Category

Tennis

Holiday Tennis

By | Tennis

It’s that time of year again, holiday season, and along with the holiday season comes probably one of our most fun events of the Courts Plus tennis year, the Holiday Tennis Tournament.

We always look forward to this event because of it’s nice relaxed atmosphere. There are no USTA points on the line, no possibility of advancement, just some friendly banter and bragging rights. We also get to see some faces from the past as extended family come to visit and some college kids are back for the holidays. Because this event is open to everyone, we get a fair number of people from outside of Fargo/Moorhead too. That’s always fun, because it’s always nice to play new people, and make some new tennis buddies.

Our tennis philosophy at Courts Plus is to try to get as many people playing tennis as possible. Our programming throughout the year reflects that as we try to offer something for everyone. I think I speak for all our coaches here, when I say that one of the most rewarding things we hear from students is that they are having fun, and they want to play more. One of the best things we hear from former students is that they’re still playing the game of tennis, and are still enjoying it. It’s nice to win championships, and tournaments, but that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is to develop a lifelong love and appreciation for the sport, and to pass that along.

We would love to see you on the court, having fun and joining us for the 2018 holiday tournament. Here is the link to the entry form and divisions: Holiday Tournament

See you on the court!

You cannot be serious!

By | Tennis

Tennis is a sport with many psychological challenges. The unique scoring system constantly builds up to pressure points where one player is poised to take all, the other to lose all. Matches have no time limit, and can last for many hours. In singles, players are alone, usually without access to a coach.

No wonder so many players end up losing their temper, often in spectacular fashion.

By studying player tantrums we can learn a great deal that can help us improve our psychological approach to tennis, or indeed any sport.

Here are five classic tantrums, each one with a distinct lesson to teach us.

5) Grigor Dimitrov, Istanbul 2016

Dubbed ‘Baby Fed’, Dimitrov was once talked of as a successor to Roger Federer, but no longer. Despite reaching a career-high ranking of eighth and the Wimbledon semifinal in 2014, the Bulgarian has struggled to compete with the game’s elite, and has not yet been able to translate his rare talent into consistent world-class form.

Few players have been hyped by the media as much as Dimitrov. The pressures of expectation, coupled with low-confidence, seem to have led the 25-year old to his recent implosion in the final of the Istanbul Open. Dimitrov forfeited the match after smashing three rackets, handing the title to his opponent Diego Schwartzman.

Dimitrov has never sought help from a tennis psychologist, which suggests that he underestimates the value of the mental game. He needs to learn how to disengage from his thoughts and emotions, and focus on the task in hand. If he does this, he has the talent to get back to the top ten and stay there.

Lesson: The expectations of others can be a mental burden on court. We need to learn how to allow our difficult thoughts and emotions to be there without engaging with them.

4) Roger Federer, Miami 2009

Roger Federer is the epitome of a cool, calm and collected champion, but it wasn’t always this way. In his early years on tour, the Swiss maestro expressed a hot temper on court, with his racket often bearing the brunt of his anger.

In 2001, knowing his emotions were holding back his game, Federer worked hard on improving his mental approach. This paid off handsomely, as Fed began his meteoric rise to the top soon after.

Rarely since have we seen Roger lose his temper. However in this clip from his 2009 match against Novak Djokovic in Miami, the Swiss’ temper burned bright one more time following a string of forehand errors.

This proved a one-off lapse, and Roger has maintained his trademark composure ever since. We should take comfort in the fact the one of the greatest of all time can have a serious mental off-day. It reminds us that none of us can be perfect.

Lesson: Even players who have exemplary mental skills can have lapses. That’s fine, as long as we reconnect quickly with a successful mental approach. Forgive yourself if you lose your temper, and move on.

3) Carlos Berlocq – Aix en Provence 2016

This extraordinary incident, in which Berlocq smashes his racket on just the second point of the match, indicates that the Argentinian wasn’t in a good mental state when he stepped onto the court.

There will always be off-court stresses in our lives, and sometimes we can’t help it if thoughts and emotions which have nothing to do with tennis interfere with our game.

The trick is to learn how to let go of those feelings. Let them be there, don’t engage.

Lesson: We always bring some sort of emotion onto court with us. When those emotions are negative, we need to learn to let go of engagement with them, or they are liable to lead us to perform poorly.

2) John McEnroe, Australian Open 1990

McEnroe may be the king of the tennis tantrum, but he’s also an honest and insightful judge of his own behavior. In his autobiography Serious, McEnroe says that his struggle with on-court anger hindered his progression as a player. His temper disrupted his rhythm, and often indicated he was on the verge of choking. He sees his anger as a response to nerves and a fear of failure. Brilliant as he was, McEnroe would have been a better player if he had been mentally stronger.

He never won the Australian Open. A series of warnings for bad behavior led to his disqualification from this fourth round match in 1990.

Lesson: Tantrums are self-destructive. To maximize your potential as a player, you have to develop a strong mental game.

1) David Nalbandian, London 2012

Nalbandian will be remembered as one of the best players never to win a Slam. He’ll also be remembered for his fiery temper, and in particular for his outburst in the 2012 Queens final which cost him the match. A momentary burst of anger led Nalbandian to kick an advertising board which struck a linesman in the leg hard enough to draw blood. Game over. Instant disqualification.

Of course injuring the linesman wasn’t intentional, but Nalbandian’s inability to tolerate and let go of his anger handed a winnable final to his opponent and landed him with a $12,560 fine.

Lesson: Anger can arise quickly during a match if we make a mistake or lose an important point. We need to learn how to allow anger to be there without responding to it.

Its not only your strokes that we can help you with at Courts Plus, it’s your entire game, including the most important part, the mental part. There’s a reason why people say tennis is 90% mental and 10% physical. All of the top players can execute their shots in practice, but only a few can do it when it really matters and stay calm under pressure. Schedule a lesson time today, before you end up on this list!

 

Difference between training and running shoes

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Personal Training, Tennis

Now that summer is in full swing, chances are high that you’ve been spending a lot more time outdoors than usual. If you’re like my family, some days the great outdoors is just too hot or too humid to play comfortably in, and we’d rather get our sweat session on with some lovely air conditioning behind us!

Regardless if you have been spending most of your summer exercising indoors or outdoors, we cannot overestimate the importance of dressing appropriately for your workout. Sometimes the right attire — clothing and shoes that fit your body well and that respond adequately to your body’s needs while exercising — can be the difference between an exercise that actually transpires and one that you put off for “tomorrow,” if you catch my drift.

In particular, I want to spend just a little bit of time elucidating the difference between running shoes and training shoes and help you decide what should be on your feet this summer. I’ll describe the differences between these two types of footwear below.

 

Running shoes

Perhaps this goes without saying, but if you’ll be spending most of your exercise time actually running — or jogging, or walk-jogging, or jog-walking — you should likely be wearing running shoes. Running seems to be enjoying a huge boost in popularity right now, which is great for you, as a consumer, insomuch that it means you have choices.

The most important detail to remember when you’re on the hunt for running shoes is to search for shoes that fit your feet well and that respond well to your stride and gait. So many runners often go to a running store — or simply go online, hoping for the best — and pick out a shoe based on its appearance. This couldn’t be more detrimental!

Instead, take the time to go to a specialty running store in your community, one that is presumably staffed by avid runners who have been trained to professionally fit people for running shoes that are good for their body. By going to a local store, not only will you be supporting local business — which is good for the soul — but more importantly, someone who has a lot of experience in the business will be able to watch you run and help assess and determine which type of shoe would be best for you.

Be sure to share with the shoe fitter what type of running you plan to be doing — lots of long, slow mileage each week; trail running; all-out sprints on the track; or some combination therein — because that can also determine which type of running shoes will be best for you.

 

Training shoes

In contrast to running shoes, training shoes — often called “trainers” or “cross-trainers” — are often designed to be used for a variety of activities and exercises. If you think that you’ll be exercising by walking, weightlifting, cycling, taking some exercise classes, using the elliptical, and maybe doing a tiny bit of running, then training shoes will probably fit the bill for you.

In general, the more specific an activity you’re doing — and the more often you’re doing it — the more likely you will want to invest in that type of specialty shoe. If you envision yourself exclusively running or exclusively cycling, then it’d make sense to get shoes that are designed specifically for those activities. If, however, you think that you’ll be doing an assortment of different activities, it’s more financially prudent to buy a pair of shoes that can handle and respond to a variety of different activities and stimuli.

As is the case with purchasing running shoes, you may find it worthwhile to take the time to go to a local store that sells trainers so that you can try them on for size. It’s hard to base a decision solely off online reviews and word of mouth, and there’s really no replacement for actually putting a shoe onto your foot to see how it feels.

 

When the shoe fits

After you’ve secured a pair of shoes for your exercise this summer, have at it! Remember: you can extend the life of your shoes by wearing them only when you’re doing the particular exercise for which you have purchased them. In other words, though it may be tempting, I’d discourage you from wearing your running shoes or trainers around all day, every day, even during the times when you’re not exercising. In doing so, you’ll be taking time off their life and may find that you have to replace them sooner.

Have a safe and healthy summer, and let your feet take you places! You’ll be glad you did.

 

AUTHOR’S BIO: JANE GRATES

A certified fitness guru, hiking enthusiast and co-owner of Rockay. Making at the intersection of design and purpose to craft experiences both online and in real life. She also writes reviews and recommendations on Runnerclick, ThatSweetGift, NicerShoes and GearWeAre.

Time for a tune-up

By | Tennis

I know we don’t want to admit it, but Summer won’t last forever, at least not in this part of the country. However never fear, we have you covered. Even though there are only few weeks left of our Summer tennis programming there’s still plenty you can do in the month of August. August is the perfect time to tune up your game. Everyone’s summer season is winding down whether its for leagues, tournaments or World Team Tennis, and now’s the time to work out the kinks in your game before leagues, and for some of you, High School seasons get underway.

Our pros have times open in their schedule in the month of August, and would love to give you that kickstart you need to win those tight matches. Did you know that for those of you in High School, you are allowed to still take private lessons, even while the season is taking place, even if you have a match the same day! That’s definitely the way to get an edge over your opposition and take advantage of the expert tennis professionals at Courts Plus.

Also, don’t worry, you can trust the tennis pros at Courts Plus that they know what they’re doing. They are professionals, they do this for a living. Our 4 full-time tennis pros have nearly 100 years of teaching experience between them, and are constantly looking to improve their teaching and playing skills. You can routinely see our pros playing local tournaments, studying tennis guides or watching their students play. At Courts Plus, we do tennis, and we would love you to do tennis too!

Tennis Courts | Courts Plus

Good luck to all tennis players this weekend, especially our members!

By | Membership, Tennis

This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Courts Plus will be hosting the North Dakota Girls High School East Region Championships. 8 High Schools from the Eastern part of North Dakota have earned the right to compete, to make it to State. Out of those 8 high schools 5 of them will be local schools, Sheyenne, Davies, Shanley, Fargo North and West Fargo.
Courts Plus will be rocking will 3 full days of competition along with Island Park, Elephant Park and Discovery. The team event is taking place on Thursday, and the individual singles and doubles will be Friday and Saturday.
At this time I’d like to highlight all of the local players playing on those local teams that we see year round at Courts Plus. It’s no surprise that the top seeded team, Sheyenne High School, have 5 of their top 6 in regular lessons, and all 5 are Courts Plus members! They also have the reigning North Dakota High School Champion, Monti Knewtson. They are not the exception. Davies, Shanley, Fargo North and West Fargo all have Courts Plus members.
The top players in the state know that they have to play year round to stand a chance of competing for a State title. With so many options at Courts Plus throughout the year, even those who play other sports, can keep their tennis game going in the off season. We have pros who work all hours, nights, weekends, early mornings, whatever it takes to keep you or your kid on the court and in the game.
We’d like to wish every competitor good luck this weekend, but especially those friendly faces who we see year round at Courts Plus. They know what it takes to be a champion.
For more info and to see our Summer options click here

Pickle Ball from a Tennis Pro

By | Tennis

By Zach Zitur, Tennis Pro.

We all look forward to this time of year. Winter is finally receding and spring is upon us. I always love being able to get outside and play tennis and enjoy the few months of phenomenal weather we get each year. While everyone loves the change to better weather, one thing I love is the return of my grandparents, who are snowbirds, who come back for the summer months. Some five or six years ago something odd happened though. My grandparents had brought back some pickle ball paddles to play with in the summer. I had played pickle ball in gym class, but had never seen people that were dedicated enough to go out and buy their own paddles, and balls. I asked them why they had gotten into the sport so much, they said it was everywhere in the Phoenix area. Knowing my grandparents I thought they were exaggerating, but when I visited the next winter I saw what they were talking about. People were playing everywhere, and all day, I never imagined a random sport from gym class would have this much of a following. Fast forward to today, and the pickle ball craze has hit the Fargo area. Any sports store you go to seems to have paddles, and even if you are looking online at tennis rackets, which I frequently do, the recommended items will include pickle ball paddles. Despite all the interest there are not many places to play in the Fargo area, which is why I liked when Courts Plus redid the gym and included pickle ball lines to have a place to play. Have you heard? We’re going to be doing some Pickle Ball on the tennis courts too!

Teaching tennis is a passion of mine, but pickle ball is also such a great sport to teach and play. One of the biggest reasons why I love both sports is the ability to play both for many years. and to share the sport generationally. As a tennis coach you always hear “oh they’re a tennis family” and the saying is very true. Tennis is definitely a sport that gets handed down through a family tree, and I believe the same is about to occur with pickle ball. We can beat around the bush, but pickle ball certainly has a reputation to be a old person’s game, but as time goes on I see more and more young adults and even kids playing it. First my grandparents started playing, then they got me and my parents to try it and I am sure it will be passed down from there; and I am positive that my grandparents are not the exception. It is the classic easy to learn, hard to master formula that makes pickle ball a great sport to play as a family, and so I don’t see its popularity dying down anytime soon.

Pickle ball is great for those wanting to learn a new sport or to play with family. Despite being a tennis pro I keep getting requests to learn how to play pickle ball and have thus given some lessons. Pickle ball has went from a unit I had to do in gym to a sport that I love to play and teach. So if you are looking to learn tennis or try out pickle ball contact me for a lesson today!

Benefits of Group Exercise

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Membership, Personal Training, Tennis, Uncategorized, Youth

Benefits of Group Exercise

Group exercise has grown extremely popular over the past couple of decades.  Class formats range from muscle work, dance, yoga, to cardio.  The benefits of group exercise are endless!

Muscle classes are great for building strength and endurance.  Muscle work strengthens the bones, provides support for basic functional activities, and adds calorie burn throughout the day.  Yoga is great for flexibility, balance, and meditation.  Dance classes strengthen the heart and provide a great calorie burn.  Combining all class formats is a great way to improve overall fitness and health.

Group exercise instructors are trained to provide a great workout for all fitness levels.  Remember, everyone had their first class at some point.  Don’t be afraid to take that step into the studio to try out new routines.  Instructors will push participants to do exercises and movements correctly that most will not do on their own.   Don’t be afraid to try out any class format at Courts Plus.  Instructors are excited to help!  The social aspect of group exercise is probably the most important.  It’s a great way to meet new friends and commit to fitness without getting bored! Enjoy that first class!

Kids & Movement

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Tennis, Youth

“Sit Still!”… “Stop Moving!”

Wrong.

There are a variety of studies out there explaining the benefits of physical activity for our energetic youth. Studies show it can help alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD and increase focus in the classroom. The list continues to help with the endless daily struggles.

Courts Plus has a ton of options to play an important role in your child’s life!

Here is a list of Youth Activities for just your child or your child AND you. We have equipment for you to borrow so just ask!:

  • Badminton/Racquetball/Pickleball/Tennis: play a family game of doubles or singles
  • Volleyball/Wallyball: invite your neighbors to join you for a game!
  • Youth Fitness Classes: Kidz Jam, Running Club
  • Youth Sport Classes: Basketball, Racquetball, Tennis, Soccer, Sports Sampler
  • Junior Fitness Classes: Cardio Kickboxing, Yoga, Circuit, Intro to Mixed Martial Arts
  • Big Blue Family Time: Not quite 13 years old? That’s ok! Bring the whole family ages 6 and older to come check out Big Blue.

These programs range in age from 15 months – 13 years old.

Contact me for any questions on our Youth Programs (ktrottier@courtsplus.org).

Final tennis update

By | Tennis, Uncategorized

Team Northern, that’s us, narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals today. So our journey ends.
All in all though, this was an amazing event. It’s a dream come true, for me to be able to play on the same courts as the pros, in the same stadiums.
We fly back tonight, but not before we’ll have the chance to watch the Women’s and Men’s singles final. As a teaching pro, the cutting edge of what is happening in tennis, is at the highest echelon of the game. It’s inspiring for me to watch high level tennis and I can’t wait to teach my lessons next week.
Of course this whole great experience started on a court, in a league, at Courts Plus. Actually, a summer league. That’s when we decided to start this new men’s 4.5 league and who could have imagined that it would have taken us all the way to nationals in Indian Wells, CA.
Best advise I can give you, is get involved in the game. There’s a league for you, and the sky’s the limit!

Tennis team update from Nationals

By | Tennis

The USTA Northern section Team is still in the running for a National Championship here at Indian Wells. Adam and I lost 6-7, 6-7 in a marathon match against the Caribbean, but then came back for a 6-3, 6-1 victory against the Middle States (NJ, NY). Now we face Missouri Valley Section on Saturday at 2pm. We’ve been fortunate enough to play both our matches on stadium courts.

The Indian Wells tennis garden facility is a beautiful setting. Right outside of Palm Springs surrounded by mountains. For many players here, it’s the first time they’ve been able to play tennis outside. Hopefully it won’t be long before we’ll be playing tennis outside in Fargo, now that spring is here. The nets are scheduled to be up at all the outdoor parks by April 3rd.

At Courts Plus we get spoiled with perfect conditions for tennis all the time. We don’t have to worry about the wind, or the sun, the potential of rain.

So when you do venture outside, remember to be on your toes, literally. Be ready for that ball from your opponent to slow up when you’re with the wind, and for the ball to speed up when you’re against the wind. Also when hitting with the wind, add more topspin. When hitting against the wind, go after your shots, you can afford to hit it a little harder.

For serving in the sun, you may have to adjust your toss. You can practice this indoor before the outdoor season begins. If you’re opponent is facing the sun, through up some lobs.

For other tips or if you need a tune up before playing outside, contact one of our great pros. They’ve had years of experience going from an indoor season to and outdoor one.