October eTennisTeam Magazine
"This is the first season that I've used eTennisTeam, and I think it's great.I love it that it e-mailed me when one of my scheduled players changed their availability, and I love the way it sends pre-match e-mails that include contact information"
- email from eTennisTeam Captain
Besides all the web-based utilities for managing and communicating with your teammates, eTennisTeam provides team-oriented tennis instruction each month. Here are the new articles for October:
If you're looking to expose your teammates to ideas for improving their practices and tactics, check out our Free Trial of eTennisTeam:
- "How to Practice as a Team," Ken DeHart. Too often teams go out to practice with out any real purpose and don't benefit as much as they should.
- "The Juggle Drill." The purpose of this hand-eye-feet exercise is to warm-up players quickly in a fun, high-energy manner.
- "Seven Doubles Principles - Inside to Inside/Outside to Outside," David Brouwer. Brouwer outlines the principles of high-percentage play which is the foundation for success.
The Power of Yielding; Go With the “Flow”
As impressive as the power we see from the men on the pro tour is,
perhaps even more impressive is the power we see from junior girls. For
certainly this bespeaks of some form of power that is both elusive and
deceptive and yet at the same time attainable and accessible.
I know that I
will never put on another four inches to gain the service advantage of an Andy
Roddick thunderbolt. I am resigned that I will never boast the
physique of Rafael Nadal who has the lure to turn eyes in his cutaway tank top. I will
never possess the flexibility of Roger Federer to swoon backwards and touch
my head to the grass in pious tribute after a Wimbledon championship. And although these realizations lead me to a cliff of tennis demise, I am rescued and revived, lifted even, on the shoulders of adolescent waifs, buoyed by the bird legs of teenage tennis brats, hoisted by the pencil arms of prepubescent tennis pugilists. In them I see crushing forehand drives and grinning brace-laced teeth and I see hope. I see biting backhand underspins and gleeful squeals and I see possibility. I see well crafted approach shots and volleys and flying pigtails and I see new life.
Click photo: When I see girls like Nicole Vaidisova (barely 16) effortlessly rocket forehands from anywhere on the court, I have hope.
But exactly what is it that I see? What wile do these young sorceresses possess that gives them such effortless power? In the Courts of Olde Salem these charmers could easily have been burned at the net post for harboring some form of insidious enchantment over the ball. But with a more curious mind and enlightened view we can gleam that it is not magic at all but something almost too obvious to see. We have only to look to the renowned English mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton, who (much to our benefit) ignored his father’s advice to practice his serve and instead killed time in the apple orchard. But his truancy was a boon to all tennis players thereafter for he uncovered one of the great secrets of power for one and all – gravity.
Yes, gravity may be the single most important source of power for tennis players to tap into. In gravity lies the key to near effortless force. By simply raising and falling one can tap into a power source that is simple, reliable, and inexhaustible. It is the absolute key to fluidity, to relaxed power, to flexibility, to compaction, to acceleration. It affects and determines nearly every aspect of our stroking and moving. Did you ever notice that every stroke starts with a lift of the arms followed by a drop of the arms? The service stroke is based on a lift and a drop of the racquet. Show me a groundstroke that is not looped and I will show you a player that has never gotten out of the 3.5 ranks.
But gravity isn’t limited to the swing of the arm. It is also the key to footwork and power thrusts from the body. Play with gravity can turn plodding heavy feet into trampoline like springs that release power on shots and speed to steps. Letting yourself sink drops the body and condenses force into coiled flexes in the knees and ankles. These are released in rebounding bursts of force that can be controlled into fluid, rhythmic cadences of call and response.
So what is the key to tapping into this power source? Hold your breath for this answer - wait – wait – wait- wait- O.K exhale. There, you got it. Yes, relaxation, letting go, giving in, yielding. When I hold up and then let go I immediately have power, I have momentum, and force. This is the initial force that will allow everything else that follows to work in synchronization and coordinated efficiency. It will let the arm stay flexible and make subtle but critical adjustments. It will create a strength of alignment by letting the arm fall into a compact and powerful position to the body. It will allow the body to stay back and for the force of the body to be saved for that critical moment of contact on the ball. It will allow an approach to the ball with a smooth and relaxed flow and at the precise moment deliver a dynamic acceleration out of a perfectly timed pulse of tension.
Click photo to hear Doug King to about relaxation, gravity, and hitting better shots.
Gravity, leverage, alignment and momentum all applied with the complimentary skills of rhythm, timing, and judgment can erase the ongoing fight with the ball. It can unleash a world of flowing movement and graceful, elegant power. It can lead us to a lightness of play, a feeling of solidity and connection with the ball, and an elimination of doubt and deliberation and dis-ease.
I believe that at the ultimate levels of performance we “lose ourselves.” We lose our sense of fear, our sense of ego, our sense of consciousness, and our sense of struggle. The more we can tap into and utilize the forces that are given to us, the forces that we don’t have to so laboriously manufacture, the more we will be able to reach that goal. My advice is this; start by losing your worries, lighten up and don’t be afraid to let go. Keep your eye on the ball and go with the flow. Another bit of advice – don’t bet the farm against those wispy whippersnappers.
See Doug King’s article currently on TennisOne for detailed instructions on how to employ the specific techniques of “passive momentum” that will inject fluidity into your game.
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.
Letting Go to Get in the Flow
In part 2 of his series on energy management, Doug King looks at how energy to power the ball is produced in a fluid and rhythmic way utilizing the natural forces of gravity, momentum, resistance, and stored energy. This method of energy transfer results in markedly less physical effort. When we are there we are said to “be in the flow.”
Cooperation Before Competition
When players become advanced, it becomes obvious that the real obstacle to progress is not technique, strategy, or even fitness, but actually mental. Happy Bhalla believes that introducing competition too soon, with it's emphasis on winning, may be at the root cause of this mental weakness.
How Andy Roddick Can Beat Roger Federer
Can anyone beat Roger Federer? Well, the picture could not look bleaker for Andy Roddick and the other contenders and pretenders hoping to dethrone King Roger. But Paul Fein believes Roddick has the game, the physical strength, topnotch coaching in Dean Goldfine, and the dedication to turn the lopsided “rivalry” around. See how.
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.
Jeff Greenwald - Fearless Tennis
Feel you're playing tentatively and know that you have greater potential than you're demonstrating in tournaments? This one of a kind, double- CD audio program, FearlessTennnis: The 5 Mental Keys To Unlocking Your Potential, will help you compete with confidence, close out matches and is a great way to get the mental edge en route to a tournament.
Schedule Jeff Greenwald to Speak
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