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East Cobbers Present at National Tennis Congress

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Joseph O’Dwyer and Lisa Jones

The nation’s first U.S. Tennis Congress, geared toward adult recreational tennis players, was held last month in Atlanta. USA Today dubbed the US Tennis Congress as the place for “one-stop shopping for  instruction” featuring “a who’s who of experts from six continents.”

The prestigious faculty included multiple Grand Slam Champions, five former World #1 players, three of the world’s 10 dual PTR/USPTA Master Pros, even a celebrity chef- Carla Hall from ABC’s TV show, The Chew. Among this well-credentialed group were East Cobb’s own Joseph O’Dwyer, former professional player and current tennis coach at Olde Towne Athletic Club’s Ginepri Performance Tennis Academy and Lisa Jones, owner and instructor of East Cobb Yoga Sol, also based out of Olde Towne Athletic Club. Joseph O’Dwyer taught a variety of on-court sessions throughout the event, among them The Serve, Return of Serve in Doubles, The Forehand, Singles Strategy, and Doubles Strategy. Lisa Jones led multiple sessions of Tapping the Power of Yoga for Tennis: Recover, Restore, Rebalance, Renew to help players rejuvenate at the end of their long days of playing and learning.

The sold-out event brought together 250 participants who traveled to Atlanta from 32 U.S. states and several foreign countries. The goal of the Tennis Congress was to give passionate adult recreational players an  unprecedented opportunity to learn from a world-class faculty about all aspects of training necessary to advance to the next level. For the first time, adult players were able to access customized, cutting-edge education on all aspects of training—technique, movement, strategy and tactics, fitness, injury prevention, nutrition, and mental conditioning. The event featured 350 workshops, seminars, and on-court classes taking place at both the Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree Conference Center and Peachtree City Tennis Center. “Think of it as a TED-style conference meets tennis super-camp,” said USTC founder P.J. Simmons.

For more information on this and upcoming events, visit www.ustenniscongress.com.

(Written by Lisa Stone. Stone is a tennis player, tennis parent, and creator of ParentingAces.com. She attended the US Tennis Congress both as media and as a recreational player hoping to improve her game. Lisa lives in East Cobb with her husband, Matthew. They have three children who attended Sope Creek, Dickerson, and Walton.)

 

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The End of an Era: teen driving from a mom’s perspective

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Photo courtesy Lisa Stone

Today marks the end of an era.  I will no longer be the daily chauffeur for my son.  He will no longer need me to drive him to drills, pick him up afterward, take him to fitness, or schlep him to school.  He is now a licensed driver.

And, given that he is my last child at home and the last to drive, that means my time is now my own.  That means I can book appointments, make lunch dates, and whatever else I want to do on my time-frame without worrying that I’ll be finished in time to pick up my son and take him where he needs to be.

That also means every time he gets behind the wheel, I will get that little clutch in my stomach – you know the one – and worry like crazy until he calls to let me know he’s arrived wherever safe and in one piece.  Honestly, I haven’t missed that these past 3 years since we’ve had a teen driver living at home!

But, it’s all part of growing up and letting go, something I try really hard to be good at but still could use lots of improvement.  For now, I will be grateful that my son seems to have a very good head on his shoulders.  I will trust him to be careful on the road and to remember everything my husband and I (and the driving instructors!) have taught him.  And, I will enjoy regaining ownership of my daily schedule even though I will definitely miss the daily car chatter with my son.

The end of an era, yes, but, hopefully, the beginning of something new and exciting for both of us.

(Lisa Stone is an East Cobb mom. Read more from Lisa on her blog, http://parentingaces.com.) 

Oh, The Sacrifices We Make!

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My oldest daughter, Emma, didn’t come by the acting bug by accident.  Oh, no!  She inherited that vital gene directly from her momma.  And, believe me, it’s a STRONG one.  In my LBT (Life Before Tennis), I owned a fitness business and spent many, many hours promoting it as an “expert” on the radio, the Web, tv, and in front of live audiences.  I never passed up an opportunity to be on camera (or on mic), even when it meant schlepping my infant son across the country on an 8-city promo tour with an athletic shoe company.

So, last week, when I was given a lead for a new reality television show about Tennis Moms (a la Dance Moms), I jumped on it.  I called the producer and spoke with her at length about my experiences in the Junior Tennis World as well as with the media, thinking I would be the perfect candidate for her.  The thought of being on tv again excited me.  I was already trying to figure out how I would squeeze in more workout sessions before the show taped so I would be at my fittest and strongest on camera and how in the world I was going to afford new clothes.

And then my son came home.

And I told him about the tv show.

And he begged me not to pursue it.

And this is one more tiny little sacrifice I will make for one of my kids.  Because that’s what we parents do – we sometimes put aside our own wants (and even needs) for our kids.  In this case, it was an easy decision.  My son has worked too long and too hard for me to risk jeopardizing his efforts because of my own narcissistic tendencies.  He’s right – by being part of a show that will magnify the already-huge personalities of some extreme tennis parents, I would be putting him in an awkward (at best!) position with his tennis peers, their parents, and the governing body.

I honored my son’s wishes and stepped away from the tv project.  I figure that just frees me up when the Tennis Channel comes calling!

(Written by East Cobb resident and tennis mom, Lisa Stone and reprinted from her blog, http://parentingaces.wordpress.com. A mother of three, Stone is a certified fitness instructor and avid tennis player.)

East Cobb Mom starts Tennis Blog

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A blog for tennis parents has been created by East Cobb resident and tennis mom, Lisa Stone, who is hoping to share her experiences in the grueling world of Junior Tennis. The website is http://parentingaces.wordpress.com. The mother of three is a certified fitness instructor and avid tennis player. Through her children, she has developed a working knowledge of theatre, horses and drums. Her own junior tennis experience and now that of her son’s led her to create ParentingAces.

“I’m enlisting the help and expertise of several tennis professionals including former NCAA champions, professional coaches (from both the ATP and WTA tours as well as top-level junior coaches), former professional players, and junior tennis tournament directors so that we parents can better navigate through the murky waters,” says Lisa.

Articles posted include Choosing A Coach (a 3-parter), the USTA tournament and ranking system, Developing a Tennis Player and Stoking the Fire.

“In the future, I plan to include articles about crazy tennis parents, the ideal tennis parent (from the coach’s point of view), and how to decipher the college recruiting process, among others,” shares Lisa.

(Reprinted from the April issue of EAST COBBER.)