We are thrilled to announce that we will be returning to offer camps at both Nantucket and Total Tennis.
The dates are:
Total Tennis September 17th & 18th Nantucket September 21st – 26th
Performance Paddle Camp on Nantucket Island
The dates are September 21st -26th
“Destination Paddle Camp on Nantucket Island “ is delighted to have the opportunity to offer a full week of sessions September 21st-26th. Players may choose from one session to as many sessions as they like. Discounts are offered for multiple sessions. Nantucket is a beautiful destination, with a wonderful group of welcoming players, offering enthusiastic camaraderie, and a four-court facility. We can’t think of a more beautiful place to kick off the season.
Our PPC pro’s are all top nationally ranked players and teaching professionals. Joining Mike and I again this season are George Wilkinson, Sebastion Bredberg, Guga Gongalves and Sue Tarzian.
To book for Total Tennis you may contact them directly at www.totaltennis.com. You can also call them at: 1.800.221.6496 or 1.845.247.9177. They will gladly take your reservation over the phone.
February 10, 2014
Paddle is played In a wide range of weather. Winners adjust. Playing in the really cold can be very challenging. The ball doesn't bounce as high, is less lively and it doesn't come off the screens as far.
It's important to make adjustments to the elements in order to compete effectively.
Here are some key tips:
Don't drive the ball when it's well below net level.
Adjust your strike zone by bending your knees.
Block the balls that are going into your corner with a firm grip, open paddle face, stepping in and a full follow through upwards.
When receiving serve, start in a lower ready position.
As the receivers partner, be ready with your knees bent. This will allow you to take that first quick step forward when the ball is volleyed short.
On overheads, take advantage of the firmer ball. Let the ball drop, hit with more spin, keep it deep in the court and low in the screens.
Target deep down the middle on overheads. Get your opponent reaching, hitting short lobs and this will leave their corner vulnerable.
On volleys, keep an open paddle face and a firmer grip than usual.
Pay attention to the elements and pay attention to what's happening on the other side of the net. Take care of your own shots and you will have a successful season.
Performance Paddle Camps for 2014
Reminder that spaces are filling up quickly for our "Destination Paddle Camp" on Nantucket Island and registration is now available for our camp at Total Tennis.
The dates are:
Total Tennis September 8th & 9th
Nantucket September 15th – 20th
To book for Total Tennis you may contact them directly at www.totaltennis.com. You can also call them at: 1.800.221.6496 or 1.845.247.9177.They will gladly take your reservation over the phone.
To register for “Destination Paddle Camp on Nantucket Island” you may respond to this email.
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer our first ever "Destination Camp" on Nantucket Island.
Nantucket is an awesome destination, with a wonderful group of welcoming players, offering enthusiastic camaraderie, and a beautiful new paddle facility with four courts. We can't think of a better place to kick off the season.
Campers may choose from our menu of instructional sessions. Players may sign up individually for any 3 hour or 2 hour sessions. We are also offering packages at a discount rate, designed for teams or groups who are looking for the optimum play and get away combination. Groups must be a combination of 4, 6 or 8 players all attending the same sessions.
Our packages are designed to progress each camper. Each session we will be covering different areas of the game, building on skill work with various drills, screen play, strategy and a combination of partnership pointers and match play critique. The 2-hour sessions will be all match play and videotape analysis.
Saturday night will feature an exhibition with appetizers, beer, wine and soda, followed by a round robin play format for all campers.
Please join us for what is shaping up to be the "paddle camp experience we've all been waiting for."
"We are thrilled that Dr Sue Aery made a guest appearance at camp this season"
December 19, 2008
Aggressive Backcourt Positioning
It’s important for the backcourt team to be patient, but it’s equally important to be opportunistic. Mark has hit a deep lob down the line from the deuce court and has moved his opponent out of the service box. He and his partner are playing a physical and ‘active’ game of paddle. They have shifted to the left and have exposed their strengths (forehands), and are poised to attack if the overhead is hit short. By shifting in the backcourt, they have reduced the safe places for their opponents to place the overhead. If they had stayed in their home bases, there would be less pressure on the net team and they would be late for the attack. Remember to hit and shift if your lob pulls your opponent out of the service box.
November 22 , 2008
The Gerri Viant Platform Tennis Center
Dedicated June 30, 2008
April 6, 2008
Spring Camp at the Cape
Thanks to Kim and the weather gods, we had a great time at our spring camp at the Cape!
December 5, 2007
Back Court Positioning
It's important to be in position in the back court so that you can handle all the shots that come into your corner. There is a concern about covering the middle when the partner is pulled wide. One of the common mistakes paddle players make is they shift together in the back court. This allows the net team to hit behind the player who has shifted to the middle and gets them chasing. Shifting together is a necessity on the tennis court because the tennis court is so big and the middle has to be covered. The paddle court is almost 4 times smaller than the tennis court. It's better to stay in your home base. The middle is just 2 or 3 steps away. No big deal.
Submitted by Mike Gillespie
USAPPTA Certified Professional Level P1
Platform Tennis Director New Canaan Field Club
October 3, 2007
Thanks, Antonia, for organizing your group!
September 19, 2007
'Tis the Beginning of the Season
Tis the beginning of the season and it's time to practice. It's tempting to step onto the court, hit a few balls and then start playing sets. The focus with that becomes beating your opponents (who are often your teammates) instead of honing your skills. If you have a 90 minute practice, spend the first hour on 2 specific drills and the remaining 30 minutes playing points rather than sets. Have each server serve 10 times. Click onto our Drills instructional pages: Strokes and Tips to help make your practice sessions more effective. Practice with a purpose!
January 21, 2007
Nationals 50's Championship
"I don't know if I'll ever stop grinning- and I may never take my medal off. Excited doesn't even begin to describe the feeling of winning the 50's. But I would like to give a great deal of credit to Performance Paddle Camp -to Gerri, Mike, Sue and Jay. Through my association with them I have realized that there is a very fine line between being a "Contender" and being a "Champion". It's not just enough to just have skills. But when you put skills together with a strategy and you and your partner have a "plan" then that becomes the "game" . And then you are able to take your paddle experience to a new level. They are all champions- and I'm glad a little rubbed off on me."
We are thrilled and proud to congratulate our friend and Performance Paddle Camp Professional Christi Hays and her partner Chris Ford on their wonderful achievement of winning the Nationals 50's Championship at the Fox Meadow Club in Scarsdale, New York January 10th. Way to go!
December 21, 2006
Paddle Camp Pro Tips Podcasts ~ December 2006
How to Play the Backside Screen:
Follow our instruction step by step to help you play what some consider the toughest screen shot.
Return of Serve:
Here’s your one guaranteed short ball, learn how to step in and attack.
Learn from the “spin professional” no one does it better than this.
The back side screens can be difficult to play, but with good footwork, they can be an offensive opportunity. They lend themselves to offense because the ball is traveling forward. If your opponent in front of you is tucking in close to the net, you can hit an offensive lob down the line. If they positioned off the net, a tricky drive will get them to reach and set up a short ball. Maybe for your partner and they’ll be out of position! Here’s how from the ad court:
Home base-Line up your left foot on the 2nd board from the singles line 2 steps behind the baseline. (Picture 1)
As the ball is traveling by you, shuffle behind the alley and let the ball get near you as it passes you. Your paddle should be set waist height and in front of you. (Picture 2)
As the ball leaves the back screen, take 3 more steps. If you take just 2 steps, those steps will be too long and you’ll be lunging. Caution- Don’t move forward too early. Allow the ball to travel out in front of you. Note that my feet are on the same board for good balance. (Picture 3)
With the ball in front of you, you can peripherally see if your opponent is tight to the net or off the net. If they’re close, lob down the line. Off the net, hit an off speed drive. Your follow through should be smooth and complete. (Pictures 4 & 5) Make sure your preparation for both shots looks the same. This will make you an offensive screen player and a difficult opponent to play.
August 22, 2006
Paddle Camp Podcasts Are Here!
Paddle Camp keeps up-to-date with the latest techniques in paddle and with the latest technology to bring our tips and news to you, our readers.
Our Paddle Camp podcasts incoporate audio, images and video clips to bring instruction to life.
We welcome your suggestions. If there is a particular technique you would like Gerri or Mike to demonstrate, just drop us an email!
Now, on with the show -- just click the image to the left and then go to our newest tip, Spin Overhead.
Happy Paddling, Gerri & Mike
August 11, 2006
It's All About Spin These Days
Top Spin ... that is. Slice is an effective spin because it makes the ball stay low and will grab the screen. And if the court is wet, slice is the answer. To keep your opponents guessing, vary your spins on your overheads. The top spin overhead is an aggressive shot in today's game. When hit properly, the ball accelerates after it bounces and can produce an error from your opponent. Here's how:
Minimal chest high back swing
Strike the ball at 4:30 on the ball
Roll your wrist and forearm over the ball
Aim midway between the service line and baseline toward your opponent.
Follow through across your body
Caution - Attempt this shot when your feet are inside the service boxes.
Deeper than that, you risk hitting in the net.
April 16, 2006
Patrick Newton captured the New Canaan Field Club's spring singles title over Gardner Tregellas. Patrick's strategy was tricky lob returns and deep first volleys.
Left to Right
Patrick Newton, Mike Gillespie,
Gardner Tregellas returning
Patrick Newton's serve.
February 2, 2006
Performance Paddle Camp Has Another First!
Sue Aery and Gerri Viant Hall of Fame Induction
We are proud to announce that Sue Aery and Gerri Viant have been inducted into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame. This is the highest award that can be earned in platform tennis.
It is presented to individuals who have achieved distinction in the play of platform tennis and/or who have otherwise contributed to the growth, development, and administration of the game through the Association. Recipients have also demonstrated a high level of integrity, sportsmanship, and consideration for others and thus earned the respect and admiration for their endeavors in platform tennis.
Hall of Fame Induction for Sue Aery and Gerri Viant
The following is the speech that was given by the presenter Patty Hogan at the induction ceremony.
We are here today to honor the winningest team ever in the history of women's platform tennis. Between 1990 and 2002, this team won 8 national championships. Twice, when they didn't win it all, they were the runner-ups! They even retired for a year or so to let everyone else practice and returned to reach their last final together in 2004.
They are past winners of the 40's nationals together and each has won at least one mixed national championship.
All totaled, when you add up their national titles, you get 23!
But the 8 together in women's play is what sets them apart; think about it 8 national titles!
That's what makes them special and that is why Sue Aery and Gerri Viant are entering the platform tennis hall of fame!
How did they do it?
Was it their motivational song, "When we were Kings"?
Maybe it was because they ate the same meals during tournaments?
Maybe, it was the placement on the court of their water bottles and tissue boxes that brought good luck.
Maybe it was their Wilson paddles!
Or maybe it was because of their talent!
Sue still holds the school record at Colgate for the highest batting average for her four seasons of play on the softball team and Gerri is the only person I know in this room who has won a Ping Pong tournament in Adelaide.
So I'm going with talent!
They both have amazing rackets skills; they both have an uncanny ability to make unbelievable shots at unbelievable times!
They covered the court like no other team! Gerri rarely missed any shot and Sue ran around the court with a unique ability to make one of a kind gets due to her uncanny timing, which is really amazing if you have ever seen her dance. There is no correlation!
But their real talent as a team and what set them apart was in playing the game with an amazingly disciplined approach. It started long before they ever got on the court.
They studied tapes of matches. They ate the right foods. They worked out in the gym to be in better shape than their opponents. They drilled and practiced and prepared constantly throughout the course of a season. Nationals would roll around in March and they were ready to excel, knowing it all came down to that one tournament each year and they were always ready!
Proper positioning and consistency were the benchmarks of their success. They played a game that looked effortless; Gerri sliced and diced you until Sue got the opportunity to deliver the knock out blow!
Gerri was often the on court leader. This seems to fit, given the information I discovered. I did a bit of digging and found out that according to her fourth grade report card, while Gerri was a student at the Cabra School in Adelaide, her teacher wrote the following: "Gerri is a natural born leader but is leading other children in the wrong direction." Evidently, before she knew anything about physical fitness, Gerri smoked cigarettes; this resulted in many trips to the principal's office in an effort to get her on the right track. I think it worked!
Sue and Gerri's on court successes are rivaled by their individual professional accomplishments. Gerri has been the paddle and tennis pro at the Nyack field club for 22 years and besides running one of the most successful year round programs in terms of member participation, also works as the club's manager. Sue retired from a successful teaching career four years ago and is now working as a chiropractor in North Carolina.
Together, they founded Performance Paddle Camps in 1997, which pioneered the idea of a traveling camp for platform tennis. This helped to grow the game in two ways: first, by offering high-level instruction in areas of the country where there were no paddle pros and secondly, by teaching tennis pros in these areas how to teach and promote the game of platform tennis.
Gerri was a charter member of the PPTA and is a current officer. Sue devoted many hours to the PPTA during her days as a teaching pro. Gerri served on the APTA Board and was also a long time member of the players' committee.
The Hall of Fame Charter states that the award "is presented to individuals who have achieved distinction in the play of platform tennis and/or who have otherwise contributed to the growth, development, and administration of the game through the Association". These two individuals definitely fit this description.
If I were a betting person, I would bet that Sue's dad is looking down on this day with a huge smile and like her Mom and Gerri's parents is extremely proud. I also would bet that this honor means as much to Sue and Gerri as all their national titles combined!
Congratulations to Sue Aery and Gerri Viant. They are the recipients of the APTA's highest honor, the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame Award.
On hand for the ceremony were Mike Gillespie, Jay Fraser, and Christi Hayes.
November 13, 2005
New Canaan Town Hosts Performance Paddle Camp
Viant and Mike Gillespie have combined their expertise
(a combined total of 17 National Titles) with Wilson to
bring to you the cutting edge of Platform Tennis.
What People Are Saying...
Dear Gerri and Mike,
I wanted to thank you and your Performance Paddle Camp staff for making a much needed trip to Philadelphia, and more importantly Aronimink Golf Club. I've felt privileged to be involved in your paddle camps the last two seasons, and always leave feeling more enlightened than the last season.
I would first like to explain to you what the camps have meant to my staff and me. I have been teaching paddle for the past eight years...or so I thought! What I now realize is that for all but the last two seasons I was teaching my players how to "play better tennis" on the paddle court. I can say with great confidence that all of my student’s strokes have improved dramatically over the years. Only one problem, although they were "hitting" the ball better, they were not really playing better paddle. I'm probably not alone in this style of instruction. Your camps made it perfectly clear that the execution of the "strategy of paddle" was really where the matches are being won and lost, not by the best hits. My staff and I with your help have found a standardized method of teaching both the important strategies and techniques unique to paddle alone.
The impression you have made on my students has been even more dramatic than on the staff. For the first time my members have a plan that they can utilize at every level of competition, from beginner to tournament players. It is so encouraging to hear our players reinforcing the strategies that the instructors have been preaching in practices and lessons. I can assure you that Aronimink has bought into "the system" for which the strategy is affectionately named. Every week at interclub practices my students are explaining the reason for winning was "our opponents didn't know the system."
Having the camp at Aronimink in October has made us better, more credible paddle instructors and has raised the level of play, and more importantly the level of awareness at every level. Thanks again, we all can't wait to see you again next year.