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Tennis Canada's Junior Development Program

Tennis Canada junior development program a smashing success

 

Vernon Tennis Association partnered with Predator Ridge for three-month program.

 

The first season of indoor junior tennis at the Predator Ridge Tennis and Pickleball Club was a real hit.

 

The Vernon Tennis Association (VTA) partnered with Predator Ridge to run a Tennis Canada developmental program that began in September and ran until Dec. 14. The program is for players aged six to 17.

 

“I am amazed how quickly the players develop with this program,” said coach Graham Cooper. “Many of these youngsters only started playing tennis this year.”

 

https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/sports/tennis-canada-junior-development-program-a-smashing-success/

 

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New Bubble Coming to Richmond Tennis Club

Richmond Tennis Club to get new bubble in fall of 2020

 

Tennis enthusiasts will now have a well-lit place to play and keep warm next winter. 

With support from the Province of BC, the City of Richmond and its membership, the

Richmond Tennis Club will be replacing its 28-year-old bubble in the fall of 2020. It will provide access to indoor tennis during the winter months for members, the public at large, wheelchair athletes and youth in the community. 

 

Richmond Tennis

 

https://www.richmond-news.com/sports/richmond-tennis-club-to-get-new-bubble-in-fall-of-2020-1.23996464

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Why Tennis Definitely Isn't Just For Summer

Tennis Definitely Isn't Just a Summer Sport Anymore - Here's Why!

 

 

Historically, Canada hasn’t exactly been known for its tennis cred. If you thought to name Canada’s Top Ten Sports, tennis probably wouldn’t have made the list - even after naming hockey, lacrosse, baseball, skiing and ice fishing.

 

But things are changing fast. 

 

Tennis now ranks as the 8th most-played sport in the country, with 6.6 million Canadians hitting the courts last year. The number of frequent plays (meaning people playing four or more times over 12 months) has risen 36%. What’s more, the rise in tennis participation among young Canadians is even stronger, with over 510,000 kids between 6 and 11 taking up the racquet.

 

Not to mention the growing list of young Canadian tennis superstars like Dennis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassme and Bianca Andreescu. The future of tennis in this country - both professionally and recreationally - looks brighter than ever.

 

There’s just one little problem: winter. To be specific, it’s the bone-chilling, bus-cancelling, 30ᵒ-below-freezing-style winters we get here in Canada.

 

Despite popular belief, it’s not impossible to play tennis outdoors in the winter. For tennis diehards, it could even present a bit of a fun challenge. However, most municipalities don’t maintain their outdoor courts in the winter, and the supply of indoor tennis courts is seriously lacking.

 

Of the 7,500 tennis courts open for use in the warmer months, only 10% get covered with an air dome during the winter. That’s only one covered tennis court for every 50,000 Canadians...and 85% of those courts are in either Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. 

 

Why are there so few? The CEO of Tennis Canada, Michael Downey, put it best. “We’re fighting this perception that tennis is a summer sport,” he says in an interview with the Globe and Mail. 

 

That perception might’ve been true once, but times have changed, and 51% of Canadians now say they would play more tennis if they had access to convenient and affordable covered courts nearby.

 

Michael continues, “Many municipalities aren’t thinking about tennis in the winters – they just think ‘yeah we’ve got some courts, people use them in the summers.’ So we have to change that mindset.”

 

Cost is another major factor, according to Michael and Tennis Canada. Brick and mortar tennis facilities cost millions of dollars to build, so they’re a tough sell to municipalities. 

 

The good news is, there’s an easier and much more affordable option out there, and Tennis Canada has made it a mission to get municipalities on board. In fact, they’re planning to hit the road and visited 50 cities and towns (armed with a hundred pages of information) to spread the word about a cost-effective way to provide year-round tennis.

 

As you might have guessed, we’re talking about air-supported domes! 

 

Inflatable domes (also known as ‘bubbles’, which is the term used by Tennis Canada) are incredibly versatile. They can be used to cover tennis courts, soccer fields, or any number of other field sports. We’ve also seen municipalities use them for other community spaces, like gyms, party venues and swimming pools. Just about anything you do outdoors can be done under a dome!

 

Domes can be permanent or temporary. You could have a year-round tennis bubble that offers air-conditioned play in the summer and warmth in the winter - or, a seasonal dome that covers the court only from fall to spring. 

 

You might wonder what it’s like to play tennis in a bubble. It’s hardly any different from playing on a regular court - the only point of interest is that domes will offer a cooler playing temperature in the summer (since they’re climate-controlled), which can cause the ball to bounce a bit slower. Fortunately, this isn’t a major adjustment and most players can adapt their game quickly!

 

As for the height of the bubble? Not a problem, unless your game involves hitting the ball dozens of feet in the air and having it rain down on your opponents! You won’t ever have to worry about scraping the ceiling.

 

Once people see what’s possible with a dome - along with the skyrocketing interest in tennis - we’re confident that more and more municipalities will get on board with building a tennis bubble of their own. 

 

It’s exciting to see Tennis Canada take an active role in promoting the cause across the country. We wish them the very best of luck and our full support! 

 

We’ll leave it at that for now, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to learn more about what air-supported structures can do!

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New Bubble at Bear Mountain Tennis Centre

Bear Mountain Tennis Centre Opens Its First State-of-the-Art Bubble

 

(Victoria, BC – October 27, 2018)  The newest and best place to play tennis on Vancouver Island is opening its doors for the indoor season. The Bear Mountain Tennis Centre and Director of Tennis Russ Hartley welcomes  members of the public and all tennis enthusiasts to be the guests and experience the Resort’s brand new four-court tennis bubble from 12 noon to 6 PM on Saturday, October 27th.

 

https://bearmountain.ca/bear-mountain-tennis-centre-opens-its-first-state-of-the-art-bubble/

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5 Summer Sports You Can Play In Winter

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter sports like skiing and ice hockey are just as beloved as field sports. But not everyone is eager to switch out the cleats for snowshoes come fall. Good news: there are plenty of awesome summer sports you probably didn’t know you could play in the winter!

 

 

1. Beach Volleyball

Who says you need a beach to play beach volleyball? Although the game may have originated as a summer pastime, it has evolved into a sanctioned Olympic sport practiced by serious athletes.

 

There are now indoor beach volleyball facilities (sand and all) built for year-round play. Sports domes like the Volleydome in Calgary boast courts for traditional indoor volleyball and the two-on-two beach game.

 

2. Soccer

A little snow on the ground isn’t enough to stop the world’s game. With the right gear, it is possible to play soccer in the wintertime.

 

Of course, the game changes quite a bit when the green turns to white, and not necessarily for the better. The ball skips and glides across the snowy pitch with ease but is much harder to keep in control. The low-friction playing surface also puts players at risk of injury.

 

Playing soccer outdoors in the cold isn’t ideal unless the season runs long or winter comes early. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: the soccer dome.

 

Failing that, there are plenty of soccer drills you can practice almost anywhere, with or without a soccer dome.

 

3. Tennis

Why play a sport associated with short shorts and miniskirts in the winter?

 

Because it’s surprisingly awesome.

 

Tennis becomes a whole different game when the temperature drops, demanding a new playstyle and tweaks to your equipment. It’s a great challenge for seasoned tennis players who want to try something new.

 

Just be sure to dress for the weather with a moisture-wicking base layer and lots of insulating layers on top.

 

4. Cycling

Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to experience the joys of cycling in the winter.

 

If you’re brave enough to venture outdoors, it’s possible to outfit your regular commuter bicycle to tackle the slippery roads ahead. However, it does require some extra maintenance; MEC recommends that you wipe down the chain after every ride, apply lube to the chain at least three times a month, and spray aerosol lube on all the moving parts once another.

 

Winter mountain biking is another option. This heart-pounding winter sport is one of the best ways to soak in the breathtaking snow-covered wilderness.

 

For cyclists who prefer to stay warm, there’s track cycling, a lesser-known Olympic event that provides an incredible workout and a great show for spectators. Thanks to air-supported structures like the Team USA Velodrome, you can pick up this sport at any time of year.

 

5. Ultimate Frisbee

It might not have made the Olympics yet, but Ultimate Frisbee has been soaring in popularity ever since its inception in the 1960s. It’s become a favourite of college students and rec leagues around North America.

 

Trouble is, it’s not easy to catch and throw a plastic disc with mittens on.

 

That’s why we’re excited to see more and more Ultimate Frisbee leagues making use of indoor facilities like sports domes.  Hopefully, there will come a day when frisbee domes are as ubiquitous as soccer domes!

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6 Helpful Tips for Cold Weather Tennis

Tennis as a winter sport? It’s possible. With the right gear and a fiery spirit, you can continue to sharpen your tennis skills throughout the winter months! Here are some practical tips for playing tennis in cold weather, with or without an air-supported dome.

 

1. Warm-Up

It takes a bit longer to loosen up in low temperatures. Give your body a chance to warm up with a 10-minute stretching routine before you begin playing. Your muscles will thank you the next day!

 

2. Stay Hydrated

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can cut back your water intake. You won’t feel as thirsty playing in the winter, but your body still needs water to stay strong, fast and healthy. Drink plenty of water before you go outside and bring a bottle of water with you. If freezing is a problem, use a wide-mouthed bottle and store it upside-down.

 

3. Wear Shades

Sunglasses are a touchy topic in the world of tennis, but one thing is clear: the winter sun hangs lower in the sky, and the snow makes its glare even worse. If you have a personal rule against wearing sunglasses, you might make an exception for winter tennis.

 

4. Switch to Softer Strings

The lower the temperature, the stiffer racquet strings become. High-tension stings are prone to break in the cold. Softer string compositions, like multifilament or natural gut, perform better in the winter.

 

5. Adjust Your Play Style

Frigid weather has an interesting effect on tennis balls. The rubber hardens, and the air pressure inside the ball drops. The result? The ball feels softer in hand, but much harder on impact – which makes for a very different kind of tennis.

 

Since the ball has far less bounce, and the racquets are less elastic, you must aim deeper and hit harder to get the ball over the net. Topspins lose their edge; drop shots, slices, and flat serves are deadly. Winter tennis demands even more movement than summer tennis, with players travelling deeper in the court to catch the low ball.

 

It’s practically a whole new game!

 

6. Protect Yourself

Are you brave enough to venture out in freezing weather? Your dedication to the sport is admirable. But without proper preparation, exercising in sub-zero temperatures can be hazardous to your health. Any exposed skin can be at risk of freezing, which leads to frostbite, and wearing sweat-soaked clothing can increase the risk of hypothermia.

 

Proper winter tennis attire consists of a lightweight, moisture-wicking base beneath layers of insulating fabrics. Be sure that the outer layer or water-repellent. Gloves are important, even if they hinder your grip. Finally, don’t forget to wear a hat — you lose about 50% of body heat from your head.

 

Too Cold for Tennis? Use an Air-Supported Dome

Snow and ice add a cool twist to tennis, but cold-weather tennis is not for everyone. That’s why sports domes were invented! An air-supported dome structure provides shelter from the snow and a comfortable playing temperature all throughout the winter. We have the pictures to prove it!

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6 Strength Exercises for Tennis Players

6 All-Season Strength Exercises for Tennis Players

 

Tennis involves several forms of muscular strength.

 

There’s the force behind precision shots; the explosive lateral movements across the course; and the endurance it takes to survive for the duration of an intense game.

 

That’s why today's top players supplement their training with exercises that strengthen the joints and muscles behind those incredible plays.

 

 

American pro Sloane Stephens, for example, starts each of her practices with a two-hour workout that includes agility, plyometrics and weight training. The legendary Rafael Nadal’s 36 hours a week of training including 12 hours at the gym.

 

Like all athletes, tennis players benefit from a balanced, full-body workout. Whether you’re playing outdoors in the summer or under a dome in the winter, the following are great all-season exercises for tennis players of all skill levels.

 

1. Bench Press

The bench press is a powerful compound movement that engages the chest, triceps and shoulders: all key ingredients of a killer tennis serve. Few exercises build upper body strength as effectively as a properly-performed bench press.

 

Beginners should master the movement with lightweight dumbbells before progressing to heavier weights.

 

Video: How to Bench Press

 

2. Goblet Squat

Squats are a fundamental lower body exercise, and goblet squats are a great variation for beginners and expert athletes alike.

 

In addition to working the glutes and quadriceps, goblet squats involve muscles in the core and arms, making it a well-rounded exercise for tennis players.

 

Video: How to Perform Goblet Squats

 

3. Box Jump

Sometimes, you've got to leap to counter a powerful slam. Box jumps are a fun, low-impact exercise that helps tennis players prepare for the explosive jumping and diving movements. It also improves your ability to absorb the shock of touching back down, which is essential for avoiding foot and leg injuries.

 

Plus, who doesn’t love to jump around?

 

Video: How to Perform Box Jumps

 

4. Lateral Lunge

Lateral movement is a huge part of the game, but it’s an area many traditional strength programs overlook. That's the beauty of the lateral lunge.

 

Lunges work the entire lower body, including the glutes, hip abductors, knees, and hips. After mastering the basic movement, you can add dumbbells or a barbell to increase the intensity.

 

Video: How to Perform Lateral Lunges

 

5. Internal/External Rotations

Shoulder problems are prevalent in the tennis world, especially rotator cuff injuries.

 

Why?

 

The rotator cuff is the four muscles and tendons that enable your arm to roll fluidly in its shoulder socket. Serious tennis players push those muscles to their limit. When the muscles are strained or torn, it can become painful or even impossible to continue playing.

 

The best way to prevent rotator cuff injuries in tennis is to strengthen those four key muscles. Internal and external dumbbell rotations are a great exercise to do this. They in a standing or lying position, and you don’t have to use heavy weights to benefit.

 

Video: How to Perform Lying External/Internal Rotations

How to Perform Standing External/Internal Rotations

 

6. Medicine Ball Slam

Medicine ball slams are an effective, full-body movement with emphasis on the abdominal muscles. The force you use to slam the ball translates into better core strength and more powerful swings on the court.

 

Medicine ball slams also require minimal skill in weight training to perform and pose little to no risk of injury, even in when you’re fatigued.

 

Video: How to Do Medicine Ball Slams

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Best Crossover Sports for Soccer Players

Soccer is an incredibly demanding sport which requires players to be in tip-top shape for optimal performance. Great soccer players do more than just train by playing one game, though. Other sports can help soccer players become better by helping to focus their skill development.

 

Because soccer demands so much and is so multi-faceted, narrowing down the skills you want to develop and then finding other sports or activities that hone them can really improve your performance on the soccer field!

 

 

Here are a few sports that soccer players should try out.

 

Tennis

We talked about how much tennis players can get out of playing soccer in this article, but it also works in the opposite direction.

Soccer players can practice changing directions quickly and anticipating the movement of the ball. No, you’re not using your feet to move the ball across the court, but the sport can still improve your ability to track the ball and anticipate trajectories.

 

Also, reading your opponent is a big part of tennis. In soccer, you only really get to do that in a penalty kick situation. Staring down your opponent and anticipating their reaction is something you do all the time in tennis.

 

Basketball

Basketball is one of the largest North American sports, so much so that it’s unlikely that you’ll see a school gym or park without a basketball court. But while the sport may look very different from soccer, some shared principles could, with practice, really improve your soccer skills.

 

A large part of basketball is simply moving the ball down the court. This requires fancy footwork, slick moves, and most importantly, passing. Even though you pass with your hands and not your feet, it’s the same idea. You want to look for your opening, react to it quickly, and outsmart your opponent—just like playing soccer.

 

Volleyball

Volleyball is a fast-paced game with a much smaller play area than soccer, but it can still work on key parts of your soccer game.

 

Much of volleyball is spent in the air, jumping up as high as possible to block or reach high-flying balls. Jumping and diving for the ball can help you drill down on your vertical game if you find yourself being beaten out at the net reaching for those corner kicks.

 

And playing beach volleyball is great for the legs—the sand is perfect for resistance training!

 

Swimming

Swimming might not directly help with your soccer skills, but it is an excellent activity for developing strength and endurance.

 

The resistance provided by the water can work your muscles to the limit faster and more effectively than on land. Swimming will improve your overall strength to help add power to your kicks, speed to your sprints, and stamina to those long run-downs.

 

If none of the sports above is your cup of tea, any sport you choose could have some component that is useful for soccer. It’s just such a physically demanding sport that whatever skill you decide to focus on can make a significant impact on your level of play.

 

The takeaway is not to pigeon-hole yourself to only playing one sport. Being well-rounded is important in sports as well as life!

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How Soccer Improves Your Tennis Game

3 Reasons Why Playing Soccer Improves Your Tennis Game

 

If you’re looking to boost your tennis game, it might be worth looking at another sport played in a dome: soccer! Tennis and soccer might seem like two completely different sports, but like many sports, playing soccer builds transferrable skills that could push your tennis skills to the next level.

 

 

It’s long been known that multidisciplinary athletes tend to do well in any sport they try. Just look at an athlete like Bo Jackson (who you can learn more about in this blog and this one, where we talk about him and his Elite Sports Dome projects) that not only played at the top level of both football and baseball, but was actually named an all-star in both sports.

 

So how can soccer help your tennis game? Here are just a few ways:

 

Improves Your Footwork

 

It’s no surprise that soccer requires heavy use of your feet, but the fancy foot skills you learn on the soccer pitch could translate quickly to the court.

 

Soccer requires you to change directions quickly while running, make unique foot movements to control and kick the ball, and power up and power down leg muscles as they’re needed. All these skills and exercises can help on the court to get to the ball quickly, change directions on a whim, and quickly improvise with fast feet on-the-fly.

 

Boosts Your Fitness and Cardio

 

For most players on the soccer field, you’re in constant movement. It’s estimated that at the pro-level, a midfielder might run 7 miles in a game. Now the amount of running you do in tennis is very much decided by your play style, but if you’re looking to get a more high-energy style going, soccer could help to increase your stamina.

 

Many players don’t even realize the amount of running they do because of the quick pace of soccer. Being a timed sport with no stopping of the clock, the game is go-go-go, and you won’t realize how much training you just squeezed in until the game has ended. Or maybe not even until the next day when you realize how sore your legs are…

 

Helps Learning to Anticipate

 

Most sports, especially at the top level, require just as much strategy as skill. Soccer might look like a bunch of runners chasing a ball, but the strategy of soccer is much deeper. Running around the pitch is a sure way to burn yourself out quickly, so a good soccer player needs to be able to look where the ball is going, analyze other players and teammates, and react quickly to any situation.

 

With the possible exception of having a teammate (unless playing doubles), all these skills are invaluable when you have a racket in your hands.

 

Being able to think five steps ahead of your opponent will help you keep your cool, better conserve your energy, and make your explosive attacks all the more effective.

 

So if you’re looking for another sport to play that will help you to improve your tennis skills, look no further than soccer. And if you happen to play tennis in a multisport air supported structure, you might not need to travel any further than your dome to jump into a game.

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Rule Changes to Help Tennis Stay Relevant

Tennis Evolution: How Rule Changes May Help the Sport Remain Relevant

 

It is not at all uncommon for sports to evolve over time. Sometimes this happens to accommodate changes in technology, requests from players and owners, or a need to deliver what the public now wants from a sport. The latter reason is behind some proposed tennis rule changes announced recently.

 

The longest professional tennis match took place in 2010. John Isner and Nicholas Mahut battled it out over the course of three days before the former finally triumphed. In all, the contest lasted a staggering 11 hours and 5 minutes.

 

However, as the Wall Street Journal reported, the actual tennis playing accounted for less than two hours of that time.

With attention spans shortening and so many entertainment options available, there is concern that both current and potential viewers may not watch professional tennis as we know it. The proposed solution? Speed things up.

 

Association of Tennis Professionals President Chris Kermode feels these suggested changes are, "not only about the next generation of players, but also about the next generation of fans."

 

"We will be sure to safeguard the integrity of our product when assessing if any changes should eventually be carried forward onto regular ATP World Tour events in the future," he says.

 

Here are the proposed rule alterations:

 

Fewer Seeds

The number of seeds would drop from 32 to 16. The idea here is to make the early matches more exciting due to the higher caliber of players. Viewers would become hooked from the beginning and then keep watching right through the championship.

 

New Format

First to six game sets would drop to first to four, with a tiebreaker resolving a 3-3 deadlock. Also, a sudden death deuce point (allowing the receiver to choose their court side) would replace so-called advantage scoring. Sets would be best of five.

 

Reduced Starting Time

Once the second player steps onto the court, the match must begin in five minutes, down from the previous ten.

 

Shot Clock

Already tested at the U.S. Open qualifying and the Next Gen ATP Finals, this would ensure players adhere to the 25-second rule between serves. The clock would also time the warm-up, set breaks, and medical timeouts.

 

No Lets

A no-let rule for serving.

 

Player and Coach Communication

While communication would still be possible between players and coaches at certain points during the match, the latter could no longer step onto the court.

 

Electronic Line Calling

There would be only the chair umpire on the court. An electronic line calling system would signal unsuccessful serves and when the ball is out, replacing its human equivalent.

 

Increased Spectator Freedom

Elimination of the rule restricting spectators from coming or going during a match.

 

Kermode stated that these alterations should not alienate the current fanbase. A shorter format and faster pace may well stop people from changing channels, but that remains to be seen. If these come to pass, it will certainly be interesting to gauge player reactions, particularly veterans who made their reputations via the traditional form of play.

 

Changing demographics are also clearly a factor. As the veterans who reliably drew viewers enter retirement, executives hope to attract a younger demographic to the sport. The thinking is that a swifter game, and not just exciting personalities, is key to making that change.

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Tennis Canada's Junior Development Program

Tennis Canada junior development program a smashing success

 

Vernon Tennis Association partnered with Predator Ridge for three-month program.

 

The first season of indoor junior tennis at the Predator Ridge Tennis and Pickleball Club was a real hit.

 

The Vernon Tennis Association (VTA) partnered with Predator Ridge to run a Tennis Canada developmental program that began in September and ran until Dec. 14. The program is for players aged six to 17.

 

“I am amazed how quickly the players develop with this program,” said coach Graham Cooper. “Many of these youngsters only started playing tennis this year.”

 

https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/sports/tennis-canada-junior-development-program-a-smashing-success/

 


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Tennis Sports Domes News

New Bubble Coming to Richmond Tennis Club

Richmond Tennis Club to get new bubble in fall of 2020

 

Tennis enthusiasts will now have a well-lit place to play and keep warm next winter. 

With support from the Province of BC, the City of Richmond and its membership, the

Richmond Tennis Club will be replacing its 28-year-old bubble in the fall of 2020. It will provide access to indoor tennis during the winter months for members, the public at large, wheelchair athletes and youth in the community. 

 

Richmond Tennis

 

https://www.richmond-news.com/sports/richmond-tennis-club-to-get-new-bubble-in-fall-of-2020-1.23996464



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Tennis News

Why Tennis Definitely Isn't Just For Summer

 

Historically, Canada hasn’t exactly been known for its tennis cred. If you thought to name Canada’s Top Ten Sports, tennis probably wouldn’t have made the list - even after naming hockey, lacrosse, baseball, skiing and ice fishing.

 

But things are changing fast. 

 

Tennis now ranks as the 8th most-played sport in the country, with 6.6 million Canadians hitting the courts last year. The number of frequent plays (meaning people playing four or more times over 12 months) has risen 36%. What’s more, the rise in tennis participation among young Canadians is even stronger, with over 510,000 kids between 6 and 11 taking up the racquet.

 

Not to mention the growing list of young Canadian tennis superstars like Dennis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassme and Bianca Andreescu. The future of tennis in this country - both professionally and recreationally - looks brighter than ever.

 

There’s just one little problem: winter. To be specific, it’s the bone-chilling, bus-cancelling, 30ᵒ-below-freezing-style winters we get here in Canada.

 

Despite popular belief, it’s not impossible to play tennis outdoors in the winter. For tennis diehards, it could even present a bit of a fun challenge. However, most municipalities don’t maintain their outdoor courts in the winter, and the supply of indoor tennis courts is seriously lacking.

 

Of the 7,500 tennis courts open for use in the warmer months, only 10% get covered with an air dome during the winter. That’s only one covered tennis court for every 50,000 Canadians...and 85% of those courts are in either Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. 

 

Why are there so few? The CEO of Tennis Canada, Michael Downey, put it best. “We’re fighting this perception that tennis is a summer sport,” he says in an interview with the Globe and Mail. 

 

That perception might’ve been true once, but times have changed, and 51% of Canadians now say they would play more tennis if they had access to convenient and affordable covered courts nearby.

 

Michael continues, “Many municipalities aren’t thinking about tennis in the winters – they just think ‘yeah we’ve got some courts, people use them in the summers.’ So we have to change that mindset.”

 

Cost is another major factor, according to Michael and Tennis Canada. Brick and mortar tennis facilities cost millions of dollars to build, so they’re a tough sell to municipalities. 

 

The good news is, there’s an easier and much more affordable option out there, and Tennis Canada has made it a mission to get municipalities on board. In fact, they’re planning to hit the road and visited 50 cities and towns (armed with a hundred pages of information) to spread the word about a cost-effective way to provide year-round tennis.

 

As you might have guessed, we’re talking about air-supported domes! 

 

Inflatable domes (also known as ‘bubbles’, which is the term used by Tennis Canada) are incredibly versatile. They can be used to cover tennis courts, soccer fields, or any number of other field sports. We’ve also seen municipalities use them for other community spaces, like gyms, party venues and swimming pools. Just about anything you do outdoors can be done under a dome!

 

Domes can be permanent or temporary. You could have a year-round tennis bubble that offers air-conditioned play in the summer and warmth in the winter - or, a seasonal dome that covers the court only from fall to spring. 

 

You might wonder what it’s like to play tennis in a bubble. It’s hardly any different from playing on a regular court - the only point of interest is that domes will offer a cooler playing temperature in the summer (since they’re climate-controlled), which can cause the ball to bounce a bit slower. Fortunately, this isn’t a major adjustment and most players can adapt their game quickly!

 

As for the height of the bubble? Not a problem, unless your game involves hitting the ball dozens of feet in the air and having it rain down on your opponents! You won’t ever have to worry about scraping the ceiling.

 

Once people see what’s possible with a dome - along with the skyrocketing interest in tennis - we’re confident that more and more municipalities will get on board with building a tennis bubble of their own. 

 

It’s exciting to see Tennis Canada take an active role in promoting the cause across the country. We wish them the very best of luck and our full support! 

 

We’ll leave it at that for now, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to learn more about what air-supported structures can do!



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Tennis Infomation

New Bubble at Bear Mountain Tennis Centre

Bear Mountain Tennis Centre opens its first state-of-the-art Bubble

 

(Victoria, BC – October 27, 2018)  The newest and best place to play tennis on Vancouver Island is opening its doors for the indoor season. The Bear Mountain Tennis Centre and Director of Tennis Russ Hartley welcomes  members of the public and all tennis enthusiasts to be the guests and experience the Resort’s brand new four-court tennis bubble from 12 noon to 6 PM on Saturday, October 27th.

 

https://bearmountain.ca/bear-mountain-tennis-centre-opens-its-first-state-of-the-art-bubble/



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5 Summer Sports You Can Play In Winter

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter sports like skiing and ice hockey are just as beloved as field sports. But not everyone is eager to switch out the cleats for snowshoes come fall. Good news: there are plenty of awesome summer sports you probably didn’t know you could play in the winter!

 

 

1. Beach Volleyball

Who says you need a beach to play beach volleyball? Although the game may have originated as a summer pastime, it has evolved into a sanctioned Olympic sport practiced by serious athletes.

 

There are now indoor beach volleyball facilities (sand and all) built for year-round play. Sports domes like the Volleydome in Calgary boast courts for traditional indoor volleyball and the two-on-two beach game.

 

2. Soccer

A little snow on the ground isn’t enough to stop the world’s game. With the right gear, it is possible to play soccer in the wintertime.

 

Of course, the game changes quite a bit when the green turns to white, and not necessarily for the better. The ball skips and glides across the snowy pitch with ease but is much harder to keep in control. The low-friction playing surface also puts players at risk of injury.

 

Playing soccer outdoors in the cold isn’t ideal unless the season runs long or winter comes early. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: the soccer dome.

 

Failing that, there are plenty of soccer drills you can practice almost anywhere, with or without a soccer dome.

 

3. Tennis

Why play a sport associated with short shorts and miniskirts in the winter?

 

Because it’s surprisingly awesome.

 

Tennis becomes a whole different game when the temperature drops, demanding a new playstyle and tweaks to your equipment. It’s a great challenge for seasoned tennis players who want to try something new.

 

Just be sure to dress for the weather with a moisture-wicking base layer and lots of insulating layers on top.

 

4. Cycling

Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to experience the joys of cycling in the winter.

 

If you’re brave enough to venture outdoors, it’s possible to outfit your regular commuter bicycle to tackle the slippery roads ahead. However, it does require some extra maintenance; MEC recommends that you wipe down the chain after every ride, apply lube to the chain at least three times a month, and spray aerosol lube on all the moving parts once another.

 

Winter mountain biking is another option. This heart-pounding winter sport is one of the best ways to soak in the breathtaking snow-covered wilderness.

 

For cyclists who prefer to stay warm, there’s track cycling, a lesser-known Olympic event that provides an incredible workout and a great show for spectators. Thanks to air-supported structures like the Team USA Velodrome, you can pick up this sport at any time of year.

 

5. Ultimate Frisbee

It might not have made the Olympics yet, but Ultimate Frisbee has been soaring in popularity ever since its inception in the 1960s. It’s become a favourite of college students and rec leagues around North America.

 

Trouble is, it’s not easy to catch and throw a plastic disc with mittens on.

 

That’s why we’re excited to see more and more Ultimate Frisbee leagues making use of indoor facilities like sports domes.  Hopefully, there will come a day when frisbee domes are as ubiquitous as soccer domes!



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6 Helpful Tips for Cold Weather Tennis

Tennis as a winter sport? It’s possible. With the right gear and a fiery spirit, you can continue to sharpen your tennis skills throughout the winter months! Here are some practical tips for playing tennis in cold weather, with or without an air-supported dome.

 

1. Warm-Up

It takes a bit longer to loosen up in low temperatures. Give your body a chance to warm up with a 10-minute stretching routine before you begin playing. Your muscles will thank you the next day!

 

2. Stay Hydrated

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can cut back your water intake. You won’t feel as thirsty playing in the winter, but your body still needs water to stay strong, fast and healthy. Drink plenty of water before you go outside and bring a bottle of water with you. If freezing is a problem, use a wide-mouthed bottle and store it upside-down.

 

3. Wear Shades

Sunglasses are a touchy topic in the world of tennis, but one thing is clear: the winter sun hangs lower in the sky, and the snow makes its glare even worse. If you have a personal rule against wearing sunglasses, you might make an exception for winter tennis.

 

4. Switch to Softer Strings

The lower the temperature, the stiffer racquet strings become. High-tension stings are prone to break in the cold. Softer string compositions, like multifilament or natural gut, perform better in the winter.

 

5. Adjust Your Play Style

Frigid weather has an interesting effect on tennis balls. The rubber hardens, and the air pressure inside the ball drops. The result? The ball feels softer in hand, but much harder on impact – which makes for a very different kind of tennis.

 

Since the ball has far less bounce, and the racquets are less elastic, you must aim deeper and hit harder to get the ball over the net. Topspins lose their edge; drop shots, slices, and flat serves are deadly. Winter tennis demands even more movement than summer tennis, with players travelling deeper in the court to catch the low ball.

 

It’s practically a whole new game!

 

6. Protect Yourself

Are you brave enough to venture out in freezing weather? Your dedication to the sport is admirable. But without proper preparation, exercising in sub-zero temperatures can be hazardous to your health. Any exposed skin can be at risk of freezing, which leads to frostbite, and wearing sweat-soaked clothing can increase the risk of hypothermia.

 

Proper winter tennis attire consists of a lightweight, moisture-wicking base beneath layers of insulating fabrics. Be sure that the outer layer or water-repellent. Gloves are important, even if they hinder your grip. Finally, don’t forget to wear a hat — you lose about 50% of body heat from your head.

 

Too Cold for Tennis? Use an Air-Supported Dome

Snow and ice add a cool twist to tennis, but cold-weather tennis is not for everyone. That’s why sports domes were invented! An air-supported dome structure provides shelter from the snow and a comfortable playing temperature all throughout the winter. We have the pictures to prove it!



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Tennis

6 Strength Exercises for Tennis Players

Tennis involves several forms of muscular strength.

 

There’s the force behind precision shots; the explosive lateral movements across the course; and the endurance it takes to survive for the duration of an intense game.

 

That’s why today's top players supplement their training with exercises that strengthen the joints and muscles behind those incredible plays.

 

 

American pro Sloane Stephens, for example, starts each of her practices with a two-hour workout that includes agility, plyometrics and weight training. The legendary Rafael Nadal’s 36 hours a week of training including 12 hours at the gym.

 

Like all athletes, tennis players benefit from a balanced, full-body workout. Whether you’re playing outdoors in the summer or under a dome in the winter, the following are great all-season exercises for tennis players of all skill levels.

 

1. Bench Press

The bench press is a powerful compound movement that engages the chest, triceps and shoulders: all key ingredients of a killer tennis serve. Few exercises build upper body strength as effectively as a properly-performed bench press.

 

Beginners should master the movement with lightweight dumbbells before progressing to heavier weights.

 

Video: How to Bench Press

 

2. Goblet Squat

Squats are a fundamental lower body exercise, and goblet squats are a great variation for beginners and expert athletes alike.

 

In addition to working the glutes and quadriceps, goblet squats involve muscles in the core and arms, making it a well-rounded exercise for tennis players.

 

Video: How to Perform Goblet Squats

 

3. Box Jump

Sometimes, you've got to leap to counter a powerful slam. Box jumps are a fun, low-impact exercise that helps tennis players prepare for the explosive jumping and diving movements. It also improves your ability to absorb the shock of touching back down, which is essential for avoiding foot and leg injuries.

 

Plus, who doesn’t love to jump around?

 

Video: How to Perform Box Jumps

 

4. Lateral Lunge

Lateral movement is a huge part of the game, but it’s an area many traditional strength programs overlook. That's the beauty of the lateral lunge.

 

Lunges work the entire lower body, including the glutes, hip abductors, knees, and hips. After mastering the basic movement, you can add dumbbells or a barbell to increase the intensity.

 

Video: How to Perform Lateral Lunges

 

5. Internal/External Rotations

Shoulder problems are prevalent in the tennis world, especially rotator cuff injuries.

 

Why?

 

The rotator cuff is the four muscles and tendons that enable your arm to roll fluidly in its shoulder socket. Serious tennis players push those muscles to their limit. When the muscles are strained or torn, it can become painful or even impossible to continue playing.

 

The best way to prevent rotator cuff injuries in tennis is to strengthen those four key muscles. Internal and external dumbbell rotations are a great exercise to do this. They in a standing or lying position, and you don’t have to use heavy weights to benefit.

 

Video: How to Perform Lying External/Internal Rotations

How to Perform Standing External/Internal Rotations

 

6. Medicine Ball Slam

Medicine ball slams are an effective, full-body movement with emphasis on the abdominal muscles. The force you use to slam the ball translates into better core strength and more powerful swings on the court.

 

Medicine ball slams also require minimal skill in weight training to perform and pose little to no risk of injury, even in when you’re fatigued.

 

Video: How to Do Medicine Ball Slams



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Tennis

Best Crossover Sports for Soccer Players

Soccer is an incredibly demanding sport which requires players to be in tip-top shape for optimal performance. Great soccer players do more than just train by playing one game, though. Other sports can help soccer players become better by helping to focus their skill development.

 

Because soccer demands so much and is so multi-faceted, narrowing down the skills you want to develop and then finding other sports or activities that hone them can really improve your performance on the soccer field!

 

 

Here are a few sports that soccer players should try out.

 

Tennis

We talked about how much tennis players can get out of playing soccer in this article, but it also works in the opposite direction.

Soccer players can practice changing directions quickly and anticipating the movement of the ball. No, you’re not using your feet to move the ball across the court, but the sport can still improve your ability to track the ball and anticipate trajectories.

 

Also, reading your opponent is a big part of tennis. In soccer, you only really get to do that in a penalty kick situation. Staring down your opponent and anticipating their reaction is something you do all the time in tennis.

 

Basketball

Basketball is one of the largest North American sports, so much so that it’s unlikely that you’ll see a school gym or park without a basketball court. But while the sport may look very different from soccer, some shared principles could, with practice, really improve your soccer skills.

 

A large part of basketball is simply moving the ball down the court. This requires fancy footwork, slick moves, and most importantly, passing. Even though you pass with your hands and not your feet, it’s the same idea. You want to look for your opening, react to it quickly, and outsmart your opponent—just like playing soccer.

 

Volleyball

Volleyball is a fast-paced game with a much smaller play area than soccer, but it can still work on key parts of your soccer game.

 

Much of volleyball is spent in the air, jumping up as high as possible to block or reach high-flying balls. Jumping and diving for the ball can help you drill down on your vertical game if you find yourself being beaten out at the net reaching for those corner kicks.

 

And playing beach volleyball is great for the legs—the sand is perfect for resistance training!

 

Swimming

Swimming might not directly help with your soccer skills, but it is an excellent activity for developing strength and endurance.

 

The resistance provided by the water can work your muscles to the limit faster and more effectively than on land. Swimming will improve your overall strength to help add power to your kicks, speed to your sprints, and stamina to those long run-downs.

 

If none of the sports above is your cup of tea, any sport you choose could have some component that is useful for soccer. It’s just such a physically demanding sport that whatever skill you decide to focus on can make a significant impact on your level of play.

 

The takeaway is not to pigeon-hole yourself to only playing one sport. Being well-rounded is important in sports as well as life!



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How Soccer Improves Your Tennis Game

If you’re looking to boost your tennis game, it might be worth looking at another sport played in a dome: soccer! Tennis and soccer might seem like two completely different sports, but like many sports, playing soccer builds transferrable skills that could push your tennis skills to the next level.

 

 

It’s long been known that multidisciplinary athletes tend to do well in any sport they try. Just look at an athlete like Bo Jackson (who you can learn more about in this blog and this one, where we talk about him and his Elite Sports Dome projects) that not only played at the top level of both football and baseball, but was actually named an all-star in both sports.

 

So how can soccer help your tennis game? Here are just a few ways:

 

Improves Your Footwork

 

It’s no surprise that soccer requires heavy use of your feet, but the fancy foot skills you learn on the soccer pitch could translate quickly to the court.

 

Soccer requires you to change directions quickly while running, make unique foot movements to control and kick the ball, and power up and power down leg muscles as they’re needed. All these skills and exercises can help on the court to get to the ball quickly, change directions on a whim, and quickly improvise with fast feet on-the-fly.

 

Boosts Your Fitness and Cardio

 

For most players on the soccer field, you’re in constant movement. It’s estimated that at the pro-level, a midfielder might run 7 miles in a game. Now the amount of running you do in tennis is very much decided by your play style, but if you’re looking to get a more high-energy style going, soccer could help to increase your stamina.

 

Many players don’t even realize the amount of running they do because of the quick pace of soccer. Being a timed sport with no stopping of the clock, the game is go-go-go, and you won’t realize how much training you just squeezed in until the game has ended. Or maybe not even until the next day when you realize how sore your legs are…

 

Helps Learning to Anticipate

 

Most sports, especially at the top level, require just as much strategy as skill. Soccer might look like a bunch of runners chasing a ball, but the strategy of soccer is much deeper. Running around the pitch is a sure way to burn yourself out quickly, so a good soccer player needs to be able to look where the ball is going, analyze other players and teammates, and react quickly to any situation.

 

With the possible exception of having a teammate (unless playing doubles), all these skills are invaluable when you have a racket in your hands.

 

Being able to think five steps ahead of your opponent will help you keep your cool, better conserve your energy, and make your explosive attacks all the more effective.

 

So if you’re looking for another sport to play that will help you to improve your tennis skills, look no further than soccer. And if you happen to play tennis in a multisport air supported structure, you might not need to travel any further than your dome to jump into a game.



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Rule Changes to Help Tennis Stay Relevant

Tennis Evolution: How Rule Changes May Help the Sport Remain Relevant

 

It is not at all uncommon for sports to evolve over time. Sometimes this happens to accommodate changes in technology, requests from players and owners, or a need to deliver what the public now wants from a sport. The latter reason is behind some proposed tennis rule changes announced recently.

 

The longest professional tennis match took place in 2010. John Isner and Nicholas Mahut battled it out over the course of three days before the former finally triumphed. In all, the contest lasted a staggering 11 hours and 5 minutes.

 

However, as the Wall Street Journal reported, the actual tennis playing accounted for less than two hours of that time.

With attention spans shortening and so many entertainment options available, there is concern that both current and potential viewers may not watch professional tennis as we know it. The proposed solution? Speed things up.

 

Association of Tennis Professionals President Chris Kermode feels these suggested changes are, "not only about the next generation of players, but also about the next generation of fans."

 

"We will be sure to safeguard the integrity of our product when assessing if any changes should eventually be carried forward onto regular ATP World Tour events in the future," he says.

 

Here are the proposed rule alterations:

 

Fewer Seeds

The number of seeds would drop from 32 to 16. The idea here is to make the early matches more exciting due to the higher caliber of players. Viewers would become hooked from the beginning and then keep watching right through the championship.

 

New Format

First to six game sets would drop to first to four, with a tiebreaker resolving a 3-3 deadlock. Also, a sudden death deuce point (allowing the receiver to choose their court side) would replace so-called advantage scoring. Sets would be best of five.

 

Reduced Starting Time

Once the second player steps onto the court, the match must begin in five minutes, down from the previous ten.

 

Shot Clock

Already tested at the U.S. Open qualifying and the Next Gen ATP Finals, this would ensure players adhere to the 25-second rule between serves. The clock would also time the warm-up, set breaks, and medical timeouts.

 

No Lets

A no-let rule for serving.

 

Player and Coach Communication

While communication would still be possible between players and coaches at certain points during the match, the latter could no longer step onto the court.

 

Electronic Line Calling

There would be only the chair umpire on the court. An electronic line calling system would signal unsuccessful serves and when the ball is out, replacing its human equivalent.

 

Increased Spectator Freedom

Elimination of the rule restricting spectators from coming or going during a match.

 

Kermode stated that these alterations should not alienate the current fanbase. A shorter format and faster pace may well stop people from changing channels, but that remains to be seen. If these come to pass, it will certainly be interesting to gauge player reactions, particularly veterans who made their reputations via the traditional form of play.

 

Changing demographics are also clearly a factor. As the veterans who reliably drew viewers enter retirement, executives hope to attract a younger demographic to the sport. The thinking is that a swifter game, and not just exciting personalities, is key to making that change.


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