Healthy Recipe ‘Soba Noodles with Ginger Broccoli’

Healthy Recipe of the Month

These Soba Noodles with Ginger Broccoli are the perfect way to jump start your health. They’re fun and easy – not to mention this entire dish took me less than 20 minutes to make (ideal for a Meatless Monday or any other day of the week for that matter).

Coconut Soba Noodles with Ginger Broccoli ( serves 4 )
Prep Time: 6 mins,
Cook Time: 6 mins,
Ingredients:
1 (9.5 ounces) package soba noodles
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Preparation
1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the broccoli florets, salt and coconut milk, bring to a boil, reduce to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add the noodles to the coconut milk mixture and toss to thoroughly coat.
5. Sprinkle with the lime juice and cilantro and serve.
optional ingredients: cooked shrimp or chicken

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Make Your Recruiting Video Work for You!

When it comes to the college tennis recruiting process, and getting recruited to the college of your dreams, it is critical to make your recruiting video work for you.  Think about it, many times your video is the only time college coaches get to see you play.  Sadly, college recruiting budgets and staff are limited in many tennis programs, so seeing every prospective student-athlete play in person is not possible.  This makes it all the more critical that you make a recruiting video that is helpful to college coaches and markets you in a favorable way so you will get recruited.

jeff_the_recruiterIn fact, to give yourself the best chance to get recruited by the most schools, it is important to stand out from other recruits in the recruiting process.  This will give you the advantage of having multiple options, and even leverage in the negotiating process.  College Prospects of America excels in marketing our student athletes in a way that college coaches know and trust, and we are great at helping our student-athletes find the best college for them, at the best price!

College Prospects of America helps with every step of the process, including making a professional and effective recruiting video.  Some helpful pointers in making your recruiting video include:

  1. For all, or at least the majority of the footage, choose an angle that shows where the shots land.  For this you will likely need a video camera with a wide angle lens attachment, and you can take the video from behind the court.  College coaches don’t need a close up shot of the stroke in order to analyze technique, but coaches do need to see where the balls are landing to know how effective the strokes are.
  2. Don’t include a lot of warm up footage.  Most coaches don’t have a lot of time to watch videos, and watching warm up is not incredibly helpful in scouting a recruit.
  3. Make sure music is appropriate.
  4. It’s good to include a couple minutes on each stroke, but probably not more than that
  5. The most important thing is to show several minutes of live ball hitting, and or point play
  6. Make sure you are hitting with a strong opponent who is trying

The most common mistakes, and the worst mistakes to make, are ignoring the last 2 pointers on this list.  College coaches want to see how your strokes hold up in live ball hitting situations, when there is pressure on you.  Many people will make a video where they are primarily hitting off easy feeds, or against a weak opponent, or even against a strong opponent who is not trying hard.  College coaches notice these things and it ends up making your video work against you.  College coaches want to see how you perform in tough situations, under pressure, and on the move.  They want to see how you compete, hustle, and how smart and tough you are.  Most anyone can hit great strokes off easy feeds, and winners against an opponent who is not moving.  Showing those things will not get recruited!  Showcase your talent by playing a tough opponent, playing hard, hustling, and playing smart! 


College Prospects of America can help with making a video and with every step of the recruiting process.
  We can help you stand out from other recruits, and we can get you recruited to the school of your dreams!   CPOA has been trusted by college coaches for almost 30 years! If you would like to find out if you are on track in the recruiting process, or have any questions on how we can help, please contact me, Jeff Borengasser, jborengasser@mycpoa.com, (303)910-2329, and you can visit our website, www.cpoaworld.com

The Most Important Shot in Tennis

On The Court with Coach Mazza

In my experience, it is not uncommon for a typical one hour general “club” tennis lesson to consist of 50 minutes of feeding and rallying from the baseline, then hitting 10 minutes of serves to finish while the “pro” nonchalantly stands next to the basket and shoots the breeze with their student.  If I had a nickel for every time I witnessed a pair or group of players go out and only rally from the baseline for the entirety of their practice, I could buy my own private island and retire today.

I am not denying that rallying from the baseline is an important skill for tennis players to possess – it absolutely is. A junior player, particularly in the beginning stages of their tennis career, must develop shot tolerance, consistency, patience, discipline, and a passion for “Tennis 101” – keep the ball in the court! However, I think there is commonly too much emphasis placed on just that skill alone, and other much more important shots and skills often get overlooked.

I recently came across an article from Craig O’ Shannessy which really hit the nail on the head and unveiled some key match statistics from the 2015 Australian Open Men’s and Women’s Main Singles Draws. I think many people will find several of the findings quite surprising. You can find the link to the entire articlehere:

RALLY LENGTH NICKNAME MEN WOMEN
0-4 Shots First Strike 70% 66%
5-8 Shots Patterns of Play 20% 23%
9+ Shots Extended Rallies 10% 11%

*Chart taken from Craig O’ Shannessy’s article entitled “The First Four Shots” from ausopen.org (Published on Jan. 15, 2016)

The best players in the world are the best for numerous reasons, one of which being that most of them can keep the ball in play all day, especially on the practice court. So why are these percentages of 0-4 shot points so high? One of the main reasons is their serve game is that good! They keep their first serve percentage up, win a large amount of their first serve points (often by ace, service winner, or forcing a weak return), and keep their double faults (and free points in general) to a minimum. John Isner led the ATP Tour in 2015 with a 91% serve hold rate, and there is a long list of players who aren’t very far behind that number.

I was curious myself as to how closely these statistical trends applied to the junior level. I proceeded to go and chart an evening’s worth of points played by some Colorado state level juniors. My initial thought was that it would probably be about the same, although for slightly different reasons than the grand slam level pros. Boy, was I wrong – the percentage of points that lasted between 0-4 shots was even higher (85%)! However, my thinking was accurate as to why I thought most of the junior points would last so briefly. Their serve game wasn’t a strength, but rather a liability. Low first serve percentages, high occurrences of double faults and careless errors on the first shots after the serve were pretty much the norm. Return games weren’t that much better – missed returns and careless first shot errors after the return were abundant as well.

A player who has serve troubles is like having a car without tires – they won’t get to where they want to go. At HAT, we realize how important these first initial shots of each point are and that is why we dedicate at least 45 minutes solely to the serve and return aspects of both singles and doubles to every 3-hour practice.

Drill Ideas:

  • 85% Singles Drill (Borrowed from Daniel Hangstefer, Metro State University Denver Men’s and Women’s Head Coach):
    • Player 1 serves and must make their second ball. Player 2 returns and must make their second ball. 4 shots total must be made – serve, return, 3rd ball, 4th ball. Stop the point after the 4th ball is made. Player 1 does 5 sets serving on both the deuce and ad side, then switch roles with Player 2. The goal for each player is to make 85% of their first two shots (17/20 total).
  • 85% Doubles Drill:
    • To become a good doubles player, one must be able to make their serve and 1st shot and their return and 1st shot, and execute them well and consistently.
    • A total of 4 shots must be made – serve, return, next 2 volleys. Stop the point after the returner’s 1st volley is made. Each player does 5 sets serving on both the deuce and ad side, and 5 sets returns on both the deuce and ad side. The goal for each player is to make 85% of their first two shots (17/20 total).

But What Does It Really MEAN?

I was talking with Mary (a HAT member) recently, and she was describing a great resort her family used to frequent in Canada. When she first found this gem of a vacation spot, it was 100 percent a small business and a darn good one at that. The resort was led by a professional, charismatic, and detail-oriented owner that believed every single interaction with a guest was a chance to develop a lifelong friendship and customer (in that order). The fish stinks from the head and, in this case, it stunk in a really good way! Each staff member believed this to be their own core statement and motto as well and gave Mary and her family a very personal experience. Mary said that she really liked knowing that the money they were spending was going to the very friendly staff members that they interacted with.

And then just like the dark side from Star Wars coming onto the scene (music playing – duh duh duh, duh duh duh, duh duh duh!) a large corporate company came in and made the small business owner an offer he couldn’t refuse. Mary described the changes that happened: the personal touches that initially made the small business so appealing and charming were demolished by higher prices, fees on every service imaginable, and the atmosphere changed to have the cold, stark feel of a cookie-cutter establishment. Needless to say, Mary has not returned to this resort.

I clearly remembered this conversation after reading an excerpt from the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. The book describes the main character on a motorcycle trip with his friends and his realization that technology and all the noise that it brings with it has made our lives so hectic that we have lost sight of what things actually MEAN. The items we purchase, the restaurants we go to, the plates we eat off of, the furniture we sit on, the clothes we wear – we tend to take these things at face value or as they ARE with very little thought about what they really MEAN or about who our money goes to. What do these companies stand for? Do their values align with our own individual values? You only really see these questions arise in the media when a company does something drastically obvious which offends a specific demographic (like Chick-Fil-A’s COO Dan Cathy and his public comments opposing Gay Marriage or Chipotle’s recent move to become the only chain to only use non-GMO ingredients).

So where are you spending your money? Do those establishments have similar core values to those you have? Do you know what they are?

These are very important questions because how we really vote in this country is with our money! Do you want to support big business and shareholders that you will never actually meet? Or would you rather support the local shop owner who provides the experience described at the beginning of this article – someplace where you can actually see your money being put into action? I don’t have an epiphany or statement that will shock you to your core, but I think that the actual big lesson is in the question itself and beginning to be present to the fact that where you spend your time and money is a direct reflection of who you are, what you support, and what you stand for.

So I leave you with this: I propose that the next time you are choosing where to go eat as a family, buy groceries, or purchase new clothes that you designate a family member to look up the that establishment and do a quick, five-minute Google search on what that company stands for. You might be surprised what you find (good and bad) and have a much better idea of what it really MEANS to eat and support that business.

Let me know how it goes!

By: Ryan Segelke
Grand Slam Level Coach, CEO and
CO-Founder of High Altitude Tennis Academy

ryan@highaltitudetennis.com