Tennis Tips

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Rackets and strings

I've noticed that some folks are playing with old rackets and want to encourage you to consider replacing them with new rackets. You can get a decent one for 70-80 bucks and it's worth it. New technology and newly developed composite materials make them easier on your arm, elbow and shoulder. Also, you should all re-string your rackets at least twice a year but never longer than a year. Old strings, out of tension, are also bad for your arm, elbow and shoulder. Not to mention their erratic play. You will be happy you did. Tennis Warehouse will re-string for $15 plus string. They can help you with type of string and tension. I use Prince Topspin and string at 58-60. I would suggest you string yours at the middle of the range on the racket

Winning vs Improving.  When we focus on winning it's virtually impossible to improve, when we do we are focused on getting the point and the game and the idea of concentrating on your stroke and 'how' we make contact with the ball goes out the window. Now it's your business how you choose to play, but I would suggest you think about playing the game rather than winning. Work on your stroke and focus on returning the ball. They say a point doesn't start until the serve and return are successful. So make sure you hit the ball well and properly and I promise the wins will rack up before you know it. Only go for 'winners' when it is there, don't force your shot, be smooth with all your actions, the ball doesn't need to be hit 'hard' to win a point.

Topspin. With topspin we aren't trying to win the point outright, if we do that's great but we want to hit the ball properly in order to get your opponent to make the mistake, a miss hit or a high return is usually what happens and I promise it will make the game more fun. Also, when using topspin your percentage of balls in the court will dramatically improve, I promise.

Cooperative play. When we hit the ball over the net consistently we actually play more tennis as the rallies last longer. So think about playing in this way and your game will improve because you are actually hitting more balls. When playing a weaker player there is no glory in winning by taking advantage of their weaknesses. For example, a player can't move very well so you drop shot them or lob and get the point, good job but guess what, that player now feels humiliated and embarrassed and leaves not feeling real good about themselves. This is not what tennis is about, we are kind and considerate at all times. Besides how fun is it to do that. Again it's your business but I would suggest a more cooperative game. When you're playing with folks at the same level then play your heart out, but think about this.

Take care and always attack the net!

Harold Maier

Reprinted From Tom@TennisWarrior.com

How To Play Tennis With Bad Technique

You are about to play a tennis match and you still have not improved on a bad shot. Maybe the bad shot is your forehand, backhand, serve, whatever! What should you do? The answer is, you go with what you've got! Just like a pro. As I have explained many times, you should not stress out about your failures and mistakes. This is especially important when playing matches. A match is no time to be making any major changes in the mechanics of your strokes. You go with what you've got!

Understand that all pros play with their best stuff for the moment, even if a stroke is not accepted as correct. But if a pro would like to improve a stroke he goes to work hitting thousands of balls until the stroke develops. Then he begins integrating it into match play. Often this happens automatically.

I remember how Bjorn Borg had an average serve when he arrived on the tennis scene. He did not rely on his serve to win matches, but on his speed and tremendously consistent groundstrokes. Borg was smart enough to know that for him to reach a higher level he needed to develop a serve that was more of a weapon. And he did just that. About a year later, voila! He displayed an improved, dynamic serve with better placement and power. Of course Borg's fantastic new serve did not develop suddenly but evolved over the previous year.

The point is, Borg did not panic with his old serve because it was not correct. Instead he played matches with that serve as he continued to practice behind the scenes.

If you have a shot that you feel is not quite adequate, do not panic, just play your matches! If you would like to improve that shot you must go to work like a pro, hitting hundreds of balls to bring that shot to the next level. Give the process time, and all of a sudden, like Borg's serve, you will be using your newly honed shot in match play. Do not force this process. Be patient! As I've said before, when the player is ready the stroke will appear!

Until that magic moment arrives, your job as a tennis warrior is to not let your poor strokes discourage you from playing at the highest level possible with the tools you have on that day. Think like a pro!

 

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