What I’ve Learned from Golf will Help Your Tennis

by Ron Steege, Director of Tennis

If you know me, then you may have heard that I’m somewhat obsessed with golf. What has been interesting to me is how my journeys toward improvement in both golf and tennis have mirrored each other over the years. My progress in golf has been slower, but I find the paths I’m choosing toward meeting my goals with golf, are similar to those I had with tennis. Learning a different sport has reminded me of this process and how much fun it can be when a goal is met and a skill is finally realized. In both sports, I’ve found that I enjoy practicing as much as playing. My golf learning experience has also made me a better tennis coach because I can relate to what my students are going through.

Learning any new skill as an adult can be both challenging and discouraging at times, but you’re to be applauded for trying. The first lesson one has to remember is that tennis is a difficult sport and there are no easy answers or short cuts to becoming a skilled player. I mentioned how much I enjoy the process of learning new golf skills; this should be the foundation of your development. An unfortunate element of learning a new sport as an adult, compared to a child, is the shortage of repetitions. Finding enough time to get the reps you need can be a big challenge. Most adults are lucky if they get to play once or twice a week. You can expect progress to take longer and come in smaller steps as you work your way up the NTRP ladder. You can expect larger jumps in your game as a 2.5 level player, but as you move in to 3.5, 4.0 and beyond, it may take a year or two before you realize a change in your rating. Remain patient with yourself and keep chipping away at improving those areas of weakness!

Realizing that finding the time to practice can be a challenge, make sure the time you have is used wisely. The quality of your practice becomes more important than the quantity. It was said that Jimmy Connor’s practice sessions were so intense that he would get more out of a single hour than most pros could in three. This requires good planning and intense concentration. For starters, one must have clear goals in mind for every practice session. The change of seasons can be a great time for reviewing and establishing goals for the months ahead. All journeys require a clear pathway for getting from point A to point B. Start with a realistic main destination goal, such as becoming a 4.0 player. The next step is to evaluate your current skills and determine what you must develop to get to that level. This may involve developing technical, tactical and mental skills. Progress should not be measured against wins and loses. The goal may have been to get 60% of your first serves in. If you lost the match, but achieved your first serve percentage goal, then check it off as mission accomplished and be happy regardless of the score outcome. Your improved first serve percentage is a great building block for the future. Typically, your goals during the winter months will be different than the summer months. Working on a technical problem during the summer when you’re playing tournaments and league matches is usually not a good idea. This is a time to grow tactically and mentally. The winter months are perfect for repairing those technical flaws.

Finally, there must be balance in your development. Depending on the season, your time should be divided between lessons, drills, hitting and match play. Overdoing any one facet can slow progress in other areas. If you spend all of your time playing, you may be weak technically. Conversely, if you only take lessons, you may lack some of the creativity of point construction and important mental skills for competing. Remember, “failing to plan is a plan for failure.” Have a plan for every practice session and match you play and measure your progress against your plan. Good luck! I look forward to seeing you on the courts!       

Top 7 Ways to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

The reason we exist at Club Greenwood is for the honor of positively impacting people’s lives. There are many ways in which we strive to do this. We offer over 130 Group Fitness classes each week as part of your membership. The types of classes are thoughtfully chosen, the instructors are carefully recruited, and the class times are strategically placed with the goal of providing you with the best selection of classes offered at the optimal times that cater to a wide variety of interests and provide ample opportunity for achieving results.

On an average day, approximately 1500 people check into the club. Roughly 30% of those check-ins, or 450 people, attend a group fitness class. So how can you optimize your membership utilizing Group Fitness to achieve your fitness goals? Here are your top seven ways:

  1. Find Something You Enjoy And Do It

If you’re not having fun or being challenged with your workout, it’s easy to lose interest. Instead of dreading the treadmill, consider one of our many other options. With a nice balance of strength, cardio, balance and flexibility classes to choose from each week, there is great opportunity to find your new favorite.

Take advantage of our shorter classes that can be done in combination. Cardiovascular Intervals, Strong 30, BODYPUMP 30, BODYCOMBAT 30, CXWORX and Stretch and Roll are great choices. If you would like some assistance, we offer complimentary member coach services. When you find what you enjoy, you’re more likely to stay consistent and see better results.

  1. Set Goals

Maybe you want to avoid holiday weight gain, fit into a certain dress size, decrease your body fat percentage, cut your mile time or set a new lifting PR. Map out your plan of attack setting both short-term (30-day) and long-term (3-6 months) goals. That plan will help you stay focused and on the path to success. Share your goals with your group fitness instructor so they can help encourage you and keep you accountable.

  1. Drink Enough Water

The general recommendation is to  drink half your body weight in ounces every day. This is on top of replenishing fluids lost during your workout.  While the reminder to drink water may sound unnecessary and obvious, it is essential to your health.

  1. Eat Well

No training regimen is complete without the complement of good nutrition. Make sure you eat a consistent well-balanced diet. Dedication to both your training and your nutrition will offer the best results.

  1. Get Sufficient Sleep

Rest is crucial to our fat-loss and muscle-building goals. Lack of sleep raises cortisol levels and hampers proper recovery. Exercise places stress on your body, and it’s your body’s ability to respond to and rebuild from this stress that creates growth, results and body improvement. This is why nutrition and recovery are essential to achieving your fitness goals.

  1. Mix It Up

Many dedicated gym-goers fall into a workout rut. Break out of boredom by challenging yourself in new ways. Try new movements, set aside the dumbbells in favor of a barbell or cables, or grab a buddy and try a class. Don’t just set up camp at your usual corner or elliptical. If you are bored with your workouts, chances are your body is, too. Make some changes for a new challenge leading to new results.

  1. Stay Consistent

None of this information will be of much value if it’s not done consistently. No matter your goal, consistent efforts are rewarded with hard-earned results.

By Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness

My Friend Sheri’s Last Story and 3 Steps You Should Take

by Drew Overholser

At 55, Sheri Warren was in the prime of her life. She had two wonderful sons, a loving husband, an adorable 4-year-old granddaughter, and a newborn grandson. Her granddaughter loved, loved, loved her grandma. As the Director of Sales and Retention, Sheri was my supervisor. She offered a rare combination of respected work colleague and friend. She gave me a chance at a job I needed four years ago and she created an environment I thrived in.

Sheri’s death is a tragic loss of the highest magnitude. I’m heartbroken over losing my friend. How did she die from a blood clot when she was a fit, active, vibrant person with a healthy diet, along with a nice Cabernet on occasion? Since she had a family history of blood clots and had a blood clot herself five years ago, it’s tragic that this latest clot wasn’t discovered before it killed her.

This is so scary. Could it happen to me? Could it happen to you? Is there anything we can do to reduce our risk? I believe there is. In 2010, I wrote a book called BVibrant, which included a chapter about circulation. The following is a modified excerpt from that chapter…

A few years ago I attended a presentation by Rob Daigle, who is a vascular technologist. His specialty is diagnosing vascular diseases and circulatory problems using ultrasound. He wrote a medical ultrasound textbook which is primarily about how blood and lymph circulate through the body. For this presentation, Rob brought in a Doppler ultrasound unit, a device that allows you to hear the blood flowing inside the arteries and veins in the body. He asked one of the students to remove a sock and shoe and roll up a pant leg. Rob put conducting jelly on the student’s lower leg, just above his ankle. Then he placed the ultrasound probe on the student’s leg where the jelly was. Then all of us in attendance took turns listening through headphones that were attached to the base of the Doppler device. The headphones allowed us to hear the sounds of blood flow inside our volunteer’s leg. In other words, the Doppler allowed us to hear circulation. It’s no great revelation that blood flows through the body all the time. Yet, to hear movement coming from the inside of a still leg is fascinating. Next, he asked the student to move his foot, ankles, and toes vigorously while we listened through the headphones. This movement, or exercise, changed the sound dramatically. Instead of just a gentle, soft swishing, the volume and amplitude of the sound increased dramatically. The lesson is this:

Movement increases circulation!

This information could save your life. Rob is a frequent flyer, traveling around the country giving presentations on vascular health. If your vascular system is not in particularly good shape AND you sit for a long period of time without moving, as we typically do on a flight, you could be at risk for a blood clot in the legs because your blood stagnates when you sit for long periods of time. If a blood clot develops in the veins in your legs, it has the potential to travel to your heart and lungs when you get up and start moving. If the blood clot is large, it can be fatal.

Rob says he periodically does simple leg and foot movements during long plane flights to keep his circulation flowing. This reduces the risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolus, a clot that travels to the lungs.

A friend of mine, Irit, who is a physician, added that the heart pumps blood to the limbs through arteries. Veins return the blood back to the heart. However, there is no pump that does this. Instead, movement or exercise is what creates the return of blood.
What actions can we take to reduce our risk? Here are three suggestions:

1. ROM exercise. For a long time, I’ve advocated for a simple non-weight bearing range of motion (ROM) exercise for healthy joints, ease of movement, and improved circulation. Consistent ROM exercise reduces stagnation and keeps blood flowing. It’s pretty obvious how important this is. Here’s a link to my ROM video. https://youtu.be/uDXNAlNBCSA.
Give this exercise video a try. It takes only about 15 minutes, it’s easy to do, and it feels great. Will it save your life? I don’t know. Surely it will reduce your risk. Next month I’m going to reshoot this video with the help of a professional videographer. Plus, I’ll make additional videos with other ROM exercises. These videos will be released as part of my website launch in October. Stay tuned!

2. You are in charge of your health. Sheri tended to put everyone else first. Although she did take care of herself, she didn’t urgently insist on getting the help she needed when it mattered the most. This is understandable. We tend to downplay our own needs. We don’t want to create a fuss. Doctors give us information, guidance, and valuable assistance. But you have to be the driver of your health. Keep asking questions and dig deeper for answers. Ultimately, you are responsible for your health. Many health issues that happen to you might not be your fault, but how you respond is up to you. Don’t wait. Take action. Insist on getting what you need.

3. Know your history. As the driver of your health, it’s your responsibility to know your history and health tendencies. There is so much diagnostic information available today. Take the time to use the valuable resources around you and get assistance from valued health care providers. Go to specialists if need be. Get your heart checked. Get your skin checked. Get your prostate checked. Do cancer screenings. Do dental and vision tests. Learn about healthy food choices from a dietician. Consider alternative therapies. Do these things so you know where you’re vulnerable, which helps you stay ahead of problems.

RIP my friend, Sheri.