September, 2016 |

Archive for September, 2016

Back Swing vs.Loop

First let’s understand that on the forehand both the loop and straight back backs wings are correct. There are advantages for both and obviously some disadvantages too.

The main plus for the straight back is compactness of the swing. I’m a firm believer that the less body parts moving during a swing, the less causes for error. When using the straight back technique, think of the three Hs, Hip-Handle-Head, if the hip, handle and head of the racquet are in alignment on the backswing the stroke is compact and the head of the racquet will be below the oncoming ball to allow you to hit up the backside of the ball to generate topspin. Another plus for the straight back is when you are playing a particularly hard hitter, there will be less time to prepare due to the oncoming speed and the straight back backswing takes a shorter amount of time to get the racquet in the proper position.

Two disadvantages of the straight back are footwork and power. There is a lack of fluidity while swinging, which can cut down the head speed of the racquet, possibly resulting in a slight loss of power. The straight back swing generally dictates a closed stance which will force you to move your feet faster to get into position to hit correctly and recover back to the center of the court.

The loop backswing has been part of tennis for years and years, it has become more popular in the Modern tennis era. The advantages may be more power, condensed foot work and more control. The modern loop backswing is generally hit with the western grip, creating more spin which means more control. The power is generated by a continual swing that can form more of an arc which can give you more head speed, and if the western grip is being used, more wrist snap is needed to enhance the head speed at impact. The loop is hit more often in an open stance, so getting to the ball is faster as well as the recovery time.

Disadvantages might be errors due to form or lack of preparation time. The height of the top of your racquet head should not be higher than your eyes. Too high, and the swing will be too slow for hard hitting opponents and too difficult for balls lower than your knees. I’ve seen too many times players using the open stance forget that “open stance” is from the waist on down, a shoulder rotation is still needed to hit the shot correctly.

I suggest picking one that you’re comfortable with, and then try to learn the other. I play matches and use both when the oncoming shot dictates one or the other.

Good Luck-Have Fun!!

Positive Tennis

Positive Tennis

I have seen over the years, either through my own play or through players I have coached, many matches lost due to negative mental attitudes during the match. When I was first starting out as a junior I know I lost some matches purely due to negative thoughts. It was only after I came to realize that part of playing tennis is the mere fact you are going to lose points, games, sets and even matches- because that’s the nature of the beast- and it is okay.

We all want to win, but when winning becomes the only enjoyment of the game then it may be time to quit because you are not going to win all the time. For me, the fun of tennis is being on the court in the heat of the battle. I’ve won a lot of matches, but I have lost a bunch too and it was only after I learned that everyone misses shots did I enjoy the sport to the fullest.

tennis forehand

Do not let a lost point or a miss on an easy ball start you down a path of negativity that will only increase your errors, because you are remembering points that are over and you can do nothing about them, rather than the points you can control-the next ones. Opponents are not blind, if you start getting angry and hanging your head you are just fuelling the opponent’s confidence and depleting your own, a simple recipe for losing quickly.

When playing in a tournament I am a firm believer in not knowing my opponent until the day of the match. I’ve seen too many players check out the draw to see they are playing a seeded player and then spend the next week before the match getting that losing feeling. Instead, spend that week focusing on your strong points building a confidence; you have an excellent chance to succeed no matter who the opponent is going to be.

tennis backhand

There is no shame in losing to a superior player; there is no fun in losing because you have mentally beaten yourself up before or during the match. Stay positive all the time during matches, do not hurry in between points and breathe, play to your strengths and enjoy the battle of shot making and wills. If you are winning do not change and try to hurry the end, stay on an even keel. If you are losing a tight match you can play the same strategy because the difference is probably only a few more unforced errors on your part, concentrate harder on less errors. If the match is lopsided against you change your strategy to something different.

Stay positive and you’ll have more fun and win more matches.

Good Luck-Have Fun!!