The Olympic games has now ended with a spectacular finale and
the competitors have made their way home to their respective
What an event it turned out to be, I would suggest it has been one
of the happiest games ever held. There were many smiling faces
and the 70,000 volunteers went a long way in making this happen.
Spectators came from all around the world and they all made this such a wonderful event,
cheering all competitors with equal loudness and especially those who came in last but
who had put in a demanding amount of effort to finish the courses.
10,000 competitors crowded into the Olympic stadium for the closing ceremony and you
have never seen so many happy and ecstatic people.
We are now following on with the paralympics, they start in a weeks time and this is again
a complete sell-out of tickets, these are amazing people and to rise to the heights they
achieve is truely remarkable; they need even more dedication than the athletes who
strive for the ordinary olympics.
I watched the world tennis competition for wheelchair tennis in Hilton Head and this was
again a great lesson in what is possible and the only advantage they get, is the ball can
bounce twice. Have you tried to move the wheelchairs about, it is very challenging to
begin with. Teaching wheelchair tennis is another form of coaching. I tried to start it at
a new club I joined, but they were not particularly interested - a shame!
And coming up soon, we have the U.S. Open - and I believe it will be quite an open
event this year - their are a number of players now who have the chance to do well.
Tip of the month for September.
Chip the Ball to the feet of the hard server who approaches the net.
The key to being in control of a doubles match, is to control the net. When you face a player who serves
with power and is an aggressive net-rusher, you can find yourself pinned to the baseline.
You could try to match power with power when returning the ball, however, if the server is fast enough to
achieve a volleying position, they get into a good way to pick off your returns at waist height or even
higher, and is likely to win a good percentage of their volleys.
So, how do you counteract this aggressive player! The better way is to occasionally do a cross court
chipped return, using a high to low forward motion in order to impart underspin.
If you chip your return together with the underspin, you will produce a slower paced shot and it will stay
low, making the incoming player take the ball below the height of the net. When forced to hit the ball up
to clear the net, it is not possible for then to hit an aggressive shot.
Remember, when you put your opponent in a situation where they have hit up to you, you are now the
player who is in charge. It is therefore important not to stay back , as you chip the return you should
move to the net to knock off the high ball.
Additionally, if you get the ball down to the server’s feet , your partner should also be aggressive, and to
think about moving in and poaching the server’s first volley. They must however, make certain they do
not move too early, otherwise the volleyer will see this and have an easy pass down the line.
Nevertheless, a chip return is a good method to take control against a powerful server.
Ending The Point.
Use the element of surprise
To try and end all baseline rallies with ground strokes is a mistake. Your opponent with be quite happy
with you for trying this as they will know they have another opportunity even if they have to hit a defensive
They will realise that they will possible still have the chance to hit the ball once more, as you are not
coming into the net.
If you restrict your attack to ground strokes from the baseline, you will need to hit bigger and bigger
shots to end the point; this will afford you the opportunity to make too many errors – by over hitting.
The far better option is to add variety and the element of surprise.
What are your options? Interspersing the bigger ground stroke shot with slice, chip shots and drop
shots. Use variety of shot to surprise your opponent and create some doubt in their mind and even
sneak into the net occasionally when you have the short ball or have hit an extremely good forcing
ground stroke. Mix it up and use different shots in your strategy. Keep the opponents guessing?
Tennis Court Problems
Do you pull the ball cross-court when you want to hit it straight?
You do need to be able to hit the ball straight so that you can direct it to your opponent’s weaker side
or to an open part of the court – you also need to be able to hit to the necessary depth, whether .that
is short or deep.
One of the reasons for this happening is that you tend to roll the racquet over within the hitting zone and
this make you pull the across your body, instead of to your required target.
Another possible factor is due to your turning your shoulder before you actually strike the ball; this
generates a force away from your target area and makes it almost impossible to adjust the racquet face
during the hitting of the ball.
Your elbow may be too close to your body as you swing to hit the ball, this forces you to swing with a
rolling forearm motion rather than letting the arm travel freely to the target.
So what is the answer?
The first adjustment to make is to swing out away from your body on a low to high path so that your
racquet can stay in line with intended target.
A good practice is to stand facing the centre line with both toes parallel to the line, then from the back
swing to the follow through try to keep the racquet on the other side of the line to which you are standing.
You can also practice with your back to a fence and swing your racquet without it touching the fence on
either the take back or the follow through
In order that your shoulders don’t turn to quickly, make certain your non hitting arm and hand are in line
with your racquet and bring them both round together.
New Drill for September.
GAAR9248 - Everlasting Wipe-Out
Fun game giving players a choice of action and controlling
Players are divided into two equal teams and they position
themselves anywhere in their half of the court.
The pro feeds from the side of the court and placement
depends on the situation with any particular team. I.e the
less number of players could receive the feed as it may
The pro feeds a ball and the rally is played out.
The person making a mistake leaves the court and on the next
point if the opposite team makes a mistake, that player goes off.
On the next point where one of the opposite side goes off, from
that position - every time the player who hits the ball to a player
who makes a mistake, the hitter can decide whether that players
leaves the court or they can decide to get one of their own players
The team that manages to get all opponents off the court wins.
SDGS1310 Footwork attacking the ball
Using & practicing good footwork when attacking a short ball
The Pro is just behind the service line opposite the player.
The player starts on the baseline slightly to the right of the
The pro feeds a short ball in the centre of the court.
The player runs forward, sets up his/her footwork movement
and hits the ball for a winner, either cross court to either side,
and then continues towards the net.
1/. The player should be encouraged not to stop in such a way that they have to restart to
2/. Equally, they should be taught not to just run through the ball as they will become
3/. The player should learn to step forward at the point of hitting, so that their body weight
goes into the ball.
4/. They should not be crushing the ball, as that also creates errors.