Court Site!

So the court is almost completely renovated now. Apparently, the settlement warranted so much money that they can hire landscapers to ‘beautify’ the court. So Out with the disposal company and in with the landscaping company. This week we were greeted by the sight of “Green Thumb Landscaping.” Even though they’re from Wisconsin, apparently the park owner ‘got a good deal.’

So it got me thinking since it’s been highly requested. “What is the best court to play on?!” Short answer: clay.

Okay, so every court has their pro’s and con’s, this is nothing new. But we will explore them and then I will explain to you why Clay is clearly the best. the court

Grass: Grass courts are the most popular in Great Britain, which is where Wimbledon is played. Grass courts are considered to be the fastest courts, they are hard-packed and can create very healthy bounces if the grass is well grown. But that’s the problem; the grass is difficult to recreate more than once, which means there’re variety and variety is terrible for clay courtdetermining a victor.

Hardcourt: Hard courts are a uniform material. These are usually the indoor courts and are covered in an acrylic layer. This is a close second regarding mine being the favorite. However, there are problems with buffing it. Sometimes a buffed floor can change things. We want to remove as many variables as possible from the equation to create the most stable arena for the players to meet.

Concrete: The most unforgiving kind of court. I prefer this the least. While concrete is uniformly equal, it’s too much so. It is rigid; it doesn’t contour to feet well, and it causes the most problems for people who play for very long periods of time. From studies that I’ve read, it reduces bounce, which can be good because we don’t want sloppy athletes, it’s bad in the long run because it promotes the wrong playing which is playing to a detriment of the athlete.

Clay: The top dog. This has the best features of everything. It’s softer than concrete which means its faster than hardcourt and concrete. It’s much easier to replicate, which makes it better tournament material than grass. And it can never be buffed or too changed the way hardcourt does. Regarding a texture being both optimal for tennis and easily replicated, clay is the best place to play on for all tennis goers.

While I much prefer clay to any other surface, it is also extremely hard to find. I play on a concrete-hybrid court when I play outside and hardwood when I play indoors. I have to go out of my way to play on clay. However, when I’m visiting friends in different places, I want to play them at their best and with the best so I will usually insist on playing with clay. There’re my very well-funded two cents. If you have any other crazy questions for yours truly, you know how to drop me a line.

Ron Out

Spiking 101 (Blog Update!!!)

So today’s blog is going to be all about getting in and spiking that volleyball ball style! But before that, I’ve received a lot of feedback from you guys and am proud to announce that I have stepped down from my job at Roller Die + Forming! I was initially working there as a part-time receptionist, part time blogger, but now I am full time blogging for this blog here! So without further ado, SPIKING 101!

Spiking for Dummies

First, why don’t more people spike while playing? First of all, it is one of the most aggressive moves that can be performed in Tennis! While most of the servers are similar to volleyball spikes, the mechanics are very different as is outlined in this glorious answer by Laurence Shanet!spike

You can see that while there is no spike that is as dramatically similar to the volleyball spike, the tennis spike is identical in form but different in function. It may look similar, but it is a distal assault. The tennis player is spiking with an almost overhand lunge!

If you can perform a wheelhouse assault successfully, then I give you kudos because I think it is very difficult. However, I prefer a more direct angle spike. I enjoy jumping into the air and bringing down the hammer like Thor and sending that to skim the net as close as possible without touching.

Where to hit?

When you’re talking about hitting, it is incredibly important to address the fact that you should be pulling away from the opponent. The closer you get to the front the better of course, but it’s more about creating distance between the ball and the other player in a manner that is surprising and almost violent.

A proper spike is one that disrupts the flow, increases the intensity of the action and offsets your opponent. If you overdo the spike or spike all the time, it becomes part of the opponent’s expectation, and that is inherently against the whole purpose of the spike.off guard

So when you are spiking all we are doing is taking the ball at it’s set place, usually the back line, and we are increasing the speed, 70 to say 90, and we are placing it opposite of where they are, which means cross down right if they are up left. Try and make them criss-cross stances. You want to make them switch footing and dominant hands, confusing their brains will work best for newer players. However, with older players, you want to bank harder on reversal of expectations. You want to lead into the ‘drama’ of the shot more than anything else.

Overall, spiking is a great tool, but like most tools that are iconic and extremely useful, they can only be used when the time is right. IF you overuse it, it will dull, if you never use it, then you’ll be bad at it. There’s a balance to be struck for the spike, somewhere between the ‘sp’ and the ‘ike.’

Keeping Good Distance!

Today, Brian and I challenged ourselves. The construction guys have nearly completed the renovations around our favorite court but at the same time, they need to power clean everything. So now there’s this other company called “Compressed Air by Ringpower” and they’ve been doing all this pressure cleaning stuff around here. Loud, booming machine but it looked like it cleared the area.

Anyways, doesn’t matter. We have stumbled across an exercise and wish to share it with you. It’s the escalating distance game. Each time you hit a ball across the court, you must increase the distance of the volley while still being in the line. So many people have the problem with spacing, and this is the best exercise to make it happen. Let me explain how one of these exchanges went down.

His serve, he does a single bounce like he always does and then he spikes it down right on my side. I lob and put it just beyond the line on his side; I give him plenty of time to respond because remember this is an exercise. It was an accident that he ended up walking right into the chalky mist that remains from the compressed air people.

He replies to me sending it right in the middle of my back right quadrant. Which is perfect for me because it practically gives me the last remaining excellent lobfootage of space before we run out of court. I send it back to him maybe a foot beyond the back line, and he returns it to me with the difference being only an inch. Marvelous play. From there we just kept sending it back until it was a sprinting match.

But this exercise let us try out the feelings of the surroundings. I suggested calling it edging until Brian informed me of a completely different but very interesting act. But I believe that this exercise is going to help everyone out!

If you are looking to maximize the distance you can move; you need to stay constantly on guard and stay prepared for where the ball could arrive and be prepared to send it to wherever it needs to go. Knowing your distance and your movement and what you’re capable of doing is what makes a good tennis player great. If you can properly judge the distance and movement of your partner and the ball, you can clock in on whatever speed it’s coming in at.

Remember, tennis is a game of speed. You have to move quick, act quick, and know the appropriate distance for which the ball can travel. Doing do your drillsthis exercise tests you both on your capabilities with the distance as well as what your partner can do and what you might be able to work for and achieve over time. If you want to excel at tennis, I highly suggest you push your limits of speed and distance.

Ron Out.

Brief Update on Me

Hey there, so I wanted this post to be a little more personal, little less about Tennis. I’ll still stuff some Tennis Nuggets in here but I just want to crowdsource some opinions here.

I think this blog is going to end up being super fire. I think that everyone who is e-mailing me and giving me all of these endorsements and asking for my autographs is a clear sign that I’m doing something right. You are all tennis fanatics out there, and you are looking for a cool voice to speak for you, and I love that.

I love the tennis community, and I love maintaining this blog, but I need to know if you guys think that I should be doing this as like a career or something. I’ve been talking to some other blog buddies (bluddies) about it, and they tell me that I should invest in a graphic overhaul.

I’ve been asking around, and everyone across the board thinks I should use these guys called ‘A Graphic Advantage.’ My first statement is “Woah, this guy is located near San Francisco, what if he knows those guys who ruined my favorite spot?” To which the opinion has been universally blog“unlikely, he lives in Riverside.”

He has a great body of work, and he’s super good, but I also don’t want to go investing in something if it’s not completely optimal. You know what I mean? Sometimes I wonder if I’m just daydreaming about my marvelous nature and clear influence over the youth of America. If I’m not able to, do this. I don’t want to take that risk and end up getting hurt over it. So drop me a line and let me know what you guys think.

Anyway, turbo lesson today. How to properly tie your shoes. Now there are a variety of ways to tie your shoes, but I ALWAYS thread up to the very top button, and if you have that second button that goes to the tippy top, I tie it loosely. The trick is to thread the lace all the way up, tie it semi-tightly around where the ball and socket joint is and then tie it loosely at the top.  The trick is to allow your ankle to have mobility, so it doesn’t get to scuffed, but you are also well supporting your shoe because you’re keeping the ball and socket safely in it’s region.

If any of you plebes have a better way of tying you shoe, let me know because I’m 95% certain that my way is the best way to tie your tennis shoes. And I mean shoes for tennis not just casual shoes.tannis shoes

Non-Sequitur: When did regular shoes or casual shoes end up being called tennis shoes? Because I would not associate Tennis, one of the toughest sports on earth, with the word casual. I’m just not that guy, and I don’t dig this concept. Anyway, read the above, get back to me.

Ron Out.

Proper Care of your Body!

First, I don’t believe in writing lists. If I wanted to write for BuzzFeed or crackhouse, I would. But I have integrity, and I want to share my personal insights. Instead here are a couple of bullet points on proper health and maintenance to keep your body up to snuff.

  • Stretch – a number of times I have to bring this up is infuriating. Let mesay this once and for all. “STRETCH ALL THE TIME.” Even if you are not working out, stretch. When you wake up, stretch. Before you have a meal, stretch. Before you go to sleep, stretch. Before you go out on a date, stretch. Stretching is not a precursor for just working out. You need to keep constantly your body stretched and ready because pulled muscles can happen at any time, you should be ready EVERY time!
  • Qualify your Sleep – Now a lot of people think they have enough sleep. But there are a lot of things that can interrupt your sleep. The most common way to interrupt your sleep is with sleep apnea, now if you don’t know what sleep apnea is sleep well you need to see your doctor see if you have it and if you do, go check out Sleep Group Solutions and buy a respire or a NORAD or something. You need to make sure that you have the best sleep possible, and Apnea will destroy the quality of your sleep.
  • Eat good – You don’t have to eat well all the time. I’ll sneak in a couple of thousand oreos on my cheat days. If you work out enough and treat yourself properly, you should be able to eat whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean you should always eat bad things. Acquireeat good a taste for the good stuff, steam some broccoli, have some celery with peanut butter. Your body needs a lot of good stuff and colorful stuff. If you can squeeze in some carrots and radishes and broccoli, your body will be set for life!
  • Listen to Upbeat music – Now don’t get me wrong, I listen to Matt & Kim as much as I listen to Dimmu Borgir, but there is a little bit of lee way on both. While I love the energy and beat that comes with some quality death metal. I know it might not put me in the best state of mind. So try to listen to music that can help bring out the best in you. If you feel like having a downer day and listening to some downer stuff, go for it. It’s your life. But being happy makes you live longer so stop being such a mope and stop listening to so much Moby.

Hey, I’m not saying that I’m a lifestyle coach or anything, and I certainly am not someone who can criticize people in their ways of living. But I thought I’d go out and shoot some pointers to anyone who might need a little insight.

Ron Out.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Tennis Courts

One of the questions I get a lot is “Hey Ron, Why do you always go to outdoor tennis courts when you play?” Well, dear reader, today is your lucky day!

First, let me preface by stating I don’t have a preference. I may frequent the outdoor one, but it’s pure because I like working out with my shirt off so I can get a better tan. This will also answer the follow-up question of “Ron, why are you always playing bare foot.” And “Ron Why do you play in a speedo only.” The last one is because it makes me feel swirly.

First, when it’s in June or July, no tan is worth cancer, so I like to play indoors. I like going to the local Y because they have a surprisingly well-maintained fitness area, plus they have these enormous air conditioning unit by Waychoff Air Conditioning. I met the guy once, and he is pretty much the Venus and Serena of air conditioners.

But with the increased air conditioning it helps me play for much longer. I don’t get worn out as quickly, and I don’t need to drink as much water because the sun isn’t cooking me alive. Indoor tends to be cooler and makes for a much more fun experience overall.

That being said, I like to play competitively, and I understand that the comfort I feel from indoor play is not going to be present when I am playing competitively. So if I want a more truthful experience when I’m playing the game, I play outdoors.

So it’s up to you. If you want to push yourself to that next level, take the outdoor tennistime and play outside. It’s also easier to secure a court outside because people are usually flocking to the air conditioning, so if you begin to condition yourself to be able to only workout in any condition it increasesindoor tennis the amount of time you play.

So that’s my opinion in a nutshell. If you want a more fun experience, play indoors with the cool air. If you want a more authentic experience, play outside where the sport was created.

Now if you want to do clay over turf or rubber, that’s a conversation for a different time and on that note let me follow up with a letter.

Dear Gym Owners,

I understand that keeping a gym clean and presentable is extremely great for business. I enjoy the smell of a well-maintained gym as much as the next person that’s for sure. I love the gleam of the floor after it’s been buffed to a mirror shine. Sometimes you buff the tennis courts so well I can see my face in it. Then I can see my face getting closer and close until I land on it because you’ve buffed it way too much and you’re injuring players because we keep slipping on the ground. Please keep that in mind for the future that we don’t like falling.

Thank you, Ron, out.

Best Shoes to Wear!

So I was greeted with a lovely sight this morning, and before you can guess because of the thin veil of clarity that is the internet, yes, that is sarcasm. I walked to my favorite outdoor park to play a round of Tennis with my visiting friend Li, only to be met with a giant sign saying “Acamas Civil: Work under construction!” Which is great, that couple from a few days ago seemed to have don so much damage that they have to uproot and redo the plumbing for the entire area, and that means no tennis for a few days.

So Li and I played our round at the nearby indoor court which is awful fallbecause I had to bring my outdoor shoes to an indoor court and I just kept slipping. Now it was partially the owner’s fault, you don’t need to clean a floor with olive oil, but it raised a great idea as to what shoes I should be endorsing!

First, let me go on record and say that I prefer New Balance. Not because they’re the best but I strongly side with their decision to remain 100% American. They are an American shoe, and they are proudly manufactured on American soil and giving jobs back to our economy. I believe that is one of the most important qualities to search for in a company.

That being said I’ve been told that the Barricade is the best shoe on the market right now, and while I must admit that I am biased AGAINSnot good shoesT Adidas, I can’t help but listen when a cacophony of irate tennis players are telling me to give it a try. For outdoors, I sometimes will wear my Asics Gel-Resolution, and I enjoy them.

I like that I can keep playing with the ASICS, and it never feels like I’m either hurting myself or running out of stamina. I strongly endorse the ASICS and the New Balance, so right those down, tell your mothers or brothers and get those things for Christmas because they are worth a pretty penny!

Now that I’ve told you what I’m for, here’s what I’m against. You know Adidas, but that’s for personal reasons. When I was ten, a local bully would kick me in the shins, and he would only wear Adidas while doing so. And when I was regaling in pain he would spit at me and yell “ADIDAS ADIDAS!” So no more there.

But I want to put my foot down and say that Nike has lost any touch over any shoe market other than Basketball. I know they probably produce some quality and great basketball shoes, but for tennis shoes, it’s a joke. Don’t even get me started on the Nike Free series because that is an abomination in the face of not only running shoes but shoe design in general. They are overpriced, made of poor quality and I hate it. I give three thumbs down for Nike; two are mine, and the other is the overseas minor that has to make those awful shoes.

Ron out.

Rackets belong on the court!!! (#rant)

Okay, let’s talk for a moment about cleanliness in the court and being gentlemen when performing. I played a double with this couple from the northwest, not going to name names, but it sounds like Ban Canlisco!

So anyway after me and Brian (My doubles partner, totally pro) playfully bested them three times in a row, they thought it would be best to get frustrated, start a fight with each other and then proceed to yell at us. Hey buddy, the eighties called and they want their McEnroe back!

So we agreed to disagree that we totally beat them thrice, and then we decide to leave. Now our mistake was just leaving and going out to dinner at this nice little tex-me place. But the problem was these were out-of-towners, and they had decided it would be best to leave a little calling card in our bathroom. They took their racket and destroyed it and what’s left of the communal toilet.

This was yesterday, so when Brian and I got there this morning to do our daily warmups, we find this  vac-con company siphoning up a year’s who breaks a racket?worth of sewage and rage. By that, I, of course, mean the aftermath and revenge of the aforementioned partners. It is infuriating! We had to try and play, and Brian thought it would be funny to serve the balls hard to the back left corner where it always smelled!

Take this post as a PSA: If you are ever thinking about playing this game of gentlemen, remember to be at least professional and courteous to others. Yes, it is a game but to some of us it’s an outlet, it’s our escape from the world. We leave our egos in the locker rooms, where hopefully you also leave your jewelry because those can catch very easy and you don’t want to injure yourself especially out of vanity.

So yeah, if you ever find yourself in the ban canlisco area and run into a couple of angry, soon-to-be-divorced, clearly not meant for each angryother, jerks playing a game of tennis and breaking toilets, please remind them that maybe they should pick up a different sport like a bridge or something.

Seriously, people like this just ruin the sport and ruin the fun. Tennis should be a game of precision, a game where aggression is met with defeat and the best way to become great at the game is through hard work, focus and integrity. If you ever wish to pick this game up or to be truly good at it, remember that. This is a game of Zen, a game of Buddhism; it’s best just to relax and play the game. There’s no harm in just playing a game so let’s just play. I’m out of here. Ron, out.

Are Rim Hits a Myth?

Before we get started today, I would love to drop a line about my boys over at the Social Agency. They helped my mom across the street last week and then-then went on to develop an SEO plan for her, real stand up guys. fettuciini

Okay, so I’ve been checking my e-mails a lot lately, like woah. You guys are digging this blog, and I dig that, if you ever want to come into contact with me, visit the contact me page, or click the little drop down contact tab at any point on the website. Boom, instant contact with yours truly.

So Rim hits, are they a real thing? IN short, yeah totally doable, they have happened before, and I’m sure they will happen again. To explain at length, no, absolutely not. To have the accuracy to perform a rim hit with your racket, you would need tremendous focus and precision and you just cannot back that stab with enough power to equal a strong backhand or forehand.

So while it is entirely possible to hit the ball with the tip or rim of your racket. Why would you want to? There are no successful rim hits in the history of the world, the only rim fails. And nobody wants to be known as the guy who failed a hit because he tried to pull off a rim hit.post-zazz

The best way to attack a ball when it is approaching is to follow the ball all the way until it hits the strings. Let your arms ‘feel’ their way to the right location. But when you are having rim problems or rim issues as some like to call it, the best thing that you can do is go back to basics and do beginning exercises again. In this case, that means reestablishing a connection to your limb. Maybe the reason you keep hitting the rim is that you have a new racket with increased length.

While there is a great deal of finesse in hitting the ball with the rim of your racket, it’s just not worth it. If you ever do achieve it, you will miss the goal which is the primary reason we play tennis. Your mission is to make sure that A) The ball never touches the ground on your side twice, and B) Make sure it double drops on their side.

Trying to finagle a rim hit is just for the birds. It’s not worth it; you’ll look like a dingus, and nobody will end up respecting you because you just look like someone going after the zazzy shots when you should be just playing the game. Don’t be a zazzy shooter, be a graceful winner.

Trouble with the Backhand

Hey there, I’m Ron and today we’re going to talk about the backhand. Now I learned mine from experience with my father. You want to take the rings off because you don’t want to get it caught on anything. Sometimes the tennis racket will have loose tape, and that can catch on the metal. So we want to take those off, leave them in your pocket or your bag or your girlfriend/boyfriend.

Take the rings off!
Take the rings off!

Now the optimal way to swing a backhand is to master the lateral backhand first. The best way to do this is to extend your arm outward and then practice making a simple backhanded motion. You want to keep your hand extended and long but not vertically. As if you were giving someone a handshake, but you want to keep it as horizontal as possible.

Once you feel like you, have mastered or at the very least, heavily instilled that motion into your skin and bones, we can continue. Now that you have the arm movements level we are going to start fiddling around with your hands. We want to make sure you know that the angles are super important. Any angle you make your hand will be dramatically portrayed in the racket. By the time you move your hand just 10 degrees, that will magnify that angle for the racket.

So now that we have the full knowledge of how we can move in space, it is time to start smacking! When your target is approaching you, it is important to just simply tap the object at first. Get a feel for your strength because you do not want to upset your partner while you are learning. Leave the power plays for the forehand for right now.

For right now we need to focus on accuracy and power. Depending on how you develop your muscles means that you could potentially have a much more powerful backhand than your forehand, and it is important that we do practice drills on the location based hits.

I want you to serve up to backhand only and focus on hitting the 8 points of the tennis court. If you’re following along with ping pong in mind. Remember that these rules are universal but you are also going to be wanting to research the 32 sections of ping pong. That game is far more intimate and has a lot more movement and variety than tennis does.

You. Post-Backhand.
You. Post-Backhand.

So just focus on taking these spots out with your ferocious backhand. If you are truly able to develop this skill well, then you are ready to dominate the court with terror because everyone will be afraid of that backhand. Just remember, be precise, be delicate, be powerful. This is a game of accuracy and mastering the backhand can make you seem like goro on the court because you will have four powerful arms to attack with and will never be caught off guard!