Archive for June, 2019

June 28th, 2019

Add SPARK and SPARKLE to Your Game

OMG! July 4th is upon us and Eastman’s tennis players have a lot to celebrate. Raise the flag. Light some sparklers. Storm the courts. (oops. . . that’s for Bastille Day.) But, seriously, it’s time to get to the courts on Draper Road any way you can. Our exciting new tennis program is beginning!

  • Do you want to be the player that everyone wants to play with?
  • The one at the top of everyone’s sub list?
  • Or, maybe you’re just ready to elevate your game from “hacker” to “player”?

It may be time for a tune-up!

While team practices focus on strategy and positioning, drills in an Adult Intermediate Clinic focus on the mechanics of stroke production you need to develop consistency and commit fewer unforced errors.

“Players” who have played “for a while” (like maybe 20, 30, or even 40+ years like me), as well as up-and-coming superstars with a few years on their jazzy Nikes or Asics, know the value of practice, practice, and more practice. But, practicing bad habits and incorrect stroke production, not only “plateaus” a player, it can lead to the dreaded tennis elbow or other injuries. And, injuries mean time away from a sport you love.

Tennis is not “like riding a bike.” Time away from the sport–even a few months–erodes skills and timing. Technology has changed and play has changed: ask anyone who has played with younger players schooled in topspin and open stances. A couple of lop-sided singles losses to hot-shot (literally) 30-somethings a few years ago had me running to my local pros, racquet emblazed with an SOS. For me, and lots of other players on the intermediate-to-advanced spectrum, Darwinism comes into play. Adapt or go down crying at every missed shot, errant smash, or anemic service return.

And a good workout!

Cardios may be the thing for you–and me. Requiring more stamina and speed than skill, cardio sessions combine fitness and ball movement under the direction of a certified pro. These sessions have been extremely popular in private clubs for a couple of decades now and are a great way to improve footwork. You won’t become a Roger Federer (the Baryshnikov of tennis footwork), but you will get your heart rate up and your reaction time tested. You’ll find me in Eastman’s groups this summer trying desperately to find the footwork and foot speed that I’d lost after giving up playing competitive singles. Sessions are being held early mornings to beat the heat: 7:30-8:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 8 to 9 on Saturdays.

A buzz of excitement has been in the air, and on the dirt (courts), since the announcement was made that Josh Holt is Eastman’s new pro. The time to sign up for clinics, lessons, and/or cardio workouts with Josh is RIGHT NOW! Clinics for ADULT BEGINNERS and INTERMEDIATES, and JUNIORS from ages 5-13 begin this week. Click on this link to see a detailed schedule of all the clinics and sessions this summer.

Who among us mortal players (those of us not Roger Federer or Serena Williams) could not use a little tweaking to our games from time to time? Maybe you once had great form and skills, but a long lay-off or injury has you out of rhythm and spending more time retrieving balls than playing long rallies. Adjustments may be necessary. Even my personal idol, the “old man” on the pro tour, Roger Federer, who has admitted to losing foot speed (a nanosecond) in recent years, has added a drop shot to his game. At the risk of being trite: It’s never too late to learn. And, “craftiness” counts in winning points.

So, what are you waiting for? Tennis is a sport for a lifetime. Call RVC’s FITshop at (603)-643-3627 to sign up for clinics, lessons, or cardio sessions at Eastman.

and a final note . . .

Do you know someone who would like to learn to play tennis? Beginning players today have the advantage of learning the “new” style of play, two-handed backhands, topspin, open stances, right from the start. ADULT BEGINNER sessions are being offered both on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 – 11 and Thursday evenings, 7 – 8. JUNIOR clinics and camps also begin this week. Call RVC’s FITshop (603)-643-3627 today to sign-up your kids or grandkids for clinics or Junior Camps. Tennis is like learning a language; the younger you start, the easier it is–and FUN.

Please share this email with anyone whom you think would like to learn to play tennis. The public is welcome to participate in our new programming at non-ECA Member rates.

judi platt

June 14th, 2019

Mixing It Up on Sundays with Scrambles

We’re talking TENNIS here, not eggs. If you missed out on playing in Eastman’s 4th Annual Open on June 1, don’t fret. You have another chance—in fact, many chances to mix it up in doubles scrambles on the lower courts on Draper Road every Sunday morning from 9 to 11 from now until September. 

Pete and Alice

Shortly after Alice and Pete Podesta moved to Eastman, the avid tennis players saw an opportunity to bring couples together on the tennis courts and organized mixed doubles round robins. With a little experimentation with times, they found Sunday mornings to be a good time for these get-togethers and a “scramble” format workable for Eastman’s players. Pete’s extensive experience organizing tennis events and the couple’s integration into “all things tennis” in Eastman quickly infused energy into these informal get-togethers. So much so, that most Sundays last summer three or four courts were consistently filled with players.

So, just what is a scramble? It’s an informal type of doubles play in which partners are matched up randomly. Alice and Pete provide numbers—one set for women, another for men—that players pick from a hat, or, to be exact, a Baggie from the Podesta’s kitchen. Since there is no advance sign-up required, some weeks there may be more men than women on the courts, or vice versa. In that event, some improvisation occurs on the spot, but everyone gets a partner picked at random. The idea is to get people of all skill levels together to play without a lot of stifling rules or rigmarole.

If you want to play, show up with a can of new balls at 9 a.m. on any Sunday and mix it up with old and new “scramblers.” And, don’t forget your water bottle and sunblock. While the scrambles are designed for fun, you will get a workout and some good play. On the days when umbrellas (or tarps) are needed rather than sunblock, you can stay inside and serve up some scrambled eggs, or delve into some tennis trivia.

Did you know that “love” for a zero (0) score in tennis is derived from “l’oeuf,” the French word for “egg”?

So, however you like your “oeuf”s, get ready to scramble on Sundays. If you have any questions about the scrambles, contact Pete or Alice at or at (603)-843-8045. For information about other round robin opportunities in Eastman, or to see your coordinators’ smiling faces, go to the 2019 Round Robins page on the Eastman Tennis web site.

Be a Sport and Reserve a Court

Don’t be left outside the gates looking in at the action. Reserve a court using the Eastman system. Yes, we know that in years past, players just walked onto the courts at any time without reservations. However, use of the system is critical to effective tennis court management and happy players.

It takes just minutes to set up an account, and literally seconds to reserve a court once you save your ID and password on your electronic devices. And, for those needing a little help keeping their busy schedules straight, will even email you a reminder that you can add to your digital calendar with just two quick clicks. For help with either, call Recreation at (603)-863-6772 or stop by the reception desk at the South Cove Activity Center. For more details about playing on our superb membership-only courts, go to Play at Eastman.  A few seconds of your time will help ECA staff and volunteers plan for future enhancements to the tennis program–and maybe save you a wasted trip to fully occupied courts.

Eastman’s Open–Cause to Celebrate

Left to right: Eugene Demidenko, Valentina Demidenko. Richard King, Emmalie Snyder

Once again, the “Open” was a success, drawing players from both the Eastman community and the Upper Valley. Held only one week after the Memorial Day weekend event that drew 40 players, the tournament competed for players with USTA matches held that weekend and a myriad of end-of-school-year activities, including graduations. Nonetheless, ten teams competed in the Mixed Doubles and four in the Men’s category. Emmalie Snyder of Elkins, NH and Richard King, of Bradford, NH were victorious over Valentina and Eugene Demidenko of Norwich, VT in the Mixed Doubles.  (Richard is a repeat winner, having won the event two years ago with Laura Joslin-King.) In the Men’s competition,

Pete Podesta and Gary Atchinson

Eastmanite and tournament director Pete Podesta teamed up with Gary Atchinson of Croydon to claim first place in the Men’s category. Gary competed with flare in his characteristically colorful tennis attire.

Will there be a 5th Annual? We sure hope so. But, in the meantime, players can hone their skills and find potential partners in the Mixed Doubles Sunday Scrambles described above.

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