Wednesday , September 28 2016
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Read My Tips


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


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


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!


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 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?


READ MY TIPS Doug Browne 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


READ MY TIPS Doug Browne 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!


READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  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?


READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne 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 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 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  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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 »