Physical Fitness Month: On Court Steps Challenge and Giveaway

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and what better way to celebrate than playing tennis! Spending time on the tennis court playing matches, practicing your serve and volleying the ball with friends and family can help you stay active this month and all year long. Also, research shows that tennis is better for your physical, mental and overall health, so now you have all the proof you need to pick that racquet up, get some tennis balls and get active!

USTA Mid-Atlantic has lots of ways you can add more tennis to your life. From adult tournaments and leagues to fun social tennis opportunities, there is always an opportunity to get on the court and play. To celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month we are sharing stories of how tennis helps people of all ages get and stay healthy and fit.

In honor of this special month, USTA Mid-Atlantic invites you to participate in a fun challenge and GIVEAWAY. We want to see how you are staying active in May through tennis. Get out there with your FitBit or Smartwatch on and then share photos on social media that show how many steps you took during your match or even while you are just hitting around and having fun! Use the hashtag #OnCourtSteps and tag USTA Mid-Atlantic!

This will be a fun and exciting way to see how players are constantly moving during the game. You can even make it a challenge with your teammates; make it a competition to see who took more steps during the match. Tennis is not only a game of focus, but a game of motion, and we encourage you to capture this motion by sharing the number of steps you took while playing the game.

To enter the GIVEAWAY, simply share a photo of your @FitBit or Smartwatch on Instagram or Facebook and tag @ustamas and in the caption or comments tell us how many #OnCourtSteps you got during your tennis match or outing. You will then be entered in the GIVEAWAY and have a chance to receive a USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis bag filled with recovery rollers, sunscreen, tennis balls, and other goodies. This offer is valued at $60 total.

The giveaway will run from Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 through Friday, May 31st, 2019 and a winner will be drawn at random and notified on June 3, 2019. The winner will be messaged directly through Facebook or Instagram in order to claim their prize.

We know that you are enjoying Physical Fitness month as much as we are by celebrating the benefits of tennis every week. Now it is time to share those moments with us on social media so we can celebrate together. Don’t miss this opportunity to enter this GIVEAWAY and have a chance to receive this awesome tennis goodie bag.

The specific rules of this giveaway are outlined below:

The contest will be announced on official USTA Mid-Atlantic social media platforms on May 15th and run through May 31, 2019.  Users can enter one of two ways:

1. On your public Instagram, post a photo and tag @ustamas and tell us how many steps you got during your tennis match or outing using #OnCourtSteps in the caption or comments.

2. On your public Facebook, post a photo and tag @ustamas and tell us how many steps you got during your tennis match or outing using #OnCourtSteps in the caption or comments.

  • Individuals can enter up to one time per week per platform. An individual may have eligible entries on multiple platforms within the same week. Each week is defined as beginning at 12:00am EST on Monday and ending at 11:59pm EST on Sunday. Week 1 of the contest will start May 15th. Week 2 of the contest will end at 11:59pm EST on May 19.
  • Among eligible entrants, one winner will be selected to receive a USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis bag and miscellaneous tennis gear with an equal value of $60. The winner will be selected by USTA Mid-Atlantic at random from eligible entrants.  
  • Winners will be notified via Facebook, or Instagram message and must respond with their address within 24 hours or a replacement winner will be chosen. By accepting the contest prize, winners agree to allow their photo and name to be shared on USTA Mid-Atlantic social media outlets.
  • OFFER VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by these rules and represent that you satisfy all eligibility requirements.
  • ELIGIBILITY: The Physical Fitness #OnCourtSteps  (the “Contest”) is open to residents of the United States over the age of 18. Employees and other representatives of USTA Mid-Atlantic Section (“USTA MAS”) or its affiliates, distributors, agencies, and members of each of their immediate families are not eligible to enter or win. Offer is void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • TIMING: Winners will be selected from submissions received within two weeks. The contest will begin on May 15, 2019, and the contest will conclude on May 31, 2019. To be eligible for submissions, entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2019. USTA MAS reserves the right to select no winners.
  • SELECTION OF WINNERS: Winners will be chosen at the discretion of the USTA MAS employees, by selection and random drawing. USTA MAS reserves the right, at its discretion, to disqualify any entry that does not comply with the rules or to disqualify any individual (and their entry) who tampers with the entry process.
  • WINNER VERIFICATION: Potential winners will be notified by Facebook or Instagram message. If the winner is unreachable, ineligible or fails to claim the prize within forty-eight (48) hours after being contacted, such winner will forfeit the prize and the prize may be awarded to another winner, at the discretion of USTA MAS.
  • GENERAL CONDITIONS: Entrants grant to USTA MAS the right to use and publish their proper name online, in print or in any other media in connection with the Contest. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for USTA MAS to use winners’ names and likeness’ for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation unless prohibited by law. By entering, participants release and hold harmless USTA MAS, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the Contest or any prize won. Promotion is subject to the USTA Privacy Policy found at https://www.usta.com/en/home/about-usta/who-we- are/national/usta-privacy- policy.html?intloc=footer  A list of winners can be made available upon request.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook or Instagram

Gearing Up for League Tennis: The GEAR (Giveaway)

From that pop and hiss of a fresh can of tennis balls to the feel of a new racquet, to the latest tennis apparel trends, having the gear to get your season of USTA Mid-Atlantic Leagues started right is just as essential as it is to making sure you’ve got your rating and registration all taken care of!

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There’s just something alluring to having new tennis gear items in your bag at the start of the season. When your tennis gear is ready, you’re another step closer to fun competition.

We’ve been getting you prepared for the season with our “Gearing Up” series of articles. So far, we’ve covered:

Now, let’s talk a little bit about gear. Any tennis player knows that your basic essentials include a tennis racquet, tennis balls, the proper shoes and attire, and towels or items to keep you dry/cool. A bag is helpful to keep everything organized, too, and don’t forget a water bottle. You may want some additional accessories such as grip tape, vibration dampeners for your strings, and of course if you are playing outside, protection from the sun (hats, visors, sunglasses) and sunscreen.  

And you’ll want to proudly rep the Mid-Atlantic Section this league season, so you’ve got to get some gear in our official “color wars” color for 2019: ROYAL BLUE!

To go a little more in depth, there are excellent articles on USTA.com that have helpful information about tennis gear, from selecting the right racquet, to the importance of the strings in your racquet, to buying the right shoes. Check them out here.

As tennis enthusiasts ourselves, we love new gear just as much as you do! So we want to get you “geared up” and ready to play with a fun GIVEAWAY to kick-off the spring adult tennis league season.

You have a chance to WIN our Gearing Up prize pack that includes tennis strings from @MainandCrosses, 10 grips from @AlienPros, a case of tennis balls, a foam roller, and $100 in  gift cards. To enter, simply leave a comment on this Facebook post telling us “I signed up for my local spring league” and let us know which one. The contest is open now, March 6, 2019 and will run through Friday, March 22, 2019. One winner will be drawn at random at the end of the contest period; good luck!

Read the official rules here.

What tennis gear do you have in your tennis bag? Let us know on Social Media. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and subscribe to the blog.

The 2019 calendar is here for you to see which leagues are registering in your area. Contact the listed Local League Ambassador for your local area or our Tennis Connect service to get playing!

Gearing Up: Physical Fitness for Adult Tennis Players

We are keeping the “Gearing Up” series going for all you adult tennis league players out there in the Mid-Atlantic so that you are prepared for your best season of tennis yet! Besides getting some of the top questions you may have about playing USTA Mid-Atlantic League tennis this season answered, part of getting prepared is being ready physically.

We caught up with Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists, who are the provider of certified Athletic Trainers at all of our USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis Championships in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. They’ve spent a lot of time with Mid-Atlantic tennis players at our regional and sectional events and have taken a range of questions from players. Out of all the questions asked, they identified the top three they heard the most during the 2018 League Championship year as it relates to physical fitness. They have provided the questions here with their top tips associated. Read up and see how these tips may help you prepare for playing league tennis this spring in the Mid-Atlantic.

1. How do I prevent myself from overheating and becoming too dehydrated during match play, so that I can perform my best all tournament long?

There are many preventable ways to beat the heat and maintain a low body temperature and proper hydration levels during your match and throughout a tournament. Here are some tips and guidelines to ensure you stay healthy!

  • Acclimatize your body before your match by performing a 5 minute warm-up so there won’t be a sudden shock to your body on hot days!
  • It’s imperative to limit sun exposure (as much as possible) in between and during the break times during matches.
  • Make sure to bring cold packs and cold towels with you to the court to cool off during breaks and changeovers.
  • It is very important to MAINTAIN HYDRATION during your match with ICE COLD water and sports drinks.
  • Wear proper attire to allow for breathability and provides moisture wicking properties that will assist in keeping body temperatures low.
  • Be cautious of too much caffeine and alcohol consumption because these can cause dehydration, especially on warmer days.

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Review additional resources on hydration and heat:

Heat and Hydration tips

2. I will be playing a lot of tennis this season and want to protect my shoulder. What can I do to keep my shoulder healthy?

In order to keep your shoulder healthy in any overhead sport, such as tennis, it is important to address strength and mobility. The Throwers Ten Shoulder Program is a relatively simple but comprehensive compilation of shoulder exercises to address weakness and promote proper shoulder mechanics. Click here to view a video of one of our athletic trainers performing these exercises.

It is also important to prepare for the season by slowly increasing your activity level over time.  After a period of rest during the off season, your body needs time to acclimate to the stresses being placed on it. Follow a natural progression by increasing the demands placed on your shoulder over a few weeks. Click here to find an interval tennis program to help increase your activity in a systematic fashion.

3. My elbow hurts and I’ve been told it is most likely “Tennis Elbow.” What exactly is tennis elbow and how can I treat it? 

The medical name for Tennis Elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis. It is a painful condition involving the tendon attachment to the bone on the lateral side of the elbow. The tendons help to anchor the muscle to the bone. The muscle involved in this condition, the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, helps to extend and stabilize the wrist. With Lateral Epicondylitis, degeneration of the tendon’s attachment occurs, weakening the anchor site and placing greater stress on the painful area. This can then lead to pain associated with activities in using the muscle such as lifting, gripping, and or grasping. Such sports as tennis are commonly associated with this condition secondary to the repetitive nature of the sport. Treatment options for Tennis Elbow can include bracing with a tennis elbow strap, proactive stretching, ice massage, anti-inflammatory medications, and strengthening the surrounding musculature. Below you will find further explanation of these treatment options. If pain should persist following treatment, please consult with an orthopaedist for further evaluation.  Find our other article about Tennis Elbow on Tennis on Point with more information.

elbow stretches-blog

What are some ways you get yourself in shape physically before the start of the tennis league season? Share them with us on social media – tag us and use #ustaspringgearup.

And be sure to check the 2019 calendar here to see which leagues are registering in your area. Contact the listed Local League Ambassador for your local area or our Tennis Connect service to get playing!

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and subscribe to the blog so you can keep up with more articles to come as you “gear up” for spring adult league tennis in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Playing Adult Tennis Leagues: Top Questions Answered

We are gearing up for the 2019 USTA League tennis season in the Mid-Atlantic. Just like spring signifies renewal and awakening, starting a new tennis league season may be awakening some questions in you!

We reached out to two players – one active USTA League tennis player and one USTA League tennis player coming back to the sport after a break – to find out what questions they have  as they get ready to get back on the courts. See if these questions are similar to yours and get the answers you need.

If you still have questions feel free to send us an email and we’ll help you out!

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Getting ready to play adult tennis leagues this spring? What questions do you have?

Top Three Questions for Players Returning to Tennis

Jessica Manley is a former Division I athlete, mother of one, and dedicated finance professional looking to get back into the game for the social benefits. She last played organized tennis  in 2016 as a 4.5 Computer Rated player in an Adult 18 & Over League out of Norfolk, VA. We caught up with her about the questions she may have in returning to the court in 2019:

Jessica: How can I find out what leagues are offered in Virginia Beach and when, so that I can see what could potentially work with my busy mom/work life?

USTA Mid-Atlantic: We are constantly updating our League calendar. Once you are on this page you can click on the region you would like to play in and see what has been officially scheduled to take place this year. You will also see the name of the Local League Ambassador(s)  in the region that you can contact to find details about playing.   If you don’t see what you are looking for, contact Lori Miller at USTA Mid-Atlantic and she will work with you to find options.

Jessica: It’s been awhile since I was in the tennis loop. How do I even find a team to join now?

USTA Mid-Atlantic: We love to help players get on teams and have a resource just for you – it’s called Tennis Connect. We have staff at USTA Mid-Atlantic whose sole job is to connect players with avenues to play in their local area. We will work with the Local League Ambassadors who run USTA League in your region to find opportunities for you to play. Simply fill out this form with your information, and we’ll help you find the right match for a team in your area. If you have any additional questions you can email us here.

Jessica: Since participating in a USTA League in 2016, I have dealt with an injury and would like to appeal my current NTRP rating. How would I go about this?

USTA Mid-Atlantic: Jessica, we are sorry to hear about your injury! Individuals who have a current or valid USTA rating are able to file a medical appeal (if you don’t have a current rating there may be other avenues for your rating to be considered for an appeal). The important thing to know before filing an appeal is that the injury or illness must be permanently disabling. Each appeal is reviewed through a Section and National Committee so the process can take some time, so be sure to give yourself enough time to go through the process.

To file a medical appeal, complete and mail or email the Medical Appeal form  to USTA Mid-Atlantic. All medical appeals MUST be accompanied by a letter from your treating physician stating the date the injury/condition occurred, the nature of your injury/condition, your prognosis and treatment rendered, and whether the injury/condition is permanently disabling. Your physician must also complete the Attending Physician’s Statement found here. We’ll let you know via email as to whether your appeal was granted or denied.

All appeals can be mailed to:
Appeals Committee
c/o Cassie Nocera, Adult Programs Coordinator
11410 Isaac Newton Square North, Suite 270
Reston, VA 20190 

If you have additional questions regarding Medical Appeals, please email Cassie Nocera or call 703-556-6120 x7017. We hope to get you back on the court soon!

Top Three Questions for Active Players

Laura Mitchell is a 4.5 USTA League player who moved from Northern Virginia to Virginia Beach, Va., five years ago. In her twenty-seventh year as a USTA member, she is also passionate about getting youth into the game and has served as the Northern Virginia Junior Team Tennis Coordinator since 2007, winning USTA National Junior Team Tennis Coordinator of the Year accolades in 2009. Laura participates in multiple USTA Leagues in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Va annually.

Laura: Is it possible to see dynamic NTRP ratings?

USTA Mid-Atlantic: Dynamic ratings are not disclosed to players, whereas year-end NTRP ratings are published annually. The USTA respects the privacy of member information and does not disclose dynamic ratings to the public.  While this information might be desirable to some, in other instances it could negatively affect player experience and/or ability to participate in the USTA League Program.  Read more information on Dynamic Ratings.

Laura: Is it possible for TennisLink to have easier instant information/communication on the site such as a chat box?

USTA Mid-Atlantic: There is an online chat feature in TennisLink which you can find here: http://activesupport.force.com/usta/USTA_Contact, but Active Network and USTA is always trying to improve customer service on TennisLink. You can also reach out to Cassie Nocera, Adult Programs Coordinator at  leagues@mas.usta.com if you ever have a question regarding TennisLink during the year.

USTA has been making significant enhancements to the digital experience for players and members and some exciting changes will be rolling out throughout 2019 and 2020. Stay tuned for more information!

Laura: Will USTA League players have the opportunity to have UTR rating as well?

USTA Mid-Atlantic: USTA recognizes that the UTR is a great tool that can be used to help grow the game of tennis in the United States. It is being heavily used at the collegiate level in assisting college coaches to assess players. USTA Mid-Atlantic uses UTR at the junior level, but NTRP will continue to be the ratings used for the USTA League program.

Maybe you are returning to play organized adult tennis in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC or West Virginia from a long break? Or perhaps your NTRP rating changed and you’ll be at a new level and you are not sure how to get started. What questions do you have as the spring adult tennis league season approaches? How are you “gearing up” for USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis leagues? Tag us with your tips or questions on social media and use the hashtag #ustaspringgearup. Don’t forget, we’ll have more information throughout the month so subscribe to the blog and make sure you are following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.