Views from the Court.
This is the time of the year that I dislike the most - OK, it is probably different
depending on where you live and whether you have indoor courts.
In the UK, the weather is just beginning to turn cold, there seems to be more rain
about to disrupt your tennis programme and on top of that, the winter is just a
little bit ahead of you.
I don’t know about other parts of the world but we seem to have a changing pattern on the climate scene;
there is a suggestion that in the south of the UK, the weather will become more sub-tropical and if it means
warmer weather, I will be quite happy. I am amazed at how many people in all walks of life, complain when it
is hot but also complain when it is cold. Well I guess you cannot please everyone.
I am going to mention something now, that normally I would not do, but I do feel I should bring to everyones
attention an internet business that I am now working. They say it is the easiest way to lose friends - when it all
goes to pot - but I am so certain this business can help everyone, I am going to bring it to your notice.
It is difficult enough to make a good living and especially in difficult times as we are facing at the moment - my
numbers of students has gone down due to a lack of money and tennis is a luxury many seem to cut. I am so
pleased with this business I have introduced it to my two children (there was no one more sceptical than them)
and now my son rings me every day to discuss it - he is so excited.
Plus if anyone is interested in joining I will make it my personal job to help them to ensure their success. Take a
look - it may appear complicated but it is as simple and easy - anyone can do it - with my help.
Until next month
Tip for October.
Some Singles Tactics
On baseline rallies.
Your opponent hits a short cross court ball.
You should now hit a ball down the line for a winner The flight time of the ball is far shorter and the distance your opponent
has to travel to get to the ball is too far for them to make a decent play.
You should not be tempted to hit back cross court in an attempt to wrong foot your opponent as this leaves your own court
Your opponent plays your deep cross court shot back cross court.
Take a risk and play the ball short cross court. Your opponent is behind the baseline towards the side and has to anticipate
you might go down the line, therefore they will need to recover back to the middle of the court. Playing a short cross court ball
could possibly wrong foot them.
Your opponent hits a weak shot to your backhand.
Step around the ball and hit a forehand. When you do this your opponent is unsure of your intentions
and the direction of your next shot - down the line or cross court is disguised. Your shot has to be a
good one as you are leaving your own court with open spaces.
Want a smoother more powerful serve.
Envisage a pendulum if you want to improve your serve. The key here is to have a smooth rhythm. If you have a hitch in your
service motion, this will impede the progression of your arm, thus restricting the generation of power.
Think of the pendulum of a large clock which swings effortlessly back and forward; your racquet arm should swing in the
same manner, let it drop from the start of the motion – effortlessly down and through to the height of your shoulder before
carrying on to drop and hit up at the ball. By doing this you will be able to maximise your power.
Tennis Court problems:
I am concerned about approaching the net as each time I do, my opponents hit a low ball, close to the top of the net and I
hit it into the net.
This is a regular problem with club players and because of the problem, they do not approach the net as often as they should.
There are various reasons for this happening and one of the major points I often see on the court is laziness, the player does
not use good footwork and in many instances they drop their racquet head.
A most important point in exacting a good volley is to keep the racquet head above the wrist - there should be an ‘L’ shape
from the forearm to the racquet.
A second factor , and I learnt this from Peter Doohan is to keep the head as close to the racquet head as possible, in other
words - bend those knees and get down to the volley - I have seen Pete Sampras with one knee almost on the court - he is
so low when playing the low volley.
It is also very important to not pop the ball up in the air, so giving your opponents a good opportunity to put the ball away. The
answer is to learn to put some slice on the ball and therefore keeping it as low to the net as is possible.
New Drill for October:
BMAP8505 Recovering from a Lob
To recover to a net position after being moved to a defensive position by a lob.
This can either be a ball machine drill or a fed drill by the pro.
The pro feeds in the ball machine version in any case.
Players A & B start in a volley position in the deuce and ad. courts.
The other players (C & D) in the illustration are outside the court and
shadow the movements of the players on court.
Targets can be set up depending on the skill levels of the players.
A lob is fed just past the service line on both sides of the court.
Players A & B move back to hit an overhead.
The pro will then encourage the players to move quickly to the net to play a volley each.
Players A & B then receive another overhead.
They exit the court and the next two players repeat the sequence.
Coaching Tips: Emphasize depth and placement of the two shots.
SDVY1345 - Criss-Cross Volley Volley
To practice good volley techniques and changing direction of the volley.
Good footwork and keeping on the toes
Players practice in pair and stand in the boxes opposite each other, about
two thirds from the net (closer depending on ability,
The practice entails the volleyers not returning the ball to the side from which
it travelled, i.e if the ball is hit across the body the next hit must be down the line.
The drill can then be made more difficult by the players putting the ball further
away from their opponent.
This can be quite a tough physical workout to greatly improve players technique. The pro should ensure the players do the
correct footwork and moving towards the ball.