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Thursday, June 2, 2022

The Gotta Play Tennis podcast will be closing its doors

The Gotta Play Tennis podcast will be closing its doors shortly. It has become evident to me that there are no fans for this effort as no one ever contacts me or leaves a comment on the blog either negative or positive.

This site was not for the purpose of housing a podcast. It was to be someplace for parents of children in my lesson programs for information gathering, schedules, and sometimes insight. But its purpose has been decided by the lack of interest from the masses.

Therefore, with much trepidation, the podcast will be eliminated. For the present, the blog site will remain as, unlike podcast hosting, it does not require financial support.

Thank you to those who did gain some value from the podcast and supporting blogs. I hope it was worth the time you took to listen.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Private/Semi Private Tennis Lessons now available in 2021

Group sessions are still not on our Spring agenda, but PRIVATE/SEMI PRIVATE LESSONS can be safely delivered and they are of course the strongest and most efficient way to gain tennis skills. Although more costly than group lessons, skill sets can be individually identified and customized to meet the needs of players.

Private/semi-private lessons are available for most ages, but the most progress can be seen when players reach the ages of 10+. However, every student progresses differently, and age alone does not dictate the level of proficiency. For example, my 9-year-old grandson can hit and move better on a court than many middle school players.

For more information about lessons, please send me an email so I can reply with all scheduling and rate information.

Since the weather is getting nice, the time to begin scheduling lessons is NOW!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Update: No Spring tennis session for 2021

Trish and I once again have decided: to not risk the safety of parents or children; to not compromise our program by offering a "watered-down" session. Therefore, the Spring session of tennis this pandemic year of 2021 will not be offered. We will see what the future brings in the Fall of 2021. 

Thank you to those who have expressed interest in our program. We hope there will be a way, later in the year, to feel good again about what we offer the community. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and play tennis. Outdoor courts, when shared by family members, can be a safe and healthy environment both physically and mentally. Tennis is actually one of the best social distancing sports.

If you need some advice on how to begin tennis with young children, don't hesitate to contact me and I'll be happy to help.

Ron & Trish Miller

Monday, January 18, 2021


The year is 2021, and although it remains to be seen if things will really be happy, we have little choice but to be optimistic.

As far as tennis for this year, many things need to be taken into consideration as we begin a vaccination rollout, open schools and businesses, and loosen restrictions all around. One thing is certain, however. We at Gotta Play Tennis will never compromise safety over the ability to run group programs or private lessons.

If you've been a supporter of our programs in the past, Thank you. If you a looking to get either yourself or your children involved, feel free to contact me and we will see if there is something available for you.

Let's hope that 2021 will be a good year to be back on the tennis court.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Looking for a special gift? 
Need something different and unique?
Want your gift to stand-out from the rest?

Tennis Lesson Gift Certificates
(lessons fulfilled in 2021)

(follow the link for details)

Give someone the gift of the
lifetime sport!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

UPDATE: No Fall session for Gotta Play Tennis Kids in 2020

After much discussion and soul searching, Trish and I decided to not risk a Fall session of tennis this pandemic year of 2020. We will see what the future brings in the Spring of 2021. 

Thank you to those who have expressed interest in our program. We hope to see you next year provided life gets safer and better.

Ron & Trish Miller

Thursday, July 9, 2020

NEWS: NJ Health Department lists tennis as a "low risk" sport for exposure to Covid-19

Governor Murphy of NJ, in Executive order No. 149, has placed tennis in the Low-Risk category as it relates to exposure to Covid-19. Ordered on May 29, 2020, this "Guidance for Sports Activities" was published by the New Jersey Department of Health. Low-Risk is defined as "sports that can be done individually, do not involve person-to-person contact and do not routinely entail individuals interacting within six feet of one another."  Tennis was allowed to resume, for both practices and competitions, on June 22nd. That being said, the guidance always allows local municipalities the discretion to open or close any facilities as they see fit.

Has there ever been a better time to play tennis? If you are still not convinced, read this 2018 New York Times article entitled "The Best Sport for a Longer Life? Try Tennis." Or check out the clinical features of tennis by Jack Groppel, PhD and Nicholas DiNubile, MD in a paper entitled "Tennis: For the Health of It!"

Still not sure? Try it! Tennis rackets and balls are inexpensive, so the barrier to entry is low. But let me make a recommendation: do not buy optic yellow tennis balls in a tube.  These are essentially the same speed and bounce used by professionals. Are you a professional? If not, then try either Orange or Green balls. They bounce at 50% and 75% of a standard tennis ball, and they are available at sporting goods stores, big box stores, and online. Your playing experience will be much more enjoyable with a ball that is more beginner-friendly.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Private lessons now available (with safety protocols) updated 6/27

Private lessons are now available to those seeking to either learn a great social-distancing sport or improve upon their current skills.

These lessons are NOT part of GlouTwp. Recreation and are provided independently by Ron Miller, PTR certified instructor with over 30+ years experience teaching tennis skills to adults and children alike.

See link to Private/semi-private lessons for more information.

Safety protocols:

Off-court (my practices)
  • a mask is worn whenever present in public spaces
  • regular daily temperature checks completed
  • awareness and avoidance of any local hotspots of virus spread
On-court (all parties)
  • initial temperature checks of participant(s) and coach
  • hand sanitizer usage after each drill or activity and at end of lesson
  • separate ball pick-up baskets tagged for each participant
    • baskets sanitized with antibacterial wipes
  • social distancing in effect for all activities
    • most activities are facilitated on opposite sides of the net
  • masks are NOT worn on-court (by either player or coach) as they restrict the breathing of any participant who will accelerate their breathing upon exertion
  • no fist bumps, high fives or elbow rubs; only verbal cues and spoken praise
  • participants are recommended to keep their hands away from their face at all times
  • players provide their own racket and beverage
The spread of Covid-19 has been shown to have very limited spreading potential when socially distanced, in an outside environment, and in warmer, sunnier weather.

Monday, May 18, 2020

When will we see tennis again? (Updated 5/25)

From GlouTwp. Recreation on March 17:

All Spring classes and registrations are now canceled until further notice.  The online platform Community Pass has been disabled for public viewing of classes.  As we move forward, we will add classes once we are told by the CDC that group activities are safe.  CDC is recommending no groups larger than 10 for the next 8 weeks currently.  Group activities sponsored by the Twp are canceled until further notice.  As of right now we are not doing any registrations, sponsored events or programs.  We are encouraging our residents to practice social distancing.  Running any classes would completely contradict that.  DO NOT offer private programs, classes, etc.  that contradict CDC recommendations on any social gatherings.  If we are notified that a program, lessons, or any events, etc have taken place, you will no longer be welcome as an instructor.  Please stay safe and healthy!

Hello everyone. Trish and I hope you are all staying safe during this crisis period in our state's history.

When will tennis once again be available? That is THE question. The true answer is "I don't know." Obviously, all scheduled programs were canceled due to the state shutdown. Parks have just reopened recently, but tennis courts have not (UPDATE 5/25: GlouTwp. Community Park & Point Ariel Park Tennis Courts are now OPEN to the public). Even if they were, no social gatherings are permitted and that includes organized sports.

Therefore, we will all just need to take a wait-and-see posture as the weeks go by toward summer.

Once I know something, I will make sure to post information to help us moving forward.

Thanks, and continue to social distance, wear masks when around others, and please don't assume we are business, as usual, anyy time soon. Let us not forget that our state currently has lost over 10,000 people to Covid-19.

I love tennis, and it will return. When it does, I hope to hear you say "I was born ready."

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Happy Holidays & Thanks

Let me take this opportunity to thank all of the many parents and young tennis players, as well as the junior coaches, volunteers, and assistant coaches, who we have worked with this year in 2019. 
Without all of you, no tennis program is possible.

Special thanks for all their hard work and dedication:
Travis Cina
Katrinna Mills
Dave Wojcik
Jayden Miller
Kylie Galantic
River Wojcik

We at Gotta Play Tennis Kids hope that everyone has a safe and fulfilling holiday season.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Extra Special thanks to Trish Miller for all the work, both on the court and behind the scenes, that she does each and every year to help make our tennis programs as special as they are.

Happy Holidays, and Think TENNIS!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Fall 2019 Schedule adjustments (update November 9)

 UPDATE 11/9 
The 2019 Fall session is now completed. 
Due to unseasonably cold weather (30+ degrees), the consensus of the parents was to accept November 2nd as our last session.

We're confident you enjoyed the over 7 hours of fun and instruction on the courts. 
Keep playing tennis and we hope to see you
in the Spring. 

Fall 2019 Tennis
Schedule Adjustments

No session on October 12 or 26

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

NEWS: Fall QuickStart Tennis 2019 session dates scheduled in Gloucester Township


at GlouTwp. Recreation Center

September 28 - October 26
(5 weeks)

Ages: 5-10 program

Wks. 1-4 (Saturdays)
Time: 10:00 - 11:45AM

Wk. 5 (Saturday)
Time: 10:00 - 10:30AM

This format of kid-sized 10-and-under Tennis promotes quick success and lots of fun on the court. Through enjoyable activities and skill-based play, participants get an introduction to strokes, terms, movement, and scoring. Instructional games, scaled-down courts and nets, and youth racquets and balls are all designed for the size of a young child. Parents are encouraged to participate in family-friendly weekly activities. All equipment is provided.

RED BALL Team Challenge
(optional with an additional fee of $15 player 1, $20 player 2 or more)

Introducing Red Ball tennis competition with the focus on:
      • Team play
      • Parent involvement
      • Challenges to a new player's tennis skills
      • Family Pizza party (includes player(s) and their family)

Wk. 5 (Saturday)
Time: 10:45 - 12:45PM

LOCATION: Gloucester Twp. Community Park
Peter Cheeseman and Hickstown Rds., Sicklerville, NJ
Gloucester Twp. Recreation

September 5 (residents)
September 9 (non-residents)

$75 per student + $10 per student (GlouTwp fee)
Non-residents add additional $10 (per student) to cost (GlouTwp fee)
2nd student discount:
2 students for $140 + $20 per student (GlouTwp fee)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Weather Alert: July 22; Schedule change

 Weather Alert 

Tennis for 7/22 was canceled due to thunderstorm activity.

Bad weather (heat or rain) has now forced us to cancel on three separate occasions during our session. Due to these unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances, we need to bring our session to a close on Wednesday, July 24th. We will extend this last session as follows with the hope that all will be available on this date and time.

Time: 6:00-8:00PM

We apologize for the multiple adjustments in this schedule. But as with all outdoor activities, these times and days selected are always subject to weather-related cancellations that are beyond our control.

We hope you can appreciate that we only cancel or shorten sessions when the safety of either parents or children is at risk. This is usually due to either lightning and thunder, wet and slippery courts, or excessive heat as determined by the national weather service.

Thank you for your understanding

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Weather Alert: July 19

 Weather Alert 

Tennis for 7/19 is canceled due to excessive heat warning in effect.

Our new schedule will be as follows:
(subject to weather conditions)
Night 3: July 22 at 6:30PM
Night 4: July 24 at 6:30PM 

July 23 is not available due to the SELFFtime Adult Mini Tennis session #4.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Weather Alert: July 18

 Weather Alert 

Tennis for 7/18 is canceled due to rain, projected rain, and thunderstorm activity.

We will evaluate tomorrow night's schedule as we again watch the weather. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Weather Alert: July 17

 Weather Alert 

Tennis for 7/17 is canceled due to an excessive heat warning and thunderstorm activity.

We will try again on 7/18. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

2019 Youth Tennis Olympic Challenge

A Summer event for kids to have fun and friendly competition, and to gain some basic tennis skills.
— No previous tennis experience necessary —

July 15 - July 18

4 fun-filled nights


$65 per student (plus $10 GlouTwp. Fee)
Special 2nd student discount:
2 students for $120 (plus $20 GlouTwp. Fee)

NOTE: Rain date may be July 19

at GlouTwp. Recreation Center

Players divided into teams will use their agility, balance, and coordination, along with some learned basic tennis skills, in Olympic-themed competition with their peers. Our goal is to provide a fun environment of group participation in tennis-related games and activities that promote teamwork, on-court problem-solving, fitness, and cooperation among players. Teams will win Gold, Silver, or Bronze awards based upon their success.

Q. In what kinds of activities will teams compete?
  • Tug of War Balance
  • Tennis Miniature Golf
  • Triple Play (feed, hit, catch)
  • Cone Catchers
  • Koosh Ball passing
  • Rollball On Goal
  • Ring Bounce Scoring
  • Ball and Racket Balance
  • Topple the Tower
And many more...

Monday, June 17, 2019

NEWS: 2019 Spring Youth QuickStart Tennis program closes with Red Ball Team Challenge

Trish and I would like to thank all of the parents who attended our 2019 Spring Tennis session at GlouTwp. Community Park. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

A special thank you to those parents who were able to attend and provide on-court assistance at our now annual Spring Red Ball Team Challenge. The competition was low-key and enjoyable. Kids got the opportunity to exercise the skills they learned in our QuickStart session, and parents were directly involved with youth sport perhaps unlike any other experience they've had with the more recognized soccer, baseball, etc.

The pizza party that followed the RBTC was tasty, and we consumed about 8 delicious pies, and plenty of ice cold water, for which our small registration fee helped to cover costs. Our thanks to Mario's pizza, located on South Black Horse Pike in Blackwood, for working with us and discounting and delivering the scrumptious slices.

Special recognition goes to:

  • Coach/Trish Miller (my wife)
    • Without all her hard work, this event (and all the tennis sessions themselves) would not be possible. She thinks of all the small things I forget, helps me bounce around ideas for our lesson plans (pun intended), and she provides organization to what could easily be chaos and confusion. Thank you, honey!
  • Dave Wojcik
    • Assistant coach Dave is always there early to help set up the courts, and he always stays late to help clean up as well. In addition, we throw tasks his way, without warning, and he always takes the challenge in stride. His daughter River has been attending these sessions for a few years now and continues to improve on her skills.
  • Our wonderful teen assistant coaches/Travis Cina and Katrina Mills
    • Not sure what more I can say about these terrific, dedicated, and skilled coaches. Their work in the court with the kids speaks for itself, and I hope parents realize how valuable they have been both in their guidance and leadership.
  • Newly minted Junior Coaches/Jayden Miller, Kylie Galantic, and River Wojcik
    • As we understood the need to develop younger students to eventually replace our teens, who will be moving on to bigger challenges in the near future, we looked to students who showed dedication, spirit, and levels of skill required to act as positive models to other players. These three have shown this, and we hope to help them develop even more leadership as they continue to grow and learn. Special recognition to Jayden Miller as his never-give-up approach on the court (much of which Trish and I have seen when we hit with him) makes us very proud grandparents indeed. Although a bit under the weather during this event, he still pushed forward as much as possible to keep things moving. Thanks, Jayden! We love you lots.
Don't forget our 2019 Tennis Olympic Challenge, held evenings from July 15-18, which will be our next tennis session. Check out the description and information on our website.

Feel free to comment on this post. Also, take advantage of the online program evaluation that was sent to your email. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Youth Spring 2019 QuickStart Tennis

Photos of current Spring 2019 Session

May 11 - June 15 (5 weeks)
No session on June 8

Ages: 5-10 program

Wks. 1-4 (Saturdays)

Time: 9:00 - 10:45AM

Wk. 5 (Saturday)
Time: 9 - 9:30AM

Red Ball Team Challenge (optional with additional fee)
Introducing Red Ball tennis competition with the focus on:
  • Team play
  • Parent involvement
  • Challenges to a new player's tennis skills
  • Family Pizza party

Wk. 5 (Saturday)
Time: 10:15 - 12:15PM

LOCATION: Gloucester Twp. Community Park
Peter Cheeseman and Hickstown Rds., Sicklerville, NJ
Gloucester Twp. Recreation

Friday, April 5, 2019

Coming this Spring 2019 to Gloucester Twp. and surrounding areas: Adult Mini Tennis

SELFFtime Adult Mini Tennis
Selfishly Enjoy Learning, Fitness, & Fun
Tired of the same old repetitive exercise routines 
as a way to better health?
Had enough pilates, yoga, spinning, cardio boot camps, or the latest trendy exercise routine du jour?

Why not reward yourself with something fresh, but yet classic!
  • Promotes health and fitness while focusing on what you want most—FUN!
  • Teaching Agility, Balance, and Coordination through engaging group activities
    • Uses equipment such as hoops, cones, ladders, rings, koosh balls and more (along with rackets and balls of course!)
  • Scaled-down court sizes and rackets
  • Softer and slower tennis balls
  • Builds the foundations of the lifetime sport of Tennis
  • PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) Certified instructor with 30+ years of experience
  • All equipment provided
  • Wear comfortable clothing, bring water and smiles!
Point Ariel Park Gloucester Twp
(we welcome Washington, Monroe, Deptford, and any other surrounding townships to join us!)
5:45PM to 7PM

6 weeks
May 14 to June 18 (original dates)
New Dates announced
May 28 - July 2

$60 (plus $10 GlouTwp. fee)

All equipment provided

— Pre-registration — NOW OPEN
Click HERE for pre-registration page

Since many activities are partner-based, why not sign up with a friend, spouse or loved one.

SELFFtime Adult Mini Tennis
Q. What motivation inspired this format of exercise and skill development?
A. SELFFtime Adult Mini Tennis grew organically from feedback with adults on the tennis court as a result of shared hitting time with their kids in our youth programs. We heard tales of both Joy and Surprise. The Joy was in how much fun this mini-format provided compared to the traditional experiences adults may have had in the past. The Surprise was regarding how much exercise was gained when utilizing a format that works the entire body. The best news was that most were almost unaware of their effort thanks to the engagement and fun factor.

Q. Is SELFFtime Adult Mini Tennis "real" tennis?
A. The sport of tennis, at its most basic level, uses a racket with strings, felt-covered rubber ball, a court area to play in, and a net to hit over. All these items are present in SELFFtime. In addition, a scoring system is in place to help players increase awareness of their skill level development through the various challenging activities.

Q. How large are the court spaces?
A. Courts can be either 42' deep and 27' wide OR 36' deep and 18' wide. A traditional court is 78' deep and 36' wide. The size of the area is small enough to accommodate those who want to run more (playing 1 on 1 singles) or those looking for less steps (playing 2 on 2 doubles).

Q. Isn't SELFFtime just like Pickleball?
A. Tennis uses a strung racket while Pickleball uses a hard paddle. Also, the ball used in Pickleball is similar to a whiffle ball while tennis balls (of all varieties) share a softer felt exterior while maintaining an inner rubber core that creates a "bounce". Taking away the strings, and eliminating a tennis ball bounce, creates an entirely different experience that is more like large-scale ping-pong than tennis.

Q. Is the entire program just hitting tennis balls back and forth?
A. Tennis skills are built on the maturation of agility, balance, and coordination development. While hitting tennis balls with a racket is an essential part of what takes place, other activities are designed to challenge both mind and body in a way that helps sculpt a person's skills—regardless of using tennis as a healthful activity, competitive venture, or both.

Q. What would I need to bring?
A. Since all equipment is provided, all you will need is a water or sports drink bottle and a towel. Wear sneakers and loose seasonal clothing. Apply sunscreen as needed.

Why choose SELFFtime Adult Mini Tennis?

Tennis and Health

copied from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/40847392_Tennis_For_the_Health_of_It)

Tennis is a sport with numerous health benefits for individuals of all ages. It is also a tremendously effective fitness activity.

Regular participants experience a wide variety of health-related physical and mental benefits, from improved cardiovascular, metabolic, and bone health to improved agility, coordination, and even stress and anxiety management.

Based on the scientific evidence available, it is difficult to find an activity that offers as wide a range of overall health benefits as tennis, and individuals who take up tennis reap tremendous rewards.

Click HERE for 34 specific reasons to consider playing tennis regularly

Health Benefits of Tennis: Why Play Tennis?
by Jack L. Groppel, PhD