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Last call for the gotta play tennis podcast

Friday, December 30, 2011

EPISODE 83 (Podcast): Discussion with Gary Bala of TimelessTennis.net

At the end of 2011, blogger Gary Bala (www.timelesstennis.net) and I discuss Tennis for the Health of it authored by Dr. Jack L. Groppel–pioneer in the science of human performance and expert in fitness and nutrition. Groppel provides 34 reasons to play tennis, and we discuss our favorites. We also reflect back on the 2011 season and make our predictions for 2012.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays from GPT

Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous holiday season. There is not a year that goes by that I do not feel grateful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Tennis is obviously very high on my list, but it is certainly not to be overshadowed by the love of my family during this festive time of year. 
Thank you for all of your support in 2011. I hope to reach out to more people all over the world this coming year with new and exciting offerings at Gotta Play Tennis. And in my own little way, I hope that something I have written, recorded or shared has helped you "become a better play, gain more tennis knowledge, or gain pointers on how to have more fun on the court." That has always been my promise to you, and the new year will be no different in that regard.
However, I'm look for bigger and better things in 2012 as I continue to grow as a player, teacher, blogger and podcaster. Your feedback is not only welcome, but it is a necessity that provides an integral component in the transformation of GPT as I move forward.

Happy New Year, and again I thank you for your support.
Ron Miller 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

EPISODE 82 (Podcast): Keys to managing the hit zone

On a groundstroke, there is that place where optimal ball striking occurs. It is referred to as the "hit zone", and we can adjust our swing path to better manage the impending emergency of getting the ball back in play.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

FAVORITE SITES: Timeless Tennis by Gary Bala

Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2011
And the candidates are:
Bjorn Borg Jimmy Connors
Novak Djokovic Roger Federer
Rod Laver John McEnroe
Rafael Nadal Mats Wilander 
Based on win/loss record and number of Grand Slam titles won in a single tennis season (year)

NEWS: Tennis rules are changing for kids 10 and under


Kids 10 and under will have new rules for playing tennis. This initiative is focused on getting more kids involved in the sport at a younger age and possibly creating a broader base of future champions. 

Follow this link to the USTA website:

At Gotta Play Tennis, I have been promoting this initiative all throughout 2011. My local tennis youth programs utilize the QuickStart format of play with the use of lower nets, softer foam balls, and shorter rackets and courts. Kids are having fun and learning to play at a faster rate than ever before. 

Follow this link to more information about 10andUnderTennis:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

REFLECTIONS: Etiquette still an important part of the sport called tennis

Sign that obviously
needs to be posted at the
tennis courts
Wow! Mid 50's weather at 7PM in the evening on the east coast. Wow! Lighted tennis courts available with no waiting. Wow! Some guy bringing a hockey net, sticks, a ball, and two kids onto the court next to me (and my partner) in order to play under those same lights. I looked at him in disbelief, especially since there is a hockey rink next to the courts. While it is true that the rink is not lighted, and the lights from the court provide poor illumination for the rink, that is where hockey is played! I couldn't help but wonder if this man understood the difference or even cared. 
     After a few unpleasant words, and discussion of all the scuffs on the court from hockey sticks, we tried to ignore their play and focus on ours. Then came the red hockey ball that rolled across our court. One of the youth ran around behind me and then proceeded to slap-shot his ball right across our court. After asking politely for him to NOT hit a ball across where we were playing, hockey-man went ballistic with profanity spewing from his sewer-inspired mouth. F-bomb after F-bomb exploded from this guy. My partner and I were called every name his limited vocabulary could produce, and we were accused of being somehow less-than-men for playing what he called a sissy game. We came very close to fisticuffs after he continually referred to me as a pedophile simply because I am a school teacher, and after he stood at the service line of my court baiting me to hit him with a ball. Oh how I was tempted. But he just wanted an excuse to fight so I held my ground and temper.
     Why do I bring up this incident? Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. This aspect of tennis is interwoven into the very fabric of the sport of tennis. Those who know little to nothing of tennis may not be aware of the standard courtesies we have come to accept. But I don't think this is what we were dealing with. This man associated hockey with machismo and brutality, and he displayed bullying with pride. He was unknowingly teaching this lesson to these impressionable 11 or 12 year old kids on the tennis court–the very same kids teachers then get in school. His lesson plan was one of disrespect, discourtesy, rudeness and uncontrollable rage. Is this the kind of behavior tolerated in sports we thrust our kids into under the guise of learning "teamwork?" How different is this from referring to "killing the other team" or ripping them apart in effigy at a pep rally?
     If you are someone who works with or watches our youth in any sporting event, please be on guard for this kind of display so that it is not what gets associated with your activity or team. There are lots of great youth coaches and parent volunteers out there and I applaud their efforts to teach our kids self-discipline, pride, humility, and honor. The sports skills are almost secondary. I feel sorry that the very positive thing hockey-man was trying to accomplish, that of teaching these kids some basic hockey skills, got blurred by the antics of a small mind and big mouth. 

Etiquette and courtesy is still important regardless of the sport. Let's work diligently to keep it that way. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

REFLECTIONS: Shopping for a tennis player this holiday season

Here are some gift ideas you might consider for the Serious, Casual, or Youth (ages 5-8) tennis player on your shopping list:

Serious Player
Forget racquets or strings. This player needs to choose their own weapons. But here are some other considerations:

Casual Player
These players use tennis as a stress reliever or way to have fun in the local park. Consider some basics:

Youth Player (ages 5-8 beginner)
Give kids a good start in tennis with the right tools:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

EPISODE 81 (Podcast): Special Holiday Edition 2011

My unique version of another holiday classic that suggests tennis as a mental and physical fitness alternative.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

LAST CHANCE for Free USTA Junior Membership for kids 10 and under

Until December 31, 2011, kids 10 and under, new to the USTA, 
can receive a FREE Junior Membership – a $19 value