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.

Rising Up for Parks and Recreation

July marks the celebration of Parks and Recreation Month and recognizes how integral of a role public parks play in our own communities. For many individuals, public parks are places for special experiences and making memories to last a lifetime. They are often gathering places for all ages to get involved in nature, celebrate special events, and take on many new adventures and sports like tennis

Having access to parks and recreation is a vital part of an active, thriving community. Many people pick up their tennis racquets for the first time on public tennis courts and subsequently fall in love with the sport. Tennis courts in public parks are spaces that welcome any age, ability, background, and income level to the game of tennis. It is where fun tennis experiences happen, from casual hitting around with friends and family, tennis lessons, camps, USTA League matches, tournaments and more, public parks in the Mid-Atlantic Section are where it is at for tennis! In fact, the 2022 Tennis Participation Survey Summary Report created by the Tennis Industry Association reported that 41% of all tennis participants in the Mid-Atlantic play tennis on courts in public parks.

In addition, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is shining light on how parks and recreation professionals have become public health leaders. “They have expanded programming and worked to fill gaps in access to physical activity, healthy food, chronic disease prevention and management, and social connections, as well as support academic and cultural enrichment opportunities,” said the NRPA. 

At USTA Mid-Atlantic we believe that tennis should be accessible to all in every community and public parks play a vital role in making this vision come true. We have compiled a few tips on how you can celebrate parks and recreation month and #RiseUpJuly for tennis in your own community so future tennis players prosper for years to come! 

Tip #1 Organize a public park tennis court clean up day

Cleaning up your own community can be fun and easy! Tennis courts can get pretty dirty quickly especially due to the outdoor elements. A blower and a broom can get the job done efficiently making an old court look brand new again! Contact your public park and work with them to organize the tennis court clean up day. There may be certain steps you will have to take and talking with your local parks and recreation department should be the first one. Once you are ready to go, they say teamwork makes the dream work so gather your own team made up of friends, tennis teammates,  neighbors, and/or even your family can get the job done. Giving your local park tennis courts some TLC is one of the best ways to get out there and help restore your own community park tennis courts.

By spreading the word, this can become an even bigger community event bringing together people from all backgrounds creating new social connections in your own backyard. You can also spark interest for others to try tennis when they see a beautiful, spruced up court to play on! 

Tip #2 Spread the word about the USTA Mid-Atlantic Facility Restoration Grant 

At USTA Mid-Atlantic we believe tennis creates community, character, and well-being. Having high-quality, well-maintained places to play tennis can improve community well-being and provide access to the benefits of tennis among communities that are underserved. We hope to be a helping hand in fostering social connections and uplifting communities by creating a fun environment and place in every community where all are welcome to thrive with tennis. 

Through the Facility Restoration Grant, USTA Mid-Atlantic provides up to $10,000 for tennis court construction and refurbishment. Public tennis courts, especially those in parks, schools, and communities are typically the first place where people are seeking the sport. While the application period is closed for this year, we offer the Facility Restoration Grant every year so make sure you’re on the lookout for when the application reopens! Make sure to tell your local park and recreation department about the grant and encourage them to apply. These grants would not be possible without the support from individuals like you donating and showing support for USTA Mid-Atlantic –  a non-profit organization. 

Tip #3 Organize your own tennis meetup or tennis social

There are many people who want to get involved with tennis but don’t know where to start or who to contact. All it takes is a few tennis enthusiasts to help grow the sport in your own community! You can organize a tennis meetup among the community to encourage people interested in playing to meet other tennis players, find other interested players, and get to know any community tennis associations, providers, or organizers.  Now this may sound like a daunting task but there are many resources available for you to be successful! Contact your local Parks and Recreation Department and discuss your idea for a tennis meetup or tennis social with them. Once you are ready to move forward, see if you can post a local event listing on their website. You can also ask if you can hang up your own posters at the local park so more people can spread the word. 

Looking for more ways to grow the game of tennis? There are many ways you can get involved and leave a lasting impact. Make sure you continue to celebrate and #RiseUpJuly for your local Parks and Recreation Departments by showing your appreciation in any way you can! 

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

NTRP Year-end Ratings: What You Need to Know

When the USTA League championship year ends, tennis players everywhere eagerly await the most highly anticipated time of the year – the moment year-end ratings are published! This is when you’ll know if your NTRP rating stays the same or is adjusted and that can mean a lot for planning your next tennis season.  

Tennis partners playing on court

After pausing Year-End ratings in 2020, we know this year is as important as ever for our tennis players, and having helpful information to understand ratings is essential.

Adult NTRP ratings are used in leagues and tournaments to group players of similar skill levels; for general information on the rating system, click here.

How are NTRP Year-End ratings calculated?

A Year-End Rating, also known as a Computer Rating, is generated for every player who plays at least three valid matches in either a qualifying USTA League or NTRP Tournaments. USTA Flex Leagues and Flexible Format leagues do not count towards ratings.

When are Year-End ratings published?

They are published each December, at the conclusion of the league championship season. The exact date varies from year to year based on National Championship dates.

How is my dynamic rating calculated?

A player’s dynamic ratings, calculated after each match, are not solely contingent on record. They are calculated by an algorithm that considers your rating, your opponent’s rating, the expected outcome of the match, and the actual outcome of the match.

What is the difference between a dynamic rating and a year-end rating?

  • Dynamic ratings are not disclosed to players, whereas year-end ratings are published annually at NTRP levels.
  • Dynamic ratings are expressed to the one-hundredth of a point, whereas year-end ratings are expressed only to the one-half point.
  • Dynamic ratings are calculated nightly, whereas year end ratings are based on a combination of a player’s cumulative match results throughout the year.

Why did [insert USTA employee] decide to change my rating?

All NTRP ratings are generated by a computer using a very advanced algorithm. Whether your NTRP level increases, decreases or stays the same, that information was calculated by a computer using your match play results. 

My NTRP Year-End Rating has changed. How do I find a team at my new level?

We can help! USTA Mid-Atlantic offers Tennis Connect, a service that can match up players and captains. Simply click here, and we’ll help you find the right match for a team in your area.

Interested in being a Captain? You don’t have to wait around to find a team! You can form your own team by signing up to be a League Captain.  Complete this form and we’ll help get you set up and choose the team feature (Open, Closed, and Closed but Seeking) that’s best for you.

My NTRP was bumped up. I am nervous about playing at a new level and leaving my team. What’s next for me?

CONGRATULATIONS! You have worked hard to get to this point and should be proud of what you have accomplished! This is an opportunity for you to meet new people and take your tennis to the next level. Your next step is to find a team at your new rating. Simply click here, and we’ll help you find the right match for a team in your area. 

Miss your previous teammates? Don’t forget we offer a variety of combined rating leagues that will give you an opportunity to stay connected to your old crew. 

If you are not a USTA member and are interested in finding your place on the court with USTA Mid-Atlantic Leagues, click here and search for a league team in your area today. If you have any questions, please email tennisconnect@mas.usta.com.

My NTRP was bumped down and I am disappointed. Any advice?

Don’t worry about it. You can always play up and stick with your team or you can use Tennis Connect to find a new team. If you are looking for opportunities to improve, don’t forget to check out our Stroke of the Week videos for tips on improving your game or email community@mas.usta.com if you’re interested in connecting with a teaching professional in your area.

My teammate was bumped up and my rating didn’t change despite having a better record. Why?

Your Win/loss record does not directly affect the year-end calculation. Other factors include different dynamic start ratings (in hundredths) based on previous Year-End ratings and matches played against opponents with different dynamic ratings.

How do I appeal my rating?

As a Computer (C) rated player, the way to appeal your rating is online through TennisLink. When you click to appeal your rating, TennisLink checks to see if you are within the appeal range. You will receive an immediate response (Granted or Denied).  If your appeal is granted, TennisLink will automatically adjust your rating level. If your appeal is denied, you are not within appealable range and there are no further opportunities to appeal.

See below for more detailed instructions on how to appeal:

  • Log in to Tennislink and click the USTA League tab (across the top and to the left)
  • To the right of “Welcome!”, look for your NTRP Level
  • Under that, click “Appeal Rating Level”
  • Select Appeal rating level “Up or Down”
  • You will receive an immediate response at the top of the page

Things to know:

  • There is no appeal committee, thus no written letter of explanation. It’s all based on match data and numbers.
  • Appealing will NOT reveal your rating in the 100th of a point.
  • When an appeal has been granted, that player is eligible for dynamic disqualification

I see my ratings on other websites.  Are they the same as USTA?

The USTA posts the official NTRP ratings on your player profile on usta.com or on TennisLink, located at tennislink.usta.com. This is the only public website where official NTRP ratings authorized by the USTA are posted and can be obtained.

The USTA is aware of other sites that suggest they provide NTRP ratings or player statistics and skill analysis. Any alleged NTRP related information available on these other sites is not endorsed by the USTA, is not accurate, and cannot be relied upon.

I’ve been away from tennis for a while, how do I get a rating?

If you have never had an NTRP Rating or it’s been a few years since you’ve played USTA League, your first step will be to Self-Rate online through TennisLink.  

  • Log in to Tennislink
  • On “Welcome!” page under the USTA League tab
  • Look for “Find NTRP Rating Info”
  • Under that, click on the blue “Self-Rate” button 
  • A pop-up window will appear with the questionnaire
  • Based on your answers you will be assigned a minimum self-rating
  • You have the option to accept that rating, choose a higher rating, or request to appeal for a lower rating

I need more clarification, who can I reach out to regarding ratings? 

Adult league tennis players in the Mid-Atlantic Section can email the Adult Leagues Team. This is the best and fastest way to get an answer from a member of the Adult Team in regards to ratings. 

I have my NTRP rating and I am ready to play. What’s next? 

Tennis is always happening in the Mid-Atlantic! Check out our Adult Leagues calendar to see what’s playing next in your area or find a tournament to participate in. 

Hmmm, alright you’ve answered my questions. Got any fun facts to share?

Funny you should ask, we really do have fun facts about NTRP and year-end ratings!

  • You need three valid matches to generate a year-end rating
  • Your Computer rating does not change during the year. It stays the same until the next year-end.
  • On average, nearly 80 percent of Mid-Atlantic players will NOT have their rating change at year-end.
  • The highest rating on the NTRP scale is 7.0. Note: This does not mean two 3.5 players could go toe-to-toe with Rafael Nadal, but it sure would be entertaining to watch.
  • This year, because of the 2020 pause in ratings, your Computer rating will include your match results from both 2020 and 2021.

Don’t miss a thing in Mid-Atlantic tennis! Make sure to subscribe to USTA Mid-Atlantic’s YouTube Channel and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Plus, make sure to check out our Facebook page and celebrate 12 Days of Gifting with USTA Mid-Atlantic. Learn more by clicking here.

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.