What is to be Done, Part 2
sport were packaged and marketed right, the
amount of growth the game would experience would be significant.
--Andre Agassi, in recent interview
By Kim Shanley
The TennisOne Community
When I wrote my last newsletter on this topic
is to be Done?"), I wasn't posing a rhetorical question.
I had some ideas about what could be done to improve the lackluster
state of tennis, but I didn't have a specific course of action
to recommend. So I asked the TennisOne community to submit their
best ideas, and we agreed to publish five of the best submissions.
You can read those by going to our home
page (6th article from top).
I think you'll see an array of interesting
views, but what seems to be missing from most tennis op ed pieces
are the pragmatic steps to implement the recommended changes.
Tennis is a fragmented empire, with the WTA, ATP, ITF, USTA,
Grand Slam Tournaments, and local tournaments all protecting
their turf and making any major reforms difficult to implement.
Some people have given up on trying to improve
the state of tennis, but I was very happy to see Martina Navratilova
and Andre Agassi speak up in recent months, both agreeing to
accept a yet-to-be-defined role of Commissioner of Tennis. They
both agree that the game of tennis can be organized and marketed
far better than it is today. Those in despair of ever changing
tennis should remember that the PGA, NBA, and American Baseball
all foundered at some point, but a strong commissioner and concerted
action laid the foundation for much greater success and popularity.
A New Institution
My idea is that the sporting goods manufacturers
spearhead the creation of a new, non-profit institution headed
by a Commissioner of Tennis. The sporting goods manufacturers
are the natural leaders in this movement, as they would benefit
most directly through increased sales of tennis equipment and
clothes if tennis starts to grow again. The Board of Directors
would be composed of heads of the sporting goods companies as
well as the Legends of the Game, especially those like Martina
navratilova and Andre Agassi, who have expressed a commitment
to changing the way the game is marketed. All ex-Tour players
should be encouraged to lend their support to the organization,
and the committed tennis player and fan should also be able to
join this organization. Having a large base of highly motivated
members would provide the groundswell of public opinion support
to back the recommended changes of the Board and Commissioner.
Let's face it, major changes to the game
will involve wrestling some power and influence away from the
existing tennis institutions. This is going to require a well-funded
organization, but most importantly a tough, inspired group of
leaders. Should Agassi be the first Commissioner of Tennis?
Given Agassi's stature in the industry and willingness to serve,
he would seem the easy choice. However, the attempt to change
the industry is going to be a brutal, long-term struggle, and
one wonders how effective Agassi would be and how long he would
willing serve in this difficult job. I say let Agassi be the
inspirational spokesman for the game that he already is, and
let a professional executive, like a David Stern of the NBA,
run the show. An ideal candidate would be a rising executive
star within the PGA, NBA, or NFL who has a secret passion for
tennis. Make him or her an offer that can't be refused, and give
the new Commissioner of Tennis the full backing of the organization.
As always, I would love to hear your views
on the subjects raised in this newsletter. Please click
here to send your email directly to me.
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ProStrokes: The Serves of Clijsters and Hantuchova,"
by Doug King
On the pro level a weak serve is a huge liability
against today's punishing returns. Two of the top players on
the women's pro tour, Daniela Hantuchova and Kim Clijsters present
an interesting comparison. Although different in their physique,
we will notice similarities in the basic components of their
serves and examine the subtle differences that separate these
Things First - Arm/Hand/Racquet,"
by Jim McLennan
The tennis swing begins from the center and
moves to the periphery (the racquet). But just as a top either
spins perfectly, or wobbles, slows down, and falls, you too can
feel the balance and efficiency of a spinning top, and allow
the periphery to take care of itself. The intent is to build
your own awareness of your balance, the position of your head
during the swing, the manner in which you shift your weight,
and how it feels when you swing your hips to and fro.
a Tip from the Birds and Hit the Flamingo Forehand,"
by Doug Atkinson
When moving wide for a forehand, improper
positioning can cause the front foot to step across the body,
locking up the hips and not allowing the hips and shoulder to
rotate smoothly. This causes the arm to over compensate, which
explains the loss power. Hitting with an open stance can help
and practicing the Flamingo Forehand can teach you how. Mentally
and emotionally, you must believe and start practicing.
Needs a Rotator Cuff?" by Dr. Donald Chu
The Rotator Cuff is comprised of four muscles,
the supraspinatus, infraspinatus subscapularis and teres minor.
This muscle group plays a very important role in the ability
of the tennis player to function on the court. Without them,
or if damaged, the player would have problems controlling the
racquet on ground strokes and service motions, not to mention
Exclusively on TennisONE
Gallery: Jelena Dokic Serve and Return
Dokic had what has to be considered a disappointing
year. She was the victim of a number of upsets and that sent
her into a season long funk. No one denies her talent though
and at only 20 there is still a lot of upside here. Dokic moves
well and is solid off the ground. If she can get her head on
straight, she should work her way back up the rankings. A good
model from a technical point of view.
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