TENNISFRANCE.net - Ultimate Tennis Player's Vacation
TennisFrance offers the ultimate tennis player's vacation - explore France and improve your game at the same time. You will play several hours of tennis a day under the supervision of a certified pro and play a match with members of a French tennis club. When you aren't playing tennis you will enjoy your deluxe hotel, the gourmet food, and our daily excursions. Grab your racket and your tennis playing friends and come join us for a once in a lifetime vacation!
Click here to see more information on TENNISFRANCE.net.
Andy Murray's Backhand - ProStrokes 2.0 Feature This Week
See sample of Andy Murray's backhand in ProStrokes 2.0 Slow-Motion in this week's edition.
Perception of Success:
How We Judge Our Improvement
David W. Smith, Senior Editor TennisOne
This past week, I was asked to speak at a tennis club in south Orange County in Southern California. The topic of my on and off-court lecture was my Advanced Foundation, the principle of training all players using methodology that does not have to change for higher levels of achieved skill.
This newsletter is not a recap of that lecture, but a review of what one player mentioned in the way of feedback regarding what she had learned. This woman’s response was an eye-opener for me, in terms of recognizing how players can perceive their success and whether or not that perception will allow them to move to higher levels of play.
Note that all the players attending were there because they wanted to reach higher skill levels. It could be surmised that all were hoping to learn something that would give them a leg-up on the competition. We can safely say that most people who attend clinics, workshops, lessons, and camps, are hoping to improve their game and become better players. Yet, many players fail to improve from because of a few, critical factors. This newsletter will focus on one such factor.
The comment that triggered this newsletter was written by a 3.5 level, 35 year old female who plays quite often, attends clinics and lessons, and competes regularly in USTA league programs.
The comment was this: “I learned a lot. However, the serve information might be difficult for me. I already can get my serve in and get a couple aces on my serve each set.”
On the surface, it would appear this woman had a legitimate concern as to learning something that might limit her current success. Yet, it is this very perception that prevents the vast majority of players from moving out of the 3.0 or 3.5 levels and into more and more highly competitive and skilled play.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with players who play at these levels. However, the vast majority of players tend to stagnate there for life. Yet, so many wish and dream and practice with the goal of improving to the next level. This woman’s perception of success, and millions of others like her, can not only prevent the acquisition of skilled tennis progressions, it can insure stagnation, even among those who are fully capable of reaching higher levels of play.
Why would such a perception or statement do this?
Anyone who seeks to improve and reach their potential must understand the limitation of such a perception.
Success at higher levels
Typically, a 3.0 or 3.5 level player’s “success” is often not the result of more effective shot-making, but a failure of opponents at such levels to respond correctly to shots and strategies. In other words, an “ACE” against a 3.5 level opponent may very well be ripped and pulverized by a 4.5 level player.
An “ACE” against a 3.5 level opponent may very well be ripped and pulverized by a 4.5 level player.
One can’t simply use success at lower levels as a tool to evaluate whether a player is actually on the right track towards reaching higher levels of play within a player’s potential. In the example I mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter, the woman who was afraid of changing her serve for fear of losing its “successful” nature (against her current level of opponent), had a very flat serve (almost an “underspin” serve) that was effective when it landed in against her 3.5 level opponents. However, such a serve would not only be very ineffective against higher level players, it would also severely limit her ability to hit more aggressive second serves.
So, by trying not to lose her “perceived” level of skill, this woman could not recognize the overall limitations of her current service technique and as a result, she missed an opportunity to work towards continued improvement of her serve. Typically, it will take such an individual several years at the same level before she recognizes that she is not improving the quality or effectiveness of her serve. (Or, at least until she sees other students passing her up!)
A similar situation occurs when a player tries certain shots over and over, experiencing success periodically with such play. For example, a player can try a down-the-line passing shot against a net player in doubles; a shot that is considered low percentage by most pros and skilled players. Yet, a player who makes the shot every fourth time believes he is successful simply because he's won a point every so often. Of course, all of us know that winning one out of four points with a particular shot (if used often enough) will result in a loss anyway you look at it!
Unfortunately, a shot such as that just mentioned, offers a “reward” in that the player executing the shot gains a sense of satisfaction because the shot is indeed difficult. Thus, a player trying it many times will usually experience some success, impressing those who see that one successful shot. Yet, such players seldom win matches because they are playing low percentage shots too often.
Advanced Foundation Success
Players need to recognize shot techniques that lead to more advanced play. Methods that are only successful against lower level players will usually result in player stagnation. Unless you want to remain at levels below your potential, you will want to make sure the techniques and methodology matches that which is recognizable at higher levels. While using such techniques won’t guarantee success, especially early on, (as it applies to winning points or matches), players who use such techniques will eventually master those patterns and methods to the point where they will become more consistent as well as effective.
I have a favorite phrase: “If we avoid that which we want to achieve, we will only achieve that which we want to avoid.”
Players who remain complacent at lower skill levels may indeed have a very difficult time moving out of those levels in time. There is a phrase I heard somewhere: “The 3.5 level players have all the trophies.” This is usually true because players who only use 3.5 level strokes and techniques tend to stay at these levels for life. Those who are using more advanced and effective swing patterns usually lose to these “experienced” 3.5 ‘lifers’…the first few times they play. But players who are working hard on their games and who recognize and develop more advanced stroke patterns usually pass up these 3.5 level opponents and end up playing in much higher level events. Thus, those who stay at the 3.5 levels end up winning many trophies…but never at higher levels! You know these players from your own club. Do you want to be one of them?
(Click link to purchase Dave Smith's Book Tennis Mastery, at tenniswarehouse.com.)
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.
The Swinging Volley
Only a few short years ago the swinging volley was considered an aberration, that is until Andre Agassi made it an integral part of his game. Today it is an important part of every pro's arsenal and it should be part of your game also. The swinging volley is a transitional shot that will get you from the baseline to the net where you can finish off the point. Coach Heath Waters and touring pro, Lindsay Lee Waters take you through the specific reference points necessary to hit this shot.
Being in Position: Footwork at the baseline
When it comes to playing in the back court behind the baseline, anyone will agree that being in position while hitting your shots makes ball-striking much easier than being out of position. In this article, Coach Dan McCain will define what “being in position” actually means when it comes to your footwork, and then discuss when these positions are appropriate.
ProStrokes 2.0 - Andy Murray's Backhand
Andy Murray has ascended to the top tier of the men's game. He plays as the consummate counter puncher, somewhat like the Big Cat, Miroslav Mecir, in that he moves easily, appears to use his opponent's pace, and plays with an understated if not economical style. He still has some room for improvement on the service delivery, but to my eye all else is well in place. Stay tuned – the Scotsman is definitely on the prowl. Check out Andy Murray's game in the all new TennisOne ProStrokes Gallery 2.0. New this issue, Andy Murray'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.
If you wish to be removed from our newsletter list, please send an email to email@example.com and leave the subject line blank. A confirmation email will be sent to you, and you will be removed from our newsletter list once you reply to that confirmation.
Copyright Notice: The contents of the TennisONE web site and contents forwarded to you by TennisONE are intended for your personal, noncommercial use. Republishing of TennisONE content in any way, including framing or posting of these materials on other Web sites, is strictly prohibited. See our full copyright statement