Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Player Profile -> Megan Hescock from Greece to Chicago tennis balances her

        Players meet Megan Hescock out of the Metro Chicago Tennis League. Megan started to play with us in the Spring of 2012 and has fallen in love with our service.  When we awarded Megan the 2nd place 2014 Chicago Player of the Year award she returned this message:

        'I can't remember if I ever emailed you back! lol Basically I wanted to express how awesome I think Chitowntennis is. I'm absolutely in love with the program, the management, everything. When I moved to Chicago 4 years ago, I had no idea joining this program would be so fulfilling on so many levels. Playing tennis keeps me balanced in a way I didn't even know I was missing. Thank you for running such a truly excellent programe'

        Please let me know there's anything I can do to help you with the Chicago program.  
        So we asked Megan (ChiTown Tennis Profile) if she can tell the community her Tennis League Network story.  Here it is:
        As you might not know, I started playing tennis in Greece on a 12-year-old co-ed league when I was about 23. I was living in a tiny town on Rodos, and I had nothing else to do! So I originally learned to keep the score in Greek- and I still do in my head!

         I've been a part of the league for 3 seasons. I believe I heard about it by googling tennis programs in Chicago when I moved here 4 years ago. I'm so glad I did!!

Megan with her cousin Jake.
        I love the league's structure and management style. The structure gives you total freedom and flexibility in setting up matches, and the management is completely understanding and always responsive if any issues arise. Good management is the most difficult thing to find in ANY organization. I love that we can arrange matches as often as we want to play. It's just a matter of finding people with availability! There are so many priorities people have that trump a tennis match by a mile, and understandably of course- so you end up getting a lot of cancellations. One week I had 5 matches scheduled and 4 cancellations! Which is part of the reason that I set up so many in the first place ;)

        A match that really sticks out in my mind was a 10-game pro set I played with a woman who was honestly a lot more skilled than I am- she'd been playing since childhood and was now in her 50's, and was still in amazing shape. While I'd just started playing the previous year (aside from the 2 month stint in Greece), when I bought a Groupon for 6 tennis lessons out in the burbs. The score got up to 0-8. I was sure I was toast! Then somehow. Through some miracle. I came back to WIN at 10-8. I somehow won TEN games in a row. It was truly an inexplicably miraculous come back. She was stunned. And was happy for me bc she could see how hard I worked for it. 

        The other match that sticks out in my mind was with a woman who just moved to Chicago, and was a brand new player to the league this past summer. She was very skilled, and talked about how she takes lessons, has been playing for a really long time, that I should take lessons to avoid hurting myself, etc. She was really nice. Then as soon as we started playing, she was a different person! She argued about calls, she wouldn't speak to me aside from announcing the score- which she also fought about- and she had me running all over the court chasing balls like a crazy woman, because she was pretty good and I could barely keep up! She was winning for a while, but then her luck changed, and I made a come back! There was ONE more point left to play in the set before I would win (admittedly it could have gone either way, as it always can, and she could have won, too of course). It was her serve. Just before she served the last point, she said "I don't want to play anymore." Just like that! And forfeited the match. It was such an extreme and obvious case of her being afraid to lose that i couldn't even be mad out of sheer ridiculousness! I can see where it will be hard to lose to someone who's only had 6 lessons from a Groupon deal, and a couple months playing with kids in Greece lol.I know this story doesn't highlight the joys of tennis. But it's a real story that reveals the other side of intramural sportsmanship. It happens. Matches don't always end up with a cordial handshake and a cherry on top. And let's not be afraid to talk about it! It's an unfortunate part of life, but it's how you handle these moments that really make the player :)

        I believe the league has me ranked at 3.75. But the league's ratings seem pretty "padded" compared to the USTA ratings, where I'm probably closer to a 2.5.  Admin Note: Tennis League Network's philosophy is to follow the results as they are reported and get players into the right level as soon as the results dictate. Even during the middle of the season.

        I'm the one in work out pants with the terrible Walmart racquet and running shoes from 1997 lol. This was before I reluctantly transitioned to tennis clothes haha. And I basically stopped taking pictures after that. I resisted tennis clothes for like 2 years, insisting on wearing cheerleader shorts and yoga pants, just to make a point. I am one of those people that believes it's not the equipment that makes a player. And I was determined to prove it lol. But tennis clothes are literally designed to hold tennis balls (duh), which is unfortunately really convenient, so I gave in!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Playing Format: Tennis Tournaments

        Players in our largest cities we hope you'll like our new playing format: Tennis Tournaments - Every Match counts.

How does the Tournament format Work?  
Every Match Counts *NEW* for 2015

Tennis Tournament Basic Concept

     Our tournaments are a single elimination format with a consolation bracket. Meaning you are guaranteed at least 2 matches. This tournament format will not be played at a single location over a weekend instead players are given 7 to 10 days to play each round's match.

Member Since 07/01/13
Great way to meet good people and 
hit with competitive tennis players!
S. Levenson 

     Our tournaments will be mixed gender unless we have particularly strong female enrollment in a city. The tournaments will be singles based until we receive enough response to open it up for doubles. Players will be grouped in brackets with players no greater than .5 of their current TLN League Rating. Meaning Skilled - 3.0 players will be matched with other 3.0 players and at most with Competitive - 3.5 level players. Competitive - 3.5 level players could be grouped with Advanced - 4.0 players but will not have Elite 4.5 level players in their bracket.

Our Guarantee
     We need at least 6 players to make a tournament bracket. If we can NOT reach this criteria then we will refund your entry fee and give you the next tournament for no cost. Our hope is to run multiple skill level brackets for each tournament. We are NOT going to show early enrollment for the tournaments. Also the 7-day money back guarantee expires as soon as the tournament starts. Tournaments will not allow for late enrollment.

     All tournament players will need to have played 4 league/season or tennis ladder legacy matches before they can enter into a tournament. Players will be entered into the tournament that associates with their TLN's Player Rating. If a player wants to participate in a second draw at a rating higher than their Player Rating they will be allowed too.

Member Since 02/08/10

Your Schedule and Availability
     These tournaments will be kicked off on Thursday's giving the first round opponents two weekends to play the first match and then each following round will have a full week to play the match. Players need to be local for at least the first 3 weeks after kickoff. Players with 1-week work trips or week long vacations during the first 3 weeks shouldn't participate in the tournament.

      The TennisNorthEast staff will seed 25% of the participants based veteran status (Most number of matches played in their career) with the program. If we have 8 players enrolled we'll seed the top 2 players, 16 players the top 4 players. The rest of the players will be randomly entered into the draw.

Consolation Bracket
     We will run a consolation bracket for the players who lost their first match. Seedings for the consolation bracket will be randomly selected by the TennisNorthEast staff. The winner of the consolation bracket will receive a $25 Tennis Warehouse Gift Card. 


Where to Play?
       Because the seeding of the tournament is mainly randomize the higher seed will NOT have home court preference. The league strongly suggests you meet half-way to cut the commute in half for both players. We provide an extensive list of tennis courts that have user submitted ratings. If two players need guidance they can certainly email our staff for suggestions.

Member Since 07/20/09
It's so great to be back playing tennis 
weekly for very little cost. THANK YOU.
A. Kussell 
Playing Format
      The preferred playing format for tournaments should be 2 sets with a 3rd set tie-breaker or 2 out of 3 sets. If the two players can't agree the default format will be the 2 sets with a 3rd set tie-breaker. In NYC we will accept 10 game pro set results mainly due to court availability.
Target Audience
      This will be our most competitive format. The target audience is for the player who are good sports and love to play competitive matches.

Prize Pool
      The prize pool will be based upon enrollment in each bracket. A tournament can have multiple brackets. The tournament prize structure is based around our partner Tennis Warehouse (TW).

6 to 10 players: $50 TW Gift Card for the winner*, $25 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for Consolation bracket winner
11 to 16: $100 TW GC for the winner* + Trophy, $50 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for Consolation winner
17 to 24: $150 TW GC for the winner* + Trophy, $50 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for 3rd & 4th place, $50 TW GC for Consolation winner
25+: $200 TW GC for the winner* + Trophy, $100 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for 3rd and 4th place, $50 TW GC for Consolation winner

      All tournament champions will be receive an entry into the End of the Year National Tourneys at the champions discounted rate.

Cost to Participate
      The cost will be $24.95 per tournament except for the inaugural tournament which will be $19.95.