Falling Into a Tennis Routine

The first day of fall is here and as the seasons change, so can your tennis routine. Gone are the long, easy-going days of summer where you could be out on the tennis court for hours. Now, the fall frenzy is here with its faster pace, back-to-school, back to the office, lot’s on the to-do-list before the end of the year vibe. Your head might be spinning in circles wondering how you’re going to balance it all! 

That’s where tennis can come in! 

Getting into a routine that consistently includes tennis can help you find balance while gaining physical and social well-being. Fall is a great time to focus on tennis for youth and adults alike.  

Here are three easy ways to ensure you and your family are set up for success this fall making tennis part of your life.

Tip #1: Try a New Tennis League Type or One Where You Control the Schedule

In the Mid-Atlantic, if you are into playing organized tennis the fall is a great time to try a different type of USTA League program than what you may have played in the spring or throughout the summer. This time of year you can find league types such as Combo and Tri-Level which are formats that bring different level players together to form a team. This is a fun way to play with different people and expand your tennis community. Not only that, it can be a way to up-level your own game as you pair up and compete with those at different NTRP levels giving you exposure to different styles and levels of tennis play. Plus, this time of year can be a little more low-key and relaxed in these league types, but still with great competition and fun. Find what is being offered in your local area and register now. 

When your schedule becomes too hectic, how can you fit in your tennis time? We have the perfect idea for you and that is joining a USTA Mid-Atlantic Flex League! 

Flex Leagues provide the opportunity for you to still compete in tennis all the while creating your own schedule to do it! You choose the location, date, and time to play your matches, perfectly crafting all the details to meet your needs. Fall 2022 Flex Leagues have started but you can get involved at any point in time! 

If you’ve been hitting around recreationally this past summer or took some tennis lessons and are ready to take the next step, we’ve got you covered. This fall, there are new beginner “mini leagues,” for tennis that are a great next step after taking tennis lessons. This program helps you get acquainted with playing tennis on a League team. We’ve also got different social tennis opportunities too. Check out what’s being offered and sign up! 

Maybe this summer you watched some exciting professionals play tennis and you’re ready to become more than a fan. Visit our Welcome to Tennis hub to learn about all the ways you can get into the sport in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Tip #2: Find Extracurricular Activities for the Kiddos 

Back to school time is always an adjustment for kids. Although they are in school all day, children are still full of energy when they get home from school. Research has shown that getting children involved in extracurricular activities not only helps their social skills but also helps develop them mentally. “Kids do best when they have structure and routine, and those involved in extracurriculars perform better academically,” said Dr. Harpreet Kaur, a licensed clinical psychologist for kids and teens in California. 

Getting children involved in youth sports is not always easy for every family. According to a recent study by PEW Research, socioeconomic status plays a role in whether children generally participate in various activities after school. At USTA Mid-Atlantic, our top priority is increasing access to tennis so that ALL people can experience the life-long benefits of the sport. One such program contributing to our mission is Girls Rule the Court™ (GRTC). GRTC is a free to low-cost program that aims to promote health, wellness, and teamwork while building self-esteem through tennis for young girls. Girls find access and connection to the lifelong sport of tennis while growing their technical, tactical, and performance skills. They create meaningful and beneficial connections while engaging in important dialogue about teamwork, empowerment, and the benefits of moving your body. Learn more about this program and how you can get involved. 

You can also find an array of fun and developmentally appropriate junior programs offered in the Mid-Atlantic to get kids into tennis this fall. 

Bonus Tip: Apply for a USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship to help with costs associated with tennis for your child. This can be for ANY level player – beginner, intermediate or advanced – and can help with tennis class registration fees, lessons, equipment and more. The Scholarship application is available now and accepting applications until October 17, 2022! 

Tip #3: Volunteer with USTA Mid-Atlantic! 

Lets face it, you still might not be able to make it to the courts this season with your busy schedule but there are still ways you can leave your mark on the tennis community year-round! Volunteering is a great way to still be involved with tennis while also making a direct impact on the section. There are many ways to volunteer such as at local events, community events, committees, and more! The best part is, you choose what works best for your schedule. Another way of contributing is through donating. Our USTA Mid-Atlantic Serve Squad is a dedicated and passionate community sustained by supporters on a mission to grow and develop the sport of tennis for all people throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Serve Squad continues to give on a monthly basis in hope to ensure tennis is accessible to all. 

We sure hope all of these tips help you FALL in love with your new tennis routine! 

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.

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.