Experience, Watch, and PLAY with Grand Slam Tennis Tours
One of the many highlights of traveling with Grand Slam Tennis Tours is our tennis academies. Play with GSTT pros and other clients in some of the most private clubs around the world. In Paris, start your morning off the right way and play at Stade Jean Bouin, official practice facility for Roland Garros! After our playing time is over, enjoy a Parisian Brunch (I recommend the Crème Fraiche) while watching top tour pros practice! Or escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and play at the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills, the US Open grounds until 1977. Enjoy the plush grass courts, the classic feel of the club, and a delicious BBQ lunch. If you are up for some more travel, you can have nearly an identical experience in Melbourne, Australia at the Kooyong Club, original site of the Australian Open While we can arrange tennis at all on all of our tours, these three are certainly the highlights!
"What's New" Product Video
- from Tennis Warehouse - Nike Air CourtBallistic 2.3 shoe (Rafa's shoe)
Refusing to Lose
Consider the following, and I believe at one point or another we have all had
this experience. You are in a very close match, momentum
shifting back and forth, sets are split, but truly each of the first two
sets could have gone either way. And as the match progresses into the
third set you get the impression your opponent will simply not miss. No
free points. No wild, errant shots. Your opponent is dialed in, not
hitting winners, but simply refusing to lose.
At this point you can still
win this match, but only with a combination of error-free tennis and equally
judiciously chosen and accurately struck winners when the situation presents
itself. These are absolutely the most difficult opponents, who by
attitude and shot selection have shown you they refuse to lose.
You can become one of those players. It will take a mindset, commitment,
and rock-solid will power to keep the ball in play. Why is it that these
things are so darn obvious, but so hard to achieve?
Points are decided by winners and errors, and nothing more. And certainly,
unless your initials are RF, your errors will always, repeat always, outnumber
your winners. If asked, “How did you play today?” The
answer generally relates to the number of errors made, and the situations when
those errors were made. If the opponent gives many free points and a
sampling of errors, generally players think they played well against such an
opponent. But if that opponent played the big points well, simply meaning
they made few if any errors when the match was on the line, and on those same
points it was you who made the errors, now the self assessments are reversed,
resulting in, “Actually, I played poorly today.” But the
cause is always on the other side of the net. When the opponent refuses
to lose, you gain every opportunity to lose yourself.
Whitney Reed was ranked # 1 in the
United States in 1961.
Whitney Reed was ranked #1 in the
in 1961. I had
the opportunity to play him a number of times in singles and doubles in the
1970’s, and lost all those matches to him as did nearly everyone
else. One day he casually remarked that he had never beaten anyone in our
local tournaments. Incredulous, someone asked what he meant. And
though a partial put on, Whitney both said and meant the following – that he
had never beaten anyone because in each case his opponents had simply beaten
himself. Fearing Whitney’s ability and reputation, most players
self-destructed with an array of errors from trying shots they could not truly
Spray or Margin for Error
So how can you measure your own accuracy, and identify the range of your shots, "your spray," and then truly understand which shots to try and which shots to avoid?
Set up a ball machine, or feeding partner, and a specific target on court. The target can be in the middle, in the corner, a crosscourt shot, or a down the line. After warming up, hit 10 shots to that target, and mark the location of each shot. Some shots may be close to the target and others way off the mark. Total the number of feet each shot missed the mark, maybe this would be 63 feet, divide by 10, and your spray, your margin or error, or your span of control is precisely 6 feet.
Repeat this process for forehands and backhands. After a number of measures you will truly know how accurate you are. Now revisit the Whitney Reed example, where his opponents beat themselves trying shots they could not control. As you learn to keep the ball in play and master "refuse to lose," the secret, and there is a secret here, is to never, repeat never aim the ball any closer to the line than your spray will allow.
A simple concept but, players who refuse to lose know the precise limits of their games. The rest of the players generally beat themselves.
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.
Pulling the Trigger
Watch any high level tennis match between two aggressive baseliners maneuvering for an advantage. It’s all about controlling the crosscourt exchanges. Often, players will run around the backhand and hit the inside-out forehand crosscourt for added power, While this inside-in, inside-out forehand game could be argued as being the stroke-strategy of the decade, it’s the player who is willing to step in on the right ball and crack the backhand down the line that comes out on top. We call it “Pulling the Trigger,” and Dave Smith shows you what it takes.
The Underspin Approach
At the pro level, one of the major technical changes in the modern game has been the approach shot. The classic approach shot involved dynamic balance, meaning a pro could efficiently move forward as the ball was struck. Efficient movement allowed pros to get to the net faster. In the modern game, more often than not, the approach is struck from a stationary or static position, much like a ground stroke. However, at the club level, the classic approach is still a potent weapon and Tom Avery show you how to hit it.
ProStrokes 2.0 – Marin Cilic's Serve
This 21 year old has been on tour for five years, but he got everyone’s attention at the 2009 US Open when he outplayed Andy Murray in the quarters, losing in four sets in the semis to eventual winner Martin Del Potro. Currently ranked 9th,he may be poised to climb much higher. Marin has notched wins in 2010 over Roddick and Del Potro as well as Nadal in Beijing in 2009. Big hitter, clean strokes, a bit of a kick serve motion, but the young guy hugs the baseline and bangs the ball to the corners, and fearlessly I might add. New this issue, the Cilic serve.
TennisOne Writers Store
One of your many new benefits as a TennisOne membership is your ability to purchase selected instructional DVDs at 20% off ($7.50 off each) in our new TennisOne Writers Store (login in first to access members links):
- "Building Your Serve from the Ground Up," Jim McLennan Members Public
- "Building Your Ground Game," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Building a Kick Serve," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Achieving Peak Performance the Wholistic Way: The Mental Game," Happy Bhalla Members – Public
- "Building a World Class Serve," Phil Dent Members – Public
- "Building a World-class Volley," Dave Smith Members – Public
- "Best of Ken DeHart," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Corrective Techniques & Myths," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Defeating the Monsters in Your Mind," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Skills, Drills, and Games for Beginning Players," Ken DeHart Members – Public.
- "Drills for Intermediate Players," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Drills for Advanced Players," Ken DeHart Members – Public.
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