When we introduced Heath Waters' new Cutting Edge series last month, I took a few moments to provide a proper introduction to Heath and his background. Today, I'll do the same for Doug King, Senior Writer for TennisOne who you'll be hearing more from, including in today's newsletter (below).
Doug King has been a leading tennis player and coach in Northern California for 30 years. In 1972, he was the North Coast Sectional High School Division I Champion. He played on the University of Berkeley Varsity tennis team for four years and was #1 singles and doubles player from 1974-76. In 1976, he was the #1 ranked Men's Open Player in Northern California, as well as earning the Men's California State Singles Championship in 1979. He held a world ranking from 1976 to 1979. From 1979 to 1985, King was the Head Teaching Pro at the Moraga Country Club. From 1984 to the present, King serves as the Head Teaching Pro and Director of Tennis at the Meadowood resort in Napa Valley, California ( www.meadowood.com ) where he runs his acclaimed tennis program, Acceleration Tennis.
Beyond these outstanding credentials, Doug also studied under the legendary Tom Stow (coach of Don Budge) and is a deep and passionate student of the game. Doug truly connects with our audience, consistently demonstrating a remarkable ability to penetrate the clichés and myths of tennis instruction and reveal the essence, as well as the beauty of the sport. In sum, Doug King lives and teaches the love of the game, and we're very proud to have him join TennisOne's mission to do the same.
Kim Shanley, Publisher
The Incredible Lightness of Being Roger Federer
Reflections from Wimbledon 2005
Sometimes when I am watching Roger Federer I almost feel compelled to avert my eyes, as though I am looking at a light that it too intense. The brilliance of his play is breathtaking and mystifying. He appears to possess an awareness of what he is doing that transcends the game - goes beyond the athletic display of shotmaking and borders on something more profound. He moves like a cat, floating with mesmerizing grace and then pouncing with unflinching ferocity. In the same way he plays with the ball, nudging it with curious amusement and then swatting it with finality. He moves in time, never out of time. He neither hurries nor hesitates. He doesn't fidget nervously nor does he deliberate tediously. His strokes are genuine marvels. Nothing wasted, nothing of consequence held back.
Click photo to hear Doug King talk about Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Roger Federer and the 2005 Wimbledon Championships.
Federer holds secrets within himself that the rest of us can't even contemplate. What has he learned through the lessons of his life that steer him through the perilous course of a big match? What motivates him? What relaxes him? Where does he go to steady himself at the most crucial moments of a match? Where does he find the energy that fuels the spring in his legs? Where does he find the discipline to exercise the restraints needed to let that energy build, and then to release it with such power and precision? Where does he find his resolve, his focus, his lightness of foot, his clarity of judgment? Perhaps these are things that he has been given, gifted. But never have I seen such an embodiment of wholeness and we are compelled to ask.
Quite obviously Federer sees the game differently than other players. Here is a guy that travels without a coach. He seems to avoid the spotlight. He is humble and polite. He doesn't date Paris Hilton or fancy an alter life as a rock and roll star. On court he doesn't grunt or glare, pump his fist or curse at linesmen. He doesn't defile the court with his excesses nor the sport with boorish behavior. He intimidates his opponents by yielding to them. He seems egoless and fearless and yet indomitable. His technical proficiency is unparalleled in the sport. At the same time he plays with inspired spontaneity and creativity. It reminds me of listening to the performances of jazz greats like Charlie Parker or John Coltrane. Musicians who gave themselves to their music, lived it, loved it, found completeness in it. The technical skills combined with spontaneity elevated by an understanding of the music that transcends the notes.
Federer seems to see the game differently than other players.
We get glimpses of his mind through the character of his play. The soft and steady set of his eyes as he focuses to return a 140 mph serve belies his intensity. He seems to go faster by adroitly manipulating time rather than by reacting to a fear of it. The elegant carriage of his body as he walks back to the baseline gives resonance of the delicate nature of his strength. His power comes from a liberated flow of energy derived from alignment of body and breath rather than excessive force born out of tension and exertion. Nothing seems forced, nothing is out of time.
Although we are apt to forget, Federer is certainly human. In the fourth set against Nadal at the French this year he looked frustrated and uncertain, missing shots that we see him routinely execute. Even at Wimbledon his emotions were clearly evident as he openly wept with joy and relief after winning the title. This is a man who feels deeply about the things that he is committed to. Yet he is a man that has come to terms with aspects of his life that provide the foundation of his game. He seems to have discovered the joy of being who he is and at the same time the humility to know that there is much more beyond himself.
Federer and Wimbledon - they will always be linked. Inscribed above the player's entrance to Centre Court is a quote from Rudyard Kipling's poignant and elegant poem "If". It reads "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same." It is put there for a reason and it appears that Federer has taken it to heart. Indeed this is a champion who seems in balance with himself. Congratulations to Roger Federer and may his brilliance continue to shine.
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.
T1 Super Slow-Mo™ Bonus Videos
If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, then these six super Slow-Mo™ Video sequences of Maria Sharapova on the practice court may be the best way to learn the game the pros play. Check out these videos in your My TennisOne Account.
The Leverage Game: Get Behind It
In his latest article, Doug King examines what he believes is the key that has revolutionized the Classic Model of tennis and ushered in the Modern Game. Grips, stances, spins, follow-throughs, you name it - all have been retooled based upon the principle of leverage. Follow his analysis and see how you can build leverage into your game.
Progressive Relaxation – Awareness Training
Relaxation is perhaps the most neglected area in tennis training. Yet it is a skill just like a topspin forehand or an overhead smash. And just like these tennis strokes, relaxation skills need to follow a certain progression: from training off-court, to the practice court, followed by simulated play, and finally match play. Dr. Robert Heller shows you how to develop these critical skills.
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 froma 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 theconvenience 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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