2021 USTA Membership Promo Code - save $22 for a limited time only

USTA Members can get up to 50% off their annual membership fee

 New policy changes for USTA Memberships in 2021

  • Junior Memberships are now free
  • Family Memberships no longer valid - individuals must now purchase their own
  • Adult Members are $44/year and Seniors (70+) are $42/year (1/2 off promo code below)
  • All New Memberships are now 1 year only; existing 3-year and 5-year plans will be honored
  • Lifetime Members are grandfathered - congratulations if you have one!
For everyone who was a previous member, there is a renewal code to get $22 off the USTA membership.

Get our USTA Membership Code and Tennis Discounts today!

Our YouTube subscribers always see our videos first

Please smash a few likes for our videos! Every single view, like, and subscribe counts.
We are slowly growing back the sport of tennis and having fans come back again.

We will also post on our Community Page for subscribers. Leagues and tournaments in your area will be returning slowly and very soon we hope. Stay safe, keep social distance, play tennis!

Please share, like, and invite your tennis friends, teammates, leagues.

USTA Membership Promo Code for 2021

USTA Membership 2021 Discount Promo Code - subscribe today!

TopCourt In-Depth Review: MasterClass for Tennis with 6-month Updates

TopCourt has launched the next "MasterClass for Tennis"

A tennis project backed by the Bryan Brothers, Lindsay Davenport, Genie Bouchard, Sloane Stephens, and other world-class players. Tennis drills and instructions are demonstrated by some of the best players and coaches in the world.

For 2021, we see even more old-school veterans and coaches will be teamed up with next-gen and undiscovered raw talents. Last year, it was Taylor Fritz with Paul Annacone, plus Genie Bouchard with Brad Gilbert. Sam Querrey's and Mackenzie McDonald's videos both came out in Jan to represent Southern California.

Marriage of Tennis and Tech

The fundamental way we enjoy our sport got redefined. Indian Wells was canceled, and suddenly the tennis world found itself having a LOT of extra time on its hands. Equipped with 4K cameras, drones, and a tech-savvy team (led by Harvard and other college tennis alums) - TopCourt was born as 2020's game-changer of the year.

As the #1 TopCourt Ambassador, we offer advanced access to go in-depth with extra Q&A's on team meetings for industry insights, suggestions. It's been my goal to help reshape how the World learns and sees tennis.

TopCourt's tennis platform is designed to bring the player and fan onto each pro's tennis court.

The Hollywood production value adds to an All-Star lineup to set the new gold standard. We are excited to have access to the largest pool of 40+ online tennis stars in the world with that talent list growing every month. We will provide their latest updates and previews monthly (below).

Our Tennis-Bargains Exclusive Preview -
(Link is exclusive for our Tennis-Bargains fans)

Sign up with us for your chance to win a bonus prize

Prizes include an Amazon e-gift card, an autographed tennis ball, or a free one-year paid subscription. Email subscribers will be automatically entered into our monthly drawings.

Two main reasons why we the fans attend pro tennis events

Going to any Major like the US Open, I value these 2 bucket list experiences above all else:

1) Watching the 5th set Grand Slam match live on center court
2) Seeing and *listening* to the Tennis Pros prepare and practice from courtside

For #1, we have ESPN and Tennis Channel for all the big match coverage on our TVs.
For #2, the US Open and other big events continue to bar eager fans from their grounds.

Spector sports have been fundamentally changed. We missed all those special moments of exhibition genius and unscripted, off-camera candid insights outside the stadium. Until tournaments can safely reopen, the demand for sports experiences will be greater than the supply of limited seats for avid fans.

TopCourt's newest episodes are available now:

  • Iga Swiatek (2020 French Open Champion)
  • Andrey Rublev (winner of 5 Tour Titles in 2020)
  • Aryan Sabalenka (Top 10 in singles and doubles)

Great Angle: the view of tennis from up close and personal

The unique first-person experience makes TopCourt so different and special. It is unlike any TV camera position. You literally feel like you're so much on the court you will get hit by the shots.

You are invited to be there as the "fly on the wall"
Overhead drone shots, intimate camera angles, and personalized commentary from the pro speaking directly to you, as if you're the only one else there. The one and the only taking the private lesson.

TopCourt offers 40+ different pros and coaches
All gathered together, then filmed and mic'd up for one reason - to show you their inner game and experiences that shaped them. Each pro has a different skillset and background. Their unique personalities make the campus of TopCourt so diverse and wide.

Upfront and Center is exactly where TopCourt puts the viewers for every video.

Watching the Lindsay Davenport documented series is like following a well-choreographed story with each chapter of her career. During her drills, you never feel the pro is holding back or the shots she explains are too imposing to try yourself. The edits are well done with many enhanced cues (such as the mini-court icon at the bottom revealing where the player and each ball bounce is placed).

You get the benefit of all their combined years of experience on tour, which distills differently with each pro's own style and humor in their teaching role. Chapters are bite-sized enough to absorb a few key ideas. You feel motivated to then go out to implement, without feeling you have to binge-watch it all in one sitting.

Best Episodes of TopCourt (so far)

Best Drills: Bryan Brothers - Doubles Volleys (side to side)
The 16-time GS champions and GOAT of doubles. Great drone footage, clear ideas.

Best Stories: Lindsay Davenport - "Top of the Mountain"
Origin story. World #1, Olympics, Grand Slam Champion, Mom

Best Instruction: Monica Puig - Backhand & Footwork
Very easy on the ears and eyes. Covering A to Z: Grip, Preparation, Shoulder Turn, Stance, Split-step.

Best Background: Fernando Verdasco - The Spanish Way
Growing up in Madrid, Success in Juniors on Hard Courts, Facing Rafa, Davis Cup Champion.

$0 payment for the first 14 days, no chargeTopCourt Free Trial Offer

Just as with every tennis product that has ever been reviewed on Tennis-Bargains.com, we put our personal money at risk first before we will ever ask our readers to take the dive.

TopCourt will even send you an email notification 2 days in advance of the trial expiration to remind you, in case you are not happy before the 14 days are up.

No obligation to pay, if you are not happy at the end of the trial. 30-days to cancel.

More players and episodes will be available each month, so stayed tuned as we announce updates.

First, use our TopCourt Free Offer for 14 days to test drive the site. For a limited time, see if you enjoy the pros available currently with no risk.

We have been reviewing online tennis courses for over 10 years. Since the days of Fuzzy Yellow Balls, this idea of learning tennis ideas online is not new.

TopCourt kicks it up 2 notches to make it entertaining and inspiring the whole way. It is simply unmatched by the depth of the talent and quality of the footage. With each new pro that signs up, you get more value for your money with unlimited access.

If you enjoy good journalism, it's worth paying for a subscription to the New York Times or the Washington Post. If you really love pro tennis content, go with TopCourt. You won't regret it. At Tennis-Bargains, we stand by the products we recommend and hold those standards high.

Running Plays from the Pro's Playbook

On TopCourt's show court, you learn straight from the pro's own descriptions as he/she demonstrates. It covers not just the nuts and bolts technique, but also the inner intent behind maximizing each shot's potential.

On TV, viewers get fixated on a great play. Then at best, we see one slow-motion replay of the last winner. But does anyone explain the subtle mental mechanics that go into constructing that point? The scoreboard does not tell the whole story. Now, when you see that glamourous play (the Flash), you begin to recognize some of the preparation (and Dazzle) that goes into setting it up.

Beyond the Spotlight: a Human Story

Interviews conducted brilliantly and background stories that reveal the human and young person behind the superhero costumes the players wear on the court. If 2020 has given us anything, it is the appreciation for connection. This has become TopCourt's signature recipe.

Be it their parents or coaches' influence at an early age or a major turning point in their career, we see what fueled them early on. The interviews and stories on TopCourt take you beyond the spotlight. Very much like ESPN's 30 for 30 series, it adds a lot of humanity to the player's hidden obstacles encountered in their journey.

Another big bonus is that fans also get to relive the drama of their biggest wins and losses. Truer to life than any tennis biography. In this relaxed filming setting, they can speak with a little more zen-like clarity from the heart; sharing their life's ups and downs with tennis since childhood.

Away from the constant pressures of competition and probing media at tournaments probing for a sound byte or misquote, the players have the time to reflect deeply and showcase their favorite memories and moments with their fans.

Don't we all secretly want to train, feel, and hit like our tennis heroes?
For the lucky few in the crowd who managed to squeeze into a front seat at last year's US Open practice, it wasn't always comfortable. I remember waiting around P1-P5 all day long patiently in a queue. Rows of heads peek behind a wall of fans for a quick glimpse of one or two favorite stars.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible at these noisy events to ever catch all the tips thrown around in a drill or understand the coach's subtle advice to their player. Even when I could hear over the crowd noise and see the action, it would be really nice for once not to risk being suffocated by a giant tennis mob crowding all over youSee TopCourt's Latest trailer clips

After COVID-19's huge impact on the tennis community -
We needed a better way, a safer way for spectators and fans.

This time we can all share the tennis experience and our feelings of "being there".

Presence of Pros (Professors of Tennis)

"The real teaching by Masters is not with words; it is with Presence."
Don Miguel Ruiz

Learning to Learn Tennis - how to use pro footage with coaching

TopCourt Tennis
5 Quick Tips to Video Learning

#1) Freedom to skip around topics

It's Not compulsory to go linearly from Chapter 1 to Chapter 10 in order.

Explore all topics and teachers briefly at least once. Skip ahead or come back later. Find the topics that spark the most interest and motivation.

#2) Don't Binge!

Yes, this is not like trying to blast through 5 seasons of a sitcom in one weekend. It's not a race nor a time-limited food buffet to see how many dishes you can stack.

The goal is to understand this stuff and retain it.

  • Watch a few videos, then take a break to reflect. I prefer my 25-minute "sprints".
  • Can you explain what you learned to a peer, in your own words?
  • Sleep on it - let your subconscious review the lessons and ideas overnight before bed.

#3) Learning to Balance the Ratio of Practice-to-Play Time

How to Study Smart is a great youtube video to watch for any student.

  • Aim to learn one or two drills max per session.
  • Practice each drill at least twice during the week.
  • Repeat in your own words the keys points first.
  • Go out with a parent, friend, or coach. Demonstrate what you witnessed.
  • When you teach someone else, you reinforce it. Always be a student of the game.
  • Incorporate the new shot with the skill learned from the previous week
Stacking skills - also known as "Interleaved Practice" - is covered more in-depth from this book on teaching - Make it Stick: the science of successful learning. Pause mid-way and try to understand how different balls (high bounces, short balls, or wide shots) are handled by the pros.

#4) What to watch fast and slow: Stories, Drills, Instruction

1st - Skim through the stories and get the overall idea. Play at 1.5x speed the Stories.
2nd - Slow down the key Drills. 0.5x-0.75 speed the key sequences, perhaps without sound.
3rd - Watch the Instruction. Pause and take notes. Try to explain it and reenact it on court later!

Self-Quiz - the harder it is to recall at first, the better you'll remember it later

  • What are the basic mechanics?
  • List one good habit to focus on. List one bad habit to avoid.
  • Why is it used? When should you use it?
  • Where should you aim? How close to the lines do I need to hit?
#5) Have Fun! After understanding the concepts - try it in a Points Game or Challenge
Set some progression goals to level up and challenges with friends.

Level 1 - Make 3/10 in a target zone and try for 4/10, etc. Subtract points for unforced errors.

Keep it interesting but yet just challenging enough to keep going and not be bored.

These tips can apply to any online education platform.
Other MOOC's I would also highly recommend:
Udemy, Khan Academy, Lynda.com

TopCourt offers a hybrid learning model for tennis.
Education + Entertainment = "Edu-tainment".

Watch, Learn, Train, Improve your
Tennis from Home in 2021

Stay safe, enjoy tennis, and learn indoors for $15/month.

Distance Learning - the school's schism of 2020

At colleges and schools all around the world - parents and teachers all understand this simple yet inconvenient truth. It affects all students - rich or poor, young or old, from rural to urban - the new classroom format is at home on the kitchen table...for better or worse, we must grow.

Education is shifting to becoming digital, continuous, and largely video-driven.

Digital content will reinforce more screen-time.
In turn, we must seek more time outdoors to get un-plugged and recharge.
Quality education must now be both engaging and entertaining in TicTock-sized chunks.

In the ocean of digital noise and swipe-left, he who can gather their attention first wins.

We must adapt or risk failing our children's future.
Not one semester, not one year, but one generation.

Seeking the right teachers and offering a patchwork library of content is the key.
Mixing in a digital "spoonful of sugar" is key to help kids unlock learning while locked down.

Customer Acquisition starts with the big stars and names. Retention and interest are maintained with a campus-wide offering of appealing instruction. All-time classics add the mortar to those bricks.

It has worked for Disney+, Netflix, etc - wow them and then keeps them engaged.

Bring them in with Mandalorian and Queen's Gambit.
Intrigue them with awe and diversity with Soul and Tiger King.
Keep them nostalgic for Lion King (live-action) plus Korba Kai season 3.

Advantages of Democratized Education

  1. Learn Anywhere - Social Distance is baked-in. Crowded lecture halls become obsolete.

  2. Dynamic Pacing -  smarter kids can accel at a rapid pace, not held back;
    slower students are not discouraged for not keeping up. Lack of comparison and peer judgment.

  3. Asymmetric Sharing - One Teacher can now deliver personalized 1-on-1 lectures anywhere in the World at any time zone. Sal Khan of Khan Academy: "variable time, fixed outcomes".

  4. Exciting Visuals - Classic topics must be modernized for newer viewers and younger audiences. Fan demand creative camera angles and personalized stories with real characters and emotions.

  5. Scoreboard Challenges and On-Court Games as Tests - Fun, friction-less, and adaptive; knowledge retention should be interwoven and skill-checks sprinkled generously. Public participation and replayability in practice are some keys to success.

  6. Digital Badges and Points: Showering rewards for not just the right answer but also for showing the proper reasoning to arrive at those conclusions.

Tips for Teaching with Tech

  1. Speed control - option to skim through chapters at 1.5x-2x speed in the background, or carefully study and replay the last 30 seconds of the key idea. Bookmark and highlight with time markers.

  2. Build Your Own Replays For clarity of understanding, each student should curate content like an editor. Imagine creating a movie trailer for each lecture of only the most important parts.

    Encourage those sharing eureka moments - like reading a great book, we get something new on the 2nd or even the 4th time. Aim to learn one new thing each day.

  3. Freedom of Choice and Voting Kids now get a very democratized menu for learning. They have so much more free unstructured, spare time outside the "core" curriculum.

    How we fill this "idle time" could determine their future more directly than ever before. Off-court or outside school, alternative education plays a much larger factor today. Giving diverse subjects options is a great way for kids to sample new or unrelated categories that might spark their minds.

  4. Boundless Exploration consumption of videos and memes has more than tripled in the last decade. Seamless transition to the next as we shorten intros and credits to squeeze in the next episode.

  5. Breaking the Self-Inertia to Create Habits - Avoiding lazy idleness. Just Do it.  It's not just a Nike slogan anymore. Building routines around actionable knowledge is key.

    Procrastination is sinfully easy now; parents must be responsible gatekeepers. Learning now takes extra diligence at home to prevent their kids from automatically being lured away by all the other digital media vying for their attention.

Overlap the Practices with Match Play

Practice like you play. I recommend spending 15-20 minutes max per set of drills. It can be repeated after a break or a different drill. Do not simply repeat to a point of exhaustion because your body will not want to repeat it the next day.

The mind must be fresh in order to avoid making sloppy bad habits and one should isolate each step.
The emphasis should be on Deliberate Practice - the pros put in the time during moments of solitude to hone in on very specific aspects whether in the gym, the court, or behind the screen. Outstanding athletes are mentally preparing before they prepare physically for a new challenge.

"Amateurs practice up until they get it right. Professionals keep practicing until they can't get it wrong."

Watch the pros on TopCourt. Each one exercises their craft religiously.

They understand that in order to bring a new pattern into a pro match successfully, they must be able to reliably compete for a living with it on the professional tour.

New tennis exercises need to be run over and over, then combined with old ones. Just like interval and interwoven training, the new is constantly molded with the old. Over enough time, it will blend in with the rest of the routine and workout circuit.

Even a short video gives you a small nugget of knowledge.

The viewer should decide what to watch first, last, or skip altogether.
Not all video clips are created equal. Not all teachers are created equal.

Watch selectively. Practice progressively. Learn passionately.

Mastery requires trial and error

You have to get your hands and feet dirty. You have to get out there on the court and actually create muscle memory in order to put it to use during a match.

Remember these words: "Don't tell me - just show me."

You have to go out to the real world and prove it can be done. It may not need to start on a tennis court. But learning must start with shadowing and rehearsing, or it won't stick.

In all likelihood, with anything challenging, we will not get it the first time.
Most people should go back to review the video (or take it along with you on an iPad or Tablet). Go back and replay it while practicing to get the steps right.

Real development that is lasting requires facing and overcoming adversity.

As a pro tennis instructor, I find it takes several sessions for each lesson to get comfortable for a student. It takes another few to get competent. With continued practice, it may require months to gain true mastery. But it has to be incorporated into your regular cycle of drills.

The two types of reward systems are based on success and that of effort.

The students who seek success tend to go for only the low hanging fruit in order to get praise and rewarded, avoiding embarrassment. 

Those students who are praised for strong effort and work ethic will tend to seek greater and greater challenges despite setbacks. Outside of competition, it is clear which players are in it for the league trophy and then there are those out there on the practice courts in the offseason because they love the game and improving.

There is no finish line.

Performance measurements and skill level cutoffs can also be a detriment to promoting a plateauing effect on young children. If a pass/fail system is always used, there is a tendency to do just well enough and then shut down. Real tennis matches require not only reaching the finish line but crossing it with momentum.

Happy Tennis Retirement with Zen and Flow

Tennis players retire by 29, 39, or 69...

To do so happily starts with finding a sustainable Zen relationship with your spending and saving habits.

How you feel about money determines if it flows into your life like water or slips away like sand.

Normally, I keep topics mainly around Tennis. Today I want to switch gears and talk about the Mindset of Money.

Discovering great Bargains in Life may mean needing to pivot your skills and experience. Perhaps try a more meaningful 2nd career in your next Set. The right gameplan to find your calling - Sasha Cohen: An Olympian's Guide to retiring at 25 (NYTimes)

Too many today are simply grinding it out. From freshly-minted pros, long-time coaches, to the countless fans globally struggling with debt or unemployment. Double-digit negative GDPs around the world is the new norm. Most businesses are deep into stagnant recovery or cryogenic freeze mode. The people who are worst off are in the OR/ER rooms waiting for ventilators - a microcosm of the greater health of this planet.

Readers can get off this endless runway. Escape the cycle of student debts and borrowing for large mortgages and loans - only to imprison yourself in a job you don't like, buy the things you don't need, in order to impress people you really don't care about.

A smart entrepreneur once defined "enough" as:
"You need enough Purpose to be excited about getting up every morning, and enough Money to go to sleep peacefully at night".

With this platform and audience, I hope that I can help reach some of you who are unhappy or struggling during the lockdown. Both tennis professionals and fans alike are affected. Keeping Fit in multiple dimensions: your wallet, your body, but also the health of your mind.

I am going to introduce a very inspiring book and audiobook I found during these difficult times. It is called Happy Money (and you can peek at this short youtube intro). Blogger Financial Samurai also wrote a great article last week about the mindset: How to Feel Rich even if you Can't Get Rich.

Happy Money - the EQ of Money

This life-changing book I want to share is called:
Happy Money, by Ken Honda

A jolly, round face man - Ken's quiet, disarming demeanor may fool some about his real wealth, but he is definitely a guru on the EQ and IQ of money.

Think of him as the Marie Kondo of Money Flow - instead of tidying up your room, Happy Money seeks to help you tidy up your cash and enjoy the way you feel about what you have.

The goal is to make "happy little millionaires" - with the emphasis on happy - not millionaires.

Thank you, money in. Thank you, money out.

It is all about appreciating and using the money to spark and accept positive energy - in and out. Very much a "wax on, wax off" approach for this gratitude cycle. In fact, he suggests viewing money as a form of Energy.

Sure, it will pay bills and buy food - but more importantly, it is our psychology with money that shapes our mood. It has helped me, and hope that it will help you too! (more below)

Son of Immigrants and Refugees

Growing up with struggling parents who came to escape from war-ravaged Vietnam and desperate poverty in South East Asia, the mindset travels with them to find ends meet. It is the son of a refugee that shares this verse now. I grew up poor with struggling parents who had no choice but to create their own business because their English and high school education was not good enough to be hired for any "normal" white-collar job as 1st-gen immigrants. So I only offer my own perspective. There are hundreds of thousands far worse off than me that have perished.

Countless lives and grandparents who had their retirement dreams ahead of them were dashed in the past couple of recessions. Millenniums never got up to speed in the job market, weighed down by student debt, beaten down with poor job options. Some 65+ retirees never lived to see that day when they could travel to their dream vacation they had saved up their entire life.

The Pixar movie, Up, is the memory that pops up in my head of the old man who lived in the little house with his wife to save up for their dream life while the world kept building around him.

You know someone, and maybe it is you, that strives to make it up there to Paradise Falls.

We owe it to those who were lost or left behind in America, to help get their dream to the peak. Maybe with just a few colorful balloons, we do our part.

But I say to those who have dared and dreamed and toiled before you - even one small person has the chance to lift them up. Guide them with support, and we get there together.

Having bucket lists is not enough - dreams are so fleeting if not pursued with passion and urgency.

We struggle and save our whole life to fulfill that promise - to our children, to a better life for family, to justify our pain of past sacrifices for the promise of a new brighter tomorrow: Annie's song.

2020 shows us that all the preparation in the world can sometimes go right out the window. Well-crafted and planned futures. Only to be stolen by this invisible cloud of virality and fear.

So I urge my reader to consider this idea:

The far worse crime is to have never lived - to never have started/grown/shared something new with the World - in a sheltered existence of timidity

We face in the reality of difficult times that:

Life is always uncertain.
The Climb is always daunting
Dangers approach us around the corners.

But each day, we must remind ourselves that we are getting one day closer to the Summit. Challenges become experiences that become Storied Legends to the future generations - we just have to keep one step in front of the other, moving forward and remembering: "this too shall pass".

Origin Story

Tennis-Bargains.com was founded around the last great recession just over a decade ago. Times were tough then too, just as they have been before in this country. With many out of work, the economy in shambles - tennis was on the verge of uncertain collapse or starvation.

I realized that over the last decade, even this one website has helped many. In the past, I measured success by how many thousands of tennis ball cans sold, thousands of hours of tennis instruction shared, and thousands of US Open fan memories made possible every year...but even in this lost year of tennis, I make it count by keeping my true fans happy - that is lasting Wealth.

This very website is evidence that great things can be borne during a pivot year.
Indeed the sport itself endured - yes, even thrived in the darkest hours of the last Great Recession.
We all take a collective deep dive in 2020 holding our breathe underneath dark waters, but America has and will once again resurface stronger.

There is Hope ahead, as there was in 2008-2009.
Out of any period of darkness, you can still find a gem of light

With all that I can do to support folks in saving extra dough and exercise more - I feel it still does not address the larger epidemic that now looms against society today. I write this piece in hopes to address this larger problem of 2020 and hope it brings you (even just one reader) some peace of mind.

The Donut King (2020) is a perfect movie encapsulation of my own Asian-American latchkey kid childhood with constantly working immigrant entrepreneur parents. I believe old-fashion Grit and determination with healthy portions of hard work will still override talent and money in almost any generation. I have found that steadiness and consistency will always win out over risky shots over the long run - in tennis and in life.

The idea of "Having Enough"

With relationships past and present, we seek to build up good connections - ones at the core which are tied to truly kindred spirits. Linked to help each other grow.

It is also about quickly spotting the "transactional" friends - ones that will trade with you and accept money for goods and services. Beware of how they behave when their "free lunch" is over. The nice words and token acts might be a scam to lower your guard.

It is easy to get anyone to ride with you in the Limo, but it is more telling to see who is willing to ride with you on the Bus. I want to credit that quote to Oprah.

In tennis, they are happy to partake in your free drinks, hospitality, and private tennis courts - but they quickly scurry away like cockroaches when the cake is gone and there are signs of trouble on the horizon. There is too much FOMO and living the YOLO lifestyle these days. Hopping from one extravagant event or life-forgetting binge to another. The hedonic treadmill for some doesn't stop until it crashes.

Attraction to shallow intoxication from life in the form of substance addiction. Fortunately, this lifestyle has never appealed to me as an introvert - I guess I am an exception when you look on TV. In fact, the nature of marketing and being in sales online, one would think requires a very extroverted and gregarious personality. Ironically, I do not in fact possess these traits.

Grow Rich (with Peace of Mind), by Napolean Hill, is the variation of the popular title I recommend.

The concept of having "enough" is one that almost everyone I know struggles to identify. We get caught in the excesses of consumerism - trying to buy our way into Happiness. It does work, it doesn't last. We try to get higher-paying salaries to keep up with the Joneses - only to discover higher maintenance costs with our upgraded homes or cars, with bigger toys and possessions.

Right along with our spouses and children, we get spun into this vicious loop. Kids will come home and feel cheated because they didn't get a new cell phone as nice as their friends. Human nature puts us in this mode by default, if we aren't careful, it is a slippery slope down ahead.

Experiences and self-discovery

Lasting, memorable, positive experiences. Possessions and toys have that nice new-car smell, but it fades too quick. Objects by nature break and disintegrate over time. You pay to repair or replace them constantly otherwise you feel huge loss aversion for suddenly being without that gift that gave you the highest high.

Experiences, learning, growing in a new or old path - is the much more sustainable route. I urge travel (when it is safe again) not to simply displace distances and traverse oceans. But instead, seek the culture, the history, the stories.

JCtennis.com - my tennis travel blog
It is what we learn and can convey to the Future World that makes our travel valuable and limitless in the possibility for the next exploration. Seeking the next Summit this way is a journey, not a destination.

You cannot buy your way into Adventure

Owning a new Tesla did not and will not give you a rich life. You simply inherit another shiny box with 4 wheels - now zipping around in a much nicer electric box with bulletproof windows. Similarly, the GoPro does not come with built-in skydiving and scuba-diving. That 4K drone does not automatically transport you to the beautiful sunset or perfect waterfall. You gotta get out there!

Life's precious moments are not included in the price of admission.

Money is just one type of fuel


Get out there and find your heart's true Passion, my friend.


Live for what makes you, not what others want to make of you.

Real Adventure starts once your planning ends.

Stay safe, be happy, live well.

- JC

PS: For more help to start making your retirement map, with some humor and fun -
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
: (Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor)

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