Thank you very much for your great eTennis web site. It looks like it will be a great tool to make my job as captain easier this season!
- Captain from Houston
We appreciate hearing from those of you using our new eTennisTeam service . eTennisTeam saves captains/coaches time and effort and helps improve the overall team experience by managing their tennis teams on the web. One important point to clarify: you don't have to be a TennisOne member to create an eTennisTeam or participate in one. Also, some of our eTennisTeam automatic features aren't obvious: once you add a player to your roster, an email invitation is automatically sent out to that player to come back to your eTennisTeam Home or Team page and update their match and practice availability. See how players update their availability for the entire season in a few seconds. Click here.
- Email reminders are automatically sent out to the players to remind them about match and practice logistics.
- We've added a Match Availability Summary page that allows captains/coaches to see all the players availability for the entire season in a glance. Once you see who is available and perhaps who has not provided their availability, you can quickly email individual players or the entire team from that one page. See sample.
So throw away those spreadsheets, captains/coaches, check out eTennisTeam.
Rafael Nadal – Tenacious, Ferocious, One of a Kind
The Kid turned pro at age 15, and now in his break out year on the pro tour he has to date captured nine titles, including the French Open. With the US hard court season in full swing Rafa has his sights set on overtaking Roger Federer. Yes I did say that.
Remember, at Wimbledon many of the games greatest players (Laver, McEnroe, Connors and Laver) dared to suggest Federer may very well be the greatest talent the game has ever seen. And now “Rafa” challenges all that and more with the ruthless efficiency of his punishing backcourt game.
Click photo to hear Jim McLennan talk about the competitive ferocity of Rafael Nadal.
Nadal captured the Rogers Cup in Montreal with a three set victory over Andre Agassi. Agassi was interviewed prior to the final, and recalled a similar situation years before when he, then a teenager, met Jimmy Connors, at that point still the “Aging King” of the tennis world. Then, after the bruising three set match, Agassi observed, “He's just a great mover on court, and he gets good power from stretched positions so you're never sure if you have control of a point.” Well this is pretty high praise from a player that generally punishes all his opponents with pinpoint groundies into the corner, the opponent scrambling from side to side while Andre dominates the center of the court.
Rafa moves better than anyone I believe I have ever seen. Not exactly powerful, not necessarily explosive, but rather, to my eye, his movement is just tenacious. He runs down nearly everything, drives the ball with incredible power and accuracy from totally outstretched positions, and with such balance that he recovers immediately for the next shot, no matter what or where. It is just that simple, you cannot get the ball by him. He is dangerous from any part of the court at any time, he recovers in the wink of an eye, and the Kid is rarely out of position.
A glance at the Ricoh ATP match facts, clarifies Rafa's skills. Within the serving category, Nadal is second in percentage of points won on his second serve (Federer leads at 60%; Nadal is a few ticks behind at 57%). Nadal is third overall in first serve percentage, averaging 69% on his first serve. On the return of serve, however, Nadal dominates every category. He is first in points won returning first serve at 39%, he is first in break points converted at 48%, he is first in points won returning the second serve at 57%, and he is first in return games won at 40%. True, most of his matches were on clay where returns and service breaks are more common, but still, these are pretty heady numbers. If and when the Kid can dominate the service stats as well, we have someone who would be nearly impossible to play.
In today's game I cannot think of anyone else who brings such ferocity to the court.
In the recent Rogers Cup final, the tale of the tape provides similar insight.
The score was 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, and though the first two sets, the match swung back and forth, the third set was all Nadal. Overall the numbers tell the same story. First serve percentage, Nadal 67%, Agassi 57%. Both men served 7 aces. Both won 72% of the points when they got their first serve in. A larger gap occurred on the second serve, with Nadal capturing 70% of the points on his second serve, and Agassi winning only 50% of the points on his second serve. And overall Nadal won 86 points in the match to Agassi's 70.
The third set, however, tells a different story. On first serve, so critical as the match goes down to the wire, Nadal was at 65% and Agassi at 48%. On points won on the first serve, Nadal was at 85% and Agassi at 60%. On points won on the second serve, Nadal was at 71% and Agassi at 55%, and finally and most importantly, Nadal won 43% of the points when returning serve and Agassi only managed 20%. Put simply, Agassi served poorly in the third set, and Rafa made him pay for it.
As we observe Nadal's talent flourish over the coming months and years, he has a special something that in many ways does not truly compare to the others. First, I would say that no one, truly no one, has covered court quite like Nadal. Hewitt is quick and scrappy, Michael Chang was all over the court, Borg was an excellent retriever – but somehow Nadal is leagues ahead of these guys and all the others when it comes to getting to the ball and doing something with it.
Second, when I think back to the game's most intense competitors, certainly Connors and McEnroe come to mind. But in today's game I cannot think of anyone else who brings such ferocity to the court – this kid comes to battle, he comes for the battle, and he loves the battle. We have questioned the “guts” of certain players, how much does Federer “want it”, what will Safin “give” to win a match. But Nadal has answered this question in the affirmative.
And though I am not sure that you and I can match Rafa's intensity or incredible court coverage, there are a few things worth observing, which may trickle down into your own game. When someone is described as a “Great Mover” there are a number of distinct skills that are brought to bear. Starting quickly, hitting on balance, recovering quickly, and timing the split step to the opponent's contact, each and every time. Rafa brings a dancer's awareness to the court, for he is master of the dynamic instability required to run quickly, and in the replays of some of his amazing shots he is leaning into his running strides much like a sprinter coming out of the blocks. When he punishes the ball from the corners from what appears to be a dead run, he is impeccably on balance, no longer leaning out to the ball but now totally upright. Then a moment after contact as he is following through, he totally reverses body weight back to the center of the court, again - the dynamic instability helps him recover better than anyone in the game. Finally, as he readies for the opponent's reply, he times each and every split step to the opponent, totally engaged, ready to run laterally or move forward for the kill.
Interestingly, walking is a simpler form of dynamic instability, in that one's balance and resulting momentum propels the motion and the feet simply follow. And for those skeptical about that comment, consider when someone walks into a plate glass window, do they hit their head, their foot, or their knee.
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.
(Click link to purchase Jim's McLennan's Secrets of World Class Footwork Video.)
T1 Super Slow-Mo™ Video Analysis
A good serve requires a consistent ball toss. Monty Basnyat takes a close look at the six Slow-Mo™ Videos in your my TennisOne account and discovers three commonalities among these top pros that you can work on to improve your ball toss and your serve.
Reaching ‘Unconscious Competency'
There are many ways to hit a tennis ball. Unfortunately most will leave you laboring at the lower levels of the game. To rise to higher levels, you need to employ more accomplished patterns and techniques. Dave Smith takes you through the steps necessary to rise from unconscious incompetence through conscious competency and finally, playing like the pros, with unconscious competency.
Flow and the Zone - Part II
Scott Ford continues to discuss the system dynamics of the Parallel Mode of operation and how the Parallel Interface create two more components of flow, action-awareness merging and a greater sense of control. A blue print for getting to and playing in the zone.
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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