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Tennis Newsletter | June 2010 |
Class Registration is Underway
The heat is definitely on in Virginia Beach! Although spring is ending, there's plenty of tennis available. We have summer classes available for adult and youth players, including family tennis classes for parents who want to learn with their children.
Our Summer Singles Ladder will begin in July (see article below) and we continue to offer leagues, clinics and youth camps all summer long. For more information on these and other activities, please contact our pro shop at 385-2695, or email
Summer Singles Ladder Begins July 6
Singles LadderThis popular program is returning for 2010. If you love singles, this is a great way to keep your game sharp during the summer. Work your way up the ladder by challenging players in a higher position. Matches are scheduled at your convenience and can be played at Owl Creek Tennis Center, or any site that both players agree upon. Move to the top of the ladder and claim victory!
The entry deadline is June 30. Stop by Owl Creek Tennis Center to complete an application. The cost is $55 and the program runs for eight weeks. Results will be posted at Owl Creek and emailed to players weekly.
Pro Tip: Handling the High Ball
 by Owl Creek Staff
High BallIf you were to ask recreational tennis players which shot gives them the most trouble, the high ball would rank near or at the top. A "high ball" is one that you play above your normal comfort zone, anywhere from mid-chest to shoulder level, or even higher. High balls include groundstrokes both in the backcourt or the frontcourt. They also include high volleys and returns on high kicking serves.
There are two options for avoiding high balls: 1. hitting the ball on the rise before it reaches an uncomfortable height, or 2. moving back and letting the ball drop to a more playable height. Hitting the ball before it gets too high is something you see advanced players do routinely, but it is much less common at lower levels. This is because it requires exceptional use of your eyes, good footwork and positioning, and especially, good timing of the swing. Keep your backswing short and just try to bump the ball. As you become more adept you can add more length to the forward swing but continue to keep it short in the back.

A high ball can't cause you a problem if it's not high when you make contact. So the simplest solution - if not always the best tactically - is simply to move back and allow the ball to drop to your normal contact height. This is easier to accomplish at lower levels of play when the ball is hit with less pace and spin. Obviously when the ball is slower, you have more time to move back and set up. Once the ball drops far enough, it becomes more like a normal groundstroke. If you have enough time, you can step in, hit with a neutral stance and use your normal follow-through.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you absolutely have to do something with this ball. If your opponent stays back, there's nothing wrong with responding to a high ball with a high ball of your own. Stay patient and always wait for the ball to be in the right hit zone before doing a little extra with it.
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Recipe of the Month
Chinese Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Dressing
Healthy and delicious with lots of fresh ingredients!


Round Robin
Held Fridays from 5:30 - 7:00 pm
All levels welcome, social atmosphere
$12 to sign up
Call by Thursday to add your name and partner to the list


Drop-In Clinics
Looking for a weekly clinic that allows for a flexible schedule?
If possible, call the pro shop 24 hours in advance at 385-2695
Junior Team Tennis Update
JTTThe spring season of the Virginia Beach Junior Team Tennis is currently underway with almost 200 players participating. The divisions included are:
  • 10 and under intermediate
  • 12 and under intermediate & advanced
  • 14 and under intermediate & advanced
  • 18 and under intermediate & advanced
Champions from each division will advance to the District Championships to be held in July. The summer season will be scheduled for late July/early August. For information on Junior Team Tennis, please contact the Area League Coordinator, Donny Weed at 385-7732.
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
Owl Creek Municipal Tennis Center
Location: 928 S. Birdneck Road, Virginia Beach | Phone: (757) 385-2695
Hours: Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm | Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.