Doubles vs. Singles, oh that Stereotype

The Lighter Side of Tennis……..
by Betty Osborn

Every year the same question comes up. “I sure hope the coach does not make me play doubles” says my teenage son.
Singles is so much better.
At one time in my life, when I was young and foolish, I would have agreed. But now that my tennis game has come full circle, I know better.

Everybody wants  to try to excel at singles, sure, but what young people don’t know is doubles is so much more rewarding.
How did I come to this conclusion? – was it because I had to age and slow down, or am I late in finding out the golden rule?
A little of both. Four people on a tennis court makes for a very exciting and rewarding experience.
It’s true – more people want to watch singles than doubles. And if you watch a grand slam on TV, it is rare to find that doubles match without being there in person.

Today I was at a Tennis Tournament and I watched four 18-year-old boys play an outstanding doubles match. It was exciting just to watch.
I wish my teenage son would have been there, I could have proved my point. Maybe.
For years I loved to play singles, then one day I was fortunate to find a doubles partner, who was a singles player like me. Together, we realized one thing.
Four people on a tennis court makes for a very exciting and rewarding experience. What do I mean?
singles is a lonely game, nobody to back you up, nobody to share the court with, and twice as much ground to cover with narrower lines. No socialization, no teamwork, just you.
If you are talented  enough to survive that is wonderful, but if you go down fast, it can be hard on the ego, and your body as well.
Both are exciting games, but doubles takes more thinking power in the long run. Sometimes it reminds me of a reality chess game, always planning the next move.
Too bad more young people don’t want to play it.

What do you think- doubles or singles?
Would love to hear your story.

Happy rest of summer.

Betty Osborn
Time in a Treasure
Custom Artistic Collages for the Entire Family

Published in: on July 24, 2011 at 12:46 am  Leave a Comment  

How Parental Coaching Can Develop the Necessary Sports Patience

It’s that time of year again, if you and your kids are involved in sports then you have been down this road. I have been coaching my kids tennis on the side for a year now, and I think I need more discipline than the kids.
It is not unusual for parents of athletes to have no, or to lose, patience when it comes to dealing with kids sports performances. Parents cannot understand why their child does not have more success. Having patience with youth in sports is a lot like “keeping it in perspective” a common phrase associated with youth sports. Similar because parents and coaches have it until their own child is involved.

Most parents display patience and perspective with other people’s kids, but with their own children, patience and perspective are lost or non-existent. Subsequently, they display this loss with often-regrettable words or actions. “I can’t believe you did that” or “You are embarrassing me” are parental statements that speak of their loss of patience. Kicking the dirt, rolling the eyes, looking away and ignoring their child are often completed parental actions, when kids do not perform up to their parents’ expectations. Unfortunately, it only takes one or two of these inappropriate words or displays to shape a child’s future in sports. Often, unbeknownst to adults, these negative incidents start to decrease children’s desire to play sports.

Obviously, everyone has different levels of patience but it something that parents can improve upon with the proper sports perspective. Having the best sport perspective can help parents to develop and display the necessary patience so that kids have the positive sporting experience they deserve.

A good, positive youth sports perspective begins with the following understandings:

1. Sport skill proficiency is difficult and gets more difficult as an athlete moves up the sports ladder.

2. Just because a sport skill appears easy, especially on TV, does not mean it is easy.

3. Just because the parent were good at something does not automatically make their child good at it.

4. Players, who choose not to practice, are usually not having fun playing that sport. The lack of fun could be because
a) they are not having success 
b) coaches and/or parents do not know how to make practice fun 
c) they just are not into it for reasons beyond a parent’s control

5. Pushing kids to practice more usually kills any chance that they will like the sport more down the line. Suggesting they practice and helping them understand that good results only come with practice is OK and necessary, though.

6. Players will not automatically be able to do something just because you tell them to or just because you point out what they are doing wrong. Their muscle memory must change through fundamental repetition.

7. Using words that describe the action is better than indicting a player them self. For example, “Your timing is off”–is better than saying, “You will never be any good if you keep doing it that way.”

8. Negative actions and facial expressions are as detrimental as words.

9. People, who display patience when working with kids, generally develop patient athletes who understand it takes time to be successful.

10. Expectations should be reasonable. Watching for and pointing out gradual signs of athletic improvement, even when results are not there, displays the patience that pays off in the end.

11. Long-range goals are better than short-range goals.

Many of these are common sense points that most parents feel like they adhere too. As mentioned, the problem is that most parents do not realize that their demeanor, words and actions change when dealing with their own kids in sports. It takes a lot of will power to change or to adhere to these suggestions.

At we offer several ways to capture your favorite summer sporting memories.
Tennis Court of Life, Golf Course of Life, Vintage Baseball & Softball.
It’s a fun way for mom and dad to enjoy those proud moments, with their favorite sport.
See our galleries for details:


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About the Author

“Playing major league baseball – sweet; helping kids – sweeter.”
Jack Perconte helps kids and their parents through the challenging world of youth sports. He shares his playing, coaching and parenting experiences in his books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete: How to Instill Confidence, Build Skills and Inspire a Love of Sport. Learn more at

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Tennis and Kids

Choosing a sport for a lifetime!


Parents are always looking for a good sport for their child and more and more parents are starting to turn tennis as the perfect sport for their child.  The benefits of tennis go far beyond simply learning good sportsmanship skills, it also goes deep into learning good skills in terms of eye coordination and even hand eye coordination just to mention a few.

Deciding if tennis is the right sport for your child is sometimes easy and at other times a bit more complicated, but you should always take a cue from your child as you make the final decision. The first step should be deciding if your child enjoys playing with large groups of people such as with football or soccer or if they prefer to play solo sports.

While tennis is more of a solo sport while he/she is competing against one opponent if playing singles or playing with a partner against two opponents, rather than an entire field like many team sports involves.  Your child should be relatively coordinated.  Tennis is said to be the most difficult sport due to the fact that you must hit a moving ball with your racquet.

Unlike, golf where the ball is stationary when you make contact with it.  Many children enjoy the challenge of being able to hit the moving ball while running on the tennis court.  Some take this as the perfect time to get started really improving their skills and technique in order to protect themselves from the ball.    You should also look at the benefits that tennis can provide.  It is a great form of exercise that allows your child to move around the tennis court a very great deal thus providing them with plenty of exercise.  At the same time, it is also possible to practice improved hand eye coordination, teamwork skills and even learn how to make quick decisions as a split second.  A child who has issues making a decision is generally not cut out for tennis, however a child that is able to just jump in and make a fast decision will generally do very well at tennis.

Another benefit of tennis is the ability to have your child practice on their own.  While many sports need a partner to interact with or numerous other people in order to actually practice, you can practice your tennis strokes  by hitting on a solid wall.  A tennis ball and racquet can allow your child to easily practice almost anywhere, even at your home.  This allows your child to have the time to practice that they need which can be a huge help if you are looking for the best sport possible that will not potentially damage your property.

For parents who are looking for a competition sport tennis, makes a wonderful choice. You can choose just how many or how few competitions you are comfortable with your child participating in and ultimately they can even play in a local tournament or as a team leader if they are skilled enough when they get older.  This can allow you to consider that tennis is a great sport because it has a serious future ahead that is very much possible for virtually anyone to learn.
It is also a great sport for a lifetime, which can be enjoyed for years to come!

At we offer several ways to capture your favorite summer sporting memories. Tennis, Golf, Baseball & Softball.
It’s a fun way to enjoy those proud moments.
See our galleries for details. Raising Big Smiling Tennis Kids: A Complete Roadmap For Every Parent And Coach” title=”Tennis and Kids”

Published in: on July 7, 2011 at 1:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Sports – Sports and More Sports

We can never get enough until we hit overload!
This is one area that is dear to my heart – my boys loved baseball, soccer and now tennis.
My sports templates are set up for individuals or teams both.
If you browse my galleries templates you will see I offer a great team special as well.

  • I offer baseball, soccer and softball vintage templates. Golf course and Tennis court of life.
  • I have found many people enjoy the graffiti templates too for a combo of sports which could include football, volleyball, or any favorite sport.

Something fun to look back on as time goes by!

Published in: on January 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm  Leave a Comment