Monday, January 14, 2019

Player Profile: David Sherby - To be inspired - that's the secret

We connected with David Sherby from   I’m in creative services, which straddles the line between marketing, creative, and operations. It’s a role where I get to use both sides of my brain, usually on a minute-by-minute basis. Which in part explains why I like tennis: there are always fundamental mechanics to follow, but you also have to “see” where the next shot is coming, or going. I enjoy golf, racquetball, staying fit in general, cooking / grilling, music and travel. I moved to Austin in the early 80’s - it sure has changed quite a bit, but still one of the best places to live.  

1. Which league are you a member of?
I was ready to get back into a league, but not the old one. It was too limiting on play (once a week, no playing a double or third match against another player). I had desire to play more and found Tennis-Austin, researched some of the players and saw 2 of the guys from spring playing in this league. A quick chat with one of them and I joined the Fall2018 league, 3.0-3.5.

2. How often do you play?
I like to play 2-3 times a week now. It’s been great mental & physical exercise, and helped with my overall ability to focus on a task. With the number of equally skilled players in my division and the league software interface, it’s not hard to schedule a match. I think that’s one of the biggest benefits of Tennis-Austin.

3. What do you like most about the league?
David from the top of the Eiffel Tower
 Upfront, what I liked about Tennis-Austin was the super flexibility to play as much as I wanted, that there were a dozen+ potential opponents to schedule with, that there was a divisional playoff, and a national championship (one can dream, yes?). What I’ve found is a lot of players like me trying to get better, everyone is super supportive of each other, I’ve made some good tennis friends and budding rivalries, lots of player & match stats to pour over, and an engaged admin team that keeps the playing skills fairly equal among the division players: no ringers stealing the fun out of a lower division ranking.

4. Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
The really tight matches are the most memorable, and win or lose I always come away with a new piece of knowledge about myself / skills, or how to play better against my opponent next time. I’ve only played 25 matches, but the ones against RayG, LarryP, TomL, BrianD and YolandaR have made my mental “best of” list. Each time we play it’s a fair challenge, super enjoyable, each player hits great shots, the momentum swings back and forth, and we seem to have a good time playing. As Ray says before each match, “Let’s have FUN!”  I think that’s as key to the spirit at this level as much as anything. No one’s handing out million dollar checks to the winners, that I know of! Some days you have it, some nights you don’t. Keep playing.

5. Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
Overall, the quality of people I’ve met. Win or lose, there’s always a good spirit to the match and relationship. I feel like I’ve broadened my circle of friends. I KNOW I’ve improved my play.   AND, I no longer worry about how I’m going to play in that occasional doubles match with my friends. Sure, it’s a different game than singles, but when I started acing my serves and hearing, “Dayumm - where’d THAT come from dude?!” : the knowledge that I was no longer the worst on the court was AWESOME.   (Sometimes it’s the little things in life.)

6. How did you get started playing tennis?
In the fall of 2017, I was invited by a good friend to sub for a weekly doubles match, as one guy was out rehabbing his knee. I had played as a kid without any formal training, but had stopped playing for, oh, a few decades. Needless to say my initial time back on the court led to a lot of frustration. I’ve always been athletic but my mechanics were a complete mess. My friend (and new friends) must have been desperate! But I was hooked.

Then the 4th came back from rehab and I was relegated to playing once a month. Bummer! I knew if I was to get any better I needed to play a lot more. So after joining a different league in the spring’18, and going 0-6 (yeah, it was that bad), I took the summer off. Took lessons. Bought a modern racquet. (WOW!) Toyed with adding lead tape variances for better weight & feel. Watched YouTube vids of the greats. Hit thousands of balls and serves on our neighborhood court. Met a neighbor and practiced once a week with them. I got better; not 4.0+ better but my confidence was there.

7. What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

8. What do you love about tennis?  
.....It's a pure natural rush. Plus, playing better tennis as inspired me to take better care of myself. Diet, exercise, positive outlook, new friends and challenges... all of these are part of living a better life. Tennis is a sport where, if you’ve some natural talent and/or a desire to practice, learn and become better, you can hit shots as seen by the greats on TV!  It’s both mental and physical. One-on-one competition is pretty bare bones, and coming away with a W is a great feeling. Practicing and then hitting that screaming forehand bullet down the line to the corner in a match when you really need it - unequalled. Stuffing an ace or three, and then getting applause from your opponent - priceless.  I can’t hope to hit a 30ft jumper over a 6’0” or taller dude, but I can hit these shots on a tennis court. It’s a pure natural rush.

9. Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
No offense to Roger, Serena and Rafael, but I gravitate toward underdogs and up and comers. Juan  Martin del Potro, because of his massive serve. Sloane Stephens, because of her tenaciousness.  Alexander Zverev - just seems to have the “IT” factor and great future.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tennis League Network is proud to announce our partnership with Elite Tennis Travel

Tennis League Network, llc (TLN) is proud to announce our new partnership with Elite Tennis Travel (ETT). 

We caught up with Lisa Scholtes, managing partner and Adriana Isaza, CEO from ETT over the holidays to learn more about their company.  

Q. What services do Elite Tennis Travel provide?
ETT creates custom tennis and cultural immersion trips to gorgeous destinations around the world. Whether you’re a player or a spectator, we can design the ideal trip for you.  We already know lots of great league members in the NYC area, and we’re excited to connect with other tennis enthusiasts from across the US.

Q.  Tell us about yourselves.  How’d you get involved in the tennis travel business?
Adriana was a pro tennis player and a tennis instructor for many years, and combined her love of the game with her interest in travel to launch ETT.  She started by taking her fans and students to big tournaments, so they could experience the matches through the eyes of a professional tennis player.  

Lisa has no tennis skills whatsoever, and has been faking an injury for years.  Luckily, she worked in sports marketing for a long time, and can occasionally come up with a good marketing idea.  So, she gets to stick around.

Q.  What do you like most about your job? What was your most memorable trip?

We both love getting out and meeting fun people with similar interests. We’ve made many lifelong friends through our tennis travels – it’s been really rewarding.  Also, we’re grateful that we get the chance to travel to incredible places. We both love our program in Cuba, but Adriana will always have a soft spot for the Barcelona Open, which was our very first destination.  

Q.  What are you planning to offer to TLN members?

Our goal is to introduce members to unique tennis opportunities that they don’t know about, or assume are out of reach. Maybe the French Open is on your bucket list?  We can help you get there. Or maybe you need a fresh idea for a tennis get-away weekend with your teammates? Come check out the new Rafa Nadal Academy in Cancun. Whatever your tennis dream is, we want to help you achieve it.  We’re really excited to be part of the TLN family. Thanks for having us!

Currently Elite Tennis Travel is offering packages to Indian Wells and Havana, Cuba. We'll be keeping our marketing page for ETT up to date:

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Fans and Media Salivate Over Roger Federer vs Serena Williams at Hopman Cup

Written by Brian Lutz / Backhand City

Tennis is the only sport where the gender comparison won't seem to go away anytime soon.  The 2019 tennis season started off with an intriguing exhibition match at the Hopman Cup with a mixed doubles Fast 4 format featuring Grand Slam champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams.  As you will notice in the clip below the mainstream media thinks it is a real match and not a paid exhibition.

All of this "battle of the sexes" in tennis got me wondering. How has women's tennis evolved since the 1970's?  Where is it going?  What does the data say?  And what innovations are on the horizon for the women's game?  Lastly,  is all of this comparison with the ATP good for the WTA?

How do you feel about gender matches in the Tennis League Network? Would you like to see more mixed gender matches in your league or on television amongst the professionals?


It started in the early 70s when 55 year old Bobby Riggs dismantled then number #1 Women's tennis player in the world Margaret Court entitled the Mother's Day Massacre.  Four months later Billy Jean King then took the growing movement of gender equality to another level beyond tennis with the Battle of the Sexes tennis match. Ninety million American viewers tuned in to watch them play in the Houston Astrodome where King won in straight sets.  Yet with all of the good that tennis has brought to women's rights it led me to wonder.  Does Women's tennis suffer from comparison?

Brian Lutz is blogger and tennis coach in Miami, FL.  Check out more of this story in depth on his blog: Backhand City

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Goran Alimpic - The 2018 player of the year

We caught  up with Goran Alimpic from the Metro Portland Oregon Tennis League.  He's going to win the 2018 Player of the Year contest.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?
I work from home as a software engineer. As I moved to USA in 2016 (I used to live here a long time ago, as well), I am not really connected to a particular place, so I move around a lot - it is just more interesting that way. As for other hobbies, I like to travel, I used to produce music and play in a band, I tried SCUBA diving and flying, but the only thing that stuck was tennis.

Which league are you a member of? 
Portland Tennis League,  he has a 48-20 record and has only been playing since Nov. 2017.  He's played matches in 3 different franchises:, and

How long have you participated in your league?
6 months in this one - before that I played in leagues where I lived (Austin, and Denver). In total, that's a year and a half.

How did you first learn about it?
I am not sure - I either searched the net for some local leagues, or heard about it from somebody.

How often do you play?
I try to play as often as I can, usually several times a week.
What do you like most about the league?
I like how everything is well organized and without a glitch. It always goes forward and it is easy to find an opponent.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
I remember losses better: in the most recent league playoff match I was leading 8:5 in the final tie break and serving. My nerves got the better of me and I lost 5 points in a row, and the match. 

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
Whoever is super friendly and likes to engage in conversation during breaks and after the match. From the competitive perspective, I like players who attack more and punish my short balls, rather than just return them, since then I feel I can also adjust my style and be more aggressive, which makes the match more intense.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
I am actually amazed with the level of honesty and fairness during matches - I rarely ever had an issue regarding the score, validity of the point, someone's behavior or anything else. Every match is always a pleasurable experience.
How did you get started playing tennis?
I wanted to exercise more, and It seemed like a better alternative to working out or running, since I find most physical activities boring, and playing a competitive match is more interesting.

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

What do you love about tennis?  
I love the competitive aspect of it, which shows on all levels: POINT - each one is its own little battle with beginning, middle, and end stages; GAME - even being independent, points in a game connect together as you play for the final game score and adjust your tactics to that end; MATCH - as you learn about your opponent's strengths and weaknesses, and your own form during the match, you change your style and strategy. Besides just hitting the ball,  it is everything that happens in your head while trying to outsmart and outplay the opponent.

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
Since I am originally from Serbia, I can't help but always root for Djokovic. As for the style of play, I like Nadal - we are both left-handed, prefer clay courts and use the same racquet. (That's where the similarities end, though) 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What can I do about my shoulder pain? By Dr. Scott Glidden, DC

What can I do about my shoulder pain?
By Dr. Scott Glidden, DC

Shoulder pain and dysfunction can reveal itself in many forms: sharp pain, a pinch, ache, and much more. Regardless of how it feels, it can be a debilitating injury. It can affect your work, sleep, and how you enjoy your free time with friends and family. How does it happen?

How did my shoulder pain start?

Unless there was an "event" that caused your shoulder pain, most shoulder pain is the result of a slowly developing chronic injury. This occurs when a motion is repeated over and over again, especially with force.  The symptoms will be worse with motions that are more forceful or require greater range of motion.  This is where we see common shoulder injuries in tennis—with the overhead serve. It can occur during any shot, but the overhead serve requires the greatest amount of function of the shoulder.  The muscles that move and stabilize your shoulder all have to stretch out when your arm is overhead.  As they become more dysfunctional, they will lose more and more range of motion and strength.  Eventually instead of stretching out, the muscles will actually cause irreversible damage to the shoulder.  The affected muscles will cause the top of your rotator cuff to work harder, causing it to degenerate or tear.  Instead of stretching, these muscles will compress the joint space in the shoulder causing cartilage damage and an acceleration of arthritis. It might just feel like a “pinch” at your shoulder, but there is so much more than that going on in the shoulder!

How did this happen?

If your problem is from a chronic process, the root of your problem is most likely adhesion. It is the most common, under-diagnosed, and fixable condition in musculoskeletal health. Adhesion occurs when you use a muscle or ligament more than it is prepared to, resulting in an excess of inflammation.  When this happens, adhesion will develop on the overused structures. Adhesion is like glue and when it sticks to things it limits their range of motion, saps their strength, and makes symptoms more and more likely. Your body can handle a little bit of adhesion but when it is allowed to build up is when the trouble starts.

This is healthy shoulder range of motion: both arms easily touching the head, covering the ears with no tension or discomfort

How do I fix my shoulder?

Adhesion is very difficult to fix, but with expert care it can be removed and the shoulder can become pain free again.  Is adhesion the ONLY thing that causes pain? Absolutely not! There can be rotator cuff tears, labral tears, separated shoulders, cartilage damage, or arthritis that can complicate shoulder problems.  A proper diagnosis can rule these problems in or out with a thorough exam and history. One thing is for sure: an adhesion free shoulder will take pressure off of the joint, slow degeneration, decrease pain and increase function.

At our office, we use Manual Adhesion Release to reduce adhesion.  MAR is one the most effective treatments for adhesion and we use pre and post-treatment assessments to determine exactly how much improvement each treatment achieved. Unless you measure effectiveness, how does the doctor know if the treatment is working? If the doctor doesn't measure function, the doctor has no clue if when they discharge you the pain will stay away.  A pain free shoulder can be one workout away from pain again. Good function=healthy shoulder.

Dr. Scott Glidden is a soft-tissue specialist in Milwaukee,WI. His practice focus is chronic unresolved muscle, nerve, and joint problems. You can find more information on him and his practice at