Winter Update

After taking some time off this fall, I was getting back into playing and training hard. Unfortunately, I have not had good luck as for the last 3 weeks as I have had pretty bad plantar fasciitis. I had a mild case several years ago, but this is really uncomfortable and limits my movement. I’m trying to do different things to heal it, but I am always on my feet coaching. Hopefully, something will work to get me back doing what I love. In the mean time, I tried a few of the new racquets and have feedback on that as I’m sure many of you are looking at some of the newer racquets out there.

PT98-3As some of you know, I have been using Head Radical racquets since I was in middle school. The first racquet I playtested this fall was the Prince Tour 98 ESP. I chose this racquet as it was a similar weight to my Radical and is also pretty flexy. I tend to like racquets that are not too stiff. I could definitely tell a difference in spin on my shots from the 16×16 string pattern! I had nice control in a very comfortable package, but felt I was just not quite getting enough sting on my serves and forehands that I am used to.
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Off-Season Training Update

It has been nice to have a bit of a break in the last few months. I have just had the one tournament in Texas and otherwise life has been very busy, but good at the same time! At this time of year with fewer tournaments, I like to get back onto a schedule of doing more off-court workouts, and harder practices. I try to do an upper-body workout every other day or so, and lots of sprinting and anaerobic type work throughout the week on the track or various machines. For the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to have a coach who works with me once or twice a week in the winter. We do some of these off-court sessions together, as well as drilling on the court at the club I work at. In return for his help, his 14 year old daughter hits with me during most of these sessions. That might sound like a weak partner for me, but as I mentioned a few times last summer, she is in the top 10 nationally for her age and has a bright future. She is very capable of hitting a good ball and giving me a good practice in the drill setting. I was lucky enough to have my girlfriend come to watch a recent practice, and she took some interesting videos of some of the types of training that we do on the court:

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Click to watch — Warmup & Sprinting

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Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday was a long day! When I woke up to get ready for my 9 am match, it was in the 40s and windy. This definitely was not the ideal match conditions I was expecting or wanted, but I was ready to battle. My opponent was a very good college player and spent some time on the futures circuit. Last year, we met in the semi-final and within the first 2 or 3 games I hurt my ankle really bad and somehow managed to take the second set, but lost 6-3 in the third. I figured if I played well this time around, I should be able to win in 2 relatively close sets unless I was not playing well.

I started off very energized and playing very well. I was taking control of the points and moving him around a lot, and found myself up 4-0, cruising. I was very confident that it was going to be my day, and gain some revenge for my loss and his antics after last year. But, after I won the first set 6-2, I was starting to miss a little more and was down 0-1 serving and down in the game. He made a bad call and though I don’t believe it affected me, it seemed from that very moment on, I was never quite the same as I was in the first set.
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