April 29, 2011

Mental Coaching For Tennis - Yes, I'm Doing It!

I am going to admit something to you that I believe will convince you what a nut I am about tennis. Here goes:

I am working with a mental sports coach to improve my tennis game.

That's right. Me. The person who is not a serious athlete. Me. The player who is more concerned with how cute her skirt looks than with how deep her volley goes. Me. The person who does not believe in "affirmations" or "visualizations" or taking deep breathes on a regular basis. Yes, I am getting mental coaching from someone who helps professional athletes gain the psychological edge they need to not only improve in their sport, but to excel. Even I can't believe it. And here's the weirdest part - I think it's working!

So how did this happen?

Well, I am a member of Team 4all, a group of women athlete bloggers put together by fitness apparel company 4all by jofit. The big golfer in the group is Kirsten Lewis who blogs about her experience at Kirsten's Awesome Quest. Since I have somewhat promised that I will get on this golf thing to please my husband, I have kept up with Kirsten and her blog and - guess what? - golfers are just as obsessive about their game as tennis players.

The other thing Kirsten does is provide mental coaching to athletes. She has a web site dedicated to this - Accessing The Awesomeness of You. And, lucky for me, she recently put together a group of several athletes to show just what mental coaching can do for athletes from all sports and at all levels of proficiency. When she approached me about working with her because she wanted to include a tennis player, I said yes, thinking I was just being nice to my fellow Team 4all member but honestly, I probably wouldn't get much out of it.

Of course, I was wrong.

Why? Because tennis is such a mental game! You know that and I know that (I just checked - I have 29 posts tagged "psychology"). So naturally, anything I can do to strengthen the mental aspect of my play is bound to help my game as a whole.

Here is what my mental coaching experience has been like so far: I have had two phone conversations with Kirsten. Each lasted about an hour. And I can honestly say, after each one, I really had a new view of what is possible for me as a tennis player. Kirsten was able to draw out from me what I see as my current limitations in my game - things I hadn't articulated for myself but knew were true as soon as I said them to her.

She gave me several affirmative questions to think about. Not to answer. Just to think about. One of them is: "What have I decided is not possible that truly is possible? And what is possible after that?" Sounds hokey, right? But by thinking on this (and a few other questions) for a week, I was able to come up with some new goals for myself that I would never have previously even considered (singles anyone?).

Without boring you with my personal details, I can tell you that, in just the few hours I have spent being "coached" by Kirsten, I have come to appreciate how sports psychology and mental coaching can help any athlete of any skill level. And I have another session coming in about a week and I am actually looking forward to it!

Are you ready for a mental coach? Well, maybe you're not quite ready to go out and hire someone to help you with this aspect of your tennis game. But don't pass up this opportunity for quick improvement. Check out these resources that I've used for some quick, easy, no-cost mental help:

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 27, 2011

Tennis Breakfast On The Go

Remember how I was looking for a great tennis breakfast to get me through my morning matches and I thought oatmeal was the answer? (You can check it all out in this post - Searching For The Perfect Tennis Breakfast.) Well, just two days later, I got several coupons in my newspaper to try out McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. For free! I knew this could not be a coincidence. I mean how likely is it that I'm going to write about oatmeal and then get coupons for free oatmeal?

So I headed to McDonald's yesterday morning to put their supposedly healthy oatmeal to the test. My conclusion - I liked it! It comes in a sealed cup with a spoon so there's no mess involved. Here's the pic of the actual oatmeal I received taken inside my actual messy car:

Obviously, you're not going to eat this while you're driving. Inside that cup you get warm oatmeal, sweetened with brown sugar and topped with raisins, dried cranberries and chopped apples. Again, a photo of the actual stuff:

The calorie count is 290 (with the brown sugar, 260 without) and its pretty darn tasty. I can see myself stopping by McDonald's for Fruit & Maple Oatmeal on my way to a match and eating it once I got there. This would be much better for me than some of the other pre-match breakfasts I have had when I've been in a morning rush (pretzels and M&Ms comes to mind).

My conclusion - McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal qualifies as a great tennis breakfast.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 25, 2011

I Am A Tennis Super Role Model!

While it is just as much a surprise to me as it is to you, I have been named as a "super (role) model" by my friends at 4all! Here's a screen shot from the e-mail they recently sent out:

And you can check out the whole interview by clicking here: Meet Super (Role) Model Kim. You definitely need to read this interview where I finally reveal my secret for juggling work, family and staying on top of my tennis game. Hint: it involves food. Other hint: it involves not actually having a job.

My 4all interview comes just in time for May which, as WE all know, is National Tennis Month. It's also when Mother's Day falls and I think those two things are what the 4all team was interested in. In other words, when they went looking for an official "tennis mom," guess where they came? Right here! To Tennis Fixation!

So to celebrate National Tennis Month and my long overdue recognition as a leading tennis mom, I am going to have lots of giveaways throughout the month of May. And one of them will be for a fabulous piece from the 4all London collection (a collection I happen to love since its all pink, purple, black and white). The giveaways will start on Sunday, May 1, so be sure and check in on that day and throughout the month of May because you will not want to miss out on all of the great tennis items you could win during Tennis Fixation's Super Giveaway Extravaganza Month! I'm pretty sure this is the kind of thing tennis role models do.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day Tennis Fans!

Today is Earth Day! Yay! So be sure and do something green, earth-friendly, and tennis-related, of course, to celebrate.

For me, I'm once again finding a home for my worn-out-beyond-safe-use tennis and athletic shoes. (And how do you know if your tennis shoes are too worn to use on court? Check out this post for the answer - Quick Tennis Fix: New Shoes.) My shoes are the most valuable piece of tennis equipment that I regularly churn through. Right now, I have 4 pairs in my closet that I'm not wearing only because I have worn through the outsole and am worried about slipping on court (very doable by me). While I use one of these for just kicking around or the occasional bout of yard work, the other 3 pair are in great shape but just sitting there.

So I've found several wonderful places where you and I can donate these types of athletic shoes. Check these out:

Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program takes your gross old athletic shoes, tears them apart, grinds them up and uses them to make all kinds of sports courts, including tennis courts. A donation locator on the site can help you find drop-off locations that are in many athletic shoe stores in your area.

Soles4Souls donates gently used shoes to needy individuals around the world and coordinated relief efforts for such natural disasters as the Asian tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. Their website has a great donation site locator - just enter your zip code and you'll see nearby stores where you can drop off your donations.

Hope Runs is a charity working in Kenya and Tanzania, using athletics, education, and social entrepreneurship to empower AIDS orphans. They accept donations, including running shoes, and especially are in need of monetary help.

One World Running collects new and gently used athletic shoes to send to needy individuals in the United States and around the world. The majority of these shoes are donated by individuals, running clubs and Girl Scout troops (for example) that put on shoe drives. Shoes that are too beat up for use are sent to Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program. A donation locator can be found on their web site or maybe you can help your local Girl Scout troop to run a shoe drive!

For more great Earth Day ideas and activities, go to the official website: www.earthday.org.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 20, 2011

Tennis Breakfast: Banana & Coffee Smoothie!

My new mission is to find tasty and nutritious breakfast foods that I can eat in a hurry on my way to my morning tennis matches. And my latest is a real winner (to throw in some tennis lingo). I came across a recipe for a Banana & Coffee Breakfast Smoothie in the March 2011 issue of Health magazine. I've been playing around with it and have come up with what I consider to be the perfect Tennis Fixation version.

Here's the recipe:


1/2 cup cold coffee (save some in the morning)
1 cup skim milk
1 banana, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon agave syrup sweetener
4 to 5 ice cubes

Combine all of these ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into your roadie cup and enjoy!

Note: To get the best coffee for this smoothie, pour off the first cup from your morning coffee and save it for later. Do NOT use the old coffee left at the end of the pot that has been cooking on the coffee pot warmer all morning - this coffee will taste burned and make your smoothie pretty much undrinkable. I speak from experience.

Now, if you're not a coffee drinker, this smoothie is going to taste a little harsh to you. But if you're into coffee, and especially if you'd like a cheaper version of a Starbucks frappuccino, you'll love this.

So what's the calorie count on this? I put this recipe into the recipe calculator at www.myfitnesspal.com and came up with a figure of 268 calories for the whole thing. I think that sounds pretty good! And since I'm such a nut for coffee (as evidenced by all of the coffee posts here on Tennis Fixation), this is the kind of smoothie I can see myself having at snack time too.

Give it a try and tell me what you think!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 18, 2011

Rebounces Recycles Tennis Balls

Earth Day is this week (April 22) and I, for one, have finally figured out what to do with all of those used-up un-bouncy tennis balls I have - I'm sending them to Rebounces! Who or what is Rebounces? Rebounces is the company that finally figured out how to recycle dead tennis balls.

I was really lucky that, when I called them to figure out what to do with my old balls, I got to spend some time talking to their Chief of Marketing, Grant Garland. He explained to me how their company came about and just how their process works. The philosophy of Rebounces is "replay, reuse, recycle." Balls that are in pretty good shape are recharged, using Rebounces' patented technology, and put back into play. Balls that are too worn to be recharged are donated by the company for use on furniture and in pet toys. Balls that are in even worse shape are donated to a 3rd party recycler. The ultimate goal is to keep all of the millions of tennis balls manufactured each year out of landfills.

To recharge tennis balls, Rebounces uses a "Green Machine" that repressurizes old tennis balls, making them pretty close to new again. According to Grant, the Green Machine is a pressure vessel that uses a patented blend of gasses to treat the balls. He said it takes about 3 days to repressurize 400 tennis balls, so this is a serious process.

How do you and I get involved in all of this? By donating our used tennis balls! You can ship 200 or more used tennis balls to Rebounces, at no cost to you, through their donation program. And how does that work? Well, lucky for you, I tried out their system and can tell you and show you, with photos!

1. Collect at least 200 used tennis balls. I was able to pretty quickly collect 300 balls from my team mates and my teaching pro. You could do this on an on-going basis or you could organize your team or club to hold a used-tennis-ball drive. (So you can kind of turn it into a party!)

2. Find a shipping box that can hold that many balls. The Rebounces web site explains exactly what size box you need to ship balls to them (click here to see that info) and Grant directed me to Home Depot for the right size box. It only cost 97 cents, as shown in the photo below (yes, I took a picture to show that the boxes are really that cheap):

3. Pack up your balls! Here's what my box of 300 balls looked like (notice the pretty pink ball):

4. E-mail Rebounces and tell them how many balls you're sending. They will e-mail you a prepaid Fed Ex label to cover the shipping costs. Here are my 300 balls, all packed up with their shipping label in my car on their way to my favorite UPS store where I happen to know the Fed Ex guy comes every day:

And that's it!

I mean that's it if all you want to do is ship them your old tennis balls. What if you decide you have a tennis club or team or group that could use these types of balls? Well, Rebounces sells the repressurized balls back to the public and they are much cheaper than new balls. So, of course, I had to buy back some balls to try out. In fact, I was able to buy back MY OWN balls to get a true test of these repressurized balls. The cost for buying 100 balls is $45, including shipping and handling. I paid an extra $5 to have them shipped directly to my home (vs. having them shipped to a business address). That's 50 cents per Rebounces ball (vs. about 70 to 80 cents a ball for new balls). Here's what I received for my $50:

Here's what I can tell you about my Rebounces balls. These aren't what you would use in a tennis match. They aren't in a pressurized can or bag or anything and they aren't "clean" - they look like the same old balls that I sent in. But they are pretty bouncy. They're great for practicing with and would be perfect for clubs, school teams, kids programs and other teams churning through lots of balls on a constant basis.

My recommendation? Give Rebounces a try for Earth Day. You have nothing to lose - except all of those dead, dirty tennis balls rolling around in your bag!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 14, 2011

Fit To Hit: Building Core Strength For Tennis

Marcia of mom.wife.fitness.LIFE.
This is a guest blog from one of my Team 4all teammates, Marcia of mom.wife.fitness.LIFE. Marcia is a fitness enthusiast who does it all - she runs, spins, weight lifts, eats healthy and works out. In this post, Marcia gives her recommendations on how you can build up your strength and help your tennis game, both at the same time! And - bonus - she has videotaped her recommended exercises so you can see exactly how to do them. Please note how cute they are - her 6-year old daughter was her "camera man"!

Tennis and core strength. Core strength and tennis. The two go hand in hand! What is your core you ask?

Your “core” is made up of your pelvic girdle and trunk, and the deep muscles of your spine and abdomen. When properly trained, these muscles provide the stable base for generating power and force. As an athlete, in order to enhance your performance on the court, start training your core stabilizing muscles as soon as possible.

I don't play tennis, or I should say I have not played in a while and when I did "play" I was not so good! It is a great sport that I am sure I would love to play in the future. You really work your cardiovascular fitness with all the movement and power involved!

Research indicates that by developing a stable base, you can:

· Increase strength

· Increase control and endurance of your extremity muscles (arms and legs)

· Improve posture

· Increase momentum

· Increase racquet head acceleration

Having a strong core is a good thing to have as you can see!

Gaining a strong core is so much more than performing an endless amount of crunches (aka: sit ups). The major core muscles involve the stomach, mid and lower back and hips. Tennis players need to pay special attention to their obliques because of how much torso rotation/twisting is done in the sport of tennis. Having a strong core means so much for your game. It helps alleviate the pressure on the lower back by stabilizing the mid-section of your body. Having strong oblique muscles helps to transfer body weight into ground strokes and serves while maintaining balance. And finally, a strong core base aids in keeping the spine erect and supported during high impact activities such as sprinting and the sudden lateral movements associated with tennis. Here is a short video demonstrating ways to train your core; my 6 year daughter is behind the camera!

Tennis and Strength Training

Tennis players need to strength train for 2 reasons: Injury prevention and performance enhancement. Here are the major muscles and areas all tennis players need to pay close attention to for injury prevention and enhanced performance.

External rotators of the shoulder. - Isometric Internal Rotation

Hip extensors and hip abductors. - Bridge

and Clam Shell

Upper back muscles that stabilize the shoulder blades. - Y, T, I

Core musculature, particularly the lower back muscles. (refer to the CORE exercises again!!)

Doing the above exercises 2-3 times a week will get you on your way to developing a strong core and strength needed to perform at your best. Don't be afraid to add in more exercises such as push ups, squats, lunges, shoulder press and triceps extensions for variety and a well-roundedprogram.

3 sets of 10 depending on your current fitness level should do. Challenge yourself and have fun getting strong! Come on and visit me at my blog: Mom.Wife.Fitness.LIFE. for more exercise tips and information.

I would like to add that I am not a certified personal trainer (yet!). I have been in the exercise field as a certified group exercise instructor for 15 years, but please use these tips at your own discretion.

Marcia Grajewski

April 12, 2011

My String Broke - Now What?

Well, it finally happened. During my match yesterday, I mishit a return (I think that's what happened), and I broke a string in my tennis racquet. I wish I could say I hit the ball so hard that I broke a string, but I'm pretty sure it was just a bad return on my part. And the strings on my racquet were already worn. I had even thought about getting the racquet restrung earlier in the week but was sure this racquet could make it a little bit longer. Wrong. The good news is that I actually do carry a second tennis racquet in my bag so I was able to switch racquets, keep playing and, ultimately, win the match (Hooray!).

Now, here's the timing on all of this. The string broke as I hit my return on the last point of an odd game. When we lost that point, we lost the game and had to change ends of court. I just switched out my racquet during this changeover.

What I thought was interesting about all of this was the reaction of one of my opponent's to my situation. As I switched racquets, she said, "Good thing you've got that second racquet so you don't have to forfeit." Forfeit? I hadn't even considered that possibility. It made me realize I don't know anything about the rules of tennis regarding broken racquet strings.

Naturally, I did some research and it turns out there is not an obvious answer to the question of whether you have to forfeit when you break a racquet string. But I think I came up with the answer and I'm going to walk you through it so YOU don't wrongly forfeit a match because you don't know the rule and someone else convinces you that they do.

Rule 4 of the USTA's Official Rules of Tennis addresses "The Racket." The rule states that "Rackets, which are approved for play under the Rules of Tennis, must comply with the specifications in Appendix II." And Appendix II, entitled "The Racket," says:
a. The hitting surface, defined as the main area of the stringing pattern bordered by the points of entry of the strings into the frame or points of contact of the strings with the frame, whichever is the smaller, shall be flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings connected to a frame and alternately interlaced or bonded where they cross. The stringing pattern must be generally uniform and, in particular, not less dense in the centre than in any other area.
That seems pretty clear - there's no way a racquet with a broken string or strings is going to have a flat pattern of crossed strings that is generally uniform. So it appears that, once you break a string, you no longer have a playable racquet and might, in fact, have to forfeit your match.

HOWEVER . . . going, back to USTA Rule 4, the "Cases" accompanying the rule provide some interesting explanation:
Case 4. During a point, a player accidentally breaks the strings. Can the player continue to play another point with this racket?
Decision. Yes, except where specifically prevented by event organisers.
So, even if I didn't have a second racquet, I wouldn't have to forfeit just because I broke my racquet strings. I could continue playing the point where my string broke and, according to Case 4 above, at least "another point" with that racquet, although I'm sure that would be pretty laughable. But maybe my partner could just run everything down and we wouldn't have to forfeit at that moment.

Comment 4.2 to Rule 4 then goes on to state:
May a player who breaks a racket or a string in a racket leave the court to get a replacement? A player who leaves the Court to get a replacement is subject to Code Violations for delays under the Point Penalty System. Rule 29b permits a player "reasonable extra time" to leave the court only in those cases where "clothing, footwear or necessary equipment (excluding racket) is broken or needs to be replaced."
And, if you look at Rule 29b, it does say that very thing - that you can get extra time if your clothing, shoes or other necessary equipment needs to be replaced, but not if your racquet needs to be replaced. Since Rule 29a allows you 20 seconds between each point (90 seconds if you're changing ends of court), I think that means you can have 20 seconds, and only 20 seconds, to run over to your bag, grab your second racquet and be ready to play again. I think I could do that.

The important thing, in my opinion, is to have that second racquet right there on the court ready for you to grab. Sure, you can keep your racquet well-strung, but you never know when you're going to mishit some ball and break your strings. Like me. And to think I almost stopped carrying my second racquet all of the time because I didn't like the "look" of two racquets in my bag. Thank goodness my laziness in removing my racquet won out over my strange tennis fashion sense!

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

April 8, 2011

More Fun At The U.S. Men's Clay Courts!

My last day at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships was my most fun day. Highlights included:
  • I got to drive Ivo Karlovic one last time. He plays his semi-final match against American John Isner tonight. I'm sorry America. I'm rooting for Ivo because he is so nice. I'm sure John Isner is nice too but he has his own car.
  • I got to see just a few minutes of Kei Nishikori's victory over Russian Igor Andreev.
  • I got to hear the Bryan Brothers band!
  • I got to drive a really cute kid around. His name is Andrea Collarini. He is 19, grew up in Argentina, plays for the U.S., trains with the USTA and - bonus - he was a finalist in the French Open Boys' Singles (he lost 4-6, 5-7 so it was a good match). Apparently, the last American boy to win the French Open Juniors was John McEnroe so I was impressed with Andrea's status as a finalist. He is now one of my new players-to-follow.
  • I got to watch Mardy Fish win his match against Spain's Albert Ramos. I'm told that if Fish wins this tournament, he will break into the ATP Top 10!
  • I got to watch John Isner and Sam Querry defeat fellow Americans Donald Young and Denis Kudla in doubles. 
  • And the No. 1 fun thing I did yesterday - I got to sneak into the Lexus Pavilion with two of my friends, who apparently have no pride, morals or scruples, and enjoy free drinks and food while watching the doubles match. I hope no one at the tournament finds out although I kept waiting for someone to ask me to leave since I was in my "volunteer" get-up (not attractive, about one step above janitor duds) and everyone else in the Lexus Pavilion was way over-dressed.
Sadly, after all of this hard work, I am leaving town for the weekend and won't get to see the completion of the tournament. Oh well.

The good news is I took a bunch of photos with my camera and my Blackberry yesterday - all pretty terrible but the one above is a decent one I got of Mardy Fish (obviously I'm very loose on the definition of "decent"). I took some video with my Team 4all Flip camera and, based on those results, I will not be pursuing a career in videography any time soon. But I'm going to post my video clips to my Tennis Fixation YouTube channel just for fun. (Yes, that's right. I have a YouTube channel - don't ask me why. You can visit it by clicking here: The TennisFixation Channel.)

Just for fun - here is a photo of cutie-pie and up-and-comer Andrea Collarini from his finals match at Roland Garros. I just wanted him to get some Tennis Fixation recognition for his efforts. And for being very sweet when they didn't have his post-workout-recovery drink when we went to get it at GNC!

Photo via www.2010.rolandgarros.com

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 6, 2011

Update On U.S. Men's Clay Court Tournament

I'm still driving for the U.S. Men's Clay Court Tournament. Who knew driving a Lexus for 6 to 7 hours a day could be so exhausting?

I did get to watch a little bit of tennis yesterday. I saw the end of the Kei Nishikori vs. Franco Skugor match. This was a hard one for me - I was supporting Skugor because I had driven him and that is the only requirement for me to be your fan at this tournament - that you've been in my car. But I also wanted to see Nishikori win because:
In the end, Nishikori took the match 6-3, 6-2.

The best part? I finally got to take some pictures! They aren't very good and I was fooling with the focus and the sounds the whole time, but here's what I got.

Nishikori set up for a return:

Nishikori's service motion:

Skugor, who is huge, hits a return:

Nishikori, mobbed by fans, after his win:

Obviously, I am not a professional photographer. I'm going to try and take some video today if I can turn off the sound on my Flip. That may beyond my technical capabilities, however. We'll see.

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 5, 2011

We Have A 4allbyjofit Skort Winner!

The latest Tennis Fixation Giveaway was for a very cute black and white tennis skort from the 4allbyjofit New Orleans Collection. I received one of these skorts to try out and loved it (you can read all about that and my poor tennis service form here: What's Black And White And Cute All Over?) and I also got to give one away to one of my fabulous Tennis Fixation followers.

So, over the past week, you guys left great comments and I counted those up (after removing comments from my fellow Team 4all members who were having their own skort giveaways), numbered them and, using a random number generator (screen shot above) came up with a winner. And the winner is . . . Marie!

Marie - Send me an e-mail at kimselzman(at)gmail(dot)com to give me your mailing address and your size. I can tell you what I think of the sizing to help you make the right choice.

And everyone else - thank you so much for entering. And, guess what? I have another Tennis Fixation Giveaway coming in the next few days. It is for something that I think you and your whole family will love so, as always, stay tuned!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 4, 2011

I Heart The US Men's Clay Court Championship!

I have spent the past 4 days as a volunteer driver for the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club and, for me at least, it has been so fun! I have had the chance to see and speak with more ATP players in the last few days than I'm sure I will ever again. I discussed my latest doubles match with a ranked ATP player from South Africa! I can't remember his name but how great was that? For me anyway. He probably thought, "Where do they come up with these nutty drivers?"

Anyway, I'm back to driving again today. This is the final day of qualifying - the guys who win today will take the 4 spots into the Main Draw that are open to qualifiers. On Saturday, there were 32 qualifiers playing and by the end of today, there will only be 4. I have learned a lot about the whole qualifying process from one of the chair umpires that I drove and from a player's wife. It is brutal.

So, here is a quick and very incomplete list of some of the players I've gotten to drive with these past few days:
  • picked up Ivo Karlovic of Croatia from the airport; at 6'10", I figured he would be easy to spot but one of the Final 4 basketball teams happened to arrive at the same time as he did; suddenly, there were LOTS of very tall, very athletic guys coming out of the airport; he is currently ranked a low No. 174 due to injuries but I saw him play yesterday - he hit 29 aces to win his match; he is playing Donald Young today for one of the Main Draw spots;
  • drove Paul Capedeville of Chile and his coach, I even got to take his coach to GNC for whatever special post-recovery sports drink it is that Paul likes, he is currently ranked No. 138 and plays today for one of the spots in the Main Draw;
  • drove Franco Skugor of Croatia, currently ranked No. 149, he was so quiet I thought he must have lost his match but he too is playing today for one of the Main Draw spots;
  • drove Grega Zemlja of Slovenia, he was so nice and now I know where Slovenia is (near Italy);
  • drove Guillermo Canas of Argentina a few times, he's coaching;
  • drove Carlos Berlocq of Argentina and his wife and baby, he is into the Main Draw already as his current ranking is No. 72;
  • drove Jonathan Erlich of Israel, he is ranked No. 46 in doubles and was very nice and very convincing in telling me why I need to visit Israel;
  • saw Mardy Fish, the No. 1 seed for this tournament, he gets his own car so I won't get to drive him and pester him about my tennis matches.

Every one that I've driven, without exception, has been so nice and polite and they don't appear to be bothered by my incessant chatting. Maybe they're just good at keeping up appearances. Anyway, my rule is that if I drive them, I root for them. So today, I'm supporting Ivo Karlovic, Paul Capdeville and Franco Skugor. I'm going early to watch some of the matches and hope to get some pics to post here. I used my cell phone to take pictures of Ivo hitting his 29 aces yesterday but my photos were SO bad that I'm not even going to try to show you those. Hopefully, good pics today.

Also - I'm figuring out who is the winner of the latest Tennis Fixation Giveaway for the 4allbyjofit skort. I'll try to post that today and definitely no later than tomorrow!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 1, 2011

Me? A Human Backboard?

I have finally received a really great tennis compliment - I've been called a "human backboard"! I played a doubles match last week that went so well - I had a great partner who played the same style of tennis that I like to play  (aggressively and at the net), we had nice opponents who gave us a challenging game (one of them was a leftie!), and we had to fight to win the match in a second set tiebreaker (6-4, 7-6 (7-3)).

After the match, as we were recording our scores, I was talking to one of my opponents about what a nice match we'd had and how I felt like it could easily have gone the other way. And she said, "Oh, we couldn't get anything past you. You returned everything. You're a human backboard!" Me! A human backboard! It was the cherry on top of the fluffy white frosting on top of the angel food cake of my tennis match that day! Thank you opponent-whose-name-I-can't-remember for the best tennis compliment I've received in a long, long time. (For the record - I do not believe I am a human backboard but if this lady wants to go around saying stuff like that, who am I to stop her?)

DON'T FORGET: Leave a comment on this post to enter the Tennis Fixation giveaway for a super cute black and white tennis skort from the www.4allbyjofit.com New Orleans collection. And go to this post - What's Black And White And Cute All Over? - for info on how to get more entries for this great giveaway!

© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved