Originally Published: August 4, 2003 6:10 p.m.
A little breakdancing and heavy praying allowed the Beat the Heat Doubles Tournament last Friday night to go on at the Roughrider Tennis Center after the strongest monsoon since last year plummeted the area during the afternoon.
With the courts squeegeed dry, the players made their debut and enjoyed a sunless tourney of play in two divisions (A/B & B/C) that became three based on scores.
Joe Morales and Ricco Cananea took top honors in the A division by defeating Mike McDowell and Shane Popko 4-2. Semi-finalists were Stuart Sussman/Jim Hill, Marty Otting/Susan Howery. And by the way this was Marty and Susan's anniversary tournament. They played here a year ago and are still together as a couple.
Brothers Henry and Andre Mack sustained each other to win the B Division 4-1 over Esther Brown and Ken Munson. Esther's excuse ... it was past my bed time. Semi-finalists were Ellie Tranthusm/Gail Wagner and Peter Stevens/Robert Fager.
Bradshaw Mountain tennis players Kelli Kullman and Tyler Doerksen did a job on Larry and Jenny Cobb in the C finals 4-1 with semi-finalists being Monica and Kelli, Nate and Steve Irwin.
•The Yavapai Tennis Academy raised over $1,000 in a tennis clinic that was put on by the local tennis professionals with around 50 players attending Saturday morning at Prescott High School from 9 to 11 a.m.
The money will go toward improvements on the Prescott High School courts. A big thank you to all who were involved.
Do you find it a little disturbing when you've just taken a tennis lesson and found out what you just learned is in direct conflict with what you had been taught previously?
Not only is it disturbing, but whose theory do you go with and why?
Vic Braden and Peter Burwash teach some basic things differently. Like, when you are hitting volleys at the net. Braden says to change grips (Eastern forehand and Eastern backhand), while Burwash says not to change grips and stick with a Continental. Both of these instructors are known around the world, have written books and do monthly instructional articles for major publications.
Braden says in doubles strategy to cover your own side of the court when lobbed (95 percent of the time), while many other top coaches say to switch with your partner.
Who do you go by and why?
Many recreational players today are being taught big open stance ground strokes, while old school is more of a closed stance. Is one right and one wrong?
Is standing in no-man's land really a no-no when you can't move as well as you once did?
Is top-spin the cure in all of today's game, or are backspin shots and flat hits viable as well?
If you put a new tennis player out on the court and just fed them balls with no instruction, told two players to just go out and hit together, gave a player a couple balls to hit against a wall and an instructional book from the library, or gave private instruction with a trained pro - each for five hours of hitting practice - don't you just wonder what the difference would be if their starting abilities were about the same?
Bottom line is we have to use our own brain sooner or later, so get as much data as you find necessary and make up your own mind. As long as you get the ball over the net one more time it can't really matter that much.
With that said, hang on to a couple thoughts to keep your body and mind healthy while playing tennis. *Meet the ball out in front of you. *Keep your head steady and eyes looking at the ball through the hit. *Your racquet face needs to stay basically flat to the back of the ball, and grips are important to help you do that. *Stay consistent. *Correct your mistakes mentally, and then laugh and smile. Instruction is great, but tennis is about playing, so get out and play no matter your ability level. Last but not least, have fun!
Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 445-1331 or email@example.com