Monday , October 20 2014
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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 »

Why do we have pros in the London Olympics?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com Without a doubt, the biggest complaint about the professional tennis circuit is that it runs far too long. The Australian Open starts the year in January and we still have the Davis Cup Final in December. And now, we have the current professionals participating in the London Olympics which will add yet another tournament to their current schedule. Back in 1992, the United States wanted to prove their basketball dominance so they assembled the “Dream Team” and they completely destroyed everyone on their way to the Gold medal. Now, 20 years later, it seems foolish ... Read More »

WATER COOLER TALK: Will Roddick win a round at Wimbledon?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com If I have to watch another women’s pro match and have to listen to that obnoxious screaming, I just might have to nix the volume and go mute! Now, here is the good news…Thanks to tennis legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, among others, who have constantly urged tennis officials to take a stance and change our current rules as far as excessive grunting is concerned. Let’s face it, when we are forced to watch Victoria Azerenka and Maria Sharapova square off, it is virtually impossible to focus on the tennis because we are bombarded ... Read More »

Is it possible to play too much tennis?

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com With tennis professional parents, we were so mindful of our children playing too much tennis; the last thing we wanted was our kids to hate the game we grew up to love! In order to make sure we were following the right path, we consulted numerous coaches and parents before we started the plan. The real irony is that it is pretty darn easy to know what to do – all one has to do is be tuned into your child. For example, if little junior insists on hitting balls against the garage door, it ... Read More »

Ratings changes: Is it time to panic?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com Uh, oh, it is that dicey time of year where anxious tennis players find out if they are going to stay put or will stay on their current teams. If you are a CTA league participant, coordinator Vivian Welsh publishes her new list; a small percentage of players must adjust as they may either move up a level or in a few cases, move down to a lower level! Now, If you are the select few who must move down, pause a moment and understand it is just a game. Heck, it is quite possible ... Read More »

Yes, even young Pete Sampras listened!

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  “Come on, you have to move your feet or it’s not worth our time,” I sternly remarked to my slow-moving teenage student. “Go, go, go, you can get to that ball,” I continued. One of the greatest coaching challenges is when the young student just doesn’t want to be on the tennis court. There is that very delicate fine line where the coach needs to push the player but not drive too hard because you don’t want to lose the student forever. As luck would have it, one of my adult friends was watching with his ... Read More »

The two-handed backhand: The far superior stroke

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com To me, it is not the great debate: Which stroke is better for the tennis player – The one-handed backhand style versus the two-handed backhand stroke? It appears the only real argument for the one-handed backhand is the reach argument. Proponents of the one-handed stroke claim that the two-handed stroke is inferior when moving to sharply hit wide balls. However, this opinion is easily disputed. Most important, there are just too many solid reasons why we should coach new players the ‘two-hander’ versus the one-hander: • Service return • High balls • Consistency • Reliability ... Read More »

Typical target species when fishing the flats and near shore areas of the 10,000 Islands

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Pete@CaptainRapps.com There are so many different species of fish that we catch here in the 10,000 Islands and the Everglades National Park. Some fish that are targeted for food purposes, depending on their open season, are Redfish, Snapper, Trout, Flounder, Mackerel, Tripletail, Cobia, Pompano, Snook, Grouper and more. Some fish we target for sport. Tarpon are a great sport fish that are never eaten, however others like Snook, Permit, & Shark are mostly targeted for sport and sometime for food. Others like Ladyfish, Jacks, & Catfish can be considered sport, however are typically just bi-catch ... Read More »

It didn’t work for General Custer and it won’t work for you

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com One of the key tactical mistakes doubles teams frequently make, is that they completely underestimate their opponent’s ability to execute a variety of shots during a big tennis match. Inexperienced doubles teams assume that all doubles teams will hit lobs when they are in trouble and this is simply not true. “There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Cavalry.” George Armstrong Custer. Over the course of the last five weeks, I have viewed four different tournaments and have also observed several league matches and I have noted one huge mistake ... Read More »

My day with the UPENN tennis team

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com There is just nothing like being a college coach. In this case, a part-time assignment but nevertheless, an experience that I will never forget. In my everyday life as a club pro, it is illegal to talk to my players when they compete in match-play. Whether it is a USTA/CTA match, coaches are prohibited to talk to their students. No complaints. However, NCAA Division I tennis allows coaches to “do their thing” during match-play as long as it does not affect the flow of the game. In my past, I was lucky enough to be ... Read More »

Hideaway Beach Open doubles tournament

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com The 2nd Annual Hideaway Beach Open Doubles tournament featured 94 tennis players from all over Collier County and beyond. The following tennis facilities were represented: Hideaway Beach, Fiddler’s Creek, Marco Island Racquet Center, Marco Island YMCA, Cape Marco, Eagle Creek, Player’s Club, Pelican Bay and the Longboat Key Club in Sarasota. This year, we added the 4.0 divisions – in both the men’s and women’s events, the winning teams were undefeated. In particular, Ann Campisi and Jackie Pham were unbeatable this past weekend as they braved the sweltering heat and finally the wind to capture ... Read More »

Do you know how to put the ball away?

Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com With all the power in today’s game, there is a lot of pressure on tennis players to put the ball away in dramatic fashion. Unfortunately, a good majority of tennis competitors do not have the right skills to execute winners all over the court. If I had to pinpoint a good place to hit a winning stroke, it usually occurs at the net. The key is to understand your opponent’s tendencies so well that you can predict his next move. For example, if the server is able to hit forceful serves down the middle near the “Texas ... Read More »