presidential practice

Hitter in chief: Before President Obama had to prove to the world where he was born, take on Donald Trump or take down Osama bin Laden … he was playing a little tennis. The commander in chief participated in a little 10 and Under tennis at the White House as part of the Easter Egg Roll activities on the Monday after the holiday, April 25.

At right you can see Chris Evert rallying with the prez and at the bottom left is Katrina Adams, a former pro and current on-air talent for the Tennis Channel. The 10 and Under activities were part of Mrs. Obama’s active Roll day for the “Let’s Move!” campaign. If you look closely, you’ll notice the prez is, indeed, a lefty.

More: The USTA is giving away a free 10 and Under tennis kit everyday until the U.S. Open. Click for a chance to win one for your family

(Image provided by the USTA)

on the 10th day of giftmas: who needs the court?

Online offerings: There really is nothing better than getting out on the tennis court and playing some tennis. But before you do that, there’s plenty of tools online to maximize just how – and why – you play. Sure, the web is full of tennis news, but there is a unique niche that exists that helps you with your game and find out more about the sport you love than just the latest ATP scores.

The kids are all right: We’ll start at the bottom – or at least those who are closest to the ground. 10andundertennis.com was launched by the USTA this summer, and the site goes along with the rule changes that the national organization is starting to phase into the instructional world and will see at the competitive level in its entirety in 2012. Why do we love this site so much? The USTA has created such a wide-reaching hub for parents (and kids!) that you can head there to find out everything about how the game will change for the little tikes: from new equipment and gear to training, programs and events that kids can tap into, it’ll no longer be a dang big court for the first few years of swinging.

All you need is a racket, a ball and a screen: But for those of us who are over 10 (and we guess most (most!) of our readers are), there is a dang big court out there that we have to deal with. We’ve always been fans of FuzzyYellowBalls, the instructional web site that takes the games of the pros – in video! – and helps you learn how to improve your own. Head instructor Will Hamilton has been around since 2007, and the site has grown to be the most popular instructional site in the world. We dig the site for its visual advantage: if you learn best from watching and then doing, this is the place where you can watch how to do it right, and then put the practice to work out on the court.

Find a partner: Especially when you’re new to a place, the web can be the perfect place to find a tennis partner to play tennis. We’re going with LetsPlayTennis.com, where you can find profiles and USTA ratings of potential battle mates.

Rebounces has been around for a while, but this holiday season we’re digging their replay option, which allows you to ship balls to them and get them rebounced and playable once again. That’s seriously green. Or bright yellow. Or whatever color tennis balls are. Reasonable rates: 100 balls for $45, 250 for $100 or 500 for $185. And you’re saving plastic.

(photo by Ligia Cuevas-Johnson via usta.com)

on the 3rd day of giftmas: the kiddie kind

There are those tennis-loving kids out there who are going to be expecting more than just a can of tennis balls in their stockings. Yep, we get it: they’re greedy! But look, tennis is pretty dang hard to play when you’re using lumps of coal. We’ve gathered together our best pint-sized gems (no, we’re not talking about our new BFF Justine) for a little kiddie shopping on the third day of TSF‘s 12 days of Giftmas.

We’ve always been big fans of the things that bubble over at Stick it Wear?! in SoCal. (No really. We. Are. Big. Fans.) This year SIW?! is getting young and hip – and we mean young as in they’ve got stuff for the little ones! And that rocks. Our faves: the no-nonsense AnaTank is a good option if you’re dreaming about sunny and warm weather in December (retails for $24.99) and, for the boys, the OurSaviour (can you guess who?!) is offered in the performance line for boys. Cost? $34.99.

And not just tennis: SIW?! now goes for the greens of the golf world too. Because you know those kiddies love g-o-l-f.

Remember when the rules changed for the kids of tennis? Well, now shopping has, too. TennisWarehouse has put together a portal that points shoppers to different landing pages by age and by products themselves. For kids from 5-10 and and products like racquets and shoes and balls and apparel can all be found via the link. What’s the best way to get your kid excited about 10 and Under Tennis?? Buy them some goods and get out there on the court with them! Our pick? A 12-pack of foam tennis balls for $29.95, seen below.

[Read more…]