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“The Outsider” impossible to put down!

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com The moment I heard that Jimmy Connors’ book was coming out I knew I had to get it from www.audible.com for our long ride to Edgartown, Massachusetts. When I researched the “The Outsider,” I was jubilant to learn the audio book was almost 12 hours long; simply stated, Leslie and I could not only drive through the entire state of Florida but we could continue listening through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina! Most well traveled people yearn to be well entertained as they drive long distances on the interstate weaving through endless traffic. ... Read More »

Come on guys it’s time to shock the world and go to a team clinic!

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com On a quarterly basis, the area tennis professionals get together to share ideas and offer insights to improve their coaching methods and yearly planning. Each pro has an opportunity to discuss the strengths of their programs and their biggest challenges. Without a doubt, my peers tell me that my club is an anomaly because we run weekly men’s clinics. Translation: Men, as a rule, do not have a scheduled weekly team practice or clinic. Naturally, I had to quiz my buddies about this phenomenon because it doesn’t make sense to me. After all, doesn’t ... Read More »

Matt Browne: The world of college tennis

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com After we visited Matt at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina (approximately 45 minutes from Ashville, North Carolina) as he won his big match against conference rival Davidson College, we had an opportunity to discuss his freshman year on campus.  Sidebar-Leslie Browne was a tennis scholarship athlete at the University of New Mexico and I was a Big Ten tennis player at the University of Iowa.  One great perk being an athlete- We did not have to stand in line to get books! From the Furman Paladin’s media department, “Furman’s Mellow Named To All-“SoCon” ... Read More »

College tennis: Is it possible to be too enthusiastic?

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It would be difficult to come up with a better scenario… the old south, 75 degree weather with rich beautiful blue skies, no wind, track meet nearby, excited fans ready to watch two closely contested tennis teams ready to battle for the next three plus hours. Adding to the excitement, college tennis offers a unique scoring concept; three different doubles matches square off at the same time but each team will gain only one point toward victory. In other words, the university or college who wins two out of the three matches wins just one point. During my tenure, we ... Read More »

Is It Possible to Win Without Talent?

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Without a doubt, talent is a necessity on the professional tennis tour. There are so many different examples of junior tennis stars that are unable to make a living at the next level. The primary reason: Lack of weapons or, in other words, a talent deficiency. However, as we delve into the real world, the typical tennis player took up the sport at a later age and has far more realistic goals. As we focus on this particular group of tennis players, it is vital to talk about all the components of winning CTA or USTA league matches. If we ... Read More »

Learning to lose with dignity… when ‘less is more’

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Let’s set up the usual scenario: We have a weekly CTA/USTA league match and many of the spouses and coaches are observing the contest. Most of the time, the fans are relaxed and they are able to enjoy the action and cheer for both teams. No doubt, all of the players are heavily invested in their performances and want to win the game and losing a big match can be traumatic for most competitors. Therefore, when one of the teams loses the contest, when is it appropriate to talk about the match? From a coach’s standpoint (years of experience which ... Read More »

2013 Doubles Tennis Champions

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With a record-breaking 100 ‘Open’ entrants, the Hideaway Beach Club on Marco Island crowned champions in the following divisions: Men’s and Women’s 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 levels. We have recognized the winners, finalists and consolation winners in each category. For the second consecutive year, the rain interrupted our Sunday morning schedule but did not affect the awesome tennis displayed on court. There was stellar play throughout the weekend with outstanding performances in each division. Upsets were rampant in the men’s 4.0 category with newcomers Mike Piro (former University of Richmond soccer star) and talented Island Club assistant pro, Eric Sonnenberg ... Read More »

Fess up & admit you’re nervous!

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As a long time tennis coach, I have viewed thousands of players who have succumbed to nervous pressure during a tense match. Here are some of my observations of anxious play: • Movement is greatly hindered • Players are unaware of their court placement • Doubles teams fail to execute a plan • Compact strokes verses long flowing endings • Too much lobbing • Failure to put the ball away As former great player and current Davis Cup Coach Jim Courier once stated, “No one is above a choke!” Simply put, if the best of the best readily admits that they feel ... Read More »

Open Doubles Tournament Returns

4.0 women’s winners Ann Campisi and Jackie Pham.

By Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com The 3rd Annual Hideaway Beach Open will be played March 2nd and 3rd at the Hideaway Beach Club on Marco Island. There are divisions for men’s and women’s 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 doubles. There is a limit of 16 teams in each division. Players must play at their USTA level or higher. Register early! Registration deadline is Tuesday, February 26th at noon. The entry fee is $33 per person which includes lunch on Saturday, a t-shirt, a two-match minimum, tennis balls and prizes for winners and finalists. Players can make their checks out to Hideaway Beach ... Read More »

Do you know how to make 2nd Set adjustments?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Nothing was more apparent last week during the big tennis exhibition showdown at Hideaway Beach than when veteran Franco Mata continually made strategic changes to confuse his young opponent and dominate the second set. In particular, he altered his speeds and placements and thus disrupted his foe’s tempo. As we delve into future CTA/USTA league doubles matches, players must be ready to completely change their game plan if the first set goes awry. Clearly, one of my favorite doubles strategies is to change return of serve positions. Why? This radical modification is obvious to the ... Read More »

Tennis Showdown at Hideaway Beach

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Mark down this date and time: Thursday, December 27, at 4 PM on centre court at the beautiful Hideaway Beach Club. Matt Browne’s opponent is the highly-acclaimed Port Royal Head tennis professional Franco Matta. Matta is the former number one collegiate star from Florida Gulf Coast University and Naples City singles champion who is a proud member of the 5.0 USTA champions from our area. Just a few months ago, Matta and his southwest Florida teammates competed in the Nationals and finished in second place. With Franco’s immense experience, he will be a heavy favorite ... Read More »

Who wants to be displaced? I have a solution!

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READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com  Do you remember when December used to be a great month as we were so excited for the holiday season? Now, December has a whole new meaning for thousands of USTA tennis players – - Did my rating change? To a certain degree, improving tennis players are excited to see their ranking or ratings improve; it’s exciting to move from 2.5 to 3.0 or 3.0 up to 3.5. However, if one moves up from 3.5 to 4.0 it can be a lonely place. Most of the tennis population plays at the 2.5 – 3.5 levels ... Read More »

To choose or not to choose?

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READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com In most cases, it has only been a brief five or ten minute warm up and it’s time to make a critical decision! Who is going to serve, receive, or are we going to leave the decision to our opponents? Oddly enough, far too many people over-think this decision and find it compelling to not make a decision; better yet, we will trick our foes and have them make the all-important verdict. Without a doubt, this has to be the most ridiculous idea in the game of tennis. Just like in life, avoiding resolutions is ... Read More »

Can you make the rectangle interesting?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com Each May in Collier County, clubs offer the most comprehensive reciprocal plan to everyone so members may experience different golf courses throughout the area. Numerous members from north Naples travel south to play golf at Fiddler’s Creek and Hideaway Beach. Interestingly enough, this great and expansive program has nothing to do with tennis; golf layouts are so unique and avid players are riveted to learn the different nuisances at each facility. Unfortunately this exciting reciprocal program does not include tennis, After all, a rectangle is a rectangle! Therefore it is essential for all tennis professionals ... Read More »

Are you ready to break all of the rules?

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Ok. I’m guilty. I’ve told my ladies teams hundreds of times to hit crosscourt. Yes, I even yelled, hit all of your returns crosscourt so you play the high percentages. And, this particular strategy works for all levels of play. However, I am offering a new plan. In no way am I suggesting that a conservative plan is a bad idea; today’s suggestions are another way to attack your doubles opponent. Whether the net player poaches or not, it can be wise to hit your return down the line instead of crosscourt. Why? Most recreational ... Read More »

Serving success

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com  Despite the changes in today’s modern game where groundstrokes rule the planet, every tennis player desires to have a big serve. In particular, when the match is closely contested, winning easy points is a premium and possessing a big serve will decide the match. To me, far too many tennis players toss poorly and do not have the necessary balance to be good servers. In order to achieve serving success, I like to put my students in big buckets or a big tennis case. The key is to make sure the server is comfortable ... Read More »

Water cooler talk: The battle rages on between Wayne Bryan & Patrick McEnroe

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com I finally got a few predictions right! Andy Murray won both the Olympic Gold Medal and the US Open Men’s Singles Title! I figured, sooner or later, that he could get that proverbial monkey off his back and display his real ability and win some big championships. It clearly proves that, if a determined hard-working athlete sticks to the plan and is able to maintain his confidence, it is only a matter of time when his fortunes change. Does Murray’s recent success mean that he is the favorite to win the Australian Open in January? ... Read More »

Did Roddick retire too soon?

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com First, tennis fans had to absorb the retirement of Kim Clijsters; perhaps one of the most popular pro tennis players in the history of the game. Then, a few days later as he celebrated his thirtieth birthday, American tennis standout, Andy Roddick announced his retirement – effective at the end of the US Open tournament. In the age of declining American pro tennis stars, Roddick stood alone at the top for the better part of his entertaining career. During one stretch, he led the American Davis Cup team to a title as he went undefeated ... Read More »

Practice makes you perfect if…?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com In order to move to the next level in tennis, players have to be committed to outstanding practice sessions combined with tournament play. However, the vast majority of players often takes the safer route and only play “practice matches.” Unfortunately, when we practice with friends, most people still have a need to win and probably won’t try new things. But, if players desire to graduate to a higher level, they must be willing to radically change their practice sessions. If only two people are available to practice, the couple must focus on doubles drills and ... Read More »

Call me crazy but I have to pick Murray

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com Okay, I’m either a real optimist or just a huge Andy Murray fan but I think he is due and will win the 2012 US Open men’s singles title. The problem with my latest prediction is that future Hall of Famer Roger Federer is once again, the top player in the world and he just knocked off Murray at this year’s Wimbledon Championships. The way I see it, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have been trading places lately and it’s time for Murray to sneak in and nab his first Grand Slam title. Let’s just etch ... Read More »