Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Goal Achieved - My tennis rating is now Orange 1

A couple of months ago becoming an Orange 1 seemed like an impossible task but with hard work and perseverance it led to an email I received earlier today that started with Congratulations - your mini tennis rating has just improved from Orange-2 to Orange-1. I am so happy. Six months ago to the date I was a Red 2, then due to my age moved to an Orange 4 and since then I have worked hard and gradually improved my rating working through Orange 3 and 2. I have had to work very hard and take losing quite a few matches but its all been worth it because I can now say my tennis rating is Orange 1.
Now, there are two pathways I can go down, well there is a third but its not going to happen - wait and do nothing for 6 months until I become a Green.
Option 1 - try and become an Orange 1*, this is extremely difficult and I don't know if I could do it and only having 6 months makes it even harder. I would have to win 20 matches against Orange 1 or 1* players in grade 1,2 or 3 competitions, I normally do grade 5 and 6 competitions with a couple of 4's thrown in.
Option 2 - 'Play up' in Green/10 and under competitions (Orange 1 and 1* can do this). My rating will stay the same but I will get experience of playing Green on a full size court against older players. I really do think this is the best option then hopefully when my rating changes to Green I will get some good results and not have to settle in like I did when I started playing Orange tennis.
Either of these options is going to involve quite a few changes and I will update again once I have made a decision.
However at the moment I am going to enjoy my success!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Widnes Tennis Academy - Consolation Draw Winner

Today I played at Widnes Tennis Academy and played some mixed tennis.
It started off with 4 round robin groups of 3, the winner and runner up of each group would go into the main draw and the person who finished in 3rd would go in to the consolation draw.
I lost both of my round robin matches, one over 2 sets (I nearly won the second set, the score finished 9-11), and the other over 3 sets. Today I really wanted to do well and the pressure I put myself under did not do me any favours, I was double faulting and just not playing my best tennis. I am going to try and adopt the attitude that is does not matter where, who or what grade of competition I am in, all players can be beaten and just turn up and play.
So, that was me out of the main draw and now feeling no pressure, I could play and I did. I managed to win the next two matches, both of them were Orange 2 (so no push over) and I won the consolation draw. Although I did not perform at my best I am getting better at regrouping if I lose and developing a fighting spirit.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Winstanley Tennis Club - Competition Results

Today I played at Winstanley Tennis Club where I have never played before, the club is undergoing some modernizations and was very nice and friendly. The event was well organized and I did not stop playing for an hour, so no hanging around in the cold, as it was outside.
Today was a real mixed bag of players so great experience. I did well today and won 4 of my 5 tennis matches, the matches were over 1 set (first to 10), my winning scores were 10-2, 10-4, 10-6 and 10-2. The match I lost, the score was 7-10 and although I was hoping to win, it did highlight a certain problem in my game which can easily be rectified. I am going to work this area this afternoon in preparation for tomorrow.
I am happy with my tennis, things are starting to get better, my overall win/loss ratio for the season is going up for the better, also today I beat at least one more Orange 2, and I also beat somebody who I lost to recently. I am really excited about getting nearer to my Orange 1 tennis rating target as I will have achieved so much in such a short period of time.
I also got a chance to wear my new Nike Air Courtballistec tennis shoes, which was fantastic as they looked great and I felt like a professional tennis player wearing them. I cannot wait to wear them again tomorrow when I compete. A full review of them will be added one night next week.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Nike Air Court Ballistec - New tennis shoes ordered

Well its time for a new pair of trainers and I have decided to get a pair of Nike Air Court Ballistec. This will be my first pair of proper tennis shoes, in the past I have always used 'normal' trainers/running shoes. The main reason for getting proper tennis shoes is that playing tennis wrecks trainers and its always in the same place.
My current trainers look for a distance brand new but with closer inspection there is massive wear (nearly gone through the leather) on the inside of my large toe on the side of the trainer and it travels round onto the sole which in slowly being ripped off. There is also excessive wear around the sole at the ball/toe area and also right at the very back edge of the sole. The wear is far greater on my right trainer than it is on the left and the damage is being done as I move and hit the ball.
The problem is not down to the make of trainer as I have owned several different brands of trainer and the same thing happens. It also happens to my Dads trainers but mainly on the left trainer (he is left handed).
So I knew it was time for a pair of tennis shoes and after looking around I have decided to get a pair of Nike Air Court Ballistec, if you look at them closely you can see that the sole comes up and around the toe area to protect the shoes, and they are also supposed to help improve performance and they probably will with them being specially designed for tennis players.
They will hopefully be delivered before next weekend and after I have used them for a couple of weeks, I will be writing a review. I know this post is a little different than normal but its tennis related and an important factor in the way I play.
I am really looking forward to playing next weekend because I have not competed this weekend but I have trained very hard, I wonder if my new Nike Air Court Ballistec tennis shoes will help!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

March tennis competitions and last Sunday!

I have already started applying for tennis competitions in March, so far I have applied to play at Bolton Arena on the 10th & 24th March. My finishing places have gradually been creeping up and I would love it if I could finish in the top 8 at one of these competitions at Bolton Arena.
The other tennis competition I have applied for is at Prestbury Tennis Club on the 25th March, I have never played at Prestbury before so I do not know what to expect but as always I will enjoy playing somewhere different.
The winter season finishes at the end of March (it has gone so quickly) so next month I will be doing as many competitions as possible because although I don't think it will happen, I would really like to get my rating to an Orange 1. If it was I would start 'playing up' in Green competitions (you can do this if you achieve an Orange 1 rating in your last or second last season) from the start of the season. When I start playing in Green I am also going to get a larger tennis racquet, I currently use a 25' and will go up to a 26'. This way I will get a couple of changes out of the way in one go.
To finish off last Sunday was a disaster, we never got there. This was due to an error in the directions we were given. So please take this advice if getting directions off the web, get them from 2 places and cross reference them to iron out any errors. John at Ribble Valley Tennis Centre was very understanding and said that we were still welcome to compete there, so thank you and sorry.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bolton Arena - Consolation Draw Winner, LTA Leaderboard, Ribble Valley Tennis Club

Today's tennis competition at Bolton Arena was a compass draw, so all the players have a first match and the winners go into the top half/main draw and the losers go into the bottom half/consolation draw. I lost my first match over 3 sets, the score was 5-7, 7-4, 4-7, so I ended up in the bottom half.
After initially being upset at losing my first match, I composed myself and decided to play my best tennis and win. I won the next two matches in two sets and then it sank in that I was now in the final of the consolation draw, I kept my cool and won it 7-4, 7-2. I am so proud of myself !
As previously mentioned in an older post, one of my goals is to make it into the main draw, I did not achieve it today but I did the next best thing so I am very happy. There is always another day and I know it will happen soon.
The LTA leaderboards have also been updated and I have moved up one place on the boys 9 & under Lancashire County leaderboard, so I am now in 17th position. I think at the next update I will drop down a few places because over the next week there are quite a few tennis competitions that allocate points and I have not entered any of them due to transport limitations.
On a final note John at Ribble Valley Tennis Club has been in touch and he is letting me play in their competition tomorrow, so I am looking forward to it greatly. My aim is to play as well as I did at Bolton Arena today.

Monday, 6 February 2012

South Ribble Tennis Centre 05/02/12

The competition at South Ribble Tennis Centre yesterday was a late one, I did not get home until gone 7.00pm so thats why I'm updating a day late.
My results yesterday were not great, this was down to a few reasons but the main one being I was ill. It started with stomach ache yesterday morning which I thought was a bit of nerves but it quickly developed into sickness (I was physically sick 3 time yesterday, once before, during and after the competition). Well, now I've made excuses the results were I won 1 match and lost 3, but on a positive note the one I did win was against an Orange 2 which is another 5% towards my Orange 1 rating which I am determined to get.
The competition got off to a slow start yesterday as more competitors than expected turned up. Initially there were only 3 available courts to play on but eventually another court was used in the other hall.
Although I did not get the results I expected (you have to be positive in tennis) I am pleased that I battled, despite feeling awful, because I did get a win.
I am looking forward to this weekend, I have 2 competitions lined up one at Bolton Arena and the other at Ribble Valley Tennis Club which is still to be confirmed as I have not heard back yet. I going to try and get my best ever results (being positive again) this weekend.

Friday, 3 February 2012

February tennis competitions reschedule - Widnes Tennis Academy

This morning we received a phone call informing us that the tennis competition at Widnes Tennis Academy is on the 13th and not the 12th. I am grateful to them for letting us know but its very annoying because I applied for the competition weeks ago and was looking forward to it and now I will not be able to go due to transport limitations of living in a working household with one car. The good news is that they are also holding a tennis competition on the 26th February and I am hoping we will be able to reschedule my entry for this date.
I have also applied to play at Ribble Valley Tennis Club on the 12th February, hopefully my entry will be accepted. I have never played here before but have applied to once before and had to pull out (I gave them plenty of notice) due to a double booking. This has only happened once and will hopefully never happen again.
My final competition entry since my last update is to play at Winstanley Tennis Club on the 25th February. I have never played or heard anything about this club before, but would love to play here.
So, this months tennis competitions so far are, South Ribble Tennis Centre on Sunday (5th February), Bolton Arena on the 11th February, and hopefully, Ribble Valley Tennis Club on the 12th February, Winstanley Tennis Club on the 25th February and Widnes Tennis Centre on the 26th February. I have no competitions lined up for the 18th/19th so if anybody knows of one please let me know.