Schedule of Tournaments in August

Our club once again hosts the main event for adults in the month -- the  89th Annual San Diego District ChampionshipsIt is a great opportunity to test your competitive skills and see the results of all the hard work you have been putting on your game.

The USTA Girls' 18 and Girls' 16 National Championships is the major event in the junior side and definitely worth checking it out at Barnes Tennis Center.  All the top players in the nation in these categories all be playing.

You can see the full schedule below. Click on the tournament you wish to participate to access the page where you can sign up for it. You can also get directions to the facility hosting the events by clicking on their names. Good luck!


1) 16th Annual Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Center Open: Aug 11-13 & Aug. 18-20 @ Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Center

2) 89th Annual San Diego District Championships: Aug 25-27 & Sep 2-4 @ Balboa Tennis Club



1) USTA Girls' 18 and Girls' 16 National Championships: Aug 5-13 @ Barnes Tennis Center

2) Nighthawk Summer Junior Novice (Level 7): Aug 5-6 @ Del Norte High School

3) 11th Annual K & W Junior Satellite Classic (Level 6): Aug 11-13 @ Peninsula Tennis Club

4) Mira Mesa Novice Tournament (Level 7): Aug 12-13 @ Mira Mesa High School

5) 3rd Annual Ben Press Junior Open Tennis Tournament (Level 5): Aug 14-16 @ Helix High School

6) 33rd Annual San Diego Junior Doubles (Level 3): Aug 18-20 @ Barnes Tennis Center

7) Love 15 Tennis Summer Sun Novice Tournament (Level 7): Aug 20 @ Sycuan Tennis Resort

8) 89th Annual San Diego District Championships: Aug 25-27 @ Sep 2-4 @ Balboa Tennis Club

9) Syril Press Memorial Junior Satellite Tournament (Level 6): Aug 25-27 @ Barnes Tennis Center

10) Pacific Coast Tennis Novice Tournament (Level 7): Aug 26-27 @ Lawrence Family Jcc

How To Beat Lobbers In Doubles

Do you avoid coming to the net in doubles because your opponents lob over and over again?

This is definitely a top 3 issue I hear from students. They don't know what to do when facing lobbers so they prefer not to come to the net at all.

Here are 3 tips on how to deal with lobbers:

1) Anticipate: even if playing someone for the first time you should be able to pick patterns after a few games. This is especially true with lobbers. After you get lobbed a few times in a match, start anticipating and expecting it. The opponents' body language and racquet preparation should also tell you whether or not they are going to lob.

2) Position yourself correctly: once you anticipate, you can position yourself accordingly. You don't want to get too close to the net and get even more vulnerable for the lob. Stay on the service line, maybe even one step behind. This will leave less room for your opponents to get the ball over your head.

3) Improve your overhead: work on your overhead. It is surely one of the shots in which you probably don't spend enough time working. Master the technique, take lessons and become confident on hitting overheads. In the same way you can get intimidated by the lobber, the lobber will get intimidated by you once you put a few, solid overheads away.

Facing lobbers should not keep you from being aggressive and trying to win points at the net in doubles.


Schedule Of Tournaments in July

July is a great tournament month for all Balboa members and players. Two adult and two junior events are held at our club.

You can see the full schedule below. Click on the tournament you wish to participate to access the page where you can sign up for it. You can also get directions to the facility hosting the events by clicking on their names. Good luck!



1) 25th Annual Mountain View Tournament: July 8-9 & 15-16 @ Mountain View Sports & Racquet Association

2) 18th Annual Hendrickson Wheelchair Classic: July 15-16 @ Balboa Tennis Club

3) 87th Annual Balboa Open Maureen Connolly Brinker Memorial Tournament: July 21-23 & 28-30 @ Balboa Tennis Club



1) 44th Annual Wilbur Folsom Memorial Junior Open Tournament (Level 4): July 3-7 @ Barnes Tennis Center

2) 11th Annual K & W Summer Junior Satellite Tournament (Level 6): July 7-9 @ Balboa Tennis Club

3) RPTC Adrian Waisfeld Juantopo Cucurucho Junior Open (Level 4): July 8-9 & 15-16 @ Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Center

4) Love 15 Tennis Red White and Blue Novice Tournament (Level 7): July 9 @ Love Fifteen Tennis

5) Angel Lopez Junior Satellite Tournament (Level 6): July 14-16 @ Barnes Tennis Center

6) 2nd Annual Surf & Turf Summer Junior Open (Level 5): July 15-16 & 22-23 @ Surf & Turf Tennis Club

7) 87th Annual Balboa Open Maureen Connolly Brinker Memorial Tournament: July 21-23 & 28-30 @ Balboa Tennis Club

8) The Pierre "Al" LeClair Memorial Junior Tennis Classic (Level 6): July 22-23 @ Cathedral Catholic High School

9) 7th Annual Carmel Valley Tennis Junior Novice (Level 7): July 22-23 @ Carmel Valley Park & Rec Center

10) 22nd Maureen Connolly Brinker Balboa Junior Championships (Level 4): July 24-28 @ Balboa Tennis Club

11) Pacific Beach Summer Satellite Tournament (Level 6): July 28-30 @ Pacific Beach Tennis Club

Court Position in Doubles

Deciding how you and your partner are going to position yourselves on the court is key to be successful in doubles.

Here are the 3 possible basic scenarios and the pros and cons of each:

1) Two up -- it is when both players are at the net. This is the most favorable position, as aggressiveness pays off in doubles. There are two opponents on the other side so if you and your partner get to the net before they do, you have a better chance to put the ball away. I hear a lot people say that they don't go to the net fearing the lob. My advise is improve your overheads and communicate with your partner about who covers and chases the lob. Never let the fear of getting lobbed keep you from going to the net. Nobody hits perfect lobs all the time and at the end the odds will favor you.

2) Two back -- it is when you and your partner play at the baseline. This position should be adopted only when you face a team of good servers and volleyers and when your team is receiving. You put yourselves in a better position to defend the aggressiveness coming from the other side. You will not be able be offensive as it is hard to win points hitting groundstrokes from the baseline.

3) One up one back -- it is when one of you plays from the baseline and the other plays at the net. This is the least favorable position to be in, even though it is how you start most of the points in doubles. Due to the gap that is created between the net player and the baseline player, your team becomes very vulnerable. Many points can be won by your opponents if they manage to hit on that gap behind the net player. Get out of this position as soon as possible.

Remember that points are won at the net in doubles. Have a plan to seek the net with your partner all the time and become a better team. Good luck!

How to Get Depth On Your Shots

Hitting the ball deep on your opponent's court is one of the most important things in tennis.

By doing so you keep the other player on a defensive position and allow yourself to gain control of the point. Eventually he/she will make an error or give you a short ball, and you can be aggressive and end the point.

When going for depth, use the net as your reference point. If your balls are not deep enough, simply clear the net a little more. This is the most effective and simple way to approach depth. Avoid the mistake of aiming for "close to the baseline" or "over the service line". This can get confusing and lead to unforced errors.

You can do this very simple drill with your practice partner:

1) Start a rally by feeding the ball (no serve) and carry it in a cooperative manner. No player is allowed to attempt a winner.

2) If you or your practice partner hits the ball long or wide, the other players scores 1 point.

3) If you or your practice partner hits a ball that lands short, inside the service boxes (before the service line), the other players scores 2 points.

4) If you or your practice partner hits a ball into the net, the other players scores 3 points.

5) First player to score 21 points wins.

Remember, the net is your point of reference. Clear it and you will get the depth you want on your shots.

How To Watch Tennis On TV

Watching tennis on TV can be not only entertaining but also a great help to your game.

The French Open 2017 is underway and the Tennis Channel is broadcasting the qualifying rounds. Below you can find 5 ways to optimize your tennis watching experience and use it to become a better player.

1) Focus on the footwork. Forget the ball for several points and focus on only one player's footwork. Watch how he/she adjusts before hitting every shot and how many times their feet hit the ground between one stroke and the next.

2) Observe how they play the clutch points -- game points, break points, set points and match points. Look how the player with the edge behaves versus the one playing from behind. Do they play conservatively or are they more aggressive? Mainly observe how the more experienced players handle these moments as opposed to the newcomers or underdogs.

3) Pay attention to the margin of safety. As opposed to what most people think, the Pros do "not" go for the lines all the time. Watch how their shots land 4 or 5 feet inside the the baseline and singles sidelines when they are rallying and still building a point. You may see a shot closer to the lines only when they feel it is time to try to end the point.

4) Watch the shot tolerance. Shot tolerance is how many balls a player is willing to rally and stay in the point before they feel the need to finish it. It varies greatly from player to player. Rafael Nadal's shot tolerance may be at least 15, while Roger Federer's, for instance, may be around half that.

5) Watch doubles. Thankfully TV broadcasts way more double matches these days, which is great news for the club player (or any player, for that matter). Pay attention to things like how they serve and volley, how they attempt to return the serve low, and how they try to win points at the net by poaching and closing in to volley. Also notice how they communicate with each other all the time and how they are supportive and have a positive attitude towards their partners.

With these tips in mind, you will find watching tennis on TV much more fun and useful than just watching the ball go back and forth. Have fun!



Schedule of Tournaments in June

The 101st Annual La Jolla Tennis Championships, played at La Jolla Tennis Club between June 16th - July 2nd dominates the scene in June, being the sole tournament for adults and the main tourney for juniors.

Please check the full schedule for junior players below. Click on the tournament you wish to participate in to access the page where you can sign up for it. You can also get directions to the facility hosting the events by clicking on the tournament name:


Pacific Coast Tennis Novice Tournament (Level 7): June 3-4 @ Lawrence Family Jcc.

3rd Annual ECCTA Summer Swing Jr. Satellite Tournament (Level 6): June 9-11 @ Helix High School.

Barnes Tennis Center Spring Junior Novice Tournament (Level 7): June 11 @ Barnes Tennis Center.

CTA 2017 Summer Novice (Level 7): June 17-18 @ Rancho Arbolitos Swim and Tennis Club.

101st Annual La Jolla Junior Tennis Tournament (Level 5): June 19-23 @ La Jolla Tennis Club.

Youth Tennis San Diego Summer Junior Satellite Tournament (Level 6): June 23-25 @ Barnes Tennis Center.

Mid-Summer Madspin Junior Satellite Tournament (Level 6): June 30-Jully 2 @ Del Norte High School.


How To Beat The "Moonballer"

Another champion among the questions I am asked by students at Balboa Tennis Club is "how can I beat players who hit moon balls all the time?"

There are players who are very competitive and they will do anything to win. Former professional player and high profile coach Brag Gilbert wrote a book called "Winning Ugly", which describes this type of player -- one who doesn't care about how he/she and their games look on the court. They just want to win. The "moonballer" hits high and deep balls with no pace all the time and are definitely a sample of such players.

Here are 5 tips on how to play against them:

1) Come to the net. Do it whenever you can and be ready to hit a lot of overheads. Keeping points short is key in a match like this.

2) Sneak in to volley. Hit some moon balls yourself, with your opponent -- no "moonballer" likes that -- and sneak in to the net behind one of them to surprise them.

3) Step into no-mans’s land to intercept the moon ball with a volley. This is a good way to neutralize the loopy balls. You may or may not go to the net behind it. Judge your first volley for that.

4) Hit on the rise. If you ever took lessons from me you know this is something I don’t teach and I don’t like it too much, but in matches like this it can be helpful in order to take time away from your opponent and keep points short.

5) Bring your opponent to the net. Hit "dinkers "and drop shots to draw him/her to the net. You don’t even have to hit a super passing shot, since they are out of their comfort zone and probably don’t know what to do there. Make them volley.

Respect all types pf players, be yourself on the court and apply these strategies. By doing so you have a chance to roll through the "moonballer".




Are You Sure?

Are you getting ready to play in all the upcoming tournaments this Spring and Summer, and wondering how to behave when people make bad calls on you? Well, you are not alone!

The title of this blog became one of the most famous (and annoying) lines in tennis theses days.

Bad line calling is a reality at every level in amateur tournaments. They can be involuntary and may happen out of honest mistakes, but sugarcoating aside, it is something that does happen and there are players known for that. I have students who make bad line calls in clinics!

I have 3 advises for you:

1) Don't lose your focus over it: it is easy to get upset and spend the next points, or even games, thinking about a bad call, and that will only lead you to losing more points and games.

2) Don't go for payback: you have to be yourself, it is not in your nature to do it. If you try to get back at your opponent by making bad calls yourself, you will be focusing on an opportunity for that to arise and forget to concentrate on the match itself. 

3) Call the referee: you have the right to ask for the referee to spend some time on your court, if you suspect you are getting bad line calls. He or she (the referee) won't be able to stay there too long because usually they have to take care of many courts at the same time. Be strategic and ask for the ref in important, clutch moments of the match.

Remember that ultimately you will win a match by playing better, and there might be only a handful of cases in which the outcome a whole match was decided on bad line calling. Overcoming your opponents by outplaying them is still the better way to go and the most rewarding result for you.

The 3 Types Of Serve

The serve is widely regarded as the most important shot in tennis because it is the shot that begins every single point and it is the only shot in which you are in complete control of the ball, since it is in your hand.

Too many people are reluctant to work on their serves. They think it is boring because there is no running around and resist to put the work that is necessary sometimes to make changes. It is not rare that I hear people at Balboa Tennis Club, and everywhere else for that matter, saying that using part of a lesson or clinic to work on serves is a waste of time.  This could not be further away from the truth and they are simply underestimating the importance of this shot.

Having a good serve allows you not only you put pressure on your opponent but also to play looser on your return games, knowing you can rely on it to hold your service games. Remember, serving well raises the overall level of your game and builds your confidence.

If your goal is to become a better, more complete player and take your game to the next level you need to learn all 3 types of serve -- Flat, Slice and Kick -- so you can have a variation of power, spin and placement on both first and second serves.

In the Flat Serve the toss is out in front and the ball is hit squarely from behind.

In the Slice Serve the toss is also out in front but slightly to the right for right handers and slightly to the left for lefties. The strings brush around the right side of the ball if you are right handed and around the left side of the ball if you are left handed.

In the Kick Serve the toss is above the head and slightly to the left for right handers and slightly to the right for left handers. The strings brush up behind the ball and from left to right for right handed players and from right to left for lefties.

The serve is the only shot in tennis in which you are in complete control. Your opponent can't do anything to keep you from serving well. There is no reason for you not to take it seriously and to not develop it as an asset rather than a liability for your game.