September, 2015 |

Archive for September, 2015

Easy Tennis Cures

Easy Tennis Cures

Last article was one of few words and many pictures, this one is all words because I’m going to give you some incorrect short cuts to keep a point going when in some particular difficult situations and I obviously do not have pictures of bad strokes. Let’s go over some common problems that pop up on us now and then. These cures are not text book correct, but you will stay in the point longer.

We have all found ourselves in the middle of a forehand stroke and realize we are too close to the ball. Think about it, where does your shot generally end up? I’ll tell you, it generally goes long. When the ball is too close to the body you must pull your arm in so the head of the racquet can make contact with the ball. That movement causes the face of the racquet to open, or face up, and will result in an out ball. If you find yourself at the start of your forward motion on the swing noticing that the ball is to close you must close your hand to help straighten the racquet face, then, take some pace out of the stroke because all you want to do is keep the ball in and stay in the point. I admit you must think quickly, but you will stay in the point.

What do you do when at the net and a ball is blasted straight at? If the ball is below your shoulders the response should be a backhand volley, it’s faster to defend yourself with the backhand because the forehand would require much more movement and there is no time. If the ball is above the shoulders the forehand should be used with a one sideways step out. Where the problem arises is when the ball is coming so fast that a step out cannot be done and the ball is coming right for the face. To block the ball and stay in the point stick the racquet in front and roll your grip from the correct Continental to the incorrect Western and block the ball. It sounds like there is not enough time but there really is. Get out and practice it awhile.

I don’t wish this upon anyone but if you have hurt your shoulder to the extent that reaching above the head causes pain you can still play tennis and have a somewhat effective serve. I have taught this to many an injured player. To hit a serve with an injured shoulder hold the racquet in the Western hand grip, toss the ball in front in line with the hitting arm and approximately head high or just slightly higher, pull your arm straight up in front so the hand is shoulder high and the racquet head up with the face a little laid back, then push the handle forward and brush down the back of the ball. The swing will cause back spin which keep your ball low after the bounce. What you lose in power you will at least gain some advantage in spin and bounce. This does not work for overheads. With a hurt shoulder either volley an overhead or better yet, bounce it and hit a ground stroke.

To get the extremely wide volley or ground stroke I’m finally going to give you a tip that is text book correct. Most who try to extend for either of those balls hit them wide, and the reason for that is not enough turn, which does not allow for the face of the racquet to come all the way around, so you hit the ball wide. A complete turn backwards is needed to have the face of the racquet facing towards the opponent’s side of the court. Look at it one of two ways, you should be completely facing the back fence or your back and rear end should be facing toward the net when striking the ball.

I hope the tips get you out of some tough situations.

Learn all the correct strokes and more from my book

Winning Attitude

Winning Attitude

I’ve been asked how to maintain a positive winning attitude in matches, let’s go over some ways to keep it.

Knowing your strong and weak points goes into a confident or winning attitude. If you are a team or tournament player you have played enough matches to already have a grasp of a strategy that will focus on the stronger areas of your game. So, having a strategy going into a match will give you confidence. Also, knowing that you might have to change that strategy in a match will also help. (Search back for the article on changing a losing strategy.) If you know that a change may be needed you will not panic if it occurs.

half volley

When playing a point, I will say, every point matters, but not so much that you get down on yourself when you lose one. You are going to lose lots of them. I’ve played enough matches to be able to interpret body language, if you get down on yourself after the loss of one or two points your opponent will see that, get pumped up and seize the momentum, which will change your attitude and confidence. Remember, the loss of one point is just that, ONE POINT, not the match. Realize this and move on!

Try to maintain the same pace during a match, especially if you’re ahead. If you are winning and attempt to speed up the match careless errors will occur and hurt your momentum. You are already winning, don’t alter it. (Just like never split tens.) If you are losing slow down a bit to regain your focus, not to the point of gamesmanship, but just enough to help you. Twenty five seconds is allowed between each point.

tennis slice

When you are watching the pros on television you have probably noticed that most will turn away after points, they straighten their strings or towel off. These are planned to pump themselves up, focus on the next point or just trying to relax. The point here is to stay positive at all times. Negative thoughts will only bring you down.

Lastly, the best way to stay positive is understanding that a loss will not affect your next meal or where you are going to sleep. While we all want to win, having fun is the best way to maintain a winning attitude, it is only a game. Try your best and keep your cool.

Learn from my book “Winning Tennis Strokes”- click on the tab at the top of the page. Go to the home page for my 117 lesson app “Complete Tennis Mastery” for links to Apple and Google Play.

Good Luck-Have Fun