February 27, 2011

We Have A Winner!

The entries are all in for the Tennis Fixation "Happy 300th Tennis Fixation Post and Giveaway!" Giveaway! To select a winner, I first numbered the entries in the order in which they came in. I then used the random number generator at www.random.org to select the winner. So here is a screen shot of the information I put in:

And here is a screen shot of the random number that is the winning entry:

And Entry No. 1 belongs to . . . Karen! Karen has her own blog and you can check it out by clicking here - Working it out . . . ramblings of my attempts to run, swim and keep the tennis ball in play. She is also one of the Team 4all bloggers, like me, so I'm excited that I've gotten to know her through that!

I'll be sending Karen a copy of Patrick McEnroe's Hardcourt Confidential. Karen - e-mail me your mailing address and then, when you've had a chance to read the book, let me know what you think of it!

Thanks to all of you for entering and for following Tennis Fixation. I'm on my way to 400 posts and that will probably require another giveaway. So, as always, stay tuned!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 25, 2011

Last Day To Enter The Tennis Fixation Giveaway!

Good Luck!
Okay Tennis Fixation followers - today is the final day! It's your last day to enter the Tennis Fixation Giveaway! You have until midnight Central Time tonight to enter to win a copy of Patrick McEnroe's Hardcourt Confidential. That is totally free to you and just something I'm giving away because I'm celebrating the fact that I was able to get to 300 posts on this blog. Yay (one of those horns blowing in the background, like the kind you blow on New Year's Eve)!

How to enter? It's easy-peasy. Just leave a comment on this post for one entry. You can also leave one comment on each of the following posts that appeared this week for additional entries (just click on the title to get to the post):
Just look at all of those exclamation points - these are exciting posts! By my calculations, if you make as many comments as possible, you can have 6 total entries and that should give you some pretty good odds. So enter to win - and don't feel too much pressure to be especially creative with the comments. "Here's my comment" will suffice.

Good luck!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 24, 2011

My Doubles Domination Starts Here!

Last week, I told you all about a free doubles mini-course being offered by the pros at Essential Tennis. I myself went through all 3 free videos in the course and can honestly say I got quite a bit out of it. I took 2 of the recommended drills right to my next lesson - one on transitioning to the net and one on responding to lobs. I thought they were great drills as did my coach.

Well, because I was enthusiastic about this free mini-course and the whole Doubles Domination concept, Essential Tennis offered me a chance to evaluate and go through the Doubles Domination 2.0 course for free! They, of course, wanted me to do this so I could pass on my views - good or bad - of DD 2.0 to my Tennis Fixation followers. So I said yes, and that's what I'm going to be doing for the next several weeks - committing to the entire Doubles Domination 2.0 course.

I'm telling you all of this because I think a lot of you would get just as much from this course as I already have. I've seen the outline of what will be offered - a book on doubles (already available), an entire video course (many videos already available), interviews with several Tour-level doubles-playing pros, questions and answer sessions, and several forums where you can interact with both instructors and others taking the course. If you're interested in seeing what all is involved in the course and how to sign up, here's a link that will give you a much better explanation: Doubles Domination 2.0 Sign-Up Video.

Here are the parts of the course I can't wait to get - how to play 1 up, 1 back (even though this is not a strong doubles strategy) and what to do when you have a partner who won't come up to the net. This happens to me all of the time and I have tried any number of different tactics to deal with it. I'm really excited that I will finally be getting some practical information to put into practice in these situations.

Now, for the money part - the cost of this course is $197. I know - that is alot. But the way I look at it is, for me - that's about what 3 tennis lessons cost. And I know I'm going to get more than 3 tennis lessons worth of info out of this. And I know, based on what I've already seen, I will be getting the kind of help that I will be able to put into match play immediately.

So, if this sounds like something you might be even vaguely interested in, click on the link above, listen to Essential Tennis's Ian Westermann explain the course, and then see what you think. It comes with a full money back guarantee - if you're not completely satisfied, they'll refund your money. I think its worthwhile and I'm very happy they gave me this chance to view the course for free just for telling you about it - because I would have spent my money to get the course anyway!

Image via www.doublesdomination.com

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 22, 2011

My Team 4all Package Arrives!

It's just like Christmas around here! The FedEx truck pulled up yesterday and delivered a large brown box addressed to me. My Team 4all package has finally arrived!

Now, I knew they were going to send me a tennis outfit to try out and they did. But there was plenty more!

That black thing is a perky little Team 4all backpack by the way! And when I unpacked it . . . well, get a load of this haul:

Now, here's what all of that stuff is. There is an adorable outfit from the 4allbyjofit Charleston Collection. It includes a Stripe Inset Tank top, with a sweet little striped inset at the neckline, in white with navy accents:

There is also a Side Pocket Knit Skort, in navy with built-in shorts (love) and adorable side pockets on the outside of the skirt. I'm excited to try this idea out during my matches:

And, my favorite, FAVORITE piece is the Thumbs Up Jacket in white. I didn't even take a pic of this yet because you have to see it on to truly appreciate it. The cut is fantastic - not the least bit track suit looking.  It is, dare I say?, a little bit sophisticated because of the slim fit. I have a feeling I will be wearing this jacket ALL of the TIME!

But wait - there's more! The biggest surprise? A freakin' Flip camera!:

Hello??? No one mentioned that that was part of the deal. I'm excited and yet I'm starting to think I might have to get someone to video ME playing tennis. Yikes.

And how about a champagne flute, etched with "Team 4all" on it and with the cutest little tennis wine charm included:

When they send you a champagne flute, you know its going to be fun.

Well, stay tuned because I have a feeling I'm going to be posting some very interesting videos soon. And by interesting I think I mean comical. The good news is - at least I'll look fabulous!

And - don't forget to leave a comment below to enter the Tennis Fixation giveaway where we're giving away a copy of Patrick McEnroe's Hardcourt Confidential. To enter, leave a comment on this post. For more entries (and all of the details), just click on this post: Happy 300th Tennis Fixation Post and Giveaway!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 21, 2011

Tennis Fixation Giveaway! "Hardcourt Confidential" By Patrick McEnroe

Patrick McEnroe's Hardcourt Confidential came out last summer, right around Wimbledon as I recall. I was excited to read it because I think McEnroe is a great ESPN commentator. He knows most of the major players, both young and old, has been on the Tour himself, and played in enough Slams to give some real insight into what's happening on court.

So here's my personal take on this - I am pretty clueless about what has been going on in the world of professional tennis beyond the last 5 or so years. I just wasn't paying attention when the US men won the Davis Cup in 2007 and certainly didn't keep up with John McEnroe's tantrums, Jimmy Connors' renaissance or the self-destruction of Vitas Gerulaitis. McEnroe goes into all of that and thus Hardcourt Confidential was, for me at least, interesting and insightful. Frankly, I like hearing what it took to get Andre Agassi to play Davis Cup. And I really was surprised to hear about Pete Sampras' gambling and cheapness. The only drawback to me - I think this is the kind of book McEnroe should have taken on 15 to 20 years from now - when he's in the sunset of his tennis/sportscasting career and wouldn't have to worry about stepping on toes. I don't know that he was worried about that but, he's in his ESPN prime, so he must be, right?

This isn't a book about how to survive the pro Tour. And it isn't a book revealing any deep, dark McEnroe family secrets. But its a great book to read during a Slam when Patrick McEnroe is commentating because it explains a lot about what it took for him to get to where he is today. The French Open is not too far down the road - this might be a good time to pick up a copy of Hardcourt Confidential and prepare yourself to enjoy that next Slam.

And - if you're interested in possibly getting yourself a FREE copy of Hardcourt Confidential, be sure and enter the Tennis Fixation giveaway where we're giving away a copy of this book. To enter, leave a comment on this post. For more entries (and all of the details), just click on this post: Happy 300th Tennis Fixation Post and Giveaway!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 19, 2011

Let The Torture Begin!

Well, I started my half-marathon training this morning. OMG! What was I thinking? Why did I sign up for a half-marathon? I have not done any serious running since my last half-marathon and that was so long ago that I am not going to calculate how long ago it was.

I ran 3 miles this morning because I have a 5K scheduled for next Saturday. One week from now. Surely in one week I will be able to run without jarring every bone in my body with every step.

My half-marathon isn't until September 4 so this is only the start of my training - let the torture begin!

P.S. - Don't forget - leave a comment on this post and each post published from February 18 to 25 to be entered in the latest Tennis Fixation giveaway! Click on this post - Happy 300th Tennis Fixation Post and Giveaway! - for all of the details.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 18, 2011

Happy 300th Tennis Fixation Post And Giveaway!

Guess what? It is time for a Tennis Fixation Giveaway! Yay!

This post marks the 300th Tennis Fixation post and even I am stunned that I have had that much to say about tennis. So to celebrate the fact that Tennis Fixation has made it this far and has no intention of going away anytime soon, and to thank you, my incredible Tennis Fixation followers, I am hosting a tennis gift giveaway!

The prize? A copy of Hardcourt Confidential: Tales from Twenty Years in the Pro Tennis Trenches by Patrick McEnroe. Maybe you read this when it first came out a few months ago. Maybe you didn't. If you didn't, you should. Your view of what the pros are like will probably change forever. It is very entertaining - as I will explain in my next post where I review Hardcourt Confidential.

So how do you win? Very easy:
  • For your FIRST entry, leave me on a comment on this post before midnight Central Time on February 25, 2011. Be sure and use the comment form found at the bottom of each post (just click where it says "0 comments" or "23 comments" or whatever number of comments, don't click on the little envelope because that just sends an e-mail to me and no one else can see that you've entered). Please include your e-mail address with your comment so I can find you if you're a winner. You can do this one time for this post. Just go ahead and do that right now so you know you're entered!
  • For additional entries, leave one (and only one) comment on each post that appears between now and midnight Central Time on February 25. I'll try to do several posts so you have lots of chances to comment (and enter).

I will draw the winning entry after midnight on February 25 and will announce it here on February 26! Fun, huh?

So leave your comment to enter, watch for additional posts this week, leave a comment on each of those so you have even more chances to win and THANK YOU SO MUCH for being a fabulous follower of Tennis Fixation!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 15, 2011

Improve Your Doubles Game - Free!

First things first, this post is going to sound like a commercial for a tennis instruction product. But I want you to know, I'm telling you about this because I think its very helpful and I'm not getting anything at all out of recommending this. And it's free and I just wouldn't recommend anything to you that I didn't trust, hadn't tried out myself and didn't think was worthwhile.

So - I am always on the look-out for great on-line tennis instruction sources. And if I can find something telling me how to improve my doubles game - that is a bonus! So I was extremely excited to get an e-mail from one of my favorite tennis instruction sites - Essential Tennis - giving me a chance to (hopefully) take my doubles game to the next level.

I have told you about the Essential Tennis podcasts before (just click on this post - Get Your Tennis Fix With Podcasts). Not only is the ET podcast one of my fav things to listen to while working out, it happens to be the No. 1 rated tennis podcast on iTunes.

Anyway, I got this e-mail from Ian Westermann, the pro behind Essential Tennis, offering three free online video lessons aimed at improving my doubles game. The name of this video course is "3 Causes of Weak, Passive Doubles - Dominated Forever!" To sign up for these videos, you have to give your e-mail address, which I had no problem doing since I am already on the Essential Tennis e-mail list.

The 3 videos will focus on:
  • Poor transition game skills (serve and volley or return and volley)
  • Fear of the LOB!
  • How to improve your doubles game if you play mostly singles
To overcome these problems, Ian promises to teach these skills:
  • How to correctly use a split step
  • Deep volley and half volley practice methods
  • Judging how close to get to the net
  • Reading opponents to anticipate the lob
  • The "Doubles Directionals"
  • Lob coverage footwork

I have viewed most of the first video and love it. Ian is easy to understand, his advice makes a lot of sense, and he is not the least bit condescending to the doubles player (which I occasionally seem to detect in some on-line instructional videos) (but maybe that's just me).

I'm going through all of this explanation because I think that you, my fabulous Tennis Fixation followers, would get a lot out of this course and, since it's free, the only thing you're risking is giving your e-mail address to Essential Tennis. Which I don't think is a bad thing at all.

Just be aware - this course is only available this week. It will be taken down next Monday, February 21, at which time Essential Tennis will roll out a much more comprehensive doubles course (which I plan to get in on and so I will be telling you about that too).

So - if you're interested in trying out the free Essential Tennis doubles video course, you can sign up by clicking here: 3 Causes of Weak, Passive Doubles - Dominated Forever!.

If you go through this course, please let me know what you think.

Again - I'm not getting anything out of recommending this to you. In fact, I'm sure Essential Tennis will be thrilled and a bit mystified to get this free commercial pitch from me - totally unsolicited. I just want you to take advantage of as much free tennis instruction as I am.

Happy Doubles!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

I'm A Team 4all Player!

I'm a Team 4all Player!

Not too long ago, I posted about my plans to get fit while having fun with my family in 2011: The Plan for 2011 - Gain Super Athlete Powers! I was writing in response to a call by fitness apparel manufacturer 4all by Jofit looking for women who were not only interested in looking good, but were also into being hard hitting, competitive, in-it-to-win-it female athletes! My family loved this post - what family was I talking about? And who was this person who intended to become an incredible tennis player while also taking up yoga and running a half marathon? Could that possibly be me?

Well, apparently it is! I got the notice last week that I am now one of the Team 4all bloggers who are focused on fitness and fun! This roster of 10 bloggers is described as "early rising, sun saluting, net charging, lunch packing, carpooling, super(role) model bloggers. They play for guts, glory and fun, and have what it takes to be part of Team 4all!" Wow!

I have visited most of blogs of other Team 4all ladies and, let me tell you, they are in great shape. Some of them are into tennis, some are playing golf, some are doing yoga, many of them are runners and all of them are into looking good while getting fit.

Anyway, I can't wait to get going on this and let you all in on what kind of great stuff being an "insider" on Team 4all will mean. Stay tuned!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 14, 2011

Tennis Destination: Not The Canyons In December

I just got back from a great ski trip to The Canyons right outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite the fact that you cannot tell from this pic, this is actually me skiing. My face is completely covered even though it was about 30 degrees and a gorgeous sunny day. But that is how I get out of worrying about sunscreen and getting the dreaded "skiier's tan."

We also skiied Alta and Deer Valley - both of which ban snow boarders. You may be an avid snow boarder and I'm not trying to dis snow boarders. But as a skiier, it is kind of nice not to have to worry about snow boarders whipping by and icing up the runs.

There was nothing tennis-related on this trip but I did learn one important thing - my legs are WAY out of shape! The outside of my calves are still sore - are there separate muscles on the outside of the calves? For tennis, I always think I have to work on my arms. But this ski trip proved to me - if I would strength train my entire body, and not just focus on my arms, my tennis game would probably improve. As would my skiing. I was exhausted at the end of every day. But that's why skiing is so fun, right?

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 9, 2011

Make Every Lesson Your Best Tennis Lesson Ever!

This is Part 5 of a series on getting the most from your tennis lessons.

Let's face it - when you have a tennis lesson, you're being bossed around. Your tennis coach tells you to run over here, serve over there, hit this shot, aim for that target. And you do most of this, or at least you attempt to do most of this, no questions asked.

But don't forget who the boss really is out on the court. Don't forget who is paying for that lesson. Not your coach, right? It's you! And you need to make sure that you are getting your money's worth out of each and every lesson you have. You need to make sure that every tennis lesson you have is a great tennis lesson. Here's how to do that:

1. Communicate your goals to your coach. In the last post in this series (click here for that - Get A Goal And Get More From Your Tennis Lessons),  we discussed the importance of having a goal for your lessons. Make sure your coach knows what your goal is and that he is designing drills to help you get to that goal.  So if you want to work on your serve, some time should be spent with you hitting serves. Obviously. But those serve drills should be not only you standing at the baseline, hitting serves while your coach stands there and critiques you, but should also include some live ball drills where you serve and then play out points against your coach.

2. Ask questions during your lesson. While you want most of your lesson to consist of you hitting balls, you need to spend some time talking to your coach and asking questions. Now, I ask a lot of questions during my lessons, probably way more than is necessary. But I know my coach has played since he was a kid, I know he plays singles and doubles, and I know he's pretty smart about tennis (although I would never admit that to him). So I want to know what he thinks about some of the situations I come up against in match play. I want to know when to hit my backhand with top spin and when to slice. I want to know how much to pronate on my serve and what does that mean anyway. Talking with him and asking lots of questions is a good way to get expert advice on the specific situations that I come up against again and again.

3. Learn something in each lesson AND write it down! I try to take away at least one thing from each of my lessons. It may be something major - apply spin when hitting an overhead (that was major for me anyway). It may be something very minor - wear a better hat on sunny days. I then jot down these lesson points on a notepad I keep in my tennis bag just for this purpose. I do this because, even though I think I'm really smart and will remember everything I learn in my tennis lesson, the truth is - I won't. But if you do this - learn something AND write it down - you will soon have a great list of tips specific to your game that you can pull out and review before your matches. And maybe one day, like me, you'll type it up into your own personal cheat sheet (read this post - Keeping A Personal Cheat Sheet - for info on that great idea)!

4. Apply what you learn outside your lesson. This is really the hardest part of taking tennis lessons. When you are learning something new, it very likely will mean changing your old way of doing things. I've actually witnessed someone else taking a lesson, arguing with their pro why their way of hitting a backhand was better than the way the pro was trying to teach them. Ladies - if this is you, you're wasting your money taking lessons. Face it - want to get a better backhand? You might have to change your grip. And that new grip is going to feel awkward and uncomfortable for quite some time. But if you don't put it into play and you keep using your same old backhand grip, well, your backhand is never going to improve. So accept the awkwardness. Ignore the fact that you are going to have some trouble with that backhand for a little while (or whatever it is you're working on). Apply what you're learning in your tennis lesson to your tennis game and have faith that you will soon see the improvement.

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 - Where, Oh Where, Can I Find A Great Tennis Coach?
Part 3 - Eenie, Meenie, Miney - Tennis Coach!
Part 4 - Get A Goal And Get More From Your Tennis Lessons

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 6, 2011

Improve Your Tennis In The Freeezzzzing Cold

My tennis lesson just got cancelled - Thank God! - because it is just too dang cold to be outside this morning. But that doesn't mean I'm giving up on working on my game! So what can you do to sharpen your tennis when the weather turns frigid and you can't leave the house? Here are some great ideas:

1. Get your heart rate up with cardio work. This can be with workout videos you have on hand, your Wii system (I love My Fitness Coach for this but NOT My Fitness Coach 2), putting that treadmill or stationary bike to good use, or even running up and down stairs in your house (yuck, I know).

2. Build your muscles with weights. You don't need a workout bench, a full barbell set and a spotter for this. Hand weights in the 5 to 10 pound range are more than adequate to give your arms a nice tennis-specific workout.

3. Stretch out with yoga. There are great DVDs out there (I have several that I like from Gaiam) that can help you with muscle tone, balance, relaxation and breathing - all things we need to play great tennis.

4. Improve your game by watching something instructional. If you've got the Tennis Channel (like me! - Guess Who Has the Tennis Channel?), then you can be sure there's something worth watching, especially right now since we are in between big tournaments. You might also have some great tennis DVDs or videos that you can view to help your game (let me know of any you like as I need to do a post on those!). And if you've got neither of these on hand, go on-line! I've posted about some great on-line sources for tennis info here: Surfing For Tennis Tips.

5. Read about tennis! There are tons and tons of great tennis books out there. Right now I'm reading several that I'll post about soon. Here are some favs that I've already told you about (click on the title and you'll go right to my post on that book!):

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 2011 All Rights Reserved

February 4, 2011

Quick Tennis Fix: Get Your Racquets Out Of The Car!

I almost learned my lesson this morning. The weather is frigid, the roads are icy, and my husband wanted to take my larger and heavier (than his) car to work. And I was supposed to play indoor tennis indoor later in the morning. Despite the fact that I know I should not keep my tennis racquets in my car (see Quick Tennis Fix: Take Care Of Your Racquet), I had a light bulb moment in the shower this morning when I realized that's exactly where my tennis bag was - in my car. With my racquets. And I wasn't sure if my husband had already left with my car and racquets. I hopped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me, and ran to the garage. Fortunately, my car was still there. I hid my car keys (so he couldn't drive off) and got back in the shower. I retrieved my tennis bag later, as he was leaving. Those racquets are the key to my success in tennis (ha!) so why can't I remember:

Do not leave your tennis racquets in your car! Whatever the weather - freezing cold or sweltering heat - this is not a good place to store your most expensive piece of tennis equipment.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved