News from the Editor
"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand"
The summer season is upon us and everyone should have started
their league and other matches.
I had a very interesting email from Jeff Salzenstein this week where
he said that the difference between winning 7-6, 6-4 and losing 7-6,
6-4 is only a matter of between 1 - 5 points and said that if you want
to win more matches, then you have to work out how to win
those extra points.
When you have all of your stroke techniques done and dusted (althougth that again is a mute
point) then the battle becomes 70% mental. That is often where the problem lies. From a
coaches point of view, it is absolutely imperative that mental aspects feature in your
coaching at as eary a stage as possible. Your students will thank you in the long run.
Some people are mentally strong as part of their make-up, but this often stems from their
background and their upbringing. Unfortunately, if you do not start your students off along
the correct path, I'm afraid some of them will never become mentally strong and in tennis
specifically, they will go through their tennis carrer, with many loses. Tennis, as we all
know is a game where there is only one winner every match and if a player does not learn
from those losses, they are not going to make the grade.
As a player, I always loved the challenge of fighting from a position of being behind in a
set; if the score was 3-4 it made me play even better to pull the game around.
My teams are playing their early matches in the leagues and some are not quite as fit as I
would wish. In a match last week one of these players was well behind in the set and asked
me if they should conserve their energy and let the set go, in order to concentrate on the
next set. It was an emphatic NO! this was probably the worse thing to do, it is important
to fight every point to try and turn the match round - you might well start by falling
behind in the next set also.
Can you imagine Nadal not fighting for every point? which brings us to the French Open,
which will probably be on it's way by the time you read this. My bet is that Nidal with
have a better than average chance of winning the singles once more. Of course anything can
happen in sport but he is the undisputed king of clay. Members will probably think that I am biased
Towards Nadal, and they would be absolutely right - I think he is an incredible role model in every
Until next month
Tips of the Month for June
The difference between winning and losing
The difference between winning 7 - 6 6 - 4 or losing 7 - 6 6 - 4 is only a matter of a few points; therefore in order to
Win more matches we have to just focus on getting more points in each game we play. Vic Braden once said, that in
order to beat our opponent we just need to win one more point than they do. Whilst it is not quite as simple as that -
it is the gist of what we must endeavour to do
With a winning mindset we have the possibility of improving our tennis and moving up to the next level. So if you feel l
ike it might be an insurmountable uphill battle to break through to the next level, always remember you just need to get
a few points better in each match you play.
Thinking this way, makes your approach to improving your tennis that much more manageable.
What you must realise more is that it is your MIND and how he thinks on the court that puts you in position to play
your best tennis.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE SHORT BALL!
This is one option when getting a short ball during the game.
If you are going to be a winning player you must be able to take advantage of any short or attackable shot arriving from
their opponent. This means being able to anticipate these shots, seeing them early enough and run around the backhand
to hit aggresive shots. This should be followed immediately by closing to the net when the opportunity presents itself.
The player must recognise how they need to move the opponent about the court to open it up, and finally delivering the
winning shot.There will often be a weak reply to the first aggressive shot and the volley should be put away to the open
COMMON PROBLEMS ON THE TENNIS COURT.
Slightly different tack this month:
How can you get those extra ponts I have mentioned above?
1/. This is the most powerful concept on the tennis court - ‘visualization’
visualize where you want the ball to go and how you want to finish every stroke. You
must focus on the right things.
2/. Give yourself more time! On the 1st serve return for example move back off the baseline
to give yourself more time to come over your forehand - try also to improve your shot
3/. Learn how to use the Buggy Whip - this is basically the reverse forehand but with much
more topspin - as used a lot by Nadal, but I do not teach players to hit quite as Nadal does,
his shot is unique.
Drill of the month
SDGS1233 Just Keep Moving – Fast Feet
To get players to be on their toes all of the time – plenty of
There are two players on the baseline and two feeders at
the opposite end of the court, also on the baseline or if they
wish – on the service line.
The feeders take it in turn to feed a ball.
The players must be on their toes the whole time and they take alternate hits in a rally
with the feeder.
After using a basket of balls, the players change ends.
If there are 6 players on the court, two of them can be collecting balls; in this case
the session is timed and all the players move round so that everyone has the same
amount of hitting..
SDSV1401 Serve & Run
Practice accuracy of serve under presure.
Four players per court.
All serving from the same end.
Basket of balls.
Players serve randomly into the correct service box.
If a serve is missed by a player, that player has to run round the outside of that court.
Whilst a player is running, the rest of the servers count between them, the number of serves
they get in.
They have to serve 10 balls into the correct service boxes and if they do this before the player
That player has to run again.
With good players, it might be necessary to increase the number.
However, the pro will decide this:- if whilst that player is running another player missed a serve.
The counting restarts.