October 31, 2010

Your Serve Won't Be The Only Scary Thing On Court

How do you combine tennis, fashion and a good dose of Halloween horror? Love All has figured out a super cute way to do so with these Halloween t-shirts, made for the courts.

Why am I in love with a t-shirt I can wear for about 3 hours out of the whole year? First, Love All has done an adorable job with the scary tennis theme. Just look closely at the orange and violet tees - those aren't Os in the word "Boo!" - they're tennis balls! Corny enough to be adorable!

Second, and let's get serious here, these shirts are for Halloween. I will go out of my way to support any holiday in which eating candy is one of the required activities.

Finally, these are just plain old fantastic tees. They are in a burn-out fabric with a vintage, worn-in feel. The material is 50 % cotton and 50% polyester so these tees are sheer enough to look a little sexy but strong enough to make it through the wash. The colors are bright, vibrant and lots of fun. And, most important, the fit is close and slim - very girly.

Bottom line? Love All has lots of tennis t-shirts to lust after. Buying them all may require some type of credit card "trick", but for now, "treat" yourself to one of their Halloween tees.

Photos: www.loveall.com.

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 29, 2010

Serena Williams Is Serious About This Nail Thing

I don't usually buy Vogue magazine (as evidenced by my predilection for workout clothes as fashion). But I picked up the August issue because, as I was standing in line at the grocery store flipping through magazines, I came across the article "She's Got Game," featuring Serena Williams doing the nails of Vogue Editor Marian Rust. So I had to buy Vogue.

Remember a while ago I told you that Serena was training to be a nail technician? (See this post: Serena's Plan For The Future.) Well Vogue heard about it and sent someone to get her nails done by Serena. Which she happily agreed to do in her Calvin Klein frock (see the pic above). It turns out Serena has had a lifelong fascination with nails and plans to one day open a salon or 2 (or 52).

Here's a little teaser of what's to come: in January 2011, nail polish manufacturer OPI will partner with Serena to roll out the "Glam Slam" collection. Check back with Tennis Fixation as we will not only keep you updated, we will probably have to try out the whole dang collection!


Photo by Derek Kettela for Vogue

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 27, 2010

Top Excuses For Losing In Tennis

I just suffered a devastating (in my mind anyway) loss this past week. I was on a 7 match winning streak when I was blown off the court 6-1, 6-0 in a doubles match. I have a good excuse - it was my partner's fault.

And that brings me to the subject of today's post - a list of the top excuses for losing in tennis.  Let me preface all of this by saying - I get it.  Making excuses as to why I lost a match says a lot more about my psychological issues than my partner's lack of game.  But, right now, I don't care.  It is going to take a while for me to just let go of this particular defeat.  So, here is a handy list of excuses, ones we've all heard that can work for almost any loss you ever experience.  Keep this list handy for when you lose that difficult match and you just can't let go. 

1. "I've hurt my (fill in the name of body part) and it's killing me. I'm going to see an orthopedic doctor next week and hopefully getting an MRI." Maybe it's the shoulder. Maybe it's the knee. Or the back. Or the wrist. Just fill in the blank. Everyone else always seems to have an injury so why shouldn't you?

2. "Gosh, I'm can't believe I'm so bad today! I never play like this!" This one's great if you're the passive-aggressive type.  You focus attention on your own unexplainably poor play rather than your opponent's terrific play.  This one is used again and again by Serena Williams so I don't see why you and I can't throw it around too.

3. "I'm really terrible today because I haven't played in (fill in some amount of time)." It could be years, months, weeks, days or even hours. Because we all know that if you don't play tennis every single day, you're not up to par.  In my case, I have been known to put it this way: "If I don't play on a daily basis, I can't even get to mediocre."

4. "There's just too much noise in here." Oh my goodness, do I love playing indoors!  Because there is a never ending stream of excuses to justify your losses on an indoor court.  Noise levels are just one of the many, many excuses you can use.  The converse of this excuse can also work: "It's just too quiet in here!"

5. "The lighting in here is too dark (or too bright or just too weird)." Another fabulous excuse for losing an indoor match.  Although, don't underestimate the value of this excuse for outdoor matches on a sunny day, an overcast day or even in the evening. 

6. "It was my partner's fault." In a doubles match, this has absolutely got to be the Number 1 most called-upon excuse to justify a loss. It's the one I'm going with to explain the snap of my winning streak. I mean, as long as there weren't too many witnesses around, it's just my word against my partner's, right?

This post originally appeared on Tennis Fixation's blog page on the Tennis Now website. Click here to read this and other great Tennis Fixation posts on Tennis Now!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 25, 2010

Tennis Destination: Back To Vegas Baby!

Apparently, my husband and I have turned into one of those couples that makes a yearly trip to Las Vegas as we were there again this past weekend. We stayed at the Encore, part of the Wynn complex, which is gorgeous in an Asian way, but, frankly, is just too far down the Strip. We were constantly running or leaving places early to get back to our hotel in time to change.

Here you can see a pic of me, with racquet, outside of Caesar's. Notice I am wearing my adorable Lulu Lemon outfit. As I've pointed out before, walking around in Las Vegas in tennis togs, even as cute as these, and carrying a racquet doesn't even get you a second glance.

We once again played tennis at the Hilton Flamingo. Remember: if you go to Vegas and want to play tennis, anyone can play at the Flamingo for $25 an hour. When we asked the concierge at the Encore to book us a court, she was completely unaware of this and tried to send us to some off-site tennis center where they would come pick us up in a van. I would much rather play at the Flamingo where I not only get some tennis time, but can see a tattoo themed wedding, gamble away $75 and enjoy 2 for 1 Miller Lite, all before 11:00 a.m. Here is the photographic evidence of me on the court in my Lulu Lemon outfit. Please, if you want to serve well, do not copy my service motion:

The most exciting part of the trip? We went to see Cher who, at 64 years of age, is truly amazing! I can't say enough about what a fabulous show she put on and I'm not even all that big of a Cher fan. But she was incredible and here is a pic of me with a few of her costumes, outside the Caesar's Colosseum where she performed:

We tried to keep count of the number of costume changes she went through but couldn't keep up. It was a lot!

Here's a final shot of me in the airport with the racquets. This is the price you have to pay to play tennis while traveling - carrying those racquets around. I personally think its worth it. Too bad if several people get poked or hit in the head as we're boarding the plane.

Thanks to my fabulous husband for being my photographer and not complaining every time I made him take a picture of me with my tennis stuff!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 24, 2010

Get Your Pink On

Photo: www.pennracquet.com

Okay ladies and gents – it’s October. Translation: it’s time to show some support for breast cancer research. How to do that? By shopping for some super cute tennis gear, of course!

Naturally, you’ll want to start with some pink tennis balls. Both Penn and Wilson make pink tennis balls that not only let you show you care, but also result in donations to breast cancer research groups. Penn donates 15 cents per can of pink balls sold to fund breast cancer research. Wilson’s entire “Hope” line of sporting goods includes not just pink balls, but also pink vibration dampeners, pink hats, and pink ribbon wrist bands and benefits The Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.

But maybe pink tennis balls just aren’t enough for you, and you’re ready to take your support for breast cancer awareness to the next level! If so, check out New Balance’s “Lace Up for the Cure” line, with plenty of things here to keep you in the pink out on the court.

New Balance works closely with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and has some great running gear that translates beautifully to the tennis court. I especially love the Tonic Crop 3.0 sports bra in magenta trimmed in black and white:

Photo: www.newbalance.com

And of course there are tons of adorable t-shirts, running shorts and tights with New Balance dry-wicking technology to keep you dry yet fashionable during your match. New Balance contributes 5% of its “Lace Up for the Cure” collection with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 each year to Komen.

Can’t get enough of this pink stuff? There are at least two fabulous web sites where you can shop, support breast cancer research, or help pay for mammograms. Check out www.pinkribbonshop.com and shop.thebreastcancersite.com to pick up some sweet pink items that will not only make you look good, but will make you feel good too, on and off the court.

This Tennis Fixation post originally appeared on one of my favorite tennis web sites: Strawberries & Scream.

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 22, 2010

Communicating In Doubles

This is a guest post from Brian Montez, tennis pro and owner of K Factor Sports.

A big part of playing doubles is communicating. Often, especially at the club level, you will play with multiple partners with varying styles of play. Lack of communication can cause teams to lose on a regular basis, while miscommunication can cause a team to implode.

To help with the communication barrier, I suggest determining what your strengths and weakness are as individuals and as a team. Then come up with a game plan and communicate it well with each other.

Don't be vague in your suggestions to your partner. You should make sure that your partner understands why you are suggesting a particular strategy or a change in their play and your play as a team.

For most players, results are important. No one likes to go out every week and put up an "L" for themselves or their team. So come up with a way to work and communicate with each of your partners. Remember: It's not personal. Listen to what your partner has to say to you and communicate your ideas with them. DON'T GET DEFENSIVE AND FRUSTRATED!

Your game plan may not always work. You may have to continue to make changes. But do so until you and your partner figure out how to win. It may not always be pretty, but get it done and move onto the next match!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 20, 2010

Tennis Nutrition: Planning Your Ideal Diet

This is a guest post from avid tennis player and blogger, Maria Rainer.

If you’re going to invest in maintaining the best possible conditions for your primary tennis equipment, your own body should top the list. Sure, it’s important to re-string your racket and make sure your shoes don’t slip, but taking care of your body is even more important. Even beyond wearing braces for vulnerable joints, your diet and nutrition should be a focal point of your tennis fitness routine.

Because it’s so easy to slip when you’re on a specific diet, planning ahead can help you ensure that you’ll have the best possible opportunities to maintain healthy tennis nutrition. To start planning your success, check out the following categories of nutrition you’ll need to address.

General Nutrition
To maximize the benefits you receive from everyday meals, avoid more than three servings of alcohol each week and stay away from excess calories and saturated fats. Make sure that you aren’t experiencing any mineral or caloric deficiencies by taking vitamins designed for your gender, age group, and level of activity.

Use an online calorie intake calculator to determine how many calories you should consume in a given day, then make sure that you don’t come up short of this number or exceed it by too much. You can do this by using a caloric value calculator if you don’t have access to nutrition labels on everything you consume.

You daily caloric intake should be accounted for by the following:

• 3 ounces of whole grain
• 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables
• 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits
• 3 cups of milk products
• 5 to 6 ½ ounces of meat or other proteins
• 2 to 3 liters of water

Pre-Match Nutrition
Many tennis players and nutritionists who understand the demands of extended, high-intensity physical activity advocate carbo-loading before a match. This means that it’s advisable to consume enough carbohydrates to get you through the match without sapping permanent energy stores like muscle.

To do this, avoid “empty” or simple carbs like sugar and white bread and focus on complex carbs instead. Start adding more complex carbs to your diet the evening before your match, at the very latest. Anything that contains barley, buckwheat, bran, cornmeal, oatmeal, wheat germ, brown rice, or similar whole grains will help you store energy for the upcoming match.

Add extra water, juice, and sports drinks to your diet as you begin to consume more complex carbs and consider adding salt to compensate for sodium loss through sweat. This will help you to stay hydrated during the match.

During-Match Nutrition
Keep drinking and make sure that you’ve packed some isotonic sports drinks (containing six to eight percent carbohydrates). Drinks that contain sodium, glucose, and electrolytes are also helpful. Avoid drinking too much straight water, or you might risk causing mineral deficiency.

Post-Match Nutrition
Try to consume a high-carb meal within two hours of finishing your match. If you can do this immediately, you’ll be able to replenish your energy stores much faster than you will if you wait too long. In addition to restoring carbs, you’ll want to keep consuming fluids and electrolytes to make sure that your body won’t be deficient in these important diet components.

To adhere to your new diet, make sure that you plan when you’ll go shopping for groceries, which types of meals you’ll make and when you’ll prepare them, and which restaurants you’ll go to for healthy food that fits your diet. Set yourself up for success by focusing on tennis nutrition and maintaining it with deliberate planning.

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, researching areas of online degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 18, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Can I Find A Great Tennis Coach?

This is Part 2 of a series on getting the most from your tennis lessons.

So you've read the first post in this series, Federer Hired A Private Coach - Should You?, and made the decision to put your time and money into private tennis lessons. How will you find the perfect coach to make it all worthwhile? You need to start by coming up with a list of possible pros. Don't just start taking lessons with the first coach you come across. He may be the right coach for your best friend but may be totally wrong for you. Here are some great sources to help you find a tennis coach:

1. Talk to your friends and teammates. This might be the best way to find a good tennis coach. Or it might not. But its definitely the place to start. If any of your friends and teammates are taking lessons, talk to them about the tennis coach they use and what it is they like about him or her. Try to drop in on a few lessons with these pros to see what their teaching style is.

2. Look at the pros at your club or tennis facility. If you're playing on a team or in a league, chances are very good that you belong to a club or other tennis facility that has tennis pros on staff. Take a look at these pros, watch their lessons and see if you can work with them.

3. Use the USPTA's "Find-A-Pro" system. The United States Professional Tennis Association is the world's largest association of tennis-teaching professionals. Among other things, it provides a certification program for recreational tennis coaches. Chances are that a USPTA certfied coach will be a pretty good teacher. You can search for USPTA coaches in your area through the group's on-line "Find-A-Pro" database. Just click here to try it out.

4. Search through the PTR's database. The Professional Tennis Registry is another organization of tennis coaches and teachers. The PTR has four levels of certification, ranging from Associate Instructor to Master Professional. Like the USPTA, the PTR has an on-line database you can access to find a coach in your area. Click here to look for a PTR tennis coach.

5. Try the Internet. This is a source I recommend with some caution. I mean - it's the Internet. Anyone can claim to be a pro at anything. When I looked for pros in my area, I honestly didn't see the name of anyone I recognized. But, depending on where you live, this might be the way to go. Just be sure to ask for references and to visit some lessons before getting involved with a pro you come up with from the Internet.
Want to read other posts in this series? Just click on these titles and find out how to get the most from your tennis lessons:

Part 1 - Federer Hired A Tennis Coach - Should You?
Part 2 - That's this post!
Part 3 - Eenie, Meenie, Miney - Tennis Coach!
Part 4 - Get A Goal And Get More From Your Tennis Lessons
Part 5 - Make Every Lesson Your Best Tennis Lesson Ever!

This post originally appeared on Tennis Fixation's blog page on the Tennis Now website. Click here to read this and other great Tennis Fixation posts on Tennis Now!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 16, 2010

Quick Tennis Fix: My Tennis Team Problems Are Solved!

Tell me, just tell me, you have not had this problem. You're at the court, ready to play your doubles match. Both of your opponents have arrived. The minutes are ticking by, bringing you closer and closer to a forfeit, because your partner has yet to show up.  You assure your opponents that "she's on the way!" as you rummage through your tennis bag, desperately seeking her cell phone number to find out just where the *$#!%!- she is. You come up with two rosters from other teams that you're no longer playing for and a copy of the league tennis rules from two seasons ago. But no phone number.

Wouldn't it be nice if all of the phone numbers for all of your teammates were in one, easily accessible place - somewhere you could always find them for those times when you absolutely, positively need to know what the heck is going on?

Well, today I saw the solution. The team I played against had large laminated luggage-tag-like rosters attached to each of their bags. I snapped a photo to show my Tennis Fixation Fans. What an incredible idea! It's way too simple and obvious of a concept to patent. I would love to have one of these for each of my teams so I can make that phone call telling my partner she needs to get it in gear!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 14, 2010

Burning Women's Tennis Issue: I'm Competitive - Is That A Problem?

You really don't know someone until you've played them in tennis. In my experience, all of the nice ladies I volunteer with and have lunch with and carpool with undergo an incredible transformation out on the court. Turns out a lot of them are not so nice after all. They LIKE to win and will do whatever it takes - call my ace serve out (this has actually happened), hit me in the face with their volley (this has actually happened), make inappropriate hand gestures on court (this just happened yesterday and was done by my partner) - to make sure they win.

So I was somewhat puzzled when I read the article "Play to Win" in the October 2010 issue of Marie Claire magazine. The author believes that women avoid competition in sports. And since she was talking specifically about tennis, I had to read on. She says:
I avoid losing, which also means that I avoid winning . . . . [W]hen I play tennis, I don't keep score. My hitting partner and I stick to ground strokes, standing at the center of the baseline, thwacking the ball like a well-balanced metronome. Once in a while, the heat rises and I thread a backhand down the line or she rips a forehand crosscourt. But we'd sooner hurl our rackets at each other than actually than actually beat each other. In our games, social niceties seem more important than winning--I would hate it if someone didn't have fun.
Where, oh where, are these mythical women who don't want me to lose at tennis and when can I play a match against them?

She goes on to explain how she signed up for a weekend-long tennis camp "not to pretty my strokes, but to practice competing." And, ultimately, she gets it - "I was having fun: moving into the ball, being more aggressive, and perfecting a better balance on my shots. Suddenly I had a sanctioned outlet for blowing off steam and winning . . . ." Of course, her new-found assertiveness carries over into her everyday life and she ends up getting a refund from Amtrak for a delayed train trip.

It's a pretty short article.

Anyway, it just made me think how I have really never encountered anyone who didn't want to win at tennis. I've even played with women who were determined they were going to win our warm-up. And, guess what? I am one of those women too! I want to win and, while I have not yet made any inappropriate hand gestures on court, I have aimed a forehand line drive right at the net person to get her to back off.

I personally think one of the great things about tennis is that you can be competitive and not be seen as some kind of bitch out on the court. Maybe all of us competitive tennis ladies are here in Middle America, not playing in the literary circles of New York like this writer.

For me, I intend to go right on being competitive. And if inappropriate hand gestures get me a few points, maybe I'll throw a few of those in too.

This post originally appeared on Tennis Fixation's blog page on the Tennis Now website. Click here to read this and other great Tennis Fixation posts on Tennis Now!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 9, 2010

Federer Hired A Tennis Coach - Should You?

This is Part 1 of a series on getting the most from your tennis lessons.

Remember right before the U.S. Open when all of the pros were making coaching changes? Andy Murray split with his long-time coach as did Marcos Baghdatis and Bernard Tomic. Murray tried to get Darren Cahill to come on board while Roger Federer actually hired Paul Annacone.

So, let's talk about tennis coaches. Do you have one? Are you ready to bring on your own tennis coach? How do you know if its worth putting in the time and expense involved with taking private lessons?

Just to be clear - I'm not talking about how to find the right coach - that is definitely a huge topic unto itself (and don't be surprised if you see that topic in a future post!). No, what I'm talking about is whether you should take that initial step of committing yourself to regular, probably weekly, private lessons on your own or whether you can use some other less costly, and possibly more convenient way, to improve your game.

And if you're already taking private lessons, take a few minutes to read on and consider whether you're getting the most for your money.

I think the best way to decide whether to hire a tennis coach is to think about the pros and cons.

Pros to Taking Private Lessons:
  • The focus is completely and 100% on you. The great thing about one-on-one lessons is that you don't waste any time listening to or working on someone else's problems. Your problems and issues are the only ones that your coach will work on during your lesson. So, you can quickly improve the strokes and techniques that are most important for you. And, if you don't have a backhand technique that may lead to tennis elbow, you don't have to hear how someone else can change their backhand to avoid tennis elbow.
  • You can learn new things! No matter how long you've been playing tennis, there is always something new to add to your "arsenal" of shots. Did you know you can add spin to your overhead to help keep it in the court? I didn't know that until about two weeks ago. What a revelation! (Please don't laugh if this is something so obvious that everyone else already knows it but no one ever mentions it.) And I learned it, without asking to, from my tennis coach!
  • You will work on things you may otherwise neglect or ignore. Footwork. Does anyone really want to work on footwork? Probably not. But in a private lesson, your coach will put you through some drills that work on things you know you should be better at but don't usually feel like fooling with. Things like footwork, proper lob technique, placement of shots, court position, etc.
  • You can practice strategies in live ball drills and games. It is one thing to come up with a great strategy during a match. It is quite another to actually execute that strategy. A private tennis lesson gives you an opportunity to learn various strategies and then try them out over and over until you can make them happen. Hopefully during a match.
  • You can get a good work-out! You can burn A LOT of calories chasing down balls all by yourself. Way more than you will in a doubles match. So consider your private lesson your work-out for the day.
  • You have a tennis professional with lots of experience to take your questions to. Again and again, things happen during my matches that I'm not sure how to handle. If I want to play aggressively at the net but my partner doesn't, do we play one up, one back? Both back? Do I spend a lot of time trying to convince her to come up with me? Or do I just accept that we're going to lose that match and never play with that partner again? These are the kinds of burning questions you can discuss with your coach so that you're ready when the situation arise again (when you get partnered with that same person again!).
Cons to Taking Private Lessons:
  • They're expensive! This is probably the biggest drawback to private lessons - you're going to have to spend some money on them. In my area, a one-hour lesson with a certified tennis coach or someone teaching at a club can cost anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour. Cheaper lessons can probably be found but this is a situation of you get what you pay for.
  • They can be time-consuming. If you're going down the private lesson road, you'll probably have to make a weekly commitment. And if you're not willing to really make this commitment and show up week after week, private lessons may not be for you.
  • They can be boring. As I said above, in a private lesson the focus is on you. There's no one else to provide any relief, comic or otherwise. You have to keep your attention up all by yourself for a whole hour. For many people, myself included, this can be psychologically draining, especially if you're learning something new or practicing something that you're really bad at.
  • The strategies you practice may not apply in the real world. This is not to say that you won't learn great strategies. In fact, you'll probably learns all kinds of wonderful strategies and tactics that would blow your opponents away in a perfect tennis world. But, in doubles for example, if your partner isn't on the same page with these wonderful strategies, they may not do you much good. Just to give an example: I'm totally down with both doubles partners playing aggressively up at the net. My last three partners have NOT been into this. The last one flat out told me, "As soon as I see you come up to the net, I'll go back." This one up, one back strategy is NOT what I've worked on in my private lessons.
  • You have to have the right coach. It can be hard to find a tennis coach that can help you take your strengths and weaknesses and come up with a winning game. You have to make sure you do not waste your time and money on someone who is not teaching you well (and, again, that's a great topic for a future post!).
  • It's difficult (but not impossible) to work on doubles. A one-on-one lesson is not the best place to work on your doubles game. I know because I do a private lesson every week and I play doubles almost exclusively. There are doubles drills that you can do as an individual but working with two to three other people is probably the best way to improve your doubles game.
So, are you in or out with the private lessons? Personally, I'm in. And apparently so is Roger Federer. All I'm saying is if it's good enough for me and Roger, maybe it's good enough for you!

This post originally appeared on Tennis Fixation's blog page on the Tennis Now website. Click here to read this and other great Tennis Fixation posts on Tennis Now!

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 8, 2010

Anna Kournikova Takes Cardio Tennis To The Biggest Losers

I'm going to be very honest with you - I never thought the day would come when I would write a post that had anything AT ALL to do with Anna Kournikova. But that day has come.

Anna appeared on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" this week, taking the losers through a Cardio Tennis workout.  I've done Cardio Tennis, both at the Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ and here at my club.  It can be a really great workout (assuming it doesn't degenerate into just a regular old tennis drill session).  A lot of running is involved.  A lot of footwork drills go on (running ladders, jumping cones, fun stuff like that).  And A LOT of tennis balls are hit.  So I think Anna actually did a great job giving the contestants a pretty good Cardio Tennis workout.

Here's the clip from the show.  It's only about 2 1/2 minutes and, if you're unfamiliar with Cardio Tennis, it gives you an idea of what the workout is like:

Maybe this happened because Anna is about to become the face of Cardio Tennis? Maybe it happened because people will pay attention to anything, including Cardio Tennis, if Anna Kournikova is involved? I don't know the answer. I just know I'm happy to see anything involving tennis on prime time TV.

Here's a cute shot of Anna with the losers (although I prefer the photo at the top of this post where she's exiting her helicopter in her K-Swiss tennies, begin protected by a bodyguard with an umbrella):

If you want to find out more about Cardio Tennis, check out their web site: www.cardiotennis.com. They have a locator in the middle of the home page (and on the bottom of other pages) that will help you find a Cardio Tennis site in your own home town.

Photos via www.kournikova.com.

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 4, 2010

Mad For Pink Plaid!

Secret’s out: Lululemon’s trendy yoga wear translates perfectly to the court.

OK, tennis fashion fanatics – prepare yourselves. If you haven’t heard of Lululemon Athletica yet, you’ll be searching it out by the end of this piece. As I am always on the look-out for splashy tennis gear – something to make my opponents focus more on the outfit and less on the lack of skills – I was excited to find Lululemon’s fun and functional pieces that no one else on the tennis court is wearing . . . yet.

Why is that? Because this stuff is actually yoga wear! Lululemon is creating apparel to accommodate all kinds of athletic pursuits, mainly yoga, but also dance and running. And you just know, if you can do a downward dog in these pieces, it will definitely stand up to an overhead smash.

I am totally enamored of the perky pink and turquoise plaid skirt I bought (see photo). The color is called Senorita Plaid. This is actually a running skirt, but it is perfect for tennis as it has built-in shorts with “gripper elastic” at the thighs that can easily keep a ball or two safe on the court. The plaid fabric is laced with reflective silver threads intended to keep you safe when running after dark, but I like the sparkly disco-vibe they give off. The wide, hot pink waistband is comfortable (no fat rolls here) and includes a sweet little zipper pocket at the back for cards, keys or sport snacks.

I also bought the “Commit Tank” in Senorita Pink and Static Coal to go with the skirt. It not only provides great support, but is also semi-fitted, so it’s a little looser around the torso. For me, this means no suddenly exposed tummy when I’m going for my kick serve.

The true test, of course, is what do my tennis pals think of this outfit? To find out, I ditched my team uniform and wore this to a match last week. And the compliments were fabulously excessive! As one of my opponents pointed out, “That is too cute to just wear for tennis!” I absolutely agree.

So, Lululemon– get ready. You are about to become my newest tennis pal!

This Tennis Fixation post originally appeared on one of my favorite tennis web sites: Strawberries&Scream.

Photo: www.lululemon.com.

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved

October 2, 2010

Get Your Tennis Fix With Podcasts

If, like me, you're looking for anything and everything that might improve your tennis game, you need to check out the wonderful world of tennis podcasts.

As you probably know, podcasts are digital media files, audio or video, that you can download to your computer, iPod or MP3 player to listen to or watch at your leisure.

And there are plenty of podcasts that focus on tennis.  I get my tennis podcasts on iTunes but you can do a Google search to find all kinds of podcasts outside the iTunes world.

What I love about podcasts are that I can listen to them on the go, in my car or when I'm working out.  And I often listen to tennis podcasts on my way to matches just to get myself in the right frame of mind.  You know - the "I'm about to start playing tennis so I need to forget about what to make for dinner for a little while" frame of mind.

So here's a list of my favorites.  These are specifically podcasts aimed at improving your game - if you want to listen to podcasts about what the pros are doing, there are plenty of those too.  But these give you tips that will help take your game to the next level.  And - bonus! - they're all free on iTunes and can easily be found by doing a search for the podcast name or just for "tennis podcasts."  I've linked to each of these and if you click on the podcast name, you will be taken to the podcaster's site and can actually start listening right now!     

Essential Tennis Podcast - These episodes are usually 30 to 40 minutes long and often feature interviews with tennis instructors, psychologists or other professionals.  If you go to the Essential Tennis Podcast site you'll find the entire Essential Tennis website which is packed with all kinds of great instructional material for recreational players.  I love this website!

Gotta Play Tennis - These are a little bit shorter episodes, maybe 10 to 15 minutes, focusing on tips and concepts that will quickly improve your game.

Tennis Psychology Podcast - These episodes are even shorter but are great for helping build your mental strength out on the court.  If you're interested in going into more depth about tennis psychology, check out the website associated with this podcast:  Sports Psychology for Tennis.

© Kim Selzman 2010 All Rights Reserved