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Many great tennis players were born in Argentina. Most recently it was Juan Martin del Potro, David Nalbandian, and Gisela Dulko making headlines on the professional tour. Going back in history there were Gabriela Sabatini and the great Guillermo Vilas. But there is only one Argentinean tennis player who was every declared “America’s biggest tennis nut” by Tennis Magazine in 1988, and that is Horacio Tamborini. If you wonder why, just look at his swimming pool in his Arcadia, CA home. It is shaped like a tennis racquet and a ball, created by the same guy who made Liberace’s piano-shaped pool.

 

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The Tamborini family: Christina, Carla, Horacio

 

Horacio Tamborini is the owner and Director of the Flint Canyon Tennis Club in La Canada, CA, just a few miles north of Glendale. He bought this club in 1999, after a very successful six years of turning the then abandoned courts at the Los Angeles County-owned Whittier Narrows Tennis Center into a thriving tennis community with 3,200 players. Tamborini jumped into this risky business even after tennis honoraries like Jack Kramer and Jim Hillman took a good look at Whittier Narrows and declined to get involved. The “Pied Piper of Tennis” (Tennis Magazine) was guided by his credo “Tennis for all” and by his unconditional love for tennis.

 

Flint Canyon Tennis Club is a private, member based, facility with 13 courts, recently outfitted with new super bright lights which, according to the club’s web site is “…almost like playing in the daylight.” After successfully fighting a suitor who wanted to buy the club and turn it into soccer fields some years ago, Tamborini turned it into another thriving tennis organization. The club is run by him, his wife and daughter, and another half dozen tennis pros. He states that he is glad he went into the tennis club business, despite a myriad of challenges and lots of hard work.

 

Tennis Magazine crowned Horatio Tamborini America’s biggest tennis nut for the “…passion with which he plays the game, his exuberance in bringing it to others, and his craziness in devoting much of his California acreage to the sport of tennis.”

 

 

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Reviewing “NET NOTES – Common sense ideas to lift your game” by Howie Burnett, Tennis Director of the Island Country Club in Marco Island, Florida.

ISBN 1-4392-6557-7 ($14.50 on Amazon)

 

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Many tennis professionals have written instructional books over time. Well known players like Jack Kramer, Don Budge, Alice Marble and Bobby Riggs come to mind pre-open era. Modern era authors are for instance Vic Braden (“Quick Fixes”), Oscar Wegner (“Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours”), and Dennis Van Der Meer (“Book of Tennis”).

 

All those books have one thing in common: Trying to establish the author’s authority to teach tennis and then write about it in a systematic and methodical way. And then there is Howie Burnett. Doesn’t own an International Tennis Academy. Isn’t making the rounds on the speaking circuit all over the country. Hasn’t coached a Top Ten player (yet). What establishes this man as an authority in teaching tennis and writing about it?

 

Howie Burnett is a decorated member of the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) with 38 years of coaching experience. Pro of the Year in both USPTA and USTA (United States Tennis Association) he used to be part of a coaching team on the USTA Player Development Program. His main authority for writing NET NOTES comes from coaching thousands of junior and adult players and college varsity athletes. The intriguing reason for picking up NET NOTES is the fact that he does not write about a systematic approach to learning tennis from ground strokes to volleys and serves. Neither does he put little emphasis on items that have nothing to do with game skills and winning strategy, such as types of grip or open / closed stance. It’s the down to earth, match play based approach and the strategy tips that make this book such an interesting read.

 

NET NOTES is divided into 5 sections, a compact resource for winning more matches.

 

  1. Practicing & Work Ethic
    This section contains information about tennis lessons and player expectations, practicing the return of serve, the usage of baseline shots as basis for a solid game, and honing skills from every part of the court. The paragraph What’s in your toolbox? ends with the advice that tennis is “…a game of emergencies… so make sure your practices reflect the concept held as truth by first responders and train until you own it!” 
  2. Doubles Tactic & Logic
    Tactical choices and shot placement are part of this section, as well as keeping the ball out of your opponents’ reach. Interesting paragraphs about overcoming the “…fear of No Man’s Land” and the importance of reading your opponent. The chapter Great players know when they must go on the defensive ends with “If you play low-quality offense when high-quality defense can be employed more effectively, you’re not playing good tennis.”
  3. Basic Singles Logic and Some Technical Essentials
    How do you get from rally to attack mode? What does it mean to have an explosive and immediate first reaction? Brushing the ball for topspin effect. These are some of the items being explained, in addition to the importance of footwork for the “most dangerous of shots”, the overhead. Howie writes “If you attack they will lob as sure as the sun shines in Florida.”
  4. Sportsmanship
    This short section concentrates a little on the Tennis Code of Conduct and the importance of not slowing the match down but keeping the game moving along at a reasonable pace.
  5. Observations
    Howie ends the book writing about trying to never underestimate shots that appear easy and describing that tennis court competence builds confidence, not the other way around. His conclusion is “Doubles is a team sport and demands a firm understanding of good positioning and sound shot selection to succeed at any level. Learn the strategy of the game and you’ll always be in demand.”

 

NET NOTES is an easy to understand resource for the beginning player starting out and the experienced player wanting to get better and win more matches. Howie Burnett has an excellent comprehension of the importance of court positioning, shot selection and player choices in a tennis match. The compact, 50 page format allows a player to place the booklet in their tennis bag and have it handy as a valuable resource.

 

 

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For 60 year old Bob Milligan it all started with bad knees. He knew he needed surgery after playing tennis for decades, and tried to find more information that was both age-relevant and insightful. No such luck. He found the information available to be “fragmented at best, and generally disappointing.” Bob and his wife Lace wanted more. An idea was born. What if there was an organization providing all that information to older adult and senior tennis players, in a comfortable environment, like a virtual club house with many different rooms? And what if there were experts available willing to share their specific knowledge, and let members access rich and original expert commentary on topics that have a positive impact on their enjoyment of both tennis and life itself? The Milligan’s created BoomerTennis in 2010 and secured the active support of 6 big legends of tennis: Stan Smith, Charlie Pasarell, Tony Trabert, Cliff Drysdale, Butch Buchholz, and Donald Dell.

 

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(from left: Butch Buchholz, Lace Milligan, Bob Milligan)

 

 

Bob Milligan

After graduating from Yale College in 1972 with a B.S. in Administrative Science, Bob has over the past 38 years served on the boards of dozens of both private and public companies. Prior to founding BoomerTennis.Net, he had been a financial and corporate strategist responsible for the inception, growth, management and eventual sale or public offering of companies ranging in size from $1 million to several billion dollars. He has stepped into the role of interim CEO in several industries including biotechnology, insurance distribution and energy.

Having grown up in a golfing family, Bob didn’t take up the game of tennis seriously until the age of 30 and now, at the age of 60, plays two or three times a week, was a member of a National Championship USTA team, participates in both USTA age group tournaments and on a Senior 4.5 USTA Team, and recently, with his wife, Lace, won the Combined Age 100 National Husband-Wife Championships held at the ATP Headquarters in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

 

Lace Milligan

As an experienced tennis teaching professional and coach Lace Milligan is able to deal effectively with a broad base of students, from youth through the elderly, and beginner to expert. Specializing in creating a positive environment for learning through encouragement and diversity in methods, she is particularly adept at assessing a player’s needs and developing an appropriate program to maximize results within a flexible and comfortable environment.

 

Lace has a proven track record of exceptional interpersonal skills resulting in satisfied and enthusiastic students. Her ability to coordinate nutrition, fitness and instruction into an integrated training regimen makes her a diligent and successful role model for efficient training and nutrition principles.

 

On the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI, since 2004, Lace has served on the HoF Museum Committee, as wells the Education and Marketing Sub-Committees. She is also a Professional Tennis Registry certified tennis teaching professional at the Casino Lawn & Tennis Club in Newport. In the 1990ies, Lace coached varsity High School Tennis and was voted “Coach of the Year” at Hayfield High School in Alexandria, VA (1995 and 1996).

 

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(Cliff Drysdale)

Bob Milligan states that BoomerTennis.Net has become the perfect vehicle to combine his extensive entrepreneurial business background with his passion for tennis. He says, “Our Mission is simply to provide our members with age-relevant, insightful information in the areas of Orthopedics, Psychology, Nutrition, Physical Therapy/Training, Travel and Instruction through a staff of experts in each field. In addition, we strive to provide our members with a platform to interact with these experts and fellow members through feedback, blogs and an active social network.”

Bob also acknowledges that Baby Boomers are members of the most powerful economic demographic group and thus wield significant consumer power. “Recognizing this, we endeavor to provide our members with meaningful discounts on products they routinely use. The savings in patronizing our partner vendors can result in hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year.”
One of the more significant immediate savings is being provided by Nestle Water, a company trying to utilize BoomerTennis to contact to one of their most interesting demographics, health conscious people over the age of 50. Every time a tennis player signs up for a 12 month delivery contract for Nestle Water, the company not only provides significant savings but also pays for a one year membership in BoomerTennis.
Other savings include air travel, tennis vacations, and spa hydrotherapy equipment. Sponsors also enable Bob Milligan to keep the BoomerTennis web site commerciaol free, so the real interesting content for adult tennis players can stand out. He says, “We hope you find the environment we have created in the clubhouse warm, inviting, friendly and informative. Please enjoy your stay and come back often!”.
One more way of giving BoomerTennis members value for their patronage are regular tennis events as they are being planned right now in Southern California. The first and inaugural event is being planned for Nov 19+20 at the Coto Valley Country Club in Orange County. The event includes Brunch with Vic Braden, plenty of on-court tennis match play, wine tasting, dinner, and socializing with like minded people of similar age in a fun tennis atmosphere.
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(Charlie Pasarell)

 

It seems that BoomerTennis is the only organization of its kind catering exclusively to the older adult tennis player. According to the 6 tennis legends supporting BoomerTennis, this market is wide open and has a lot of potential because of the red hot demographics. BoomerTennis advisor Charlie Pasarell puts it in simple terms: We are targeting a segment of the tennis playing population no one is really focusing on: Baby Boomers. Servicing that population will be very successful.” As an extension of Bob’s work, Charlie is thinking about providing a series of organized events, like a circuit for BoomerTennis players. “This should be a lot of fun. It gives people an opportunity to travel, compete on the tennis court, and socialize.”

 

 

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