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Chris Howard

Stories by Chris

Column: How does your brain work best … when playing tennis?

'My Point'

It seems about 70 percent of the tennis player you become is a result of your learning of playing skills, the basic stroke-fundamentals added to sound strategy for singles and doubles.

Column: The spirit of competition and playing the best of the best

'My Point'

It seems the human race thrives to a large degree in the art of competition - who can do what - bigger and better than the next person, team, region, section, business, state or even nation.

Column: Dennis Van der Meer, the coach of coaches

'My Point'

Who would ever guess the son of a couple missionaries living in a Southwest African village would produce one of the most well-known teaching professionals ever know?

Column: Finding your path and following it successfully

'My Point'

At certain times in our lives we take stock in how we’re doing, what we’ve done and where we still want to go and do with our limited time here on earth.

Column: Subdivision pickleball and tennis problems, again

'My Point'

This last week there was a meeting held of tennis players (in general) in regard to the Prescott Lakes recreational area and a group of pickleball players, who have asked their board to consider taking one of their two tennis courts and convert it to a couple or more pickleball courts. Currently there are two tennis courts and five pickleball courts.

Column: I’m done talking....let’s play!

'My Point'

This last Saturday I finally got to go see the movie, “Battle of the Sexes,” where in 1973 the No. 2 woman tennis player in the world, Billie Jean King, played an exhibition match in the Houston Astrodome against Bobby Riggs in a winner take all $100,000 match.

Column: New tennis inductees are very special people

'My Point'

On Sunday, Oct. 8, the third annual Park of Tennis Fame day will take place, beginning with a clinic taught by all the local tennis professionals from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and followed by our induction ceremony at noon for six outstanding local people for what they have done in and for the game of tennis.

Column: Dealing with pressure and trying to avoid the choke

'My Point'

This weekend the Southwest Sectionals were held in El Paso, Texas, represented by each area (Phoenix, Tucson, New Mexico & Western Texas) with the 55 and over division regional winners.

Column: Life is kind of cruel in the sports world

'My Point'

Don’t you think life can be kind of cruel in some ways? About the time you start to learn something really well (like the game of tennis) your body starts to tell you it won’t perform for you the way it needs to, or used to.

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Column: Bob Hampton, a tennis lifer

'My Point'

We sat down with Bob Hampton for a question and answer session about his life in tennis. Here is an edited transcript from the interview.

Column: Making the ‘Big Show’ for the 1st time

'My Point'

Once again we have a short interview with our very own Taylor Johnson, who this year at the U.S. Open will be playing her first major (grand slam) WTA event in the women’s doubles main draw.

Column: What is it about sports that make them fun?

'My Point'

Did you ever take the time to think about what makes the sport you play fun? Certainly each sport has a certain segment of people who find different things about the athletic endeavor they want to try right up their alley and other sports not worth their time and effort.

Column: Staying busy with a passion for life

'My Point'

Everyone is so different, yet so alike in what they do in a day-month or years’ time.

Column: Sometimes, I just miss those ‘good old days’

'My Point'

Guess you’re getting older when you make a statement that you miss the “good old days.”

Column: A little more on Newport and the International Hall of Fame

'My Point'

I thought the adventure to cover the Newport, Rhode Island, International Tennis Hall of Fame was about to be over when on my way flying back to Phoenix from Providence via Charlotte North Carolina the weather got the better of the airline industry and had flights cancelled so late into the night that hundreds of people had no choice but to sleep in the airport - prisoners of travel.

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Column: Past, present and future at International Tennis Hall of Fame

'My Point'

It’s a bit of a trek from Prescott to Newport, Rhode Island, but every couple years it’s worth the time, effort and money to help honor the best of the best in the world of tennis.

Column: Breaking serve by Fishing and kayaking on Willow Lake

'My Point'

Last week my two boys and wife decided to go out kayaking on Willow Lake for a couple hours in the evening. It’s become a fun recreational time with the family, checking out coves, the wild life, fishing, finding spots to jump out and hike around — and how can you beat the price of $3 for the day to go there?

Column: Learning to deal with life through tennis

'My Point'

Life has it’s up’s and down’s — you wake up in the morning at times feeling like you have it by the tail, other day’s you feel just the opposite.

Column: Time to enter Mile High Adult & Senior Open

'My Point'

The time is drawing near for all competitive and slightly advanced tennis players to look hard at their calendars and reserve the time to enter the “Prescott Mile High Adult & Senior Open,” which goes from July 14 to 16.

Column: Tennis and pickleball ... interestingly different

'My Point'

Two Sundays ago I had the distinct pleasure of getting to try my hand at the game of pickleball.

COLUMN: Passed dreams and what if’s

'My Point'

Do you ever sit back and look at your life retrospectively and have thoughts of things you might have done differently if you had the chance to go back and have a do-over?

Column: Catching up with Taylor Johnson at the French Open

'My Point'

Former Prescott resident and 16 year-old Taylor Johnson just completed her fourth major with playing this year’s girl’s 18-and-under singles and doubles events on the red clay of Roland Garros, better known as the French Open.

Column: Switch to grass courts very different situation

'My Point'

This past week I had the opportunity to play a grass court tournament in the Scottsdale area at Desert Highlands. They have four neatly manicured grass courts and six very nice clay.

Column: Tournament Prep — A balancing act

'My Point'

When players work out their tournament schedule for the year in the regard of number of events and leagues they would like to play, which probably includes — singles/doubles and maybe even mixed, how much time they can devote, money, what their body can still put out without the chance absorbing too many aches and pains let alone injuries — it can become quite the balancing act.

Column: Roger Federer skipping 2nd-straight French Open

'My Point'

Millions of Roger Federer fans are saddened to have learned that Roger will be skipping the French Open again this year, the second year in a row — the previous year due to knee surgery.

Column: Billie Jean King, riding the wave 44 years later

'My Point'

Billie Jean King, 73, was in the town of Prescott this past week with her life and business partner Ilana Kloss taking care of her parents estate and visiting the likes of our YMCA, the Prescott High School tennis facility and it’s tennis patrons (especially the kids there) in between all kinds of neat things taking place in her life.

Column: Are you playing too much tennis, or not enough?

'My Point'

Life is a bunch of trade-offs of things you have to do — even though many of them you’d probably rather not, things you want to do, obligations of various levels and only 24 hours each day, 7 days a week and 365 days each year to come to terms with who you are and what you want in this world.

Column: The vicious circle

'My Point'

Keeping any sport alive and well is a crazy and complicated circle of constant events at all levels and endeavors of operation.

Column: Roger Federer facing age, family and life on the tour

'My Point'

What can you say about the best tennis player who’s ever picked up a racquet except “Bravo” while still at the age of 35 continuing to surprise even himself with winning the three biggest tournaments of 2017, the Australian and 18th singles major of his career, Indian Wells and the Miami Open - Roger Federer.

Column: How About a Working Tennis Vacation at one of the Slams or Masters?

'My Point'

Have you ever thought you'd like to attend one of the four majors, or the next tier down the Masters tennis events that are held all over the world, but felt it was just a pipe dream because the funds and tickets just weren't there to be realized?

Column: Playing at levels better than you’re used too, and how to survive

Have you ever been in the situation where you’re asked to play tennis with a new group of players and as you warm up it becomes evident to you that this level just might be in a bit over your head?

Column: The up and down sides of playing tennis as we age

'My Point'

It’s known as the sport of and for a life-time, you can play from the age of 5 and if healthy enough into your 90’s, yes - the game of tennis.

Column: Six Aussie greats of the 60’s and 70’s to remember

There have been many great tennis players since the advent of modern tennis in 1874, but probably no greater group of males from the same country than the following 6 men who represented Australia from the 50’s to the mid 80’s.

Column: Road Trip to Indian Well’s and more

'My Point'

In the past 17 years I’ve had the pleasure of taking 3 days or so and covering the BNP Paribas men’s and women’s tennis open singularly or with my wife - roaming, watching, writing, eating and drinking my way from court to court, match to match - oblivious to time.

Column: Don’t let life get in the way of finding a new sport to love

'My Point'

Maybe you’ve been procrastinating about doing all kinds of things, getting in better shape, becoming more active, getting back at something you used to do well or taking up an activity that you always thought you might enjoy.

Column: The greatest player ever that might have been passed over

'My Point'

Twenty-one years after the “Lone Wolf” died there are still many who think that just maybe the one-and-only Pancho Gonzales was the greatest American tennis player and maybe throughout it’s history so far.

Column: A coach and example for the times

My father has been on my mind a lot lately, he’s 93 years-old, has bad knees and spent the last 6 weeks in the hospital, some surgery and then a rehab unit. It was touch and go, but he’s home now and doing better.

Column: Like tennis? Watch 2017 Paribas Open

From very humble beginnings in 1976, the now largest ATP Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier combined event — known as the BNP Paribas Open held in the city of Indian Wells, California ­— is right around the corner.

Column: Q&A with Prescott's own Taylor Johnson at the Australian Open

Here's an up-date on the little girl who started her tennis career here in Prescott and has parlayed it to heights most only dream about - Taylor Johnson.

Column: Let’s hear it for the oldsters at Aussie Open

'My Point'

In the game of tennis it used to be rather rare to see players perform at their highest level after the age of 30, let alone 35 to 40, but at this particular time and place and for the Australian Open 2017 that thought pattern certainly isn’t the case.

Column: How high school athletics works for your kids

If you have a child that is home-schooled or a 7th or 8th grader who might like to play sports in high school you may want to read what our local schools have in place to make the experience the best it can be.

Column: On the tournament trail as an amateur

'My Point'

A road trip to the Palm Springs area to play a tennis event at the Desert Princess Country Club for the Plaza 28th Annual USTA Senior Tennis Tournament, January 9th to the 15th is where I’m writing this column from.

Column: Getting to know the finer points of tennis

If you’re an avid tennis players who enjoys the game of singles and doubles, there is no doubt you have come across situations during a match that you might not known what to do exactly.

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My Point column: Joel Drucker, the Federer of tennis journalists

Interviewing Joel Drucker, for me as a columnist, was like interviewing Roger Federer — both are legends in and of the professional sport of tennis — Roger’s unmatched accomplishments on the court and Joel’s recording and reporting of its rich history with articulate, inspiring journalism.

My Point column: Looking back at 2016, pages of tennis keep on turning

It was another good year of tennis and tennis events in the Prescott area. 

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My Point column: When one door gets in your way, another may be more to your liking

There’s a guy who is and yet really isn’t that well known who played on the tour from 1967 to 1974, born in Ontario, Canada, in 1945 and was early on a better hockey player than tennis - playing both sports for the University of Toronto. 

My Point column: 2017 tennis calendar sure to entice, tempt

In the scheme of day-to-day things you have to do, there are fun carrots that we need to keep our lives a bit challenged in competition as well as enjoyment and satisfaction ... and there’s nothing like a few tennis events for tennis players to do just that.

Column: ‘The Mystic of Breaking Into the Tennis Scene’

It’s really not that difficult finding a way to become one of those people you see out on the courts, hitting serves and sustaining rallies - laughing, yelling in frustration while enjoying a rousing game of tennis at one of our local tennis sites.

My Point column: Mental part of game - good training for life

Tennis, in many ways, is won or lost in the way you think about what is to take place.

My Point column: Tennis courts lined for pickleball?

Every now and then there are items in life that you could probably just not think about and your mind would be less cluttered with what maybe the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” was about. 

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