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Preparing for Tennis Tournaments

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Depending on whether you play tennis just fun, or whether you are very competitive, you may consider entering a tournament at some stage. Tournaments can be a great way to meet new people and gauge your standard against other tennis players.

Here are a few guidelines to help you prepare for a tournament that should help you be more successful.

Fitness Level

First of all, take into account your overall fitness level before you decide how many events (singles/doubles/mixed doubles) to enter.

Usually, tournaments are held over an extended weekend period and if you enter more than one event, you could find yourself playing back to back matches. If you are fit and prepared, then this is OK but don’t try back to back matches over several days when you are only an occasional player and not very fit.

You will probably end up injuring yourself. To give yourself the best chance of success, try increasing your work-outs and tennis matches several weeks before the event to build up your stamina, endurance and fitness level.

In your workouts, a good idea would be to incorporate many of the tennis specific exercises in the “Complete Conditioning for Tennis” book by E. Paul Roetert and Todd S. Ellenbecker.

In your tennis matches and practice sessions, make sure you include players with lots of different styles such as back-boarders and left-handers so that you are not surprised if you encounter this situation in the tournament.

Make sure that you are doing regular stretches each day (see dynamic and static stretching article). As you get closer to the to the tournament (within a week), you can gradually decrease the amount of exercise to avoid the risk of strains and injuries, but still, maintain a moderate amount of tennis practice sessions so that your timing and footwork remain good.

Check Your Tennis Racquet

Checking your equipment such as your tennis racquet is also a vital part before a tournament. Inspect any damages like cracks and scratches. Whether you are using a beginner’s racquet or an advanced racquet, this step is very important. Plug: Don’t have any racquets yet? Check this beginner’s guide on how to choose your tennis racquet.

Eat Healthy Foods

During the last week before the event, start reducing the amount of fat and increasing the amount of carbohydrate (oat-meal, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice) in your diet. You should aim to obtain about 60-70% of your total calorie intake from carbs during the last few days.

This is to increase your ‘glycogen’ store which your muscles use to convert to energy to work effectively (more about this in an upcoming article). Eating a few bananas a day about 2-3 days before the event is also good to increase your potassium levels.

This is important because potassium can be lost from the body when you sweat during a tennis match and excessive losses (together with other electrolytes such as sodium) may lead to muscle cramping. Try also to drink as much water as possible to fully hydrate yourself.

Get A Good Sleep at Night & No Alcohol

In this last week, you also want to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and you should avoid any alcohol in the last 3 days because alcohol can lead to dehydration of the body. Remember, you can always party after the tournament!

On the night before the tournament, you can eat a pasta meal to stock up on your carbohydrate levels and in the morning, you can have a breakfast such as oatmeal (also a good source of carbs) with skimmed milk.

Try to avoid eating anything 2-3 hours before the match so that your stomach does not contain partially digested food. In the soon to be Part 2 of this article, I will cover the items you should take with you to the tournament.

What are the things that help me improved my tennis game?

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I know a lot of beginners like me are having a hard time playing the wonderful sport of tennis. Of course, as a newbie, you can’t expect to hit all the shots and to have good techniques early on. I got frustrated a lot when I almost can’t hit a single shot.

There are also tons of equipment that you need to buy and demo before you join a practice match. The information on the internet can overwhelm beginners and they might have an analysis paralysis in the end.

That is why I created this article to help newbies to have an easier time finding what’s the best racquet to choose, books to read, etc. So, without further ado, I will list my top tips on how to improve on tennis.

1. Tennis Racquet! First on the list is your choice of racquet. Generally speaking, you may want to choose a not so expensive racquet because you may want to change it later on as you grow. For me, I opt to chose the Head Ti.S6 racquet. I believed it is the best tennis racquet for beginners today. It is lightweight, has a large head size and it has tons of power. Plus, it is very affordable.

2. Books! Reading books are a great way to learn techniques and the basics of the sport. When I started out, I read a bunch of useless books that has hundreds of pages of fluff content. Today I am only reading 3 books that will surely help you improve. My personal favorite is the “Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance.

It’s a truly classic book that talks about the mental aspect of the game and how can you apply them not just on tennis but also on your everyday life.

3. Videos! Like books, watching videos to learn are fantastic way to improve your skills. One of my favorite Youtube channels to watch is the Tennis Channel Academy. They have lots of tutorials from basic to advanced techniques. Search them on Youtube and I am sure that you will love them too.

4. Practice Of course, you will not learn all those things you read and watched if you don’t take action. Practice is the most essential part of improving your skills. Racquets can help you but doing action and improving your technique is the most important part of all.

You can practice all by yourself by hitting the wall. You can also practice with your friends or families (much better!) or you can by a tennis ball machine (expensive as hell!). Practicing everyday even if for just half an hour is much better than practicing once or twice a week for hours. But if you can do both, you will learn quickly.

You may also hire a tennis coach or join a club if you are really serious about playing and if you have the budget for them.

5. Confidence and mental toughness! Once you’ve been able to hit most of your shots and gained more experience, they can build your confidence. Maybe you now have a stronger serve, able to control the ball and have much better hand-eye coordination. All these things will boost your confidence and you will definitely be a better tennis player.

Another important aspect is the mental toughness! This is specially true among those players who are competing. You should build your mental toughness because it can greatly help you succeed. There are lots of books and guides on how to build mental toughness but as I’ve said earlier, the Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance book greatly helped me achieved it.

Overall, playing tennis is not easy but it is very rewarding. It will challenge you physically, emotionally and mentally. But these are the things that will shape you. And lastly, practice is the key to find what type of player you are.

My Algebra 2 Help Tool – A Closer Look

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Hello there fellow student!I have been using Wiz kid’s algebra 2 help study tool for some time now and I am proud to say that it has been very effective for me as I have been a very productive student, especially with trigonometry since my exposure to the algebra online guide.

With the trigonometry help tips, algebra 2  help practice drills and useful math techniques I am now capable of easily solving algebra equations be it simple or hard.

My algebra homework issues are now a thing of the past as I can do them on my own, relying little on my occasional math tutors through the aid of algebra 2 help tools.

I am happy to say that I am indeed changed as both a student and person as a whole with the help of this resourceful algebra 2 help tool! But don’t get me wrong, I am not in this for the money as I don’t get any compensation from this.

I am just a happy customer who wants to share with you his/her (pls choose sir, depends on the client’s gender/status) experiences with the algebra 2 help books as I will be discussing further the pros and cons of this said item.

“WOW” POINTS: As with any other products, this algebra 2 help tool shares in enough good points that will surely convert you into a believer.

Here are some of the wonderful features that you can take hold of in this package:

–  Mr. Joe Pagano is an expert in this field, as he’s an award-winning math teacher. Every part of his work in this valuable algebra 2 help tool is delivered with great reverence to quality and unparalleled mentoring methods that specifically focuses on trigonometry help tips and algebra 2 lessons.

–  This eBook is comprehensive because it contains almost all of the algebra 2 lessons which we often complain about as being difficult to digest and learn.

– These particular trigonometry-related problems are addressed in this eBook and it is shown here how we can easily solve and work around these types of algebra equations with simplistic tips and methods.

– This product is an eBook that we can easily load and access through the laptop or computer with much ease.

– With it being packaged as an algebra online tool, you and your parents can:

  • Save more money as there’s no shipping and taxes
  • Read the test easily as you can enlarge or reduce the fonts with just a click of a button
  • Print specific or exact pages which you only need
  • Search is effortlessly with the help of a search tool
  • Read anywhere as long as you bring your laptop that is equipped with adobe reader software

Finally, the secrets contained in this trigonometry help eBook are indisputably true as a great number of customers can vouch for its effectiveness. You can simply refund what you’ve paid if you’re not satisfied so there are no gimmicks and no risks involved whatsoever.

“MEH” POINTS: Although this algebra 2 help guide features a great number of advantages I have one minor gripe with it. This is mainly because of this:

– As a student, if you don’t believe in the simple act of learning and studying, this is clearly not for you. If you despise the idea of reading, studying and doing some algebra practice problem.

– Solving drills then this will be useless for you because this product entails you to have that zest and initiative to work and study. This is not an easy method that you can miraculously make use of when you do not take algebra 2 help tools seriously.

A Good Algebra 2 Help Tool My Final Thoughts: This is by far one of the most useful algebra 2 help tool that I have used for the time being. This is undeniably a great way to end those miserable frustrations with some algebra 2 lessons as this is the perfect algebra online guide on how to effectively approach and solve those equally complicated equations and problems.

With the trigonometry help hints and tips that this guide offers it is not too late for you to get the grades you are aiming for. There may be some cons with this method but that is how things roll in this world of ours that’s why we need to weigh things and know what it is needed for us to work on.

Definitely this is the best algebra 2 help tool out there as it is the complete economical package, and I greatly recommend that you don’t hesitate to get this.

The Best Tennis Ball Machine To Buy in 2018

Posted in Guides

There are many different companies now offering tennis players from the novice to the professional, ball machines to practice with. Some of them are new to the game and some of them have experience and loyalty as a brand, Lobster Sports and Master Sports are in the latter category.

For over 15 years now these companies has made some of the highest quality and most reliable tennis ball machines you can find and they have earned a reputation for offering durable, high quality, and high performance tennis ball machines, in a wide range of models.

These models can be portable ones for around the back yard, or out at the park, or more commercial machines for people running businesses where someone would need to practice or test out tennis equipment. No matter what kind of model you are looking for, Lobster Sports & Master Sports certainly offers one that will meet your goals and the performance and durability of their tennis ball machines are unmatched.

The Use of Tennis Ball Machines

Why do you need a tennis ball machine? The answer is really simple. Tennis ball machines can be a perfect partner. They don’t complain, they don’t distract you and you can bring them everywhere. This equipment can be expensive at first, but rest assure that it is a worthy investment.

Practicing with them is easy and it can really improve your game. Enjoy the Enjoyment, our partner has a great guide for selecting the best machines for you. They also have a nice article about tennis racquets for starters. You can read the full article here.

The many models available are listed below along with their various specifics.

The iSam


iSam offers various ball speeds between 15 and 60 miles per hour, as well as an elevation from anywhere to ground stroke and lob. It oscillates, and runs for 2-3 hours. Itís also a portable and easy to use model, great for beginning to average tennis players.

The SAM P1


The SAM P1 is a step up, having speeds that can range all the way up to 75 miles per hour. The firing rate is 2-7 seconds like many other models and its battery life is also 2-3 hours. It is suggested for intermediate tennis players.

The SAM P4


The SAM P4 offers the same quality and reliability of the SAM P1. It is heavier than the iSam and suggested for intermediate to advanced level players. It is one step above the SAM P1 and offers oscillation options for you to set to your preference.

The SAM Sport


The SAM Sport is designed more for tennis clubs, or court usage in mind. It can hold up to 250 balls and requires an AC power plug. It fires between 1.5 and 8 second intervals and oscillates at your preference.The SAM CoachThe SAM coach is the same as the SAM sport. 6 shot programmable oscillators allow you to change the settings to work for even the more advanced tennis player.

The SAM Robot


The SAM Robot is one of most advanced tennis coach machine yet. It offers you settings for eight different skill levels, elevates to over 8 feet for realistic firing rates and has tennis drills built right into it. There is a database of over 10,000 different types of shots, and many other settings that you can tweak to make it shoot just the way you want it to.

Lobster Sports Elite Liberty Tennis Ball Machine


The Elite Liberty is a portable and lightweight tennis ball machine. It can hold up to 150 balls and with random oscillation. Its ball speed is 20-80 mph. Thanks to its large wheels, you can carry and bring your Elite Liberty anywhere with ease.

Lobster Sports Elite 2


It is a 44-pound machine that is also easy to transport and bring anywhere you want. It is much advance than the Elite Liberty. It fires between 2 to 10 secs. It has random horizontal and vertical oscillation. The machine is good for both beginners and advanced tennis players.


Master Sports is one of the most well regarded companies offering tennis coach ball machines out there, and each machine is proudly made in the United States. Since 1995 it has been one of the choice developers of these machines and has managed to keep all of its operations under one roof. With such managerial control over the production of these machines you can really trust the level of quality that youíll be getting. If you are in the market for a tennis ball machine, then Master Sports is the company for you.

Discovery Invest Leadership Summit – What an experience!

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Guest blogger and Discovery Invest Leadership Summit attendee Lisa De la Hunt shares some insightful feedback about her experience at this year’s Summit.

As a rookie delegate to The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit, the day provided a roller-coaster ride of mixed emotions. There was the doom and gloom analysis of developed world economies by Nouriel Roubini and Al Gore’s chilling summation of the catastrophic effects of global warming on the environment.

This was balanced by messages of hope and inspiration from other speakers. I vacillated between fear and faith!I was left in no doubt about the immense challenges the world faces today.

But more importantly there were some approaches and strategies put forward that could provide a lifeboat for us to weather the growing storms. Each speaker added a different and intriguing piece to a complicated puzzle.

South Africa, along with other African and Asian countries, is an emerging  economy and has been somewhat shielded from the direct fallout in the developed economies.

Maria Ramos painted an optimistic picture of a continent, with vast untapped resources and potential, which needs to seize the opportunities for growth that lie before it.In a brilliant address, Ricardo Semler made it clear that marginal change just could not deal with a world that is in a rapid state of flux.

Traditional thinking and ways of doing business need to radically transform in order to move forward. Dan Ariely showed us how little we understand our own preferences and stimulated us to think about our decisions around business issues in a different way.

Increased awareness of the key factors that have led to global economic pressures as well as the internal, psychological processes that affect our behavior as individuals and companies, may lead us to correct and decisive actions.

Chris Anderson, the editor of “Wired” magazine revealed technological advances and innovations growing at an exponential rate which are a testimony to what we as humans can achieve.

Taddy Blecher gave us compelling examples of people in our country who have triumphed over great adversity when just given an opportunity. He also presented a case for a paradigm shift in our traditional approaches to particularly, tertiary education.

Education was presented as the key to tackling the extreme poverty and high unemployment threatening our growth as a country and a continent.

Graca Machel emphasized the need for Africans to find their own identity and values, and unite together for sustained growth. Delegates were left with a sense of urgency and the need for courageous action, not only from the politicians who shape the policies which can transform our economies, but also from companies and individuals who can choose to do things another way.

Al Gore closed with an impassioned plea for every person to contribute towards a green economy, leaving no doubt as to the interdependence of the environment and the economy. By the end of the day I left encouraged that under such guidance and leadership as demonstrated by these outstanding leaders in their fields we can, as a country and businesses, not only survive but flourish.

If we learn the lessons of history and commit to change, there is hope for better days ahead.

What to Expect During Pregnancy Week 33 – Pregnancy Info For Mothers To Be

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pregnancyPregnancy week number 33, you will notice that your baby weighs about 4.2 pounds and is about 17.2 inches in length. During this week your baby will be putting on the pounds as well as the rest of your pregnancy. This week your amniotic fluid is at the highest level of your pregnancy.

Your baby’s brain in increasing is size dramatically while its skin is changing to a pink tone since the fat begins to accumulate under the skin. This week your uterus is just over 5 inches from your navel. Generally the weight gain is about 28 pounds while some women have gained more at this time.

This is the time during your pregnancy that you will gain weight faster due to the fast growth of your baby. Babies generally gain up to 9 ounces from this week until born. You are most likely getting excited about the upcoming birth. Before you get too excited, check with your doctor if you can pre-register at the hospital to speed up the process when you go into labor.

The last thing on your mind when in labor is all the paperwork needed for admittance so take the time to preregister.You may be experiencing swelling or edema at this point. When you live in warmer climate this is more noticeable. The heat tends to make this situation worse than the cooler weather or climate. It has been reported that resting on your left side will help with the swelling.

Getting a peaceful sleep at night is a must for a pregnant mother. I suggest using a comfortable, cool and only the best pregnancy pillow. It will greatly improve your sleep.

You may also experience numbness, pain, or tingling in your fingers or wrists. It is common for the areas to swell something like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The two conditions do have similarities since Carpal Tunnel is the bony structure located in the wrist. As the tissues around the wrist swell, the nerve begins to tingle as they are pinched.

If you work in a job that requires typing or computer work, ask your employer for a wrist brace to help reduce the swelling and aching. Take frequent breaks to reduce the pain, aches, and swelling as well. As you get closer to the time of delivery, you may be thinking about the delivery. Your doctor will have information on this issue as well as the birthing classes you might be attending.

The labor phase is very distinctive. Healthcare providers divide labor into three stages or into four phases that include the “early stages” of delivery. Early labor is the first stage when the cervix slowly begins dilating and effacing.

labor pain

Some women do not realize they are in labor at this point even with regular contractions. Some women assume this phase is only Braxton Hicks or false labor. The phase starts when the contractions are in regular intervals. Most contractions will start every 10 – 15 minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds.

During the early phase, you might notice a “bloody show”, which is the mucous discharge that has blood (a small amount) in it. The purpose of the mucous plug is to seal and protect the cervix during pregnancy against infections and foreign substances. For some women, the loss of the mucous plug is a sign of labor. Although this may not be the fact, since some women have lost the plug weeks prior to delivery. Phase two is active labor. This is when your body prepares to deliver your baby.

The contractions will be harder, more frequent, and last longer. The regular contractions will last at least one minute and occur every five minutes for at least one hour. By phase two, you should be in the hospital or on your way there. Phase three or transition occurs after you have been in labor awhile. This phase has contractions occurring every two or three minutes. The cervix will fully dilate up to 10 centimeters. This is generally the most painful time of labor and delivery.

As the cervix is fully dilated, your baby will descend through the pelvis allowing you to push the joyful bundle out to the world. As the baby’s head is visible, called crowning, the doctor will instruct you how to finish the delivery.Phase four is after the baby is born and uterus is still contracting to remove the placenta from the uterus walls. Mild contractions will push this free from your body and allow you to be ready to see your new baby.

When The School System Doesn’t Give You All You Need

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Thanks for this wonderful post, Jennifer Conant. She’s a passionate mathematician.

Read her article below:

Hi, my name is Jennifer Conant. I’m a junior currently attending the University of Redlands pursuing a major in Physics and minor in Math. Go Bulldogs! That’s Right – I Love Math! That’s why I started doing a website about it. As an early math student, I survived the public school system in San Diego County. I’d like to share with you a little bit about myself, and my struggles, and how I ultimately managed to succeed in the public school system.

I was the girl that was used by the teacher and placed strategically in the classroom to help those around me that struggled with a lesson or an exercise. The teacher knew that I “got it” and that I was friendly and helpful to the other students. You see it happened all the time that students had been placed in a completely wrong math class without the necessary pre-requisites or foundational understanding to keep up with the class.

So in the interest of making sure I got the material mastered in the class I took it upon myself to help them so the teacher could continue teaching the rest of the class and stay on pace. I had an interest in their success as well as my own.

I’ve had teachers from all different kinds of backgrounds. I’ve had ones that insist math is fun and it can be taught with silly little games and stories. Then there’s the ones that run their classrooms like mini boot camps. The one thing that seems pretty consistent through the various types of teaching styles is that almost all of the teachers attempt to make themselves available to the students outside of regular class time.


Now, I’ll admit it’s never fun to sit through an entire class lecture and not know what’s going on. It’s even harder to wait after class and tell your teacher you’re struggling. They always made me feel like it was my fault for needing help. It Wasn’t My Fault – I Just Needed Some Help! When I started to take some of the harder math classes in high school, I dreaded having these conversations with my teachers.

I always felt like I was being a burden to them. As soon as I made it clear I was having trouble, I was asked if I was doing my homework? I was. Was I going over corrections from class? I was. Was I networking with other students? Always. They said, “Maybe you need to listen better in class.” That wasn’t it either. For some reason, it was always a negative reflection on my study habits when I asked for help. It wasn’t ever the teaching or the material.

That’s not a very comfortable situation for learning. Just Telling Me Same Thing Again! Didn’t Help Me Understand. Even after the need for additional help was established, and I met with my teacher one on one, sometimes they wouldn’t say anything different than I had heard in class. Well, that never helped me.

I could hear what they were saying the entire time I was in class, but that didn’t mean I understood it the second time around just because it was one on one. I needed someone that knew the material and would present it to me differently. I needed someone that would listen to my thinking process and work with me to find the point of confusion and correct it so I could master the material and continue to do so without being left  behind.

My senior year of high school was by far the hardest year in math. I was enrolled in AP Calculus with a teacher that had an attendance policy that had no mercy with medical absences. I got sick with a bad case of mononucleosis immediately following our winter break. No I wasn’t kissing anybody. Anyway, I missed the first few weeks back to school. I had my school work brought to me from a friend in the class, but I missed the daily lectures.

All I had was the textbook. I tried my hardest to keep up and teach myself, but as you can probably imagine, calculus isn’t the easiest thing to teach yourself. After returning back from those absences, I had a bizarre case of recurring pink eye throughout the spring.

I later found out that two other students that shared my desk had it too. I wiped the whole thing down with isopropyl alcohol and magically no more pink eye! Naturally, you can not attend a public school with pink eye because of how contagious it is. My teacher had had enough of my medical excuses and didn’t care. My grade was in jeopardy.

What I Needed Was Another Source To Learn The Material

teacherhelp3I immediately started to seek other outside resources. My mom and I bought AP Calculus study guides, I contacted my older math friends, and I talked to other math teachers. Ironically, I was concurrently enrolled in AP Physics and was getting assignments delivered to me since I was at home sick. But in physics, my teacher was sending me additional handouts, lecture notes, supplements to my textbook, and questions that were asked in class with responses.

This was more than enough to keep me on track. With multiple teaching sources covering the same material – I go it down. I wondered if maybe there was a way my physics teacher could give me the same help with AP Calc. He was the best he gave me audio lectures, old text-books, website links, tutorials online, videos, pamphlets. It was exactly what I needed to pass. I ended up getting a C- both semesters in calculus. The grade didn’t reflect my mastering of the material.

When the AP scores came back, I had earned a 5. I had gotten the highest score possible. There is nothing higher than a 5. That score of 5 guaranteed my calculus class would be honored by whatever university I decided to attend. I had learned the material. I hadn’t crammed for the tests, or finished all the problems that were assigned, and I hadn’t been in class every day, but the material was presented to me in so many different ways that I had completely mastered it.

You see I like what I do in school and in my life. I might be able to help your student. I know what it takes to succeed in today’s classroom. I love to help my fellow students and watch the light go when they say, “Now I get it.” I’ve helped many of my friends see the light. Heck, I even tutor my little sister. She still calls me up and says, “sissy can you help with some math, I don’t get how to…” Let me be clear about who I will, and will not, work with.

The students that I choose to tutor must have a goal of higher education. I mean they have to want to succeed. I want to help students just like me that have the desire to learn and develop their skills to excel at a future profession. I don’t work with kids that have no desire to do well. It’s because I value my time and will only have time to work with a handful of students at a time. I still have my Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Physics homework to do you know.

Sneak Peek Of Prom Dresses

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Thе gowns іn 2016 wіll еіthеr bе laced οr feathered. Thаt іѕ fοr thе reason thаt designers wουld lіkе tο hаνе volume fοr thеіr designs fοr thе advantage οf thеіr clients concurrently. Gradient colored outfits аѕ well аѕ tie dyedones аrе included іn thе nеw catalogue tοο. An uneven hemline design along wіth a low сυt style аrе whаt уου ѕhουld look fοr іn a dress іf уου hаνе issues іn selecting between two kinds οf outfits.

Simply complement thіѕ clothing item wіth cute pumps аnd уου’re аll set tο rock уουr prom night away. Jυѕt mаkе sure thаt уου’re completely hарру аnd relaxed using thе prom dress thаt уου hаνе picked out. Likewise, become a more fearless buyer. In thаt way, уου wіll bе prepared fοr thе wide range οf excitement іn stored fοr уου personally іn thе prom dresses 2013.

Half-Life: Counter-Strike in 2016

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Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist Which do you prefer? Personally, I’m a CT at heart. Both sides are evened out fairly well in terms of firearms, but there are certain maps in which I believe there is a definite advantage to a particular side (for example: cs_747 favors the CT side slightly more than the Terrorist faction, while de_prodigy is the opposite). But most maps are designed where it’s really anybody’s game (example: de_dust).
I highly encourage everyone to test out each side on different maps and see for yourself. In either case, you play to have fun not to “save the world” (this is a good thing because if you’d seen some of the stupid manuevers I’ve pulled off your confidence in all Counter-Terrorist actions would immediately drop).

Scenario Objectives

Either side has its own mission to complete. In a “cs” map, CT’s are to rescue the hostages, while the Terrorists are to prevent this from happening. For a “de” map, the Terrorists are to reach one of the two bomb sites, plant the C-4, and make sure that the CT’s don’t carry out their objective– defuse the bomb (Photo to right: my brother defusing a bomb). On the “as” maps, the CT’s are to protect the VIP and the Terrorist are to assassinate the VIP. You get the idea.
Of course, as you play, you’ll notice that these objectives are not always completed (actually, in my experience this is the case in 90% of the rounds I’ve played in). Instead, an alternative strategy is used: Kill everyone else. It’s quite effective, but not an easy task. The key, unlike in a Deathmatch round, is to work as a team– because if you don’t… they will. Move into a new area in groups, scanning all fronts from which the enemy could attack from.

Alternate reload times (this sounds nearly impossible in a open area brawl, but in certain situations it can be practiced and eventually mastered). Teamwork is everything! Don’t go out there and try to be a hero because you’ll only end up being a grease spot as well as someone else’s frag.


Mapping Things Out

Another part of Counter-Strike that may seem difficult is the fact that you are not familiar with the maps. A good way to overcome this problem is to observe the maps on which you want to play. Better yet– watch others play on the maps (this can be done when you’re dead or a number of other ways). By doing this you should be able to get a good idea of some of either side’s stronger and weaker positions, such as the sniper lofts in de_cbble, or the bridge in cs_italy.
You must remember your role in the game– consider mapping things out as part of your briefing because, Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist, before they set off to complete their mission objectives they are briefed in detail. No one’s going to stop and show you around in the middle of a game, so it’s up to you to learn on your own. Not to forget that the fact that you might not know where you are, doesn’t effect the fact that everyone else does– Ignorance is death.

Staying Alive

At first, it might seem impossible to end up as one of the few (if not the only one) living at the end of a Counter-Strike round. Of course, things like that take practice. How can this be done effectively? If you’re a beginner and you jump onto some server with a bunch of guys who’ve been playing since its release — it probably won’t help you much to improve your play.
One way I’ve found that is very effective is the play with bots. CS bots are great for improving your abilities. You can set them at one of the 4 difficulties to suit your own skill level (I highly recommend practicing with a couple bots of higher skill level for a challenge and general improvement).

The bots are pretty intelligent and will take advatage of the AI capabilites from the original Half-Life in order to retreat, regroup, snipe, and hide from sight. And it’s not just like putting in enemies for deathmatch-like purposes– they actually do set the bomb and try to rescue hostages. Johnny and I play with Realbot (click to download the file– nomally, I would rather give you a link, but it seems that the new bots are not as good as in this version) from

I have to admit that I am a much better player than I used to be before practicing with the bots. The bots are NOT perfect, which makes them more realistic since not every shot fired in a CS round is a direct hit (even though it might seem like it at times). How do they do that? The bots follow what are called way-points, which is a path-like grid system, in order to move in the map as a real CS player might move.

Of course, their moves can become predictable, but the programmers did a good job because it’s been really hard for me to notice. Basically, the rules for staying alive are just like any other first person shooter, so I’ll be brief: PRACTICE, duck back from oncoming fire and reload, be quiet. The final rule I have for myself is to try to not be the first man out there in a “big” round– while the first man on each side has a higher chance of getting more kills, he also has the highest risk of being killed (especially if your team decides to take another route that doesn’t directly cover your position).

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