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Posts Tagged ‘ten final thoughts’

PostHeaderIcon 10 Thoughts From a Weekend of Provisional Umping


Beautiful morning at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club

As some of you may know, I’m smack in the middle of becoming certified as a Roving Umpire for the USTA.  But as I also mentioned in my previous piece, Being Mohamed: My USTA Umpire Training and The Official’s Code of Conduct, this necessitates a very large and clear boundary between my roles as a tennis official and that of tennis media.

The good thing is that I can share some very general things I learned from a weekend of provisional umping at the Johnson Ranch Racquet Club Championships that I think would be okay to share here. So before I head off to finish my volunteer days this weekend in Pleasanton, CA (fingers crossed), here are some thoughts I jotted down after a very long tennis weekend in Roseville…

  1. Being out in the sun in the beautiful outdoors watching tennis reminded me just how much I love the game!
  2. Inspiration 1: seeing all of these wonderfully talented 12s, 14s, 16s, and 18s was inspiring. I couldn’t wait to go out for my next hit.
  3. Inspiration 2: I was tremendously inspired by the other umpires I met, and the things I learned while watching them over the weekend. It’s a wonderful thing being with others who love tennis as much as I do.
  4. At least with respect to the juniors I helped, players are grateful to have a neutral presence on court. I was thanked many times over the weekend by players and parents, and it always brought a smile to my face. I’ll find out if the same is true about the adults soon enough.
  5. The job of a roving umpire is tough on the lower back. After being on your feet for 99% of the time over the course of a 10 hour day, bending down to pick up used balls becomes problematic.
  6. Lip balm, as in I didn’t use any during the weekend and am now paying the price this week with my dried out lips.
  7. No one mentioned anything about splinter danger from the singles sticks in my provisional class, but there I was digging one out after pulling the sticks for a doubles match.
  8. I didn’t mind being on court to monitor situations if it helped players play their best tennis with no worries.  Unfortunately, it takes you away from being able to see and help all of the courts.  Call me Obama, but I like being able to do the most good for the most people.
  9. I now understand the meaning of the terms “sensible shoes” and “gel insoles”.
  10. Did I mention that I love tennis?!
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