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Woodbine Tennis Club

Woodcreek Tennis Club
36 Woodborough Rd SW
Calgary, AB

This is a proposed new tennis club for Calgary that would serve residents in the southwest communities of Woodbine and Woodlands. It is expected that this new tennis club would also draw members from the surrounding communities of Cedarbrae, Braeside and Canyon Meadows, which do not have tennis clubs of their own.

The Woodcreek Community Association is currently seeking a volunteer to organize activities at their tennis courts which are located at 36 Woodborough Rd SW.

This facility has an established base of local players and appears to be an excellent location for a new startup tennis club in southwest Calgary. It includes three tennis courts, two pickleball courts, a tennis backboard and a small storage building with an active power supply.

This outdoor tennis facility also features a basketball hoop, a skateboard park, an ice skating rink, a sports field and a nearby elementary school, all of which help to draw local families into the area on a year round basis.

Volunteers interested in helping to establish the new club are encouraged to contact the Woodcreek Community Association at (403) 238-1611.

Racquet Network will offer our full support to help this volunteer get started, should they want our assistance. We have several hundred racquet sports customers in Woodbine/Woodlands and surrounding communities and would be willing to promote a founding meeting for the new club. We would also be able to provide some guidance regarding grant applications for any equipment or infrastructure the new club might need.

Racquet Network’s owner, Brent Johner, was the key organizer behind the development of the Oakridge Racquet Club. Under his direction, the club was able to get funding for new tennis/pickleball court construction which resulted in a new tennis club with six new tennis courts and 14 pickleball courts. Brent is willing to act as a voluntary advisor to the volunteers in Woodbine, but would not be willing to be directly involved in the political affairs of the club or the community association.

In addition to the above, Racquet Network is willing to provide assistance in the areas of fundraising and meeting space while the new club gets organized, if such support is requested.

Please contact Brent Johner directly at brent@racquetnetwork.com for more information about how Racquet Network is willing to help, if interested.

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NTRP Tennis Rating Levels

RATING PRACTICE RATIO

1.0

This player is just starting to play tennis Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is a minimum of 10 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

1.5

This player has been introduced to the game, however has difficulty playing the game due to a lack of consistency rallying and serving. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 10 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.
GROUND-STROKES RETURN OF SERVE NET PLAY SERVE PRACTICE RATIO

2.0

Can get the ball in play but lacks control, resulting in inconsistent rallies. Often chooses to hit forehands instead of backhands. Tends to position in a manner to protect weaknesses. Inconsistent return. In singles, reluctant to come to the net. In doubles, understands the basic positioning; comfortable only with the forehand volley; avoids backhand volley and overhead. Incomplete service motion. Toss is inconsistent. Double faults are common. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 8 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

2.5

Can rally consistently 10 balls in a row, especially on the forehand, with an arched trajectory over the net when the objective is to hit to a partner at moderate speed. In singles, consistent when returning towards the middle of the court. In doubles, difficulty returning cross-court to start the point. Becoming at ease at the net in practice but uncomfortable in a game situation. Attempting a full service motion on the first serve. First serve in inconsistent (less than 50%). Uses an incomplete motion to ensure a steady second serve. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 7 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

3.0

Able torally consistently 10 balls in a row on forehands and backhands. Able to maintain the rally when receiving high, short or wide balls, assuming theball is received at a moderate pace, especially on the forehand stroke. Can control the direction of the ball in both singles and doubles, when receiving a serve of moderate pace. Very consistent on forehand volley with easy balls, inconsistent on backhand volley. Overall has difficulty with low and wide balls. Can smash easy lobs. Full motion on both serves. Able to achieve more than 50% success on first serve. Second serve much slower than first serve. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 6 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

3.5

Able to move the opponent around the court or hit harder when receiving easier balls. Can execute approach shots with some consistency (more than 50%). Can return fast serves or well-placed serves with defensive actions. On easy second serve, can return with pace or directional control; can approach the net in doubles. Becoming confident at net play; can direct FH volleys; controls BH volley but with little offense; general difficulty in putting volleys away. Can handle volleys and overheads that require moderate movement. Can vary the speed or direction of first serve. Can direct the second serve to the opponent’s weakness without double-faulting on a regular basis. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 5 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

4.0

Able to develop points with some consistency by using a reliable combination of shots. Erratic when attempting a quality shot, when receiving fast or wide balls, and when attempting passing shots. Difficulty in returning spin serves and very fast serves. On moderately paced serves, can construct the point through hitting a good shot or exploiting an opponent’s weakness. In doubles, can vary returns effectively on moderately-paced serves. In singles, comfortable at following an approach shot to the net. In doubles, comfortable receiving a variety of balls and converting to offensive positioning; can poach on weak returns of serve. Able to put away easy overheads. Can vary the speed and direction of the first serve. Uses spin. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 4 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

4.5

Can use a variety of spins. Beginning to develop a dominant shot or good steadiness. Erratic when attempting a quality shot in two of the following situations: receiving fast balls, wide balls, and in passing shot situations. Off first serves, can defend consistently but very inconsistent (less then 30%) when attempting an aggressive return. In doubles, has difficulty (less than 50%) returning a first serve at the feet of the incoming serve and volleyer. When coming to the net after serving, consistently able to put the first volley in play but without pace or depth; however, inconsistent when trying to volley powerful or angled returns. Close to the net, can finish a point using various options including drop volley, angle volley, punch volley. Aggressive first serve with power and spin. On second serve frequently hits with good depth and placement without double faults. Can serve and volley off first serves in doubles, but experiences some inconsistency. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 3 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

5.0

Able to maintain a consistent rally, 10 balls in a row on faster balls. Very steady strokes or has a dominant shot. Periodically succeeds (50%) when attempting a quality shot when receiving fast or wide balls, and in passing shot situations. Periodically succeeds (50%) at aggressive return off fast first serves using dominant shot (forehand or backhand). In doubles can return at the feet of serve andvolleyer. In doubles, after the serve, has a good, deep crosscourt volley. Overhead can be hit from almost any position. First serve can win points outright, or force a weak return. Second serve can prevent the opponent from attacking. Serve and volleys on first serves in doubles with consistency. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 2 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

5.5

This player has developed a gamestyle which is recognizable as either an all court player, an aggressive baseliner, a serve and volleyer, or a retriever. Has developed good anticipation either technically (can read toss on serve, body position…) or tactically (can read opponents tendencies in specific situations). Has no major weaknesses and can counterattack effectively against a hard ball, wide ball or in passing shot situations. Capable of competing in "open" category provincial level tournaments. Ability to use specific shots in order to exploit opponent’s weakness: drop-shot, lob, angle, moonball… Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 2 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.

6.0-7.0

These players will generally not need a rating. Rankings or past rankings will speak for themselves. The 6.0 player typically has had intensive training for national tournament competition at the junior level and collegiate levels and has obtained a provincial and/or national "open" ranking. The 6.5 player has extensive international "open" level tournament experience at the entry professional level (challenger or satellite experience). The 7.0 is a world class professional tennis player. Recommended practice-to-play-ratio is 2 hours of practice for every 1 hour of game time.
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Best for Beginners: Singles or Doubles Tennis?

Which game is best for tennis beginners — singles or doubles?

The answer to this question really hinges on the individual. There are several things to consider including age, fitness level, sports experience, athleticism and each player’s willingness to take lessons.

In the years that I have been coaching and organizing tennis leagues, I find that most young men prefer to play singles tennis exclusively while almost all other beginners seem to prefer doubles.

This is because success and enjoyment in recreational singles tennis starts with having opponents who are of approximately the same skill level. When two players are not well-matched, when one player is significantly better than the other, tennis is generally not a fun game.

In these situations, the beginner is often unable to rally successfully with the experienced player unless the experienced player is willing to play down to the beginner’s level. Meanwhile, the experienced player — regardless of how much he lowers his level of play — spends a lot of time chasing after the beginner’s errant balls.

When two players are relatively well-matched in the areas of skill, fitness and athleticism, however, singles tennis quickly becomes addictive. Few sports are able to offer the combined mental and physical stimulation of singles tennis.

Recreational doubles tennis, by contrast, can be enjoyed even when the players have widely different skill levels. Since doubles is a team game, it is harder for any one player to completely dominate a match the way he or she might be able to dominate in singles.

At the recreational level, age, fitness and skill are less important in doubles than they are in singles. Two older players who are working as a team, for example, will usually overcome two younger, more skilled players who are not working effectively as a team.

Doubles at this level is also a slower game that is less demanding physically. This is not to say that doubles tennis is not a good workout; it certainly can be. However, the baseline to baseline rallies that are common in singles tennis are either absent or greatly reduced in doubles tennis.

The other major difference between the two games, in my opinion, is the technical difference. In order to play singles well, lessons are mandatory at each and every level.

Recreational doubles, however, has fewer technical requirements. Therefore, beginners who take lessons and learn some basic skills early on can get many, many years of enjoyment out of those lessons.

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Squash Players Jump to Doubles Tennis

One of the things I have noticed in recent years is how easily new tennis players coming from a squash background seem to pick up doubles tennis, but how difficult it seems to be for these same players to pick up singles tennis.

Although I was not able to put my finger on the exact reason for this, I have always suspected that the explanation most likely had something to do with shot selection and/or the willingness of squash players to play at the net in tennis.

Then suddenly this afternoon, I stumbled across a completely rational explanation while reading Pat Blaskower’s The Art of Doubles: Winning Tennis Strategies & Drills.

Says Blaskower: “To play great doubles, it is essential that you master the ability to hit certain shots. And it is a waste of your time and money to learn others.” Included in this list, she goes on to say are

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  • the half volleyrn
  • a spin serve
  • an excellent array of volleys
  • a creative overhead
  • a slice backhand
  • a dropshot

“If you intend to become a doubles specialist,” Blaskower states a few pages later, “you shouldn’t spend your money on shots more appropriate for the singles court, which include:”

  • an underspin lob
  • topspin groundstrokes
  • a big, flat serve
  • a topspin lob
  • a two-handed backhand

Of course, I exclaimed, slapping my forehead. Every stroke on her singles list is alien to squash players. We don’t hit shots with topspin. We don’t hit big flat serves and we never, EVER put two hands on our racquets (do we, Garth, Darren and Mark?).

But look at her essential-shots-for-doubles list! Half volleys are commonplace in squash. So are volleys and dropshots. And the backhand slice in tennis is nearly identical to the backhand volley drop that every advanced squash player learns to play on backhand serve returns.

No wonder, then, that squash players take so easily to doubles tennis and yet seem to struggle with singles. In order to learn to play singles well, squash players must learn a full range of new shots. They must also learn to wait behind the baseline for the ball to come to them when every instinct in their squash-trained muscles are propelling them forward to the net.

Doubles tennis, by contrast, is all about volleys, half volleys and lighting quick reactions. Sure we need to learn a spin serve and yes we need to spend some time smashing overheads, but everything else is within our reach.

Every intermediate-level squash player comes to tennis with little or no fear of the ball, an excellent array of volleys and a high degree of comfort with dropshots. Therefore every squash player comes to tennis with a basic toolkit that prepares them for doubles and permits them to learn the rest of the requirements quickly.