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Alberta Open 2017

The Alberta Open is the oldest organized provincial sporting event dating back to 1905 and continues to be the most prestigious annual tennis tournament in Alberta.

This year, it runs from August 17th to 20th at the outdoor courts of Glenmore Athletic Park in Calgary, Alberta. The four-day event will include a Friday night wine and cheese tasting, and Saturday night social dining experience at the Tennis Academy.

Tennis Alberta expects to welcome over 100 male and female players representing all ranges of ability, the best of whom will receive part of the prize purse of a minimum of $2,000. This event will have 3.0/4.0/5.0 and open levels of competition for men’s and women’s singles and doubles events as well as mixed doubles. Wheelchair tennis events are also open for registration. Registration closes on Sunday Aug 13.

Tennis fans can get involved by coming down to cheer on the participants, or by volunteering with this prestigious event. For more information on the tournament, or how to get involved, visit albertaopentennis.com

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David Cup Tennis Festival

The High River Tennis Club is teaming up with Tennis Alberta and their partner, PlayCity to offer this event here in High River. This event is free for anyone wishing to participate, bring your gear, bring your water, and if you have any extra rackets for those that don`t have one great! A few will be made available.

The festival celebrates the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Play-off: Canada vs. India taking place in Edmonton this September.

This is intended to be a fun filled afternoon of tennis to introduce more players of all ages to recreational matchplay, something Tennis Alberta is committed to expanding across the province by working closely with communities to host themed PlayCity Tennis Festivals. The event will be coordinated by Tennis Alberta’s Coordinator of Player Development for Northern Alberta, David Rossolatos, a Tennis Canada certified tennis professional and seasoned grassroots tennis promoter.

The Tennis Festival will provide learning opportunities for both juniors and adults to quickly get everyone ready to play. The juniors will have a chance to try out their new skills in a Mini Davis Cup Team competition. Adults will also have the chance to learn a few new tricks that they can put to practice in their games right away. The festival will conclude with a fun, one point eliminator event, where everyone will have a chance to play a point for a chance to win a prize by one of our sponsors.

The one point eliminator will serve as an introduction as well to touchtennis, a new variation of tennis that is quickly gaining popularity across the globe. touchtennis focuses on touch instead of power and promotes shorter matches and longer rallies by utilizing smaller courts, smaller rackets, and modified tennis balls that level the playing field between seasoned tennis players and beginners to the sport. The High River Tennis Club aims to continue tennis indoors utilizing the touchtennis format which can be played on any surface.

Participants in PlayCity Tennis Festival events are encouraged to show their support of the Canada men’s team and in celebration of 150 years for Canada by wearing the colors red and white.

Find out more about tennis in High River by visiting www.highrivertennis.com

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Registration Open for CSSC Fall Tennis

Registration is now open for the Calgary Sport and Social Council’s fall 2017 tennis league. The registration deadline is 30 AUG 2017.

If you are not familiar with CSSC tennis programs, think beer league hockey. First you play tennis. Then you drink beer. Pretty simple and pretty fun — if you are in the right demographic.

While established tennis clubs tend to attract older adults and perhaps competitive teens and pre-teens, the CSSC beer league format focuses on unmarried or recently married players in their 20s and 30s. The level of play in their doubles leagues is strictly recreational and the emphasis is on the social experience instead of the competition.

As such, the CSSC fulfills an important function in the lifecycle of recreational tennis players by giving them opportunities to maintain contact with the sport during a period in their lives when they are otherwise busy getting married and/or starting new careers.

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Retro Night at Rosedale

The Rosedale Tennis Club is doing something a fun tomorrow. Their regular weekly drop in tennis program on July 31 will be adopting a 70s theme.

This is an annual event at Rosedale. Players who attend are loaned wooden racquets and asked to dress in their favorite tennis outfit from the 1970s. As images in the photo album on the club’s website illustrate, their members really get into the spirit of the event.

For those who have never been there, Rosedale Tennis Club is located in the community of Rosedale at 901 – 11th Avenue NW. It features three hard courts, lights, windscreens and a ball machine. In recent years, there have been enough members to support two teams in the Calgary Interclub Tennis League. One at the 3.0 level and one at 4.0.

As with most outdoor clubs in Calgary, the membership of the Rosedale Tennis Club skews towards older players and a little more male than female. An annual membership for a single is about $100. Membership is open to anyone in Calgary who is prepared to join the Rosedale Community Association.

Rosedale Tennis Club was added to Racquet Network’s list of affiliated racquet sports clubs in 2017 at the request of a customer. This means that Racquet Network’s online customers can now direct part of the value of their purchase to Rosedale and the club will be able to use these sponsorship credits to purchase items for their club.

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Calgary Clay Courts

Nadir says: “I want to try playing on clay. Where can I find clay court tennis courts in Calgary?”

Good question, Adam. Calgary is definitely a hard court town. Nearly every tennis court in Calgary is a hard court, but there are a few clay courts to be found.

Elbow Park Tennis Club

The largest clay court facility in Calgary is the Elbow Park Tennis Club which is located at 800 34 Ave SW in the community of Elbow Park. It is a private club open only to members and is maintained by the Glencoe Club. Most of the club’s players are also Glencoe Club members and the club’s membership fees reflect that fact by offering them memberships at one-third less than outsiders. The facility features five clay courts and one hard court shared by approximately 200 members.

Calgary Tennis Club

Just a few kilometres northwest of Elbow Park, you will find Calgary’s largest and oldest outdoor tennis club. The Calgary Tennis Club, originally established in 1889, is a seasonal club featuring six hard courts and three clay courts. Membership for a single player starts at about $300 per season. The club has a membership base in the neighbourhood of about 600 players.

Tennis Calgary has members from both clubs. So if you have any questions about either club, please feel free to post your question in the members’ activity feed. And if you have any questions about tennis in Calgary, please let us know. We are more than happy to help.

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Free Tennis Lessons for Beginners

At least once a month during the outdoor tennis season (Victoria Day to Labour Day), we offer free tennis clinics to verified members at the beginner level.

How do you sign up?

First, subscribe to Tennis Calgary’s newsletter.

All announcements regarding lessons are made through our newsletter. If you aren’t subscribed, you won’t hear about them.

Second, stop by the store and sign up on the signup sheet.

No emails. No call, please. Signup must be done in person so that our staff can verify your membership.

If you are one of the first eight players to sign up, you are in. If are numbers 9 through 12, you will be on the waiting list.

These are beginner lessons set up for members at the beginner level and they are absolutely free to the people on this list.

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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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A Simple Plan for Getting Better

“I want to get better. I am trying to get better. I play almost everyday. In fact, unless I quit my job or set myself up for divorce, I really can’t play any more than I am playing now. But I don’t seem to be getting better. Maybe a little better, but not a lot better.”

You have no idea how often we hear this. It is a common frustration among rec-level players who play as often as time permits, but who don’t seem to be getting any better.

After rising through the levels and overcoming a variety of opponents, they hit a ceiling which they just can’t seem to break through. At some point, they run into a player or a group of players they just can’t beat. Everything comes to a stop.

The most common approach to solving their problem usually involves more of the same: more partners, more games, more matches, more tournaments. While this seems to be the right thing to do intuitively, this approach seldom solves the problem. In fact, it often leads to more losing, more failure and more frustration.

The key to breaking through these barriers is not typically more of the same, it’s usually a little bit of something else.

Going back and forth along the same pathway over and over and over again creates a high degree of familiarity and comfort to be sure. And from that familiarity, players generally develop a high degree of confidence. But at the same time, travelling the path too often without making some adjustments now and then is certain to create a rut.

Ruts trap players and make them predictable. Their patterns become habitual. They try to win every game the same way. They play the same shots in the same sequence. They end up making the same mistakes over and over again. And when things aren’t going their way, the frustration overwhelms them and their mental game breaks down.

Change allows players to break out of their ruts. It gives them new options and new things to think about. Changes in routines often result in changes on court and changes in performance. Eventually, changes to routines will lead to changes in outcomes, too.

So what should you change? Begin with simple changes. If you are accustomed to playing three times a week, trying playing twice and running 5K instead of playing the third time. By increasing your VO2 max, you will be increasing your brain’s ability to process oxygen late in matches when the chips are down. So you will be benefitting your game while you are changing your routine.

Or try taking a lesson. But ask your coach to show you something completely different. Tell him/her that you are in a rut and want to work on drills that are completely outside of your comfort zone. Ask for drills that will make you look at the court or the game or a particular situation with new eyes. Or better yet, go see a new coach who has never seen you play before.

Change keeps your mind fresh. It keeps your game from getting stale. It keeps you from being predictable. So if you think your game is in a rut, change things up. It’s the simplest trick in the world and also the most likely to work.

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Simple Tips to Avoid Tennis Elbow

With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, you may be itching to head outside for a game of tennis on your community court. If you haven’t swung a racquet all winter, there are a few things to consider in order to minimize the potential for injury.

Lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow is pain that occurs on the outside of your elbow and/ or along your forearm. It is one of the most common injuries that occur from participating in a racquet sport. Repetitive movements such as hitting backhand contribute to small tears in the wrist extensor tendons as they attach to the bone at your elbow. This can lead to pain while playing tennis but also during daily activities like typing/ mousing or opening a door.

There are some simple things that you can do to enjoy an injury free summer on the courts.

1. Strengthen: Rest your forearm on a table with your palm facing down over the edge. Use a small hand weight (2-5 lbs) to curl up and down 3×10. Flip your hand over so your palm is facing up and repeat 3×10.

2. Stretch: With your arm extended out in front, use your opposite hand to pull the wrist down until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Flip your hand over and pull your wrist back stretching out the other side of your forearm. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

3. Make sure that your racquet grip size is correct for your hand and don’t hold it too tight

4. Take a lesson to ensure that you have proper technique, particularly during your backswing.

If you find yourself experiencing pain in your forearm during the season take a week off, use ice for 5-10 minutes on your elbow daily, stretch your forearm throughout the day and try using a tennis elbow strap to reduce the stress on your forearm. If the pain doesn’t resolve within two weeks of self-care consider seeking professional help from a physiotherapist.

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Most Common Shoulder Injury

The most common shoulder injury in tennis (and every other racquet sport) is the aggravated supraspinatus, sometimes know as impingement syndrome or often simply as “a bad shoulder”.

Impingement syndrome causes pain in the shoulder when lifting the arm between 60 and 120 degrees sideways or when rotating the lifted arm inwards. It is a nagging pain that occurs because the supraspinatus tendon (the muscle under the roof of the shoulder) is pinched and aggravated when lifting and rotating the arm.

In most cases, it is an easy problem to fix requiring only some stretching (as the lady to the right is doing now) and some healing time. However, many athletes choose not to do what is required to resolve it and end up suffering needlessly for years. Some also end up quitting tennis because of it. “I had to quit because of a bad shoulder,” they will typically say.

As a coach, I encourage all of my players to include stretching of the shoulder’s posterior capsule (as in the video below) for five minutes at the end of every match or practice. Players who are diligent about this rarely suffering shoulder pain. Those who are not diligent, eventually run into shoulder problems and end up missing or losing matches because of it.

Stretches like these are what separate players in the I-play-to-get-fit category from the I-get-fit-to-play category. In other words, they are what separate dabblers from serious athletes. No truly serious athlete will allow a nagging and completely avoidable supraspinatus injury to keep them off of the court while recreational athletes will not only allow such an injury to develop and get worse, many will simply quite playing tennis because of it.

If you are a serious tennis player — or are aspiring to become one — consider adding some post match posterior capsule stretching to your post match routine. Your serve will thank you, your forehand will thank you and your backhand will thank you, too.