Bonus & TennisOne Writers Store
Receive a free DVD, "Building a World-class Volley," if you sign up for a TennisOne membership by midnight (Pacific) today, Feb. 16th.
Dave Smith, our TennisOne Senior Editor, has given us a few extra copies of his new DVD, "Building a World-class Volley," to provide as a bonus for those who sign up for a TennisOne membership and keep it through the 30 day trial period. Deadline is today - Feb. 16th at midnight (Pacific time).
- Click here to see all the benefits of a TennisOne Membership.
- Click here to sign up for a risk-free, TennisOne 30 day free trial membership.
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 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.
"What's New" Product Video
- from Tennis Warehouse - Puma Apparel - Spring Training Crew/Polo shirts, Sleeveless Top, CAT T-Shirt, Graphic T-Shirt
Rehearsing – Learning to Toss into the Swing
Golfers do it, and they do it many, many times. Baseball batters do it. But somehow the dry-run, the rehearsal without the ball hasn't really caught on in tennis. But whether it comes to getting a feel for a new swing path, or the nuance of a slightly different grip, nothing compares
with the ritual of the dry-run, the deliberative rehearsal. Your tennis
game is a subset of the habits you have acquired, and truly, rehearsing may
be as good if not better than the real thing (hitting the ball) if you are
working on a specific skill.
Some years ago Tom Stow suggested/required a 5 minute footwork drill for
me, where I moved back and forth to forehands and backhands, rehearsing
without the ball but with a specific focus. Shoes quiet, balanced,
stopping on the back foot, stepping in for rhythm, and so forth. Forehand,
backhand, but with this proviso, and I can see Tom at this point saying,
"Do this gracefully, and don't ever expect to play gracefully until you can
do this without the ball." Powerful stuff. Practicing without the ball,
but with a specific intent.
Pete Fischer – Importance of Dry-Runs
Some months ago I met Pete Fischer, former coach of the young Pete
Sampras, and studied his methods in a two hour lesson with my son Patrick. And sure
enough, there were many, many dry-runs, practice swings without the ball
where Pete made the slightest adjustments to Patrick's balance, arm position,
elbow, and more. Again, dry-runs, iterative practice without the ball,
rehearsing to get the feel of a stroke to then repeat when the ball somehow
gets in the way.
And that leads me back to my first coach, Blackie Jones. He taught with
questions, and I can remember difficult moments when I stumbled over a
question, unable to see his line of thought. I use a similar method today,
and am amused at how many of the kids fake the answer by altering the
sequence of the words used in the question (I blame the state of our
educational system for the shocking lack of curiosity I see in our kids).
But the question of the day for Blackie was as follows, "There are two
elements in the serve, the toss and the swing. Do you think it is better
to swing at the toss or toss the ball at the swing?" At this point Blackie
paused, and was fully prepared to wait for an answer.
The Service "Swish"
So here is the drill. Mimic the entire service motion. Start to finish,
tossing motion and swinging motion, but without the ball. Use your eyes
just as you would normally, feel your balance, note the rhythm, and look
for and try to hear a distinct "swish." Now repeat the motion and attempt
to place the swish in the same location. Note, if you cannot reliably
repeat the swish without the ball, there will be little chance of
coordinating that motion with the ball. More dry-runs. Now attempt to
actually "see" the "swish." Obviously impossible, but this gives you
practice in keeping your eyes up at contact.
What is the big deal about the swish? The swishing noise the racquet makes
will indicate the moment of greatest racquet speed. And as you refine the
swish, both in location and by minimizing effort, you start to get an idea
of your "spot," the location of greatest racquet head speed. And
ultimately, precisely where to place the toss. And more than this,
precisely where the toss should "peak."
Rehearsal. Iterative practice. Without the ball. Again, again, and
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.
Samantha Stosur and the Kick Serve
The modern game is all about the forehand weapon, and, if at all possible, you truly need to get the serve up and into the backhand wing. Enter the kick serve, an undeniable weapon, and when it comes to this serve, there are none better or more consistent on the women's tour than Samantha Stosur. Jim McLennan examines what makes Stosur's kick serve such a tremendous weapon.
Former tennis great, Phil Dent, offers the Triangle Drill, up a great drill designed to improve your accuracy and movement on the court. The concept behind this drill is to get you to move both the ball and yourself around the court. By hitting outside the triangle you can get your opponent on the run, because if he or she is able to camp out in the center of the court, you will be in for a rather long day's work.
TennisOne Classic: Comparative Forehands
One of the things, which make tennis such great a sport, is the opportunity to learn how to play it so many different ways. So goes the cliche, there are many ways to hit a tennis ball. This is true even at the pro level where a myriad of idiosyncrasies and individual traits creep into the game. Although we mere mortals will never hit a ball like the pros, there is much to learn by studying their habits. Here, Dave Kensler examines three of the biggest forehands in the game, James Blake, Andy Roddick, and Fernando Gonzalez.
ProStrokes 2.0 – Marat Safin's Serve
With two Grand Slam Titles and a dozen ATP Titles, Marat Safin was certainly no "flash in the pan." Enigmatic, popular, and with loads of talent, however, if ever there was a player who failed to reach expected potential, Safin fits the bill. One of the purist physical talents in the history of the game, Safin both physically and technically had the goods! He had periods of 'fleeting ecstasy" followed by disappointing meltdowns, but one could always admire his execution. Graceful fluidity, plenty of raw power, delicate touch and an all-court awareness, Safin has been a model for students of the game to study and emulate. New this issue, Marat Safin's Serve.
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