the lines are still good

Follow the happenings of an animated college tennis coach and his teams in their pursuit of an NCAA National Tennis Championship. It is always the impressive trophy that is displayed for all to admire that gets the attention, but it is the journey to claiming that trophy, the relationships built, the people served and the memories created, that live forever...and what I hope you will find interesting...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year...

Always my pleasure to take a few moments to wish my friends, family and all followers of "the lines are still good" a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2011.

Of course, the turning of the calendar year is a time for many things. Some make resolutions. Some party like rock stars. Others like to celebrate traditions with family and friends. As for me, I like to reflect. I like to think about the experiences that I have had this past year and the things that I have learned. Also, as I like to speak of goals quite often, I like to ponder the efforts I have made and the subsequent goals reached. I like to think about my personal and professional relationships and the happiness that has ensued. I like to remember the work, the joy, the many laughs and even the tears. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I like to think about the opportunity to live life and the many good things that are to come. I try to remember that life is a state of continuous improvement and to approach day-to-day living in this way.

This year I will be celebrating New Year's Eve at Peter Pratt's Inn with several friends including my life-long friend since college, former Clipper tennis team member and doubles partner, Douglas O'Connell. I look forward to some good fellowship and a lot of laughs. In addition, a special HNY shout-out to Coach Neil who is traveling with his daughter in Florida for a soccer tournament. Safe traveling and be well.

In any case, I wish you all a 2011 filled with health, happiness, joy, laughter, success, and much love. “One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” - John Burroughs

Happy New Year everybody!

Nuff said...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Matt Long...

A long time friend of mine turned me on to this story. If you are looking for a good read, pick up a copy of his book. You will not be able to put it down.

Matt is an NYC fire-fighter and also has ownership of the NYC sports bar Third and Long, which also boasts the presence of Concordia College Clipper "ex-athlete" Curtis Lanton.

no longer will I longer will I want...from now on...
I will.

Nuff said...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ronald Reagan

Nuff said...

Merry Christmas...

I would like to wish all of my friends and family around the world a very Merry Christmas. I especially wish all of my current players a safe and happy holiday season. Travel safely and enjoy your break.

As always, I thank you all for your interest in "the lines are still good" and hope that the spirit of the Christmas season stays with you throughout the entire year.

May God bless you all.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Wonderful Approach...

I listened to a nice tribute the other day and thought what a wonderful approach to athletics and life in general. Each day "work hard, try to accomplish something, love and always be nice about it."

Nuff said...

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Little Squash...

Good exercise for the hard working coaching staff.

Nuff said...

No Cold Tub For Old Man???

After viewing this piece about athletes and cold tubs I wondered if this would be a good thing for me as I seem to be pretty sore after engaging in some tennis play and other forms of exercise. Of course, this may be due to a lack of regular participation in certain sporting activities, yet I am not sure I will be able to commit to a regimen that will be frequent enough to avoid such delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Who knows, I may give it a try after my next rigorous athletic endeavor. However, each time I consider it, I think of the various sensitive areas of the body that are not accustomed to such levels of frosty temperatures. For now, I think it is "No Cold Tub for Old Man".

Nuff said...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ice, Ice Baby...

I returned to the tennis court today in an attempt to regain some sort of regular play. I expected to be completely embarrassing as I have not really hit any balls for a good long while. However, it wasn't entirely all that terrible. As a result, I look forward to some more regular training and mixing tennis in with the squash. In addition, there is a nasty rumor that yours truly may make a tournament appearance at the USTA National Tennis Center for this years National Men's Indoor.

The elbow is a little sore but was not as cranky after substantial ice application. I think I am going to become good friends with the nice young gals in the training room at the college. Youth, clearly, is wasted on the young...

I hope Santa brings me a jacuzzi for Christmas :)

Nuff said...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Weekly Winners

Greetings again friends. Not a week goes by without some new and exciting "Winners of the Week."

  • Pietruski Auditorium reserved for Brain Game presentation to be held 2/12/11 @ 11am
  • Individual player meetings scheduled and conducted
  • Additional video footage posted on blog
  • Coach Dano now “tweeting” on Twitter
  • Home match vs. FDU scheduled for Friday 2/18/11 @ 2:15pm

Share the good things. Report any winners in the comment section.

Nuff said...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Service return...

We have been working on the technique for an explosive return of serve through the use of plyometric training. Essentially we are employing a depth jump followed by a directional signal and having the player simulate the stroke.

As most of you know, the service speed has really increased due to an increase in player strength as well as the improved technology in racquet frames and strings. As a result, the returner's time to respond has been markedly reduced. Clearly, on most surfaces, there is a greater need for players to develop an explosive return of serve so as to have a chance to break.

The video clip below demonstrates this. However, there are a few returns shown that are only possible on slow surfaces and in the presence of a slow serve. These show Leyton Hewitt taking multiple steps to the ball.

Below is a nice clip of Li Na demonstrating what we need to do. Notice that even she takes a little positioning step with her right foot which costs her a split second and a fair amount of stored potential energy.

I will post a clip of our plyometric return of serve drill soon.

Nuff said...

Friday, December 03, 2010

It's Coming...

Save the date tennis fans! The Brain Game is coming to Concordia Saturday, February 12th. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Craig O'Shannessy to Bronxville where he will be presenting his Brain Game tennis strategy program.

Craig is an ATP touring coach working with many of the world's top players. His knowledge and years of tennis experience will undoubtedly be of tremendous benefit to tennis players of all levels and ages.

Stay tuned for more information and also how you can reserve your seat for this valuable experience.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"Don't Give Up...Don't Ever Give Up!"

Click here for more information about the foundation.

Coach Jim Valavano was the 1993 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Coach Valvano, in addition to winning an NCAA National Championship, also coached at nearby Iona College for five seasons. See below for his wonderful acceptance speech.

The foundation's motto, and the title of this post, is very special to me and something I hope to instill in all of our players.

Nuff said Jimmy...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekly Winners...

Greetings again friends. A bit of a short tennis week due to the Thanksgiving holiday but still some noteworthy "Winners of the Week."

  • Team enjoys much appreciated Thanksgiving holiday days off
  • Team body fat percentage remains within range at 12.4 %
  • 89% of team complete “23”
  • Brain Game planning continues
  • Flip Ultra HD camera with gorilla pod purchased for video analysis and media compilation

Share the good things. Report any winners in the comment section.

Nuff said...

Post Thanksgiving steak-feast...

Smith & Wollensky, NYC @ 49th and 3rd. A heck of a good meal. It's going to be a slow day on the squash court for me on Monday...

Nuff said, and eaten...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my "the lines are still good" fans. Today I am truly thankful for friends and family. In addition, I am also thankful for the opportunity to be associated with my tennis family. Thankful for the efforts of players, coaches, administrators, and player parents whom have sent their loved ones to New York to be in our program.

I know that the players are certainly thankful to have a few days off from my conditioning schedule. For some reason however, I am starting to get the feeling that players are seeing the value of my program. I could just be dreaming though...maybe one day...

I look forward to a great day of merriment and wish the same for all of you.

May God bless you all and be well.

Nuff said...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekly Winners...

Ok pals, here is the next edition of the "Winners of the Week"...

  • Players determine and submit goals
  • Team reviews “Characteristics of Good Goals”
  • Team receives athletic gear from the athletic department consisting of dri-fit shirt and mesh shorts
  • Bronxville Broncos win New York State Championship in varsity girls soccer - this is Bronxville’s second state title this year
  • Entire team completes “22” and will start working on “23”
  • College professor reports that Daniele Piludu is an excellent student and among the best in her class
  • Possibility of bringing “The Brain Game” and Craig O’Shannessey to Concordia for his presentation about tennis strategy discussed

Many good things are happening each day. Please report any "winners" in the comment section of this post.

Nuff said...

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Weekly Winners...

Yes friends, it's time again for the "Winners of the Week"...

  • Rankings (Fall/Preseason) for the ITA East Region are released. Concordia remains #1 since 4/2005
  • Clippers have 7 of top 10 ranked singles players in region and 4 of top 10 doubles pairs
  • Coaches Neil and Daniel begin squash for the purpose of fitness
  • Team begins resistance component to conditioning program
  • Shipment of “Fluid” received
  • Andrey Boldarev and Daniele Piludu ranked #14 & #39 respectively in NCAA II singles
  • Boldarev & Piludu ranked #7 in doubles NCAA II
  • Geza Bazula & Tamas Dobrotka ranked #26 in doubles NCAA II
  • Bronxville Broncos and Jessica Tarangioli advance to New York State semifinal (Girls Soccer) defeating Highland 3-0
  • Andrey Boldarev advances to third round of USA F31 – eventually defeated in three sets by Tyler Hochwalt (#708 ATP)

Many good things are happening each day. Please report any "winners" in the comment section of this post.

Nuff said..

Sunday, November 14, 2010

National Rankings Released...

The ITA has released the Fall / Preseason rankings (click here for full rankings) and your Clippers have maintained their place at #10. The team rankings are identical to the final rankings from last season despite roster changes and some significant fall play. However, the national chair and some of the committee's more "influential" members have decided to use a new philosophy this fall, so there has been no movement. But enough about that.

As I mentioned, we have kept our #10 ranking which still places us among the elite in the division. However, that being said, I believe that we deserve a better ranking and we will demonstrate this in the spring when we have the chance to play many ranked teams.

Also, we are pretty well represented in the individual singles and doubles rankings. Andrey Boldarev checks in at #14 and Daniele Piludu at #39. I am not sure that we will ever be able to get our entire top 6 ranked in the top 20 nationally like some other schools, but I am sure we will have better representation when certain "influential" coaches see our guys play and see some of their results.

We also have two doubles teams ranked. Boldarev and Piludu are #7 and Tamas Dobrotka and Geza Bazula are #26. Our doubles has been pretty impressive so far considering that we have four new teams playing together. I am not certain that these will be the teams that will be taking to the courts in the spring but doubles will be an area that we focus quite a bit on and an area that we will need to improve to be successful going forward (no pun intended).

We are working hard in the off season and will continue to do so. I expect that the players will be in the collective best shape of their lives and will be ready to compete versus any team on the schedule. I look forward to reviewing the players goals and helping them to achieve great things. Lets be special.

Nuff said...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fall "Preseason" Rankings...

Greetings Clipper tennis fans. The ITA rankings have been released and are being called the "Fall/Preseason" rankings. Things have changed a bit as the rankings are not so much based on action that has taken place in the fall but rather mainly reflect how the season ended last May. This seems odd to me but since there are no specific ranking criteria suggested by the ITA ranking chairman, this is what we have to report.

East Region:


1. Concordia College 2. Queens College
3. Bentley University
4. Philadelphia University
5. Merrimack College
6. Southern New Hampshire University
7. University of the Sciences (PA)
8. Chestnut Hill College
9. Stonehill College
10. Adelphi University


1. Andrey Boldarev - Concordia
Daniele Piludu - Concordia 3. Attila Toth - Queens
4. Felix Missal - Concordia
5. David Tisserand - Concordia
6. Geza Bazula - Concordia
7. Tamas Dobrotka - Concordia
8. Tomas Gajdusek – UDC
9. Andreas Lindell – Concordia10. Patryk Polus - Queens
11. Juan Arango-Campo - Southern New Hampshire
12. Alvaro Vargas – USP
13. Tim Fayed - Stonehill
14. Mario Gutierrez – Chestnut Hill
15. Dave Burstein - Queens


1. Boldarev / Piludu – Concordia
2. Bazula / Dobrotka – Concordia
3. Toth / Burstein – Queens
4. Tisserand / Lindell – Concordia 5. Kazekevich / Vargas – USP
6. Burke / Sqouros – Philadelphia
7. Wever / Ribeiro – Bentley
8. Polus / Smith – Queens
9. Missal / Frey – Concordia10. Nieves / Voynov - Adelphi

As you can see by the plentiful bold, blue font, your Concordia netmen are well represented. The ITA national rankings are scheduled to be released 11/9/10 provided they are approved by the national committee. We look to continue our top 10 team ranking and also to have players ranked nationally in the singles and doubles. Check back soon...

Join me in congratulating the players.

Nuff said...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Winners of the Week...

Friends, many good things are going on around us each and every day. Listed below are the good things in our tennis family or the "Winners of the Week".

Players begin speed & agility conditioning sessions

Players orientated to resistance component of conditioning program

Blog updated displaying video footage of conditioning training sessions @

Team average body fat calculated to be 10.8%

Team has positive review of “Fluid” recovery drink and “Go” bars

The Bronxville High School Broncos varsity girls soccer team, starring Coach Neil’s daughter Jessica, have won the sectional title and advanced to the state championship tournament (click here for story).

Nuff said...

Monday, November 01, 2010


Today marked a good start to the team's conditioning program. We will be working hard on speed and agility as well as strength and power in the off season. For the first day, the team did a nice job. However, conditioning is an area where we can really improve. I can not guarantee that your Clippers are the most talented tennis team in the country, but we will be among the best conditioned and hardest working as long as I am associated with the program.

Have a peek at some agility footage below. As you can see, Felix has already improved his foot speed!

Nuff said...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Toy...

(click title "New Toy" for device information)

Nothing like a man and his new toy. I will certainly have lots of fun with this at practice, matches and during the team experience. Looking forward to sharing some video footage with you all soon.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Food for Thought...

I always liked watching O.J. Simpson play football, act in the Naked Gun movies, and run through airports during rent-a-car commercials. Although I also think that he is a murderer, I really like one of his quotes that is listed along the sidebar of my blog.

"The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that's the day you start to the top."

Recently, I have been thinking quite a bit about some other points that have a similar subject matter:

1. What is happening TO you is really BECAUSE OF you.

2. Sometimes, the one who opens the wound is the healer.


Nuff said...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Singles 3rd, Doubles 4th...

Andrey won his third place match over Rong Ma of BYU Hawai'i 6-4, 7-5. Still some ups and downs but ultimately a victory.

Plenty of room for improvement for the team as a whole and the plan is for more off season practice and fitness within the NCAA regulations.

Flight back to NY late this afternoon.

Nuff said...

Thanks for playing...

The tournament says..."Thanks for stopping by."

Click here for updated draws. Consolation here we come. One last match in singles and a 5pm flight back home to NY and the land of sound dentistry.

See you soon.

Nuff said...

Friday, October 15, 2010

ITA Day 1 Results...

Some good some not so good...

Andrey struggled in his quarterfinal match versus an inferior opponent as he had a fair amount of trouble finding his strokes and the good mental focus. However, he was able to advance over Shikar Kapur of Bluefield State 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. Ultimately, Andrey's fitness and skill were able to turn the match midway through the second set and he never looked back.

Of course, we all know that we will need better tennis from Andrey if we are to advance deeper into the singles and doubles. This event (click here for draws) brings many of the top collegiate players in the country to Mobile, and to win, you must be at your best.

More good news as we defeated Rockhurst in the doubles quarterfinal 6-3, 6-2. We were pretty comfortable all the way through this one but really started to click at about 2-2 in the second set. The coaching staff was really earning their big salaries today and the players were playing much better doubles at the end of the match. BUT, would this carry over to the second doubles match of the day (semifinal) versus powerhouse Valdosta State?

The answer is essentially yes! The guys, in fact, played even better. Of course, the opponents were stronger as well so they needed to do so. We grabbed the first set 7-6 with a tie-breaker that impressed everyone watching. Jumping out to a 6-0 lead, we captured the breaker 7-2. The second set went VSU's way 6-2 which set up a 10 point super-breaker for a trip to the final. A few costly misses and some untimely double faults led to our demise and a berth in the third place match. I was happy with the effort and the improvement for sure. It looks like we are on our way to better things. However, there can be a fine line between winning and losing in tennis and we will need to get better and be able to win close matches like this one if we expect to return to the National Final 4 and beyond.

Next up today will be Andrey's semifinal match versus Eudaldo Bonet of Armstrong Atlantic at 10:30 local time followed by Andrey and Daniele playing doubles at 3pm versus ACU.

Lets hope today is a big day for Clipper tennis and we get some nice wins. I would sure like to return to my hotel room, coaches nachos, the one-ply toilet paper, and the 62 degree room temperature undefeated for the day.

Be well everyone and nuff said...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 1 Mobile...

5am start...kinda early for my taste! Parkway closed for paving...detour. No easy pass and traffic so arrived late for flight...learned that you must get to airport at least 45 mins before flight or else your bags do not get on flight. Rental car company has no cars available...they know how to take the reservation but not how to hold the reservation...and that really is the most important part of the reservation, the holding.

Well that was fun now wasn't it. In any case we arrived safely in Mobile, AL and checked in to the hotel. After some serious bargaining, we were able to claim two suites...not too shabby indeed. Much love to Nicole for setting us up tight.

We were over to the tournament site for check in and a brief practice. It is always a pleasure to catch up with some old friends/coaches as well.


We attended the banquet, which in my opinion, gets worse every year. Always a pleasure to talk with Ola and Yuliya from the women's team. A quick stop at the Fresh Market and now back to the suite. Gotta make it an early night as Andrey plays singles at 8:30am. In addition, we have doubles matches at 1pm and 5pm. I hope to report some wins tomorrow.

Up early for breakfast.

Be well and nuff said...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stony Brook Final Results...

After a long weekend of tennis for players and coaches alike, your Clipper netmen were able to capture 4 of the 6 flights (1 of 2 doubles and 3 of 4 singles). For complete results in draw format click here.

It was a pretty good showing for the team however certain areas needing improvement showed themselves for sure. We really ask, expect and demand that the players give their best each and every time they take the court. We need this type of effort because each day is a day to improve and an opportunity to build for a championship. There were simply a few too many mental mistakes for my taste but I am still proud of the guys and their effort.

We will be off to Mobile, Alabama early Wednesday morning for the ITA National Small College Championships. Andrey will be playing singles and Andrey and Daniele will compete in the doubles. It will be nice to play versus the top players in the division and to see where we are in the scheme of things at this point. Also it is a good chance to further get to know the players and enjoy their company.

Nuff said...

Day 1 Results...

It was essentially a good day at Stony Brook as we advanced to the semis in 9 of 13 possible positions. All doubles teams advanced as well as 5 of 9 singles entrants. (Click here to view results in draw format)

There were several bright spots and a few disappointments for sure. The competition is somewhat weaker than I expected as NYIT is a first year team and Middlebury elected to bring the bottom of their lineup, which I think is a bad coaching move and also unfair to the other teams looking for good competition. Of course, all you can do is beat the player on the other side of the net.

We have a young team again with many first year players. Some are still learning the Concordia philosophy and what is being asked of them by the coaching staff. All in all a good day of tennis and we still have a chance to win 5 of the 6 flights.

Nuff said...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Early departure...

It's an early morning for Coach Dano. First, I am off to Bon Appetit to pick up the team breakfast order, which I know John will have ready on time, and next heading to Stony Brook for a full day of tennis.

Hope to do well. I will post the draws or a link to them when they become available.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Preparing for Stony Brook Invitational...

The team has turned its attention to the Stony Brook Invitational which is this weekend. We will be competing with 7 other schools representing several divisions. Others attending are NCAA D1: Stony Brook of course, Hofstra, Bryant and Sacred Heart...NCAA D2: NYIT...NCAA D3 Middlebury (2010 D3 National Champions)and Bowdoin.

I expect a long weekend as there is much tennis to be played. The format has 4 singles flights and 2 doubles flights. The first two rounds will feature 8 game pro-sets in singles and doubles with no-ad scoring. The semis and finals will be 2 out of 3 sets with a super-breaker for the third for singles and still 8 game pro-sets for the doubles.

I believe that we should do very well and and of course the goal is to win all 6 flights! In addition, this will be solid preparation for Andrey and Daniele as the ITA Small College Nationals are next week in Alabama.

With any luck we will have good weather for the weekend.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments."
- Jim Rohn

"Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period."
- Lou Holtz

Nuff said...

Some US Open Landscapes...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Plyo Workouts...

It seems as though the fellas are really excited about the plyometric workouts and the subsequent soreness. We were able to use the gymnasium for a speed and agility training Monday and it seems as though we have a ways to go to be in top condition. Thanks to my colleague and friend, Dr. Don Chu, and his book "Power Tennis Training", we will be working hard to get fit to my satisfaction.

I never liked the sprinting and agility 20 years ago either but I am quite sure I felt my best when training with them.

Hope the players are ready to work.

Nuff said...