Lessons from a Tennis Addict on a Quest to Become a USTA 4.5 Player

Breakthrough

By P.J. Simmons Last week my coach said, ”You’ve been on fire the past month... you’re making tremendous progress and executing on everything we’ve been working on.” I sense it too. In fact, I got a little emotional during yesterday’s practice after an hour of...

A Great Champion’s Legacy

By P.J. Simmons Early this morning, my dear friend and hero Ollie Stephens passed away after a heroic battle with cancer. My heart is aching with sadness and with empathy for all of Ollie's family and friends. All of our lives were forever changed for the...

Back on the Road!

By P.J. Simmons Just over two years ago, I had a freak accident at a gym that sidelined me from training. I fell backwards on my wrist and tore the cartilage (my “TFCC”) pretty badly—ironically, while doing tennis-specific agility training when I was traveling....

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Detours, Roadblocks, and Discoveries on the “Road to 4.5 Tennis”

“The most fulfilling adventures happen when you start your journey without knowing where you’re going, because only then are you free to experience the unexpected detours you’re meant to take.”― A.J. Darkholme, Rise of the Morningstar “In the moment, you most likely...

Want more topspin? Think “hello/goodbye”

"Give me more TOPSPIN!""Get under the ball!""Stop compressing the ball!""Turn the ball!""No, that's too flat!" For years, so many coaches barked out words like this to me over and over. I knew they were right, but every time I wanted to scream: "YES, I...

Serving in the Sandbox

"The sandbox is a wonderful place To pass the time of day;Where imagination is limited only By the child who loves to play."--From "Sandbox", Author unknown By P.J. Simmons Anyone who's been along with me on the "Road" knows that my serve has been a major...

When Your Coach Believes in You

By P.J. Simmons “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” --Zig Ziglar I love spending time over holidays with my Dad and stepmother, two remarkable people who exude life-affirming, positive energy...

“You Throw Like a Girl” (and You Serve Like One Too)

By P.J. Simmons It was almost 4 decades ago, but I still remember the sting I felt when someone said it to me for the first time. I was only 9 years old, which in retrospect seems so young. But back then nine felt "big." And in the mini-society of 9 year old...

Doing the Hard Work that Comes with Injuries (Guest Post)

Below is a guest post from fellow tennis fanatic Jim Falvo (in photo above doing medicine ball drill). This post is a kind of "part 2" to my recent post "With Every Injury Comes An Opportunity"... But it's also "part 1" of a 3-part series of guests posts Jim will...

With Every Injury Comes an Opportunity

By P.J. Simmons Over the years I've had my share of athletic and tennis injuries. They're never fun. But as I get older, I'm finding that a healthy mental perspective on injuries isn't just a "nice to have"-- it's a must have. I've recently come to believe, very...

“Initialize!” Backhand Fixes with Howard Moore

By P.J. Simmons One of the most exciting things about the road to better tennis is that the learning and growth never stops. With technique, I love the fact that as I make leaps forward I unlock new opportunities to make refinements that enable me to generate...

The “Spanish Method” Rocks — and so Does Emilio Sanchez

By P.J. Simmons Recently my 4.0 friend Paul Tortora and I had the surreal, incredible opportunity to train for two days with Olympic Silver Medalist and former World #1 Emilio Sanchez and several of his outstanding coaching team at the Academia Sanchez-Casal in...

My 2014 Tennis (and Life) Resolutions

By P.J. Simmons New Year's Eve is probably my favorite day of the year. It's the day I tend to dream biggest... the day when everything seems possible. I love the tradition of considering "resolutions" for the New Year-- essentially just setting goals. But I've...

“Dear Tennis…” A Love Letter

Dear Tennis, I know I haven’t been around much for the past few months and you’re probably getting a little worried. Have I fallen for another sport behind your back? Are things getting stale between us? Where’s the intense passion and commitment I brought to...

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