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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Masters Tennis Expanding; More

August 2, 2013 10:05 AM

Short-Court Masters Tennis Expanding in Florida

mediawall-masters-tennisMasters Tennis, the 60-foot short-court option played within a full-size 78-foot tennis court, is taking off in the Sunshine State with approximately 20 sites, the largest in Lee County (Southwest Florida) hosting approximately 80 players in five park locations.
Masters Tennis is for a wide array of players -- veterans looking to get back in the game after injuries, players who can no longer cover a full court, or adults newer to the game looking for a fun challenge.
Like the 10 and Under Tennis format, the 60-foot Masters Tennis court with the lower-bouncing "orange ball" provides the perfect learning laboratory for teaching pros working with new players.
"Clubs and players in Florida with our older demographic have been asking us for a program like this for years," says USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth. "Anyone can play with the smaller racquets, slower balls and smaller courts. Players who left the game due to age or injuries can again play with this format, truly making tennis the 'Sport of a Lifetime.'"
Experienced players also that have stopped playing tennis due to injuries find coming back to tennis with this format more forgiving and accessible.
"Masters Tennis is fun to play, social, and keeps players active," says USTA Florida Masters Tennis organizer Carla Williams. "For players, the Masters Tennis website offers the ability to find tennis facilities throughout Florida offering the program. For facilities and clubs, the website offers everything to instantly start a Masters Tennis program, including information on grants for facilities or organizations that need racquets, orange balls, or permanent blended lines on courts."
For more information go to the Masters Tennis website at www.MastersTennisFlorida.com.

Florida Jr. Tennis Profile: Noah Makarome

By Colette Lewis, USTA Florida junior tennis columnist
Noah Makarome (photo: zootennis.com)
Wesley Chapel's Noah Makarome added to his gold ball collection in July, winning his second USTA Level 1 singles title at the Boys' 14s Clay Courts in Ft. Lauderdale.
Makarome, who won the 2011 USTA Winter National 12s Championships in Tucson, Ariz., faced the same opponent he had beaten to secure that title -- Sam Riffice of California.
The 14-year-old right-hander, coached by his parents James and Magdalene Makarome, needed three sets to get past Riffice in the Arizona final, coming from behind for a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 victory. In Ft. Lauderdale, Makarome held on for a 6-0, 7-6(3) win in the championship match, after Riffice had erased Makarome's 5-1 lead in the second set by winning five straight games.
"I managed to close it out," Makarome told James Hill, who covered the match for the Tennis Recruiting Network. "I just kept telling myself positive things and tried to keep myself moving. I tried to do the best I could. I thought, right after that, I could rest and be at peace."
Makarome and Riffice traveled to Europe in January as part of the USTA's 14-and-under travel team, earning their places in a playoff late last year at the National Training Center in Boca Raton.
Makarome has won the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis State Junior Championships three times, most recently in the 14s division, while his older sister Star, who is ranked in the USTA Top 20 in the 16s, finished third in that division in the June 2013 competition.

Tennis Tip: Beware of Excuse-making

by Dr. Allen Fox, special to USTA Florida
Hard-fought, dragged out tennis matches often become stressful. As the match progresses we become more and more emotionally invested in winning.
We all know that winning is very satisfying and losing is very unpleasant, but in the midst of the battle the outcome is uncertain. This situation is tailor-made for high and unpleasant stress, and one means of escaping it is by making excuses.
A common example of this is where a player gets a bad call and rationalizes his decision to tank the match on the basis that, "If the cheater wants it that badly let him have it!" Then the thinking goes, "I didn't really lose the match. I was cheated out of it!" This fits into the general category of rationalization generally known as excuse-making.
After anger, excuse-making is probably the most widespread method of escape from the stress and uncertainty of competition. It's a particularly fertile field and comes in a thousand disguises. Here the "problem," whatever it is, becomes magnified out of proportion and fills the rationalizing player's mind so as to mask the real issue of winning. Of course there are a host of counterproductive consequences, but the most obvious is that it makes us lose matches.
We have all had plenty of experience with opponents making excuses for losing, and while we may be too polite to say so, we tolerate it as a character weakness, maybe even a small moral deficiency. In any case, we don't like it.
Fortunately, we rarely make excuses ourselves except under unusual circumstances. Or do we? It is an obvious "excuse" when our opponents see fit to share their on-court "problems" with us, and we suspect they are ungraciously fabricating them to devalue our victories. On the other hand it is simply a real problem and not an excuse when we share our on-court problems with them. We feel that they need to know these things to truly understand the situation.
We think they will be missing the reality of the situation if we don't help them understand we were playing with an extraordinary handicap. (We hate the thought that in their ignorance they may overestimate their own contribution to their victory and think they beat us heads-up.)
What confuses most of us with the excuse issue is that when we make them, the problems we tell people about are real. For example, if you have a pulled leg muscle and can't run normally, would it be an excuse if you mentioned this fact to other people? The answer is yes! That it's real is beside the point. Almost all the excuses people make are real. It's just that nobody wants to hear them.
Your motivation in telling people your excuse is to convince them that you are a better tennis player than today's result might indicate. You hope to improve their opinions of you or at least get some sympathy. Unfortunately, you will get neither and will, in fact, accomplish exactly the opposite. In the best case they might believe your excuse is real, but they still see you as weak for having to tell them about it. In the worst case, they won't believe you and think you are fabricating in addition to being weak. In either case, they lose some respect for you. Finally, nobody except your mother is interested in your tennis problems, real or not.
If you feel an excuse coming on, bite your lip, and resist talking about it. And by all means resist thinking about it during play or feeling sorry for yourself. Put it out of your mind or work around it. If you want to win the match you will need all your mental faculties focused on playing better. Lamenting your problems will simply distract and weaken you.
You should be interested in problems only in so far as they make you alter your game plan to play around them. For example, if your leg hurts and you can't move normally you can still win. You just have to hit more severely so that your opponent can't get to your legs and be determined to execute better when you do get to the ball. Worrying about your leg and thinking about telling people about it only detracts from your execution, where you need to be better focused than ever.
Sigmond Freud pointed out that defense mechanisms like rationalization (in this case, excuses) are normal and often serve useful and protective purposes. Unfortunately, competitive tennis is not a normal situation, and the useful purposes they provide do not include winning matches or engendering respect from opponents or bystanders. Successful players resist making excuses by consciously recognizing the real issues on court and using the rational parts of their brains to keep themselves on track.
About Dr. Allen Fox
Dr. Allen Fox earned a B.A. in physics and a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA and is a former NCAA singles champion, Wimbledon quarterfinalist and a three-time member of the U.S. Davis Cup team. As coach at Pepperedine, his teams reached two NCAA finals and included the likes of Top 10 player Brad Gilbert. Dr. Fox consults with players on mental issues, lectures worldwide, appears in 1-Minute Clinics on the Tennis Channel, is an editor of Tennis Magazine and an author. You can reach him through his website, http://www.allenfoxtennis.net.





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