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Reason #1 for eTennisTeam
Reason #1 - Saves Time & Effort. Why is eTennisTeam better than using email or playing phone tag with your team all season? Once you've registered your team with eTennisTeam (free to everyone), which takes about 60 seconds, here are three basic steps you would use for generating a match line-up.
Step 1: With one email, ask your team to go to the team's match schedule page and check their availability. See sample (Once the player has checked his/her personal schedule, the availability page can be filled out in seconds and saved permanently for your use throughout the season.)
Step 2: For a particular match, you simply use your Captain's Line-Up generation tool, click on the match, and the availability of all the players on your team are color coded for availability (black, red, yellow). See sample.
Step 3: Once you select the line-up from the available players, the tool generates an email to the team with all the information they need for the match, including all logistics and cell phone information of the players for last minute coordination. See sample email.
Tour of eTennisTeam, eTennisTeam is a completely free service (you don't have to be a TennisOne member).
Swing at the Toss or Toss at the Swing?
It’s All About Rhythm
My first coach, Blackie Jones, taught me about tennis and a lot more.
So many, many years ago (45 to be exact), I sat in the shade and watched Blackie Jones give lessons at Acalanes High School. All lessons were punctuated by difficult questions, so he could measure the student’s understanding. At times, when the student was stumped, he would toss the question to me (as I was stealing his lessons from off court) and as I progressed to understand more of his questions and more of his system, I became first a player and then a teacher.
So to paraphrase, Blackie would ask, “There are two parts to the tennis serve, they are the service toss and the swing. And if that is so, do you think it is better to swing at the toss or toss at the swing?” Actually a good question, and though perhaps either answer might be justified, Blackie had quite a compelling demonstration.
But before the answer, let me back track. The serve appears to encourage greater variability in style than any other tennis stroke. Forehands are forehands, more or less; the same is true of backhands. But watch the players on adjacent courts when you are playing and you will truly see a bewildering array of service styles - high tosses, low tosses, short cramped swings, long loose swings, and others, many too frightening to mention. And the there are the grips, ranging from semi western to eastern backhand and every imaginable variable in between. Spin serves, flat serves, pushed serves, whipped deliveries. And it may be true that there are many ways to hit that ball, and by extension, many ways to hit that serve. But what are the qualities that define a graceful serve? What is it that makes some of these serves stand out more than others? What is it that you and I might tinker with if we are intent on improving our own service delivery?
Blackie felt it was about rhythm and a fluid swing. He himself served with a continuous motion, identified with a relatively low toss that seemed to linger in the hitting zone. And when the student answered, generally the response was to “swing at the toss,” Blackie (to cleverly prove his point) would start serving with his eyes closed. And then explain, “If you know where your service contact is, and how the rhythm of a swing feels without a toss, then go and duplicate that swing with a ball, but without looking.” If in fact you have “tossed the ball in the way of the swing” you will be surprised at the result. If, on the other hand, your toss is way above the contact zone, or way off to the left or right, it is impossible to serve without looking, and in this instance one is certainly “swinging at the toss.”
A simple Drill
So here is a drill to practice next time you're on the court. Initially, warm up your service motion, but without releasing the toss. And much like a martial arts practitioner, repeat this motion again and again and again. Pay special attention to your balance, your rhythm, and where the racquet “swishes” as it whistles through the air. (And make no mistake about it, the racquet should swish, but more to the point, the swish should be above you and more or less in the contact zone.
Interestingly, many players practicing the serve without a toss will inadvertently place the swish rather low and in front, indicating that greatest racquet speed was achieved well after the “imaginary” contact). Once you have located this “swish spot,” continue the service motion without the toss, but now keep your eyes up looking at this spot as the racquet swishes.
So far, so good. Now the fun begins. Take two balls, walk up to the line, and try the following. There will be four consecutive swings but only two hits. First swing again the entire motion but without the toss. Second swing the entire motion but with the toss and the hit. Did they feel the same? Third swing again without the toss and fourth swing with the toss and the hit. If the toss was too high or outside of this “spot” the second and fourth swings will feel entirely different than the first and third. .
If you are tossing into the swing, the motion and rhythm will be similar, if you are swinging at the toss the two versions will feel like night and day. So, which method do you want to emulate?
As always, we would love to hear from you! Questions, comments, personal experiences all create helpful dialogue for everyone! Please click here to send us your email.
Cross Court Singles Patterns
Adult and junior players build their games by directing most of their attention to how they hit the ball. But Jim McLennan believes this approach obscures an entirely different spin on the game, and perhaps one that really separates the winners from the losers. And this point of view is one of court positioning.
Andy Roddick’s 155 mph Serve
How is it that Andy Roddick can serve the ball at 155 mph?He doesn’t look that big, or muscular. Is there some secret to his serve or is it just talent? Bob Prichard believes the reason we don’t understand Roddick’s serve is because our basic assumptions about sports are getting in the way of seeing what he is doing.
Visual Presence - The Eyes Have It
Scott Ford presents some startling photographic evidence that show where the eyes of some of the top pros are focused at the moment of contact. And most are not focused on the contact point. That means these players are not visually present at contact. So, where is their focus if not on contact?
Crosscourt - American Men's Tennis
This week, leading tennis journalists, Matt Cronin and Joel Drucker, discuss the State of American Men's Tennis. Agassi is aging, Roddick is floundering, Blake, Ginepri, Dent - all talented players but is anyone of them ready to take the next step? This and more from Cronin and Drucker.
Virtual Tennis Academy
Current professional tour coach, Heath Waters and wife, top 100 and former no. 33 in the world ranked tour player, Lindsay Lee-Waters, are proud to release the first predominantly all streaming video based e-learning tennis instructional website at www.virtualtennisacademy.com
Subscribers will receive personal video tennis instruction directly from Heath and Lindsay as well as mental coaching, sports performance training, and much, more from a hand chosen team of experts currently working with professional tennis players on tour. Now anyone in the world, no matter what level, can receive the same world class training the world's best tennis players receive right from the convenience of their own home.
The Etcheberry Experience DVD
For more than twenty years Pat Etcheberry has been providing athletes from around the world with the winning edge. We call this the Etcheberry Experience, and players with an Etcheberry experience have hoisted Championship Trophies at over one hundred major championships, including 28 Australian Opens, 18 Wimbledons, 22 UP Opens, 22 French Opens and 15 Olympic medals.
And now it's your turn! This is your chance to experience the same drills, exercises and words of tennis wisdom that Pat gave to Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and others, that helped launch them on their incredible careers. For the first time, Pat Etcheberry shares his training secrets in a series of DVDs for players of all ages, their coaches, and trainers
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