to do other times of year, such as baking, binge watching Hallmark Channel, hanging out in PJs all day and maybe doing crafts and other hands-on activities or special outings.  For all of our tennis friends out there, we know (hope) this time of year means extra time to get in lots of tennis too!

But if you’re looking for fun DIY activities during the holiday break, either for yourself to try or to do with your kiddos or grandkiddos, look no further. Tennis fans will be sure to love this DIY Tennis Ball Wreath activity! This wreath is great for the holidays and really, can be transitioned to use any time of year, especially during your tennis season and hung during the US Open too! Just leave off the holiday embellishments or make a version with out those holiday touches for more versatile use throughout the year.

Alright, let’s get making! Grab those used tennis balls and fire up the glue gun, and get ready to have some fun!

Tennis Ball Wreath

What You Need

Gather your supplies 

What you need: 

16-17 used tennis balls

1-2 sleeves of ornaments

1 wire clothes hanger

Ribbon or Bow

Glue Gun

Scissors

Box cutter or X-Acto knife

Instructions 

Step 1: Unravel your wire clothes hanger and shape into a circle.Step 1

Step 2: Cut two 1” slits on each tennis ball. If doing this project with kids, make sure an adult is there to supervise or this is a step that only an adult does. 

Step 3: Feed tennis balls one by one onto the wire hanger, filling the wire hanger.Step 2 and 3

Step 4: Re-twist the wire hanger at the top to leave a hook for hanging. Note: at this point you can decide if you want your tennis balls in line with each other, or want to rotate them up or down to add dimension (see two final wreaths below for layout).

Step 5: Pull out those ornaments and glue gun. Place ornaments throughout the wreath using hot glue to secure them.Step 5

Step 6: Add your ribbon or bow to the top, below your hook.

Step 7: Hang on your door for a festive tennis feel or gift these out to all the tennis fans and players in your life!

 

We’d love to see your finished products! Make some tennis ball wreaths and send us a picture or post it to social media tagging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!  And keep on playing and using those tennis balls up so you can make more crafts! Learn more about playing tennis with USTA Mid-Atlantic. 


Shell Wood is the Events Manager for USTA Mid-Atlantic. She enjoys crafting and repurposing items, especially tennis equipment, to bring a little pizzazz to our events. 

Wishing You all the Joy the Holidays Bring (VIDEO)

We hope that this year has brought joyous memories of fun tennis played and friendships made.  Of laughter, and aces and serves for the ages! Of taking your game to the next level, and matches and points with which you can revel. Through tennis we hope that you’ve fueled a passion, and taken your tennis goals and proceeded to smash ’em. We hope you’ve enjoyed staying active and fit, and building new skills that work great on the court and even off of it.

It’s our pleasure serving up the game of tennis for all of you in the Mid-Atlantic Section. Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a joyful New Year –  from your friends at USTA Mid-Atlantic!

Fun DIY Halloween Decorations – Tennis Themed

One thing tennis lovers know is that there is always a creative way to reuse dead tennis balls.  With Halloween season upon us, we’ve put together three spooktacular DIY Halloween decorations you can do with those scary dead tennis balls lurking in your basement, garage, trunk or bag.

We found these DIY craft projects are great activities to do with kids or grand kids or even during a Halloween party as an activity station.

Tennis coaches and tennis clubs, you can incorporate these craft projects into a Halloween-themed tennis lesson or tennis tournament for kids too.

So let’s raise the dead (ahem tennis balls that is) and have some Halloween fun making these awesome tennis inspired DIY Halloween tennis ball decorations.

DIY Halloween Tennis Ball Craft 

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What you need: 1

1 can of tennis balls
Glue
Scissors
4 googly eyes
Orange, green and black markers
3-4 pipe cleaners
1 piece of colored paper
Bottle tops (Gatorade or milk container tops recommended)

 

Start by making the base for the three Tennis Ball Halloween figures by gluing a bottle top to the bottom of each tennis ball.

Grab your markers and color 1 ball green, 1 ball orange and 1 ball black.

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Let’s make a Tennis Ball Witch!

Step 1: Grab the green tennis ball on base; the top to the tennis ball can, glue, paper, scissors, 2 eyes, green marker and a pipe cleaner.

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Step 2: Take your paper and cut out a half moon shape. 6

Step 3: Roll the half-moon shape to form a cone.

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Tip – Stapling the corners together will secure it quickly

Step 4: Glue the cone to the top of the tennis ball can – you made a witch’s hat!

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Step 5: Glue the witch’s hat to the tennis ball.

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Tip – Tilt the hat a little off to the side so that your eyes fit later

Step 6: Take a pipe cleaner and cut it in half. Take half of the pipe cleaner and fold it over two times, twist together to keep secure – you made a witch’s nose! Glue the nose to the tennis ball.


Step 7: Glue 2 googly eyes to the tennis ball – good job! You’re tennis ball witch is complete!

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Let’s make a Tennis Ball Pumpkin!

Step 1: Grab the orange tennis ball on base; the other half of the pipe cleaner you just cut for the witch’s nose, glue, and the black marker.

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Step 2: Take the pipe cleaner and fold it in half two times, twist together to keep secure and glue onto the top of your tennis ball.

Step 3: Take the black marker and draw on your pumpkin face. Whew! That was a quick one – you made a tennis ball pumpkin!

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Let’s make a Tennis Ball Bat!

Step 1: Grab the black tennis ball, 2 pipe cleaners, glue, and 2 googly eyes.

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Step 2: Glue on your two googly eyes to the front of the tennis ball.

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Step 3: Take a pipe cleaner and twist it closed at the end to make a loop. Do this to both pipe cleaners.

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Step 4: Create indentations in the bottom of the pipe cleaner to form the bat wings. Do this to both pipe cleaners. You made bat wings!

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Step 5: Glue the bat wings to the left and right side of your tennis ball. YAY! A tennis ball bat!

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Step 6: Bonus step if you have any extra pieces of pipe cleaners. Cut two 1” pieces of pip cleaner and bend to form a triangle. Add these two “bat ears” to the top of your tennis ball.

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Enjoy your tennis ball witch, pumpkin and bat to decorate your house for this haunting holiday – Happy Halloween!


Shell Wood is the Events Manager for USTA Mid-Atlantic. She enjoys crafting and repurposing items to bring a little pizzazz to our events.

Why You Need a Weekend Getaway with your Tennis Team

One of the best parts of playing USTA League tennis in the Mid-Atlantic is the friends that you make. These are people that rally for you and cheer you on both on the court and throughout the ups and downs that life throws your way. For many, their tennis team is like family with a bond that has been built from grinding it out during tough tennis matches and from the memorable times spent off the court. Those are the special times together thanks to your love of tennis such as traveling to tournaments, championships or even National events. 

But not every team gets the chance to travel to a Regional or Section championship. That’s why USTA Mid-Atlantic partnered with the Roanoke Valley Tennis Association to create Second Serve to give more teams, especially women’s teams,  the chance to hit the road for fun on court competition against teams from all over the Mid-Atlantic and off court laughs. 

We chatted with Yoshie Nahmens, a current 4.0 who has been playing USTA Leagues for more than ten years, to get her take on the fun of traveling with your tennis team. Yoshie is an active captain in Fairfax, Virginia having captained more than ten teams in the last three years and plays on a variety of others leagues in Northern Virginia.

Girls Getaway - Yoshie Photo 1_350x250What has been your favorite girls’ weekend tennis memory?

This is a tough one since I have had several fun memories that picking just one is a challenge. I would probably say my 3.0/3.5/4.0 team’s win at the 2017 Tri-Level League Sectionals since we were not able to compete to defend our title last year. We were #1 in the local league but lost in the first round of local league playoffs. All matches were very tight and nail biters, so this win was extra sweet and special.

We’ve created so many great friendships off the court through our teams over the years that we’ve created our own weekend getaways. Eleven of us participated in a Wintergreen tennis camp a few years ago. We rented a huge house, cooked all our meals together (it was a cold, rainy & foggy April weekend, so we couldn’t go anywhere), danced, talked and crashed. It was my first ‘tennis camp’ and I loved it. I hope a group of us can go to another tennis camp in the near future. It was so much fun!

How has travelling for tennis been a bonding experience for the ladies on your teams?

We drive 3 hours+ to get to most Region and Section Championships so we usually carpool. Our team also shares hotel room to split the cost and spend more time together.  During travel and stay, we talk about family, kids, vacation, etc. So much quality bonding time – it has been great.

What’s your team’s favorite thing to do off the tennis court when you’re travelling together?Girls Getaway - Series 1 - Photo 2_sized

I normally set up our team dinner on one of the nights when we travel to Regionals and/or Sectionals. Many of our team knows each other pretty well, but it is always fun to get together over great food and great wine (typically) and enjoy lots of laughs. Girls can be girls. It’s the most relaxed moment before the battle on the court.

Team-bonding, beautiful hikes, tasty breweries, late-night laughs, sing-along car rides and heck, maybe even that perfect, “down-the-T” serve will show up on your weekend in the Roanoke Valley at Second Serve, so gather up your tennis girls and let us know you are interested in playing in the inaugural event!  


USTA Mid-Atlantic and the Roanoke Valley Tennis Association are introducing Second Serve, a highly social team competition that has the look of a league championship with teams from all over the Mid-Atlantic competing, but in a fun, low-pressure environment. Second Serve will take place in Roanoke, Va. Teams from the Adult 18 & Over women’s leagues at 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 NTRP levels are eligible to participate in Second Serve. Play will count toward your NTRP rating, but there is no advancement.  Click here to learn more about the event!