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Tex48
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I just moved back to Houston because I graduated from UT.  Anyone have a recommendations for a tennis league or team I should join to meet people?  I'm ideally looking for a mixed doubles league.  Not super competitive mainly just looking to have some fun.    

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I play, it’s a fantastic sport, maybe the best ever.  I play exclusively singles USTA. I’d love it if we had a thread about it, but I can’t help you in Houston. 

Edited by troph
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Yeah USTA is the way to go. I've been a league player for 7 years, and for the most part they are a lot of fun. Head up though, an annual USTA membership is like $45 and you need one to even register for a team. I played in Houston leagues before but have since moved to DFW. Here's a good resource/link on how to get started

 

https://www.usta.com/en/home/play/adult-tennis/programs/national/about-usta-league.html

Edited by perfectchaos007
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Couldn’t stand it, went to the courts grabbed a hopper of balls and practiced serves and then futzed around bouncing balls in front of me and taking target practice with my forehand.  Felt good.  All is right when I’ve got that racket in my hand. 

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I lurk on these boards all the time thanks to some great threads you all have here, but thought I'd chime into this one too.   I played about 5 times a week over a decade ago, then got into running, did lots of marathons etc, then found out in 2019 by accident that there was a local tennis league and decided to check it out just for Ss&Gs.  Fast forward two years later and now I'm VP of said league, which has definitely come with some challenges but has been a rewarding experience.

Not sure how popular this format is, and 2019 was the first time I had heard about it, but we play Quads.  So on Thursday nights there are 10 quads, each person plays with the other 3 people in their Quad, and the person with the most games won goes up a Quad, the person with the least goes down, and the other two stay.  We start in April, play till end of June, take a break during July, then part 2 starts at the beginning of August until end of October.

Last year I started around Quad 6, made it to 3 once, went down immediately and finished around Quad 5.  This year I started on Quad 5, would have been elated to finish around 3 or 2 consistently, but actually punched way above my weight and finished on Quad 1.  I'm determined to stay there when we start back in August, so I've been playing a ton and taking some private lessons with a club pro.

On the administrative side, as VP there's a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes.  We have to keep a pretty steady rotation of subs, and if a member gets injured or moves, I and the other officers have to try to scramble to fill that spot. The husband of one of our members also put together this incredible spreadsheet, so all I have to do is enter scores, hit a button, and the spreadsheet calculates games won and outputs standings for the next week, with players moved up or down accordingly.  On top of that we have a season-ending banquet where we do some fun awards, maybe some giveaways, etc.  It's definitely been stressful but I'm surprised at how addicted I got to the Quad format.  I'm going to fight like a caged animal when I play on Quad 1 next week just to prove that I belong there.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I’m obsessed right now, I’m in a growth spurt this summer with no match play, working on taking the ball on the rise, placement instead of power, learning when to take control of the point and how to finish. Beyond mechanics and really working hard on shot selection and when to introduce angles and how to go from a neutral rally to a 2-3 shot orchestrated “play” to win the point. The mental game is such a compelling part of it. This game is the best drug I’ve ever found.  Back at the weights too and the spin cycle so my mechanics can stay stronger because I don’t tire as quickly.  

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I’ve played since I was about 7 years old and I’m now 59. It’s a great sport. A word of wisdom about tennis elbow. I never had an issue until I was around 53 or so. I switched to a very light, stiff racquet and tried to modernize my swing and I developed tennis elbow. I was out of the game for 20 months. Avoid stiff racquets and definitely stay away from poly strings. They are evil. But everyone wants to play like Nadal . . .

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I was out 14 months with tennis elbow and am still trying to get back into what was then the best shape of my life post high school. My game is much better though.  I’m not chasing equipment or power, I’m chasing technique, shot selection and strategy. In fact my mantra is “placement over power” but then I know more than a few guys who just want to rip it.  Learn to develop a point and you can make your opponent look silly and you don’t have to rip anything really, especially your elbow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any 107/105 players here?  It's just about all that gets played where we are.

For the uninitiated: 

- a point starts by either a player or the pro feeding a ball into play (no serving)

- you can play doubles or singes

- scoring systems vary depending on local rules, but generally you receive 2 points for an opponent hitting out of bounds or failing to get the ball over the net.  You get 5 points if the ball bounces twice without the opponent touching it with their racquet (a "clean winner").  You get 10 points for an overhead "winner".  We play to 107 points.  It's fast paced and keeps the HR up without the lulls of changing sides to serve, doing second serves, etc.

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On 9/1/2021 at 10:50 AM, BTW said:

Any 107/105 players here?  It's just about all that gets played where we are.

For the uninitiated: 

- a point starts by either a player or the pro feeding a ball into play (no serving)

- you can play doubles or singes

- scoring systems vary depending on local rules, but generally you receive 2 points for an opponent hitting out of bounds or failing to get the ball over the net.  You get 5 points if the ball bounces twice without the opponent touching it with their racquet (a "clean winner").  You get 10 points for an overhead "winner".  We play to 107 points.  It's fast paced and keeps the HR up without the lulls of changing sides to serve, doing second serves, etc.

Our kids play it with a rotation of kids in and out.  I’m a traditionalist but do find the game compelling. 

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  • 11 months later...

Reviving this thread.  I played as a kid.  Lessons for years.  Played a little in high school after I quit baseball.  Always loved it, but had horrible ulnar wrist pain, which I never, at the time associated with tennis.  About eight years ago, my older son started taking lessons.  So I got a racquet and started taking lessons too.  Of course, as a child of the 80s, I quickly learned how much the game had changed.  But I stayed with it for a while.  But after a month, that wrist pain was back, along with shoulder pain, and, hell, even my knees were taking a beating (I don't have knee issues typically).  So I hung it up again.

 

Fast forward to this past January, the middle schools in our district have tennis teams, which meet at the high school every morning to work with the HS coaches.  My younger son started playing.  He played his first tournament in January, and it has escalated quickly from there.  I would go out and hit with him.  I've figured out that a simple compression wrist brace solves the ulnar wrist paint, but my shoulder would deal me fits if I served hard.  So a few months ago, I started doing a few of the "Thrower's 10" exercises with light resistance, just a couple of times a week, and by May, I was able to play in a pro am with the kid.  My ceiling appears to be 13 year olds and some of their moms in doubles, but it's great to be able to get out on the court. 

 

But even better, I love watching the kid play.  He switched from doubles to singles over the summer, although I'm sure there will be some doubles matches through the school.  I'm an absolute bundle of nerves watching him play.  Lots of pacing and sitting by myself.  But I'm a good tennis dad.  I keep it positive and keep encouraging his love of this life-long sport.

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I played growing up, but probably played a dozen times the last 15 years. I moved to Austin a couple years ago and one of my buddies has been getting into the sport so I've started playing a lot more. Wife just surprised me with a Babolat pure strike so I can finally hang up the 20+ year-old Wilson whatever that probably hasn't been regripped or restrung in a decade. Can't wait to try it out.

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On 8/30/2022 at 10:33 PM, dcbc said:

Reviving this thread.  I played as a kid.  Lessons for years.  Played a little in high school after I quit baseball.  Always loved it, but had horrible ulnar wrist pain, which I never, at the time associated with tennis.  About eight years ago, my older son started taking lessons.  So I got a racquet and started taking lessons too.  Of course, as a child of the 80s, I quickly learned how much the game had changed.  But I stayed with it for a while.  But after a month, that wrist pain was back, along with shoulder pain, and, hell, even my knees were taking a beating (I don't have knee issues typically).  So I hung it up again.

 

Fast forward to this past January, the middle schools in our district have tennis teams, which meet at the high school every morning to work with the HS coaches.  My younger son started playing.  He played his first tournament in January, and it has escalated quickly from there.  I would go out and hit with him.  I've figured out that a simple compression wrist brace solves the ulnar wrist paint, but my shoulder would deal me fits if I served hard.  So a few months ago, I started doing a few of the "Thrower's 10" exercises with light resistance, just a couple of times a week, and by May, I was able to play in a pro am with the kid.  My ceiling appears to be 13 year olds and some of their moms in doubles, but it's great to be able to get out on the court. 

 

But even better, I love watching the kid play.  He switched from doubles to singles over the summer, although I'm sure there will be some doubles matches through the school.  I'm an absolute bundle of nerves watching him play.  Lots of pacing and sitting by myself.  But I'm a good tennis dad.  I keep it positive and keep encouraging his love of this life-long sport.

My youngest has settled on tennis too and has been 3-4x a week for about 14 months now, we just watched Serena talked about strategy, angles, shot selection, it was a ton of fun. He’s hoping to make the middle school team in the spring, we will get more serious than even now if he does. He’s leading the commitment which is a lot of fun. It’s a great, great sport. 

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On 8/21/2021 at 10:36 AM, troph said:

I’m obsessed right now, I’m in a growth spurt this summer with no match play, working on taking the ball on the rise, placement instead of power, learning when to take control of the point and how to finish. Beyond mechanics and really working hard on shot selection and when to introduce angles and how to go from a neutral rally to a 2-3 shot orchestrated “play” to win the point. The mental game is such a compelling part of it. This game is the best drug I’ve ever found.  Back at the weights too and the spin cycle so my mechanics can stay stronger because I don’t tire as quickly.  

Playing the ball on the rise is so much fun. Timing takes the place of power. Footwork always key. This will also really help you attack on service return and really disrupts your opponents timing. 
 

We used to place cones a foot behind the baseline. Touch them and lose the point. 
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was a self taught teen player. I played some juniors and got to play a bunch of really good players, including the #2 ranked 14 year old in the country (who thoroughly kicked my ass).

Haven't played in like 4 decades. Now my wife signed us up to the local tennis club, mostly for social reasons. She wants to play mixed doubles. I hit for the first time in ages last week. My arm is sore and I hit like shit.

After watching the US Open I went ahead and bought a Pure Aero. Pray for my elbow.

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36 minutes ago, ajax said:

I was a self taught teen player. I played some juniors and got to play a bunch of really good players, including the #2 ranked 14 year old in the country (who thoroughly kicked my ass).

Haven't played in like 4 decades. Now my wife signed us up to the local tennis club, mostly for social reasons. She wants to play mixed doubles. I hit for the first time in ages last week. My arm is sore and I hit like shit.

After watching the US Open I went ahead and bought a Pure Aero. Pray for my elbow.

You’ll need those prayers.  Especially if you string it with poly.  Sounds like you are in your 50’s.  Tennis elbow can be a serious thing as you get older.  I developed it about 7 years ago (I’m now 60) and it took 20 months before I could play again.  The Volkl racquets are known for being arm friendly.  I now play with an old frame I found online-the Prince EXO3–it was recommended on the Tennis Warehouse forum.  It makes a huge difference.  I can hit a few balls with some Wilson or Babolat racquets and my elbow immediately starts to hurt. And use a multi string no matter which racquet you choose.     

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Lost a match 1-6 / 2-6 last spring, first match of the fall same opponent still lost to her but it was a lot closer 2-6 / 7-6 (TB 7-3) / 6-10 (STB).

never been so happy to lose. Game slowed way down for me over the summer working hard to improve. looking forward to next week’s match.  

I love this sport. 

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On 9/12/2022 at 1:31 PM, ajax said:

I was a self taught teen player. I played some juniors and got to play a bunch of really good players, including the #2 ranked 14 year old in the country (who thoroughly kicked my ass).

Haven't played in like 4 decades. Now my wife signed us up to the local tennis club, mostly for social reasons. She wants to play mixed doubles. I hit for the first time in ages last week. My arm is sore and I hit like shit.

After watching the US Open I went ahead and bought a Pure Aero. Pray for my elbow.

Don’t fuck around. Get a racket and strings that are easy on your elbow. Take some lessons get your form back. I was out 14 months with tennis elbow, it’s still close by if I don’t care for my elbow. I was able to play 5 days a week I’m down to 3 and after 2 in a row resting my arm is a must. I’ve reworked my form, stopped trying to muscle through a forehand and realized perceived power - taking it on the rise, moving in, good body rotation, top spin, and lower trajectory when appropriate - is more important than smashing the ball and that’s going to help me last. But it did real damage. I’m 47, that was 44-45. It was awful please don’t fuck up your elbow.

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16 hours ago, troph said:

Don’t fuck around. Get a racket and strings that are easy on your elbow. Take some lessons get your form back. I was out 14 months with tennis elbow, it’s still close by if I don’t care for my elbow. I was able to play 5 days a week I’m down to 3 and after 2 in a row resting my arm is a must. I’ve reworked my form, stopped trying to muscle through a forehand and realized perceived power - taking it on the rise, moving in, good body rotation, top spin, and lower trajectory when appropriate - is more important than smashing the ball and that’s going to help me last. But it did real damage. I’m 47, that was 44-45. It was awful please don’t fuck up your elbow.

Hear you loud and clear. I'm still trying to get my easy, free swinging form back. I'm mostly using the ball machine. Every time I feel a twinge in my elbow I know my form is off, and I'm muscling or arming the ball instead of using my legs and body for power. I'm trying to mitigate the soreness by stringing my rackets in the mid 40s.

I think my forehand is like 70% back but my one handed backhand still needs work. My slice backhand is a basket case. My volleys never went away apparently but my serve and OH suck right now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to say, I'm absolutely loving this Pure Aero. It's the 2023 version which is softer than previous. Strung with poly (44 lbs, thanks for the tip @troph) to go easy on my arm. I'm spinning the ball like a maniac. It's like a completely different game than I played as a kid when I used to use a Head Graphite Edge.

And something in my backhand clicked. I'm hitting it well and the pain has gone away.

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On 9/12/2022 at 2:10 PM, HouTex said:

You’ll need those prayers.  Especially if you string it with poly.  Sounds like you are in your 50’s.  Tennis elbow can be a serious thing as you get older.  I developed it about 7 years ago (I’m now 60) and it took 20 months before I could play again.  The Volkl racquets are known for being arm friendly.  I now play with an old frame I found online-the Prince EXO3–it was recommended on the Tennis Warehouse forum.  It makes a huge difference.  I can hit a few balls with some Wilson or Babolat racquets and my elbow immediately starts to hurt. And use a multi string no matter which racquet you choose.     

I loved my old Volkl C10.  That was a great racket.  Current racket is a Dunlop that's probably 7-8 years old.

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  • 1 month later...

Getting my ass handed to me at 4.0. I’ve always said tennis - especially singles - is a lonely sport that will expose you, lay you bear, and embarrass you if you aren’t ready. It’s humiliating but I love it because the victories are substantial. Will you rise to the challenge or will you stop and say I’m not good enough.

4.0 there is no room for error, footwork has to be impeccable, you have to know the percentage shot, you have to be ready at the same time for the counter tendency, patience and ready to take the opportunity all at the same time. It’s an incredible challenge. 
 

my elbow is sore I’ve had to slow down, I’m not sure what’s next but I’m 1-4 so far this season and the last three matches have been ass kickings. 

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I’ve played tennis my whole life until we left Austin 7 years ago. I haven’t been able to find anyone to play with (haven’t tried all that hard) but I’m thinking about getting back into it. I used to play the singles ladder in Austin a while back (not sure if it’s still running).

I really prefer doubles. Just hard to find a good partner.

Maybe I’ll use this thread to get me going again.

Until then, I mop the floor playing pickleball at the rec center on Wednesdays.

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I had an interesting conversation with my 13 year old player a week or so ago, which led to an interesting lesson.  He made the middle school A team (top 12 or so (he's 9) of 140 students from 4 middle schools).  They have been having challenge matches to get the ranks firmed up.  He lost to a player he was likely to lose to, beat a player he was fairly evenly matched with, then dropped two matches to players who weren't mechanically on his level.  In other words, they get the ball back, but they aren't hitting hard (just consistently.  I asked him what happened and he told me (1) I just didn't play all that well and (2) they were consistent.  So part of this is more ball control on his part and having a strategy of moving this sort of player around so you can hit it to them on the run to their weak side.  That will come. 

 

But with the not playing well, I told him, the universe didn't cause you to play badly.  No matter what it is you're doing wrong, forget slumps and forget saying it's not my day.  Something in your mechanics is off and you need to learn how to evaluate your mechanics, figure out what you're doing wrong, and correct it on the fly.  So after a good lesson, we figured out a few bad habits he has and how to correct them.  He had a challenge match yesterday that I got to see (part of a bigger tournament) and he was playing one of these human backboards.  He traded games with the kid and was getting pissed off.  But I watched him make some corrections, and the ball started dropping for him more often than not.  He went on a run and beat the kid 6--3.  The kids parents were there.  So I was reserved and nice (they live nearby and our kids are friendly).  But my kid letting some war cries fly toward the end. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few months back at it now. My form has sort of come back. I'm hitting a pretty heavy ball with plenty of pace and control and the pain has completely gone away. It feels like I have my mechanics dialed in. 

Problem is my knees are total shit. Can't run to save my life.

And my wife is a 3 month beginner. We almost never win our matches lol. 

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On 11/4/2022 at 6:33 PM, dcbc said:

I had an interesting conversation with my 13 year old player a week or so ago, which led to an interesting lesson.  He made the middle school A team (top 12 or so (he's 9) of 140 students from 4 middle schools).  They have been having challenge matches to get the ranks firmed up.  He lost to a player he was likely to lose to, beat a player he was fairly evenly matched with, then dropped two matches to players who weren't mechanically on his level.  In other words, they get the ball back, but they aren't hitting hard (just consistently.  I asked him what happened and he told me (1) I just didn't play all that well and (2) they were consistent.  So part of this is more ball control on his part and having a strategy of moving this sort of player around so you can hit it to them on the run to their weak side.  That will come. 

 

But with the not playing well, I told him, the universe didn't cause you to play badly.  No matter what it is you're doing wrong, forget slumps and forget saying it's not my day.  Something in your mechanics is off and you need to learn how to evaluate your mechanics, figure out what you're doing wrong, and correct it on the fly.  So after a good lesson, we figured out a few bad habits he has and how to correct them.  He had a challenge match yesterday that I got to see (part of a bigger tournament) and he was playing one of these human backboards.  He traded games with the kid and was getting pissed off.  But I watched him make some corrections, and the ball started dropping for him more often than not.  He went on a run and beat the kid 6--3.  The kids parents were there.  So I was reserved and nice (they live nearby and our kids are friendly).  But my kid letting some war cries fly toward the end. 

I find that players (kids or adults) that learn the strategy of tennis - the geometry and physics - often start out at that level still losing to players they are clearly better than. They rally, take control, move them around, get the short ball, earn the winner and then muck it up on the winner shot or muck it up along the way.  a lot of that is pressure or assuming you have to hit it harder when you get closer to the win. It's the exact opposite. you've earned it, your opponent is off the court, now you get to take a victory lap, a walk in the park with your winner.  my son wants to take a kill shot not hit a winner when it's his turn, he doesn't breath, he tenses up, and he hits the tape more times than he can count. but crud he put together a brillant point. man, one inch above the net isn't what you need, hard shot isn't what you need. one foot above the net, roll that ball over at a nice angle and do it with finesse. win.  on the progressions, players get antsy when they see the chance to take control and instead of being confident and letting the game come to them they hit harder or tense up. the flow man, it's all about the flow and being confident.  breathing, taking the opportunity and recognizing you don't have to hurry when you're in control. brutal sport.

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4 hours ago, ajax said:

A few months back at it now. My form has sort of come back. I'm hitting a pretty heavy ball with plenty of pace and control and the pain has completely gone away. It feels like I have my mechanics dialed in. 

Problem is my knees are total shit. Can't run to save my life.

And my wife is a 3 month beginner. We almost never win our matches lol. 

I won't play with my wife. I'll occasionally hit balls with her but I take a bucket of balls and if she hits a wild shot I don't chase it, I just reach down and get another one.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/30/2022 at 10:33 PM, dcbc said:

Reviving this thread.  I played as a kid.  Lessons for years.  Played a little in high school after I quit baseball.  Always loved it, but had horrible ulnar wrist pain, which I never, at the time associated with tennis.  About eight years ago, my older son started taking lessons.  So I got a racquet and started taking lessons too.  Of course, as a child of the 80s, I quickly learned how much the game had changed.  But I stayed with it for a while.  But after a month, that wrist pain was back, along with shoulder pain, and, hell, even my knees were taking a beating (I don't have knee issues typically).  So I hung it up again.

 

Fast forward to this past January, the middle schools in our district have tennis teams, which meet at the high school every morning to work with the HS coaches.  My younger son started playing.  He played his first tournament in January, and it has escalated quickly from there.  I would go out and hit with him.  I've figured out that a simple compression wrist brace solves the ulnar wrist paint, but my shoulder would deal me fits if I served hard.  So a few months ago, I started doing a few of the "Thrower's 10" exercises with light resistance, just a couple of times a week, and by May, I was able to play in a pro am with the kid.  My ceiling appears to be 13 year olds and some of their moms in doubles, but it's great to be able to get out on the court. 

 

But even better, I love watching the kid play.  He switched from doubles to singles over the summer, although I'm sure there will be some doubles matches through the school.  I'm an absolute bundle of nerves watching him play.  Lots of pacing and sitting by myself.  But I'm a good tennis dad.  I keep it positive and keep encouraging his love of this life-long sport.

Approximately one year since he played his first tournament, today, my younger son (14 next month) took his first gold medal in singles.  And he did it in pretty memorable style.  He'd beaten his first two opponents in straight sets.  The first match was tougher than the second.  His third match (the finals) was after lunch, and I think the sandwich was sitting heavy.  He looked asleep in the first match and lost 6--1.  He looked defeated.  His opponent took a break to take a leak, and I got a word with him.  I don't know that I was inspiring.  But I told him the past had nothing to do with what he did next, apart from what he may have learned about his opponents weaknesses.  I also reminded him that the universe wasn't causing him to make mistakes; it's always mechanics; evaluate what you did when you mishit (we've had this conversation before).

 

He started the second set pretty hot and got up a few games.  Well, as it turns out, his opponent, who was perfectly nice when he was winning, was the consummate tennis brat when things weren't going his way---banging his racquet on the court, yelling at himself.  The kids mom said something to him and he yelled at her not to talk to him.  I caught my kid between games and told him he was living rent free in the kids head and to make himself comfortable in that role.  He did.  He took the kid 6--3 in the second set and beat him 10--2 in the 3rd match/tiebreaker.  The kid never stopped acting like a shit.  It was super satisfying (for both of us; I can't stand that crap).  He's playing doubles tomorrow.  This is his first back to back days of play.  He's having a good time, and I'm really happy for him.

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That’s fantastic! That’s n incredible story of resilience. My 13 year old starts tourney play next month after 12-18 months of lessons and practice set/match play. I think we will start on the opposite end of the spectrum, learning how to lose and learn.

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19 hours ago, troph said:

That’s fantastic! That’s n incredible story of resilience. My 13 year old starts tourney play next month after 12-18 months of lessons and practice set/match play. I think we will start on the opposite end of the spectrum, learning how to lose and learn.

That's important too.  I told him when he first started that he should anticipate losing quite a bit, but that that's how you get better (playing people who are better than you are).  He played doubles on Sunday.   They made it to the finals, had a horrible first set but won the second set.  They lost 11--9 in a 10 pt tiebreaker.  Through the course of three doubles matches, I lost count at around 7 aces for him.  He had his serve cooking with a nasty slice on it.  My wife snapped this picture. 

 

0p2-Dx-R4r-Af1qq0ki-LPm-Fi-V-4uaf-QQTZDT

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That’s awesome. 
 

meanwhile I had my best practice in easily 6 months today. High and heavy baby. Rallied until one of us made the mistake then take advantage. Focus dialed in for the full hour. Just a fantastic feeling. 

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On 1/16/2023 at 6:22 PM, dcbc said:

That's important too.  I told him when he first started that he should anticipate losing quite a bit, but that that's how you get better (playing people who are better than you are).  He played doubles on Sunday.   They made it to the finals, had a horrible first set but won the second set.  They lost 11--9 in a 10 pt tiebreaker.  Through the course of three doubles matches, I lost count at around 7 aces for him.  He had his serve cooking with a nasty slice on it.  My wife snapped this picture. 

 

0p2-Dx-R4r-Af1qq0ki-LPm-Fi-V-4uaf-QQTZDT

Looks good.  Does he have a foot fault issue?  He’s way behind the line.  

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6 hours ago, HouTex said:

Looks good.  Does he have a foot fault issue?  He’s way behind the line.  

No (not that they call them much at this age).  He usually positions himself just a couple of inches behind the baseline.  I asked him about that after the match.  He said he'd hit a few long and was trying to compensate.  So I explained that his hitting long serves usually was a result of a bad toss, a failure to fully extend (or more accurately, get that contact at the correct point of shoulder pronation), or both.  In the moment, I was less wordy.  To the extent we talk during the match (it's allowed at UTR tournaments, but I try to keep it infrequent), I have a list of very short mechanics reminders I parrot (and now have a small tag attached to his bag with those simple reminders). 

As he's gotten better but still inexplicably has times when noting is working, I've been pretty adamant about the fact that the universe is not causing him to make mistakes or "have a bad day."  It's always mechanics, whether it's a bad toss on a serve, failure to set your feet or follow through before hitting a ground stroke, whatever.  The sooner he can evaluate himself in the moment and fix what isn't working, the better.  I've also gotten fond of reminding him that the past, whether it's the previous point, game, or match, has no importance other than realizing your opponent's weaknesses.  So apart from that, there is no use thinking about what has happened before the point you're playing. 

So his trying to fix the long serve, even though what he was doing probably didn't make much of a difference, was him trying to fix something in the moment, which I think is great.  He and his partner also started playing double back midway through the second match because both of their opponents were crushing it at the net.  That actually made a big difference against these opponents, although it's not always an ideal doubles strategy.

Of course, my main tip is to remember that he's playing a game and to have fun.  But I know him well enough to know that he seems to have more fun when he's playing well. 

I got to hit with him this afternoon after work (as I have every day for the last two weeks off and on).  And tonight, I have the sore back to prove it.

Edited by dcbc
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On 9/17/2022 at 9:43 PM, troph said:

Don’t fuck around. Get a racket and strings that are easy on your elbow. Take some lessons get your form back. I was out 14 months with tennis elbow, it’s still close by if I don’t care for my elbow. I was able to play 5 days a week I’m down to 3 and after 2 in a row resting my arm is a must. I’ve reworked my form, stopped trying to muscle through a forehand and realized perceived power - taking it on the rise, moving in, good body rotation, top spin, and lower trajectory when appropriate - is more important than smashing the ball and that’s going to help me last. But it did real damage. I’m 47, that was 44-45. It was awful please don’t fuck up your elbow.

Glad I found this tennis thread for olds, good stuff. What racquets/strings are considered easy on the elbow?  I saw a couple of things mentioned but wasn't sure.  Went out for the first time in 20 years, hit off and on for about 2 weeks and then had the same elbow issue that others mentioned.  My sticks are a couple old 20+ yr old radicals(I think a Radical Trisys 260? and a Flexpoint).  Both have 15+ yr old strings and strung tight as hell (growing up I think I would string them near ~ 60).

My game was fine, could still serve and hit forehand easily.  I'm a righty but my left elbow had some pain bending back when trying to hit a 2 hand backhand so had to settle for the old man slice backhand.  Didn't hurt afterwards though like my right elbow. I could barely swing with it (I got one of those tennis elbow tension bands that go on the upper forearm which seemed to help a bit).  It hurt like shit trying to slice and/or hit a regular forehand after that.  Took off about a month and seemed to go away but a little nervous to get back out there until I figure out or learn about current racquets/strings that could help alleviate/prevent old elbow.  I've always played with oversized racquets but can play with mids as well if that's the type of racquets that get rec'd here.

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I'm not up to speed on all the technicals, I use a wilson blade with a dampner (supposedly both are good for minimizing elbow impact).  my racket seems pretty soft.  I guess I should check.  most tennis elbow injuries are due to overhitting or hitting behind the ball from my understanding.  while power is a thing, torque and full body momentum the twist and the forward momentum are more important.  on the serve technique is important too its harder to explain.  I use the forearm band and then the therabar for strengthening exercises. I'm staving off full blown tennis elbow right now with the hopes it will go away completely this year and not get worse.

edit: add, I'm getting dry needling work done as well once a week and will start specific weight training next week for shoulder and elbow strengthening.

Edited by troph
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plantar fasciitis trying to join the party and say:

How You Doin Flirting GIF

just as I start full preventative rehab on my elbow and have just gotten one of my toenails back.

greatest individual sport ever invented, second isn't even close, but man it's brutal on your body.

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When you have had enough injuries, check out pickle ball.  It came to me after shoulder surgery that had a lot of pins and rope to put everything back together.  Before that, many years on the USTA circuit.  Replaced knee, both hips replaced, neck fusion, hernia repair, lost toenails, etc...  Besides the extra metal in my body, I have shelves of USTA balls, plates and glassware which is nice.

Now have joined groups of former college tennis players who have fully transitioned to pb.  Fast paced, easy to cover the court, all tennis skills transfer over and courts everywhere.  Both of the new pro divisions are full of former Division 1 college players and tennis professionals who could not get out of the minor leagues.  There are a couple of top 10 pros who are now at the end of their tennis and being drafted to pb teams.  

Apologies for the brief interruption of tennis talk.

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I’ve played pickle ball many times it’s fun, a lot of fun. It’s no where near tennis for me. It’s a great activity for moving, socializing, and justifying a cheeseburger on Saturday night but the adrenaline that comes with hitting a defensive winner when your opponent has you dead to rights, an ace serve to win a set, or a perfect approach shot for an easy volley winner is irreplaceable. 
 

my progression will be singles >>> doubles >>> pickle ball >>> golf.

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Re tennis elbow- your string setup is the biggest key.  Natural gut will be most forgiving but is pricey and won’t last.  A good string shop will be able to help you and is worth the money.  Unless you have a friend with a stinging machine and lots of extra time.
 

For rackets, my experience is that Babolat are the worst for elbow pain, and Prince or ProKennex the best.  Which is a shame since I always loved Babolat’s offerings.  

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