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

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...

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The Meaning of Tennis

By P.J. Simmons For us serious adult recreational tennis players, passion has no limits. The sport is more than a "hobby" for us: it's part of our identity. For us, tennis and life go hand in hand. We know we can become stronger, better people through tennis......

Why I Love Tennis (GUEST POST)

GUEST POST By Bob Litwin Bob Litwin never played in college or on the tour, but at age 32 started to compete thinking he might be able to win some matches. He lost a lot for several years. Then he won a gold medal at the 12th Maccabian Games in the 35 and over....

Six Key Questions to Ask Your New Doubles Partner (GUEST POST)

GUEST POST By Clif Render Clif Render is an engineer, technologist, and tennis fan who has loved the game for far longer than he's played it. Growing up in a small rural farming town, his only childhood connection to the sport was what little US Open coverage he...

How to Practice Like a World-Class Player (Guest Post)

GUEST POST Jack Han is a Montreal, Canada-based entrepreneur and digital marketing consultant. He began playing tennis competitively in high school and currently competes in 4.5 and Open-level tournaments. He enjoys traveling around the world to attend ATP and WTA...

COMMUNICATE TO WIN IN DOUBLES TENNIS (GUEST POST)

GUEST POST By Kim Selzman Kim is an avid tennis player who chronicles all of her on-court adventures over at TennisFixation.com.  She plays on three tennis teams and concentrates mainly on doubles.  Her favorite players happen to be the Bryan Brothers and she was...

Feeling Intimidated? Remember: “The Ball is Always the Same”

By P.J. Simmons Tennis is such a mind game. And because we're all unique, everyone needs to discover the specific "mental toughness" tools that work best for them. (For Jamie Powers, another player on the "Road to 4.5", it's racquet tattoos). Here's a very...

Announcing the U.S. Tennis Congress

By P.J. Simmons Some of you may have noticed my posts have become a little less frequent in recent months. Well I'm writing to share some exciting news that I hope helps to explain why. About six months ago, I was sitting around one day thinking about how...

Racquet Tattoos: My Secret Weapon (Guest Post)

GUEST POST By Jamie Powers Jamie Powers is baker, dishwasher, counter girl and 9-year long owner of DeLuxe Bakery in Iowa City, IA. She continues to obsess about tennis on an hourly basis. She plays 4 times a week and holds delusions of pro-circuit grandeur....

Grace Under Pressure: 10 Tips to Combat Tightness

A few weeks ago I got some hard-to-hear but truly game-changing advice while training over the weekend at "Total Tennis," a tennis camp in upstate NY that's become my home away from home. I had just finished a fast-paced and inspiring morning group session with...

Putting “Winning” into Perspective

By P.J. Simmons In the wake of the Lance Armstrong debacle, I've been reflecting a lot on how lucky we tennis players are that our sport's top champions are such great role models-- not just as hardworking athletes, but as human beings. With rare exception,...

Want a Killer Serve? Top Tips from a Real 4.5 Player (Guest Post)

The following is a guest post from Jim Olson - an avid 4.5 player from Madison, WI who I met earlier this year at Bollettieri IMG academy. Jim started playing at 13 years of age but became especially serious about the sport in 2001 while living in Little Rock, AR....

Project Serve: Fixing the Trophy Position

As I mentioned in a recent post, I'm on a mission to transform my serve from a weakness to a weapon. It's a process that's involving a lot of patience: I'm breaking down every aspect of the serve and, in the process, trying to break some deeply ingrained habits....

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Feel Free to reach out to me directly at roadto45@gmail.com and be sure to follow me on social media!