TennisONE, May 15, 2003
"Building the Modern Forehand Part 2: The Backswing," by John Yandell
"The Volley: Drills and More Drills," by Scott Murphy
"Wayne Arthurs: The Big Serve," by Jim McLennan
ProStrokes: Justine Henin-Hardenne's Return and Net Game
To the TennisONE Community
In my last newsletter ("To Think or Not") I made the case for thinking before walking onto the court. Basically, I was saying ditch all that self-defensive junk about "not being that competitive" and go for it. Care, prepare, think, do it.
Basically, I was advocating preparing yourself psychologically and emotionally to perform at your peak. But let's get more practical this week. Exactly what should you be thinking during the warm-up, during the first few games, or when you begin to fall behind in a match? When should you play conservatively and when should you go for your shots?
Objectively thinking through these questions prior to a match can and often makes the difference between winning and losing. This is the great thing about thinking, my friends. You don't have to spend months and hundreds of dollars on lessons on your game to dramatically improve it. Just think.
Since many of our readers are primarily doubles players, let me begin with a few fine tips on playing doubles by our long-time contributing editor, Monty Basynat. Monty was my instructor for quite some time, and our collaboration played an important role in coming up with the idea for TennisONE (a story for another newsletter).
In his first article, "What To Do Before The Match" (you need to login as a TennisONE member to see view this), Monty advises doubles players:
Once you're properly warmed-up and you've begun focusing on a game plan with your partner, you can relax. You know you've done a proper warm-up and don't have to try to hone your game in the impossibly short warm-up period the USTA allows before matches. You should already be warmed up going into the official 5 minute warm-up period, so what do you focus on during this time? Here's Monty's advice:
And what should you be thinking and doing in the first few games of a match? In his article, "What To Do Once the Match Starts," Monty admonishes:
Starting a match with the proper physical and mental warm-up, focusing on a game plan, and then playing high percentage tennis in the first few games will help you win those first few games. That builds your confidence and undermines the confidence of your opponents. You're on your way to winning more doubles matches.
What should singles players be thinking? We have dozens of articles within the TennisONE archive that can help answer that question, but let me refer you to a few excellent pieces by Allen Fox, master of tennis strategy and mental toughness, and long-time contributing TennisONE editor. In his "Winnng Matches: Tactics," Fox lays down the strategic foundation for thinking about your match:
In his "Winning Matches: Creating a Game Plan," Fox outlines some basic rules of singles thinking:
If you find yourself reading the TennisONE newsletter, you obviously take your tennis at least a little seriously. If you do, you spend some time worrying (consciously or unconsciously) about playing your next competitive match. My message is stop worrying, and start thinking. And while you're thinking, forward this to your teammates so they can stop worrying.
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In this second article in his
new series, John Yandell takes the first close look at the incredible
variety of pro backswings. Understand the differences in how
the pros take the racket back, what is unique, what they all
share in common, and what you should and shouldn't copy.
If you don't practice your volleys in match conditions, you'll never execute your volleys in match conditions. It's that simple. See how to transform your basic strokes into effective weapons at the net. Scott Murphy takes you to his private teaching court and shows you how.
"Wayne Arthurs: The Big Serve," by Jim McLennan
Wayne Arthurs has quietly risen to become one of the game's best servers. Jim McLennan analyzes the Arthurs' effortless motion and extracts a few gems for the club player to apply to his/her game, including the no-hitch rhythm and an Eastern backhand grip. Want a big serve without all the grunting? Check this article out.
Exclusively on TennisONE
In addition to her fabulous backhand, Justine Henin has one of the most creative all court games in tennis. This month we present her returns, and her net game, including multiple attacking sequences. See how Henin gets to the net and wins points from everywhere on the court!