TEACHING PROS - RAISE YOUR GAME!
ENHANCE CLIENT SATISFACTION and GENERATE INCOME OFF-COURT.
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TennisOne Membership Bonuses
(something for new and current members)
- Click here to see details (including videos) of these bonuses.
- Click here to signup for a risk-free, TennisOne 30 day free trial membership.
Limited time offer. This is a limited-time offer ending at noon (Pacific) on December 1st. For the first 50 who sign up for a TennisOne membership and keep their membership through the 30 day free trial period, you'll receive:
- "Building a Kick Serve" – A 45 minute instructional
video with TennisOne Editor Jim McLennan valued at $40. Adding a kick serve could very well be the most important new element to bring your game to a new level.
- Drawing for a Pat Echeberry $400 EEvaluation. One of the first 50 to signup and keep their membership through the trial period will receive fitness legend Pat Etcheberry's new fitness evaluation program (EEvaluation), priced at $400.
- Drawing for a Pat Echeberry $400 EEvaluation. If you happen to renew your membership today through December 15th, you will be entered into our drawing to receive the same Pat Etcheberry EEvaluation package described above. If you aren't scheduled to renew during this period, don't worry: we're planning additional bonuses for members throughout the year.
- A 10% discount onPat Etcheberry products ($97 value) – A new, on-going bonus for TennisOne members. Pat and his company produce some of the best tennis products in the industry, including the ETCH-swing strength training aid, 8 fitness instruction DVDs, and his new EEvaluation package. A 10% TennisOne discount can save you up to $97 on these products, which is more than the cost of membership. If your looking for a tennis holiday gift, we highly recommend Pat's products.
Accessing your TennisOne/Etcheberry promotion code:
- Log in as a TennisOne member.
- Click on the green "My TennisOne" button right beneath the login box.
- Click on the "Bonuses/Referrals" tab at the top. There you'll see the promotional code. When you go to Pat's site (http://www.etcheberryexperience.com) to purchase one of his products, there will be a field to insert the promotional code. Once you do, you'll receive 10% off the purchase price.
Best Regards, Kim Shanley, Publisher, TennisOne
"What's New" Product Video
- from Tennis Warehouse - Nike Zip and Fleece Jackets
Developing the Optimal Foundation
David W. Smith, Senior Editor TennisOne
I often receive e-mails with questions regarding my philosophy on developing junior players. The most often asked question is whether a youngster (usually kids around 7 to 10 years of age) should be taught a different foundation than the top players use. (This question is usually more specific, asking to identify grips, footwork patterns, and swing patterns, etc.)
The real key is in identifying what the student's goal. For juniors, the goal is usually to "introduce" the student to the game. This is really no different for adults except that juniors have a greater potential to do more with their tennis if they are able to master the sport within the context of skilled play; that is, they can play on a high school team, play college tennis, teach tennis, or play professionally if they have the talent.
However, there is no way that a junior would reach such a potential if he or she learns the game in a way that inhibits development. Adults usually look at tennis more as a social sport, but adults who take the time to take lessons, also look to reach their full potential as players.
A common argument lies in the belief that most youngsters and even beginning adults won't be able to use more advanced grips, footwork patterns, and swing paths as they are perceived to be too difficult, too foreign, or too uncomfortable.
On the contrary, there are many key elements that can–and should–be taught from the very beginning, even if they are considered "Advanced." I've written two highly-acclaimed books on tennis which focus on this concept of developing an "Advanced Foundation."
For volleys and serves, I've found that beginners can master the continental grip early and with minimal difficulty. (Remember, any skilled activity will usually require time and practice to master. Avoiding these skilled patterns will never lead to a player mastering them.) The difficulty many teaching pros experience is in the progression.
I start all my players with the volley. From the standpoint of mastering the continental grip, working on the volley first enables players to get comfortable quickly with this grip. Many pros start their students off with groundstrokes, usually teaching the eastern or semi-western grips and the typical stroke pattern associated with those grips. This approach makes learning the continental grip more difficult later on; it also makes the short stroke and the slight slicing action associated with the volley more difficult to transition to.
Since the eastern grip is usually the most comfortable grip, many pros initially teach students to serve using this grip with the idea that, at some point, they will advise the student to change to the more advanced continental grip. This leads us to the question: Specifically, when do we suggest changing to the more advanced grip? One month? One year? Ironically, the longer the student takes to make this conscious change, the more difficult the transition becomes!
With groundstrokes, on the pro circuit, we see a wide variety of grips from eastern to full western. In most cases, when players are taught eastern forehand grips, they will naturally evolve towards a semi-western or full western grip as they become more confident and aggressive. I have rarely had to suggest to a student to move to a more aggressive grip. And, when I have, it is usually met with very little resistance. However, starting students off with semi or full western can lead to bad habits because the grip feel foreign to them. Therefore, the grip is one of the areas that I encourage the student to let it evolve over time. The difference here is that unlike on the volley, the eastern forehand grip is perfectly functional and does not prohibit the player from playing at a high level or naturally evolving toward the more aggressive topspin semi-western grip.
On the backhand side, I almost always recommend students start with the two-hander. (and, in some cases, two-handed forehands as well). In addition to the fact that the vast majority of men and women professionals now use a two-handed backhand, the learning curve of the stroke is usually much quicker for the vast majority of beginning tennis players and the tendency to develop poor habits is far less likely.
While open stance strokes on the forehand side have become the staple for pros in most situations (and even for some two-handed backhand players!), problems can develop in players who try to learn the open stance first. When attempting an open stance forehand, beginners have trouble making a complete unit turn. In addition, they tend to open up far too early within the swing and they also tend to swing more with the arm.
In addition, there are many situations that pros do indeed use closed stance forehands. It is an integral part of the game, so this isn't a stroke that students first learn and then abandon at some future point. Once ingrained, the transition to an open stance forehand becomes that much easier. With proper teaching and training methods, and utilizing drills designed to specifically incorporate an open stance, the open stance can be taught to kids as young as 8 years old. (Please see my series on "Training an 8-Year Old".)
While the vast majority of pros use a loop swing on their groundstrokes, this is another pattern that can often create problems with beginners. In many cases, beginners fail to get the racquet below the ball and never learn to hit topspin. Starting off with a straight take-back pattern encourages two things:
1. Players gain a feel for the low-to-high swing path much quicker.
2. The vast majority of players naturally develop a loop swing over time.
Of the 3000-plus players I've trained, I have probably recommended a loop pattern in less than ten. Again, the vast majority of players will evolve the loop naturally and within their perception of need. On top of that, even the pros have different loop swings; from the nearly straight back backhands of Lleyton Hewitt and Serena Williams to the full loop backhands of Marat Safin and Martina Hingis.
While there can be many exceptions to the examples of ideal foundations I've discussed here, I have found that these exceptions are exactly that, exceptions. There are always examples of players who excel using unorthodox methods, however, when I see these players, I always wonder how good they might have been if they had a more solid foundation?
The point here is that given a solid foundation, a player has a much better opportunity to reach his or her potential. With dedication, the right mental outlook, and the desire to reach higher levels, the student with the right foundation will usually improve far beyond the student who uses less advanced or more unconventional methods, no matter how comfortable those less advanced or unconventional methods may be.
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.
"Great Shot – Don't Do it Again!"
From time to time, we've all hit great shots. They're exciting to see, exhilarating to execute, and the response they draw is awesome. But these are not the shots that win matches, even at the pro level. The problems begin when we try to recapture that magic. We continue to try to pull off the “great” shot and, more often than not, our efforts result in little more than a stream of impressive looking errors. Before we know it, we've hit a few “great” shots and lost the match. Greg Moran
The Service Hitch
At the club level, the service motion, with all of its idiosyncratic and mostly counterproductive fits and starts, is usually the least refined, most ungainly shot your are likely to see. Here, Pat Dougherty, aka the Serve Doctor at the IMG Bollitteri tennis academy in Bradenton, FL, focuses on some of the processes and progressions he takes kids through in order to fix an errant serve.
TennisOne Classic: Ana Ivanovic's Forehand
The dream of every pro player is to get to number one in the world. It is a very difficult thing to do but it is even more difficult to remain at the top for any length of time. In that light, the accomplishments of a Graf, Sampras, or Federer are all the more remarkable, just ask Jelena Jankovic or Amelie Mauresmo. Here, Vic Braden and Andy Fitzell, using a digitized skeletal figure, analyze the forehand of Ana Ivanovic, who had the most precipitous fall for a former No. 1 and Slam champ we've seen in the Open Era. Ana has the tools to regroup, but she seems awfully confused.
ProStrokes 2.0 – Fernando Verdasco's Backhand
This powerful 25 year old Spanish southpaw has ascended to the top 10 of the men's game. Currently ranked 8th, with an excess of $5 million in prize money, Fernando looks to move higher in the coming months. He works part time with the Agassi team of Darren Cahill and fitness wizard Gil Reyes. Getting into the top ten is an achievement (for anyone), climbing higher will require Fernando to develop more court savvy, continued confidence in his serve, and the ability to shorten the occasional point. New this issue, Verdasco's backhand.
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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