December 30, 2011

Top Tennis Fixation Posts Ever!

It's the end of year and I thought this was a good time to go back over ALL of the Tennis Fixation posts (not just those from 2011) and to pick out a few that I think would be great to see again. These are the posts that are my all-time favorite favorite TF posts. Some of them received a lot of comments (which means you guys like them too). Some of them give useful tennis tips that can vastly improve your game and match play. And a few of them, well, I just like them for some vague reason (good enough excuse for putting them on the list).

So here they are - what I consider to be the Top Tennis Fixation Posts Ever! They come from all three years worth of TF posts and I can promise you, they're all worth revisiting if you want to improve your tennis game! To view one of these in its entirety, just click on the title and you'll be linked to the post.

* Are You The Tennis Partner No One Wants To Play With? - a quick overview of the "bad" partners we all dread and how to deal with them, I love this one because I spent so much time coming up with the names of these terrible partners - like "Bossy Betty" and "Negative Nora"

* Why Are You Losing To Weaker Opponents? - some great tips for dealing with this horrible situation that we've all been in

* Really Easy Doubles Strategies - these are strategies that you can successfully use in every doubles match you play

* One Minute To Better Tennis - when nothing seems to be going your way in a match, here are a few tips that take no more than a minute and can vastly improve your game

* Quick Tennis Tip: Time To Restring - no matter how great of a player you are, worn strings can ruin your game, this tip tells you how to know when to change those strings

* Tennis Team Party & Gifts: "Perfect Serve" Cookies - well, this cookie-in-a-jar I made for my tennis team was just too cute to not look at again, especially since these cookies were guaranteed to give you a perfect serve

* Keeping A Personal Cheat Sheet - everyone should have a "cheat sheet" full of personalized tips and strategies to look over before a match, here's how to put one together

* A New Tennis Racquet: Part 6 - I Finally Buy A Racquet! - this post links you to the whole series I posted on how to select a new racquet that's just right for you

* The Rubberband Vibration Dampener - this is one of the most popular posts on Tennis Fixation, it gives you the instructions for putting a rubberband vibration dampener on your racquet so you'll look just as cool as Andre Agassi

* Let's Get Real - How Many Calories Can I Burn Playing Tennis? - another popular post, my in-depth "scientific" analysis of the true calorie burn that can be achieved in singles and in doubles

* Eenie, Meenie, Miney - Tennis Coach! - tells you how to select a coach and is part of a series (with links) on how to get the most from your tennis lessons

* 10 Quick And Easy Fixes For The Lazy Player - not that you or I are lazy, but here's some easy ways to improve your game with minimal effort

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From Tennis Fixation!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Tennis Fixation!

Now that Christmas is officially here, it's time to relax and enjoy the holiday with your family and friends. If you're in a part of the world where the weather is semi-good, maybe you can even get out and play a little tennis! If not, just enjoy your down time because, before you know it, you'll be back on the courts.

And I hope you'll check in often with Tennis Fixation. I have lots of big plans for this coming year. All part of the my scheme to help you and me play better tennis, look better doing it, and feel better physically while winning match after match!

Again, Merry Christmas! and Happy Holidays! from Tennis Fixation!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

December 21, 2011

Happy Hanukkah From Tennis Fixation!

Happy First Day of Hanukkah!

While today is the first day of Hanukkah, the celebration of this holiday officially started last night. And my family is definitely celebrating. I have already given a new tennis racquet to my child who "officially" plays tennis. And other fitness-related stuff is on the way for the rest of the family. In other words - they're getting into shape whether they like it or not!

So Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to everyone in Tennis Fixation land! Enjoy this special time with friends and family!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

December 18, 2011

Free Tennis Tips With USPTA's iPhone App!

I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve my tennis game that are not only fun to use and easy to understand, but are absolutely free. And here's the latest one I've found - the United States Professional Tennis Association's Tennis Tips app for the iPhone and iPad.

I just downloaded this today so I've barely had time to work my way through it but I can already tell, there is lots and lots of good stuff here. Since it's coming from the USPTA, the world's largest and oldest association of tennis-teaching professionals, the incredible content should be no surprise.

The tips cover anything and everything related to tennis - fitness, drills, specific shots, singles, doubles, tactics, strategy. Here's a screen shot showing a quick sample of the tennis tips you can choose from:

Not only are there plenty of tips, but many of them include short videos demonstrating drills or shots, making the instruction that much easier to understand. Just to give you an idea, here's a screen shot from the "snake drill" video, a drill designed to improve your approach shot and finishing volley skills:

The videos are narrated by USPTA pros so you get the idea of what you're supposed to be doing very quickly.

I can see myself cruising around all of the tips in this app while waiting around to play a match. Or actually while I'm waiting to do anything (doctor's office, restaurant, driver's license renewal). And I hope you're noticing the early morning time on those screen shots above - I'm ALWAYS thinking about tennis.

Consider this my early Christmas gift to you - the USPTA Tennis Tips app, totally free courtesy of Tennis Fixation (and the USPTA, of course). You can find it by searching for "tennis tips" in the App Store.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

December 5, 2011

Tennis Party 2011: Year Of The Mudslide

I had a wonderful time hosting my tennis team holiday party this past week. It's always nice to see everyone in non-tennis gear. Well, maybe not so nice. I made the huge social faux pas of admitting to someone that I didn't recognize her without her sunglasses and visor. I mean literally didn't recognize her - I had to ask her what her name was. Yikes!

Anyway, the big surprise turned out to be that the highlight of the party was the "signature drink" I served - Mudslides! I really didn't think anyone but me would drink these things because, frankly, they are kind of sickly sweet. But everyone loved them and wiped out my entire Mudslide ingredient supply - a sure sign of drink success. So here is the recipe for this very easy to make, very delicious drink.


3 parts Bailey's Irish Cream
1 part Kahlua

Mix Bailey's and Kahlua together. Serve over ice.

That's it! Very easy. I served this by mixing 3 cups Bailey's and 1 cup Kahlua in a large glass pitcher. And then served in pretty glass cups over ice. Here's the photo proof:

The little white tent card tells what the drink is and how to drink it. Cute, right?

Anyway, just wanted to give you the heads up - serve this drink at your next tennis team get-together and perhaps you'll be rewarded with playing a higher line or an earlier time slot at the next team match!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2011

Anna Kournikova Is On And Now Off "The Biggest Loser"

I don't know if you are a fan of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" but my family definitely is. My 11-year-old, my husband and I are addicted to this show. I don't know if that's a good thing but isn't the first step towards recovery admitting that we have this problem?

Anyway, I keep meaning to post about one of the new trainers in Season 12 - Anna Kournikova! If you remember, last season, she appeared on the show to put the contestants through a round of Cardio Tennis. I posted about that here - Anna Kournikova Takes Cardio Tennis To The Biggest Losers. This season, they brought her back as a full-fledged trainer! I think the idea was for her to try and replace the apparently irreplaceable Jillian Michaels. I say irreplaceable because even though Season 12 isn't finished, it has already been announced that Anna will not be returning for Season 13.

At first, I was skeptical of Anna's ability to train anybody to do anything, let alone help these incredibly obese people through the emotional miasma of their weight loss. I mean let's get serious - Anna Kournikova has never been overweight in her life. She has more in common with a super model than with a fatty. But over the course of the season, she really seemed to get into the concept of the show - providing these people with both physical fitness training as well as psychological guidance. I thought she ultimately did a great job and was a nice contrast to the other two male trainers. And I liked that she worked tennis into her training program every chance she got.

Apparently, however, the show was not "the right fit" for her and so she won't be returning next season. Too bad - now we'll have to meet some new female (I'm sure) trainer who won't be a good substitute for Anna or for Jillian. Oh well.

My family and I will miss you Anna and I'm sure a lot of other viewers will too. Good luck finding something to do as lucrative as "The Biggest Loser." I'm pretty sure its not World Team Tennis.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

November 27, 2011

The Tennis Fixation Best-Ever 2011 Gift Guide!

It's the most wonderful time of the year - time for the Tennis Fixation Best-Ever 2012 Gift Guide!

Every year, we (i.e., I) at Tennis Fixation scour websites, stores and the tennis courts, looking for the cutest, hippest, trendiest tennis items to bring to you, our faithful Tennis Fixation followers. And this year, we've found some real "winners" that we want to "serve up" to you. Read on for Tennis Fixation's suggestions of just what to ask Santa for this year.

1. Be sure and bag a great tennis bag. Let's start with a fab tennis bag. If you've been using yours for a few years (or the past year), isn't it time for something new and trendy? Of course it is! So here's my pick for a fun bag that you won't see every other player on court carrying:

This tennis tote is by Ame and Lulu and has a fun graphic print in black and white highlighted with red trim. And - bonus - it can be monogrammed! I found this one on the Slam Glam website (and tons of other cute stuff) for less than $100.

2. Finally . . . tennis balls for a tennis diva! If you're anything like me, you've been wondering, "when will someone come out with animal print tennis balls?" Well, the wait is over! You can find leopard print balls and an entire "Safari Collection" over at (pronounced "sequin" or "seek-win," you decide). Take a look at the leopard print version:

Totally fun. While the leopard print balls are available now for only $20 a can (!!), the Safari Collection will ultimately include all of your favorite animal prints: giraffe, zebra, tiger, jaguar and python. And the "Kaleidoscope Collection" is also on its way. (I'm hoping that will include purple balls, the iconic symbol of Tennis Fixation.) Honestly, I'm not too sure about playing a match with leopard print balls. I have enough trouble seeing the optic yellow balls. And at $20 a can, I wouldn't want to ruin these by doing something crazy like hitting them with my tennis racquet. But they would make a very fun and very unique gift for your favorite tennis fashion diva.

3. Fun with vibration dampeners! The vibration dampener has been cute-ified! Over at String-A-Ma-Jig, they're putting out sweet little vibration dampeners that you are going to love. Here's my favorite:

This is the Mojito Margarita vibration dampener. So now, when you spin your racquet, instead of asking "P or D?" or "M or W?" (boring), you can ask "Mojito or Margarita?" And isn't that the question you wanted to really ask anyway? At only $4 each, you can choose from a huge selection of fun dampeners. There's even something for the tennis-playing dog and cat lovers.

4. How about a very pink watch? Lacoste has a sweet collection of tennis watches and this is my favorite:

At only $95, the "Pink Color Block Goa" watch is within my budget and totally adorable. I can see me wearing this watch all the time - not just on the tennis court.

5. A cool pair of shades. Here's something else I love from Lacoste. These are the Lacoste Women's Brisbane Sunglasses in Purple and Lilac:

While I don't think I could wear these on court, the purple color is so sparkly and splashy! And I think the color totatlly justifies the $128 price tag. I love these!

6. Black tennis shoes! While I'm really attached to my Nike Air Max Breathe Free II tennis shoes, they are the shoes that never go on sale. Ever. But if I was going to make a change, I think I'd go for something really tough-looking, like these:

These are the Asics Gel Resolution 3 in black, lightning and hot pink. I've never worn black shoes but I could see myself giving these ones a try. I mean, aren't you always intimidated by women who take the court in black tennis shoes? I am!

7. How about tennis ball lights on your tree? I'm always looking for something unusual and different that might be cute at a tennis party. So when I saw these Tennis Ball Patio Lights, I knew I'd found the perfect finishing touch for this year's party:

You get 10 light-up tennis balls for only $18.99 - certainly cheaper than decorating the tree with leopard print balls! 

8. I love my Tennis Anatomy book. And I think this is the perfect gift for the serious tennis player:

For all the details on why this is such a great book and how to get one, click over to my recent review: Check Out My "Tennis Anatomy."

9. And I love my tennis canvas print! Here's another item I recently reviewed and think makes a perfect holiday gift:

This is the canvas print I got from Easy Canvas Prints. While I stuck with the tennis theme and had them make me a canvas print of my son playing tennis, they'll put almost anything you want on almost any size canvas. Their website is super easy to use and you'll end up with a completely personalized gift that your recipient is sure to love.

10. And now for the fantasy . . . Here's the bag I've been coveting for quite some time. the Cortiglia Belvedere Nero Tennis Tote:

Hand-crafted in Italy, this bag looks like an elegant handbag but can accommodate two tennis racquets and all the odds and ends you need out on the court.  What's my hesitation in buying this for myself? The price - a cool $435. I found this one on and added it to my "Wish List" (in case my husband is reading this and is in a generous gift-giving mood). I haven't yet convinced the people at Cortiglia to donate one that I could try out but I'm working on that. In the meantime, I'll continue to dream of the day I show up at a match with an Italian-made leather tennis bag on my shoulder - proof of my serious dedication to the sport.

So those are my top 10 tennis gift picks for 2011. Have I missed something? Do you have a favorite item that didn't make my list? Let me know so we can make sure that we're all dressed to kill out on the tennis court! Happy Holidays!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving From Tennis Fixation!

Happy Thanksgiving!

No tennis on the schedule for today. Instead, the usual - run the Turkey Trot 5K with my family, cook lots of super-fattening, super-delicious Thanksgiving foods, eat same, watch football and nap. And think about playing tennis later on.

And, of course, I'm thinking about all of the holiday fun we'll be having here at Tennis Fixation. So check back in throughout the rest of the year so you won't miss out.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

November 21, 2011

Why I Love Tennis Singles (I Mean The Game Of Course)

I made it to the semi-finals in a singles tournament!

I have been wanting to play more singles for a while now, complaining (whining) that all I ever do is play doubles. But singles is not very popular in my tennis circle. My club doesn't even have a singles ladder. And I am not really motivated to play "fun" matches that I arrange myself, even in doubles. If I play, I want it to count.

So, I signed up for an intraclub singles tournament this past weekend. FYI - my first match in this singles tournament was my second singles match ever. So I wasn't expecting much. But - good news! - I made it into the semi-finals and lost to the player who ultimately won the tournament. In my strange tennis world where I can make almost anything sound better than it actually is, it's as if I was a finalist (since I lost to the champ)!

So, here's what I learned from playing my first singles tournament and here's why I think you and I should be playing more singles:

1. Singles is WAY more of a work-out than doubles. It's obvious that singles is going to burn a lot more calories than doubles. Because there's no doubt that when you're the only one on your side of the net serving, returning and getting balls back in play, you're doing a lot more work. In the post Let's Get Real - How Many Calories Can I Burn Playing Tennis?, I estimated the calorie-burn difference to be about 150 calories an hour, with doubles burning about 300 calories per hour vs. singles burning about 450 per hour. That alone is reason enough to be playing more singles.

2. Singles is WAY more of a mental game. Actually, singles is completely, mentally exhausting. At least if you want to win. Because you're out on the court all alone. There's no partner to encourage you, re-focus you and help you shake off your mistakes. You've definitely got to have more mental fortitude for singles than you do for doubles.

3. Singles requires you to have a game plan. Maybe this seems more true to me in singles because there's only one opponent out there to concentrate on and there's only one person to get the ball back in play - me. All by myself, I have to figure out my opponent's weaknesses while, at the same time, trying to play my strengths. For example, in my first tournament match, my opponent was younger but much heavier and had a killer slice forehand that always came up short. So, early on, she would hit a short shot to me and then lob me or just pass me. After a few games of this, I beat her by avoiding her forehand, hitting to her weaker backhand and, when I could, forcing her to run back and forth because she was kind of out of shape and got tired easily. I won 6-2, 6-2 and was struck by the fact that I not only came up with a plan, but that it worked!

4. Singles players are just different from doubles players. The ladies I played against were not just nice after our matches, they wanted to chat about the match - what they were thinking, what they thought of my game, what they were trying to do with their game, how much more they liked singles than doubles. Maybe this is because singles players don't have doubles partners to talk to about this stuff. Anyway, I found this a pleasant change from the usual post-match discussion with doubles opponents (which is often nice but certainly doesn't involve talk of strategy or how great MY game was).

5. A singles win is more satisfying than a doubles win. When you win in doubles, maybe its because you and your partner were the better team. Or maybe its because your partner was really great and was able to carry you. Or maybe its because both of your opponents were just weak. Or maybe one of them was really weak and you picked on her the whole time. Its hard to know sometimes just why you won in doubles. But in singles, there's no doubt - you, and you alone, were the better player. And that all by itself is a good reason to play singles.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

November 17, 2011

Tennis Fashion Fix: Lacoste Teams Up With Jonathan Adler

Talk about being a tennis fashion detective! I just saw the cutest tennis racquet cover in the November 2011 issue of Marie Claire magazine. Since Marie Claire doesn't usually focus on tennis fashion, this thing caught my eye and I decided to track it down.

So it turns out that Lacoste, which as you know sponsors Adny Roddick, has teamed up with super-trendy designer Jonathan Adler to produce some very, very limited edition polos for this holiday season.  These things are so special that they are being produced as part of Lacoste's "Holiday Collector's" series (I didn't know that existed) and I can't even figure out where to buy them. Supposedly Nordstrom's and Neiman Marcus carry them but neither of their web sites turn up any of this stuff. Neither does Lacoste's website. So for now, I haven't bought anything.

But . . . because I really wanted you to see this stuff, I kept digging and Voila! - I found a blogger who apparently not only attended the Tokyo launch party for this collection, but took tons of great photos. 

The blog is called Just Another Typical Night in Tokyo and if this is what a typical Tokyo night looks like, I'm going.  All of the images I'm showing here are from this blog.  The first one, above, gives you an idea about the racquet covers I first noticed in Marie Claire. These are needlepoint covers showing the iconic Lacoste crocodile with a graphic Adler print in the background. They're kind of hard to see in the photo because, here's the best part, you can't buy the racquet covers. You buy the polo shirt, I think for $250, and it comes in the racquet cover! So the focus is on the shirt, not the cover. It's so hip and exclusive that I'm kind of not getting it.

This is a photo showing what I believe is the super, highest-level-of-exclusivity total needlepoint polo shirt:

Are you understanding this shirt? Completely in needlepoint? I think it comes in the ceramic crocodile shown on the right (because of course you'll want that to display at home). According to different sources I saw on-line (and I'm not claiming any of them are reputable), these needlepoint shirts are made by French nuns and take 400 hours per shirt to make. Not even I can make this kind of stuff up. I think maybe you don't wear a shirt like this. Or at least you don't wear it to play tennis in.

The Typical Night blog has several other fabulous photos from this party so if you want to check those out just click on this link: Just Another Typical Night in Tokyo.

And don't even ask how much time I spent looking for this stuff on-line - it's all just part of the job.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2011

Check Out My "Tennis Anatomy"

Not too long ago, I hurt my back while playing tennis. I never figured out how I did it. Clutzy moves? Complete lack of control and form? Old age? Bad luck? Probably all of those things. Anyway, I ended up just taking it easy for about two weeks until everything seemed normal again.

But it really bothered me. How exactly did I hurt myself? And what could I do to prevent it from happening again?

About the same time I was asking myself these questions, the wonderful people at Human Kinetics offered me the chance to review another of their tennis books - Tennis Anatomy by E. Paul Roetert and Mark S. Kovacs.  "Sure," I said. It sounded like something I might be interested in.

I believe this is where a weird concept called synchronicity comes into play and I'm not talking about the hit song by The Police. Synchronicity is when two or more apparently unrelated events occur together in a meaningful manner. E.g., just when I was wondering about my back and how to get it into proper shape for tennis, I get asked to review the book that tells me that exact thing. Creepy.

Anyway, as Tennis Anatomy's introduction explains, "[t]his book is written for serious competitive and recreational tennis players. Many tennis books emphasize fitness or strength and conditioning. Tennis Anatomy takes the next step and focuses on why and how you should get fit to play tennis."

Tennis Anatomy is simple to use - with chapters on "Shoulders," "Arms and Wrists," "Core and Torso," etc., it's easy to zero in on your problem and find the exercises and drills to help get tennis fit. Each chapter covers a different area of tennis anatomy and and provides a thorough explanation of the muscles, how they function in general and why they're strength is important when playing tennis. A number of weight-bearing exercises are illustrated showing how to build the muscles and then showing how these muscles come into play on the tennis court. Here's an example of the detailed illustrations using a recommended shoulder exercise. The first photo shows how to perform the exercise and what muscles are involved:

The really cool part is the second illustration, which shows you exactly how building your shoulder muscles with this exercise will help you on the tennis court:

There is also a chapter full of great on-court drills and a chart where you can zero in on what your pain or problem is, what might be causing it and how to deal with it.

I am really enjoying going over the illustrations in this book and finding ways to strength my strokes without even stepping on the tennis court. And if you or someone you know is a tennis fanatic, Tennis Anatomy would make a perfect gift (so this review is just in time for the holidays!).

Meanwhile, did I figure out the cause of my back problem? No. Am I performing Lat Pull-Downs, Seated Rows and Reverse Flys to strengthen my back muscles as recommended in Chapter 5? You bet I am.

You can order Tennis Anatomy and tons of other great tennis books at

Thanks to Human Kinetics for providing me with a review copy of Tennis Anatomy.

Images via

 © Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

November 2, 2011

We Have A Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner for the October Go Pink 4all Giveaway! The prize is a very cute Blush Pink Jo Polo. And the winner is . . . Jen who left this comment: "My favorite tennis team color is white - but I want to win the pink shirt!"

So, Jen, to get your Jo Polo, just send your shipping address and the size of polo you would like to me at kimselzman(at)gmail(dot)com. You can visit 4all's website to see exactly what size would be right for you - And be sure to contact me within the next three days or I will have to draw a new winning name from the entries.

Thanks to everyone who commented and entered this giveaway. I know I will have a few more coming very, very soon so stay tuned!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

October 27, 2011

Halloween Tennis Breakfast: Vanilla Pumpkin Smoothie

The perfect tennis breakfast to celebrate Halloween - the Vanilla Pumpkin Smoothie! A smoothie is a great pre-match breakfast because its very portable and won't make you feel too full when you're starting up your match.

Besides being the vegetable of choice at Halloween, pumpkins are low in calories, high in anti-oxidants and filled with Vitamin A. And, with the approach of the holiday season, you've probably noticed canned pumpkin filling your grocer's shelves. I based this on a recipe I found on the lululemon blog for a pumpkin spice protein smoothie, but I tweaked it a little to make it my own. I put it through the recipe calculator at and came up with a calorie count of only 141 calories! So buy a can of pumpkin and give this delicious smoothie a try:


1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk (you can also substitute soy or skim milk)
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Truvia (or 1 Tablespoon light agave syrup)

In a blender, combine pumpkin, almond milk, banana, vanilla extract and Truvia. Blend until well-combined. Pour into serving glass and top with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Enjoy!

Don't forget to enter the Tennis Fixation October giveaway for a super cute pink polo from 4allbyjofit. Click on this link - October's Go Pink 4all Giveaway! - to go to the post with all of the details.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

October 24, 2011

Retro Tennis Fixation: "I HATE My Partner!"

I recently played a HORRIBLE doubles match - my partner and I got creamed. Our opponents were very, very good players. But the real problem for me was my partner. Or at least that was the way I saw it and once I saw it that way, I couldn't let go. I tried to tell myself that getting mad at my partner wasn't helping anything but, after the match, I actually went to my captain to complain. Me! The queen of "support your partner" and "be a team player."

Anyway, I knew I had addressed this problem here sometime in the past so I dug up this "Retro Tennis Fixation" post, from August 2009, called I HATE My Partner! to try and remind myself what to do next time this happens.

First off, I don't HATE any of my partners. There are many, many of them and they are all lovely people with whom I enjoy playing tennis. I wouldn't play if I wasn't having fun, right?

And you probably don't hate your tennis partner either. But, sometimes, on occasion, maybe every once in awhile, you end up with a partner you're not completely compatible with. I call this the "mismatched partner."

Maybe your mismatched partner is someone new you've never played with before. Or never even met before! Maybe your mismatched partner is someone you've been invited to play with for fun. Or maybe your mismatched partner is someone you were assigned to play with by your team captain for a league match. However it happens, we’re all familiar with how difficult it can be to have to play with one of these mismatched partners.

Here are a few tips to make sure you not only get along with your mismatched partner, but that you enjoy playing and maybe win your match!

  1. Control your emotions. The worst thing you can do when you're unhappy with your partner is let her know it. It won't help her play any better and it probably won't make you feel any better. So get a grip on yourself and decide that, between the two of you, YOU are going to be the strong and positive leader.
  2. Be positive. It doesn't help anyone if you're negative. It makes you feel bad and it makes your partner feel even worse. If you have some helpful criticism, give it in an upbeat way. For example, if your partner won't come up to the net, telling her "I think we can really hurt them if we're both up at the net" is a lot more productive than "Why can't you just get up to the net??!!"
  3. Help your partner focus on tennis. Its hard to play with someone who isn't concentrating on your match. Instead of letting them ramble on about the chances of their son getting into a really good college, help them concentrate on your match by talking about what's happening on the court. Just letting them know what you're thinking about and planning, i.e., "I'm trying to serve up the middle to set you up for the poach", may be enough to get them focused on tennis.
  4. Communicate. Talking throughout the match can only help. Let your partner know what you're thinking. And if you're worried that this will bother your partner (maybe they'll think you're being hypercritical or don't know what you're talking about or are just talking too much) do what I do and claim you're mostly talking to yourself. Here's my standard disclaimer: "Don't let all of my talking get to you. I'm mostly talking to myself anyway."
  5. Don't throw in the towel. Giving up is the best way to lose your match. And once you've let your partner know you've given up, she will probably give up too. So don't quit because you never know what might happen. The match you think you may lose can turn out to be the incredible comeback story you're telling your tennis pals about later!
  6. Work on your own game. When all else fails, when you've finally decided the match is unwinnable because you just can't play well with this person, think about playing well for yourself. Play your game and find something you can work on - be more aggressive, hit your spin second serve, poach more, come in more, lob more. Use the match as an opportunity to improve your own game so you can walk away feeling good about tennis.
The mismatched partner - you have a hard time playing with them, but you can't back out. And you shouldn't! Because, I think this is a common tennis saying - tennis with a mismatched partner is always better than no tennis at all.

If you want to make sure YOU'RE not the mismatched partner, click on the following post and get my tips on How To Be A Great Tennis Partner!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

October 21, 2011

October's Go Pink 4all Giveaway!

I'm always so excited when it's time to do a Tennis Fixation giveaway - and it's time!

The fabulous team at 4allbyjofit has once again given me a super cute piece to try out AND to give away to one of my Tennis Fixation followers. This time its the Windsor Jo-Polo in go-with-everything Blush Pink. So far, I've worn this piece with black yoga pants, gray yoga capris, my "Raisin"-colored 4all fitness pants (a dark maroon color), white tennis shorts and, my favorite look so far, a brown tennis skirt. That's what I'm wearing today for my upcoming Line 1 Open-level match. Yes, Line 1, Open. No typos there. At least I'm excited about my outfit.

Are you noticing the cute pink color of this top and thinking, "Hey, isn't October when all that cute pink stuff appears?" Well, you're right. And, in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, the team at 4all is donating 10% of the proceeds from its October sales of both the short-sleeved and sleeveless Blush Pink Jo-Polo to the well-known breast cancer cure advocates at Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

Interested in winning one of these? There are lots of ways to get entries into this particular giveaway so do one, a few or all of these.
  • For your first mandatory entry, leave a comment here and let me know what your favorite tennis team colors are - this info will be used in an upcoming fashion post!
 For BONUS entries, go to your favorite social networking sites and -
So you can easily get 5 entries for this giveaway just by doing those few things! Be sure and enter before midnight on Saturday, October 29, 2011. leave your comments using the comment form found at the bottom of this post (just click where it says "0 comments" or "23 comments" or whatever number of comments). Be sure to leave separate comments for each entry - each comment is one entry.

Please note: Winners will be announced on this site. Winners must respond to me with their e-mail address within 3 days of being named. If I don't hear from the first winner within the 3 days, another winner will be selected. This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents age 18 and older.

Good luck!

Image via

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

October 15, 2011

It's October And Holiday Shopping Starts Now!

I hate to do this. I know it's not even Halloween yet. But . . . I'm already giving a Tennis Fixation Holiday Gift Guide pick. I wouldn't do this if I wasn't really happy with this particular item. But I am so I am.

First, just to be clear, I never recommend anything to my Tennis Fixation followers unless (1) it's tennis-related and (2) I've tried it out myself. While my definition of "tennis-related" is pretty loose (remember when I recommended Stella McCartney flip flops for post-tennis relaxation?), even I wasn't quite sure how I could tie tennis into an offer I received from Easy Canvas Prints to try out their product.

What Easy Canvas Prints does is turn your photos to canvas. They offered me a chance to get an 11" x 14" canvas print with whatever I wanted on it. I really couldn't see what this had to do with tennis. I certainly didn't want a large canvas print of myself playing tennis (Yikes!). And I wasn't too sure what my friends and family would think of a large canvas print of someone like Roger Federer or the Bryan Brothers hanging in my house ("She may be taking this tennis thing just a little too far.").

But then I came up with the brilliant idea of getting a canvas print made of my 11-year-old baby, who has taken up tennis in the last few months. And here are the fabulous results! First, the full-on shot. Please do not look too closely at his backhand grip (although it really seems to be highlighted in this photo):

This is just a regular old digital photo that my husband took. I downloaded it and edited it a little bit with on-line photo editor Picnik (very, very easy to use), cropping it, softening it and making the optic yellow of his shirt and the tennis balls a little brighter. I then put it through the Easy Canvas Prints site and got a great preview of just what it was going to look like before I ordered it. Just so you know - their site is very easy to navigate and they offer all kinds of options and upgrades to make your canvas print look incredible.

Now, here is the cool part. Take a look from the side:

See how the canvas print wraps around the frame? Isn't that cool? It looks like I really made an effort in getting this done. And take a look at the texture:

I hope you can see that there is some real canvas texture here. (Again - ignore the backhand grip. We are working on that.)

I really love how this came out and have hung it right out in the family room for everyone to see. My son is very proud that his picture has such a place of honor (especially since my other two kids have no such honor but that's what they get for not playing tennis).

So here's my thought - it's October so you have plenty of time before the holiday shopping season heats up. Wouldn't this make a great gift to someone special? You've got plenty of time to find that memorable photo and turn it into something really unique and special by visiting Easy Canvas Prints. And, should you actually get a canvas print done with a tennis theme, please, please let me know and send me a photo. I would love to see that.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved