ETI 053 | Rhythm – as simple as 1-2-3

One of the main elements of our game is tempo We often think too much about mechanical issues without reference to rhythm The following drill works equally well on your forehand or serve Far too many come to this game with effort In this drill your entire focuse will be on the “beats” And whether…

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ETI 052 | Turning Your Forehand into the Serve

On the forehand the left arm goes back with racquet preparation The role (I think) is to enable the body to coil The pros now do the same when serving An identical “first move” positions their tossing arm parallel to the baseline Many naturally do this rotation on the forehand but not the serve For…

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Priming – The Art of Winning

Create patterns to discover the opponent’s weakness Always listen for advertisements

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ETI 051 | Reality Therapy – Facing the Truth on Court

Facing the cold hard facts – as in the TRUTH Accurate self assessments of our (meaning your) game can be difficult.   It is possible to play poorly and win, it is possible to play well and lose narrowly because of bad luck or a few close calls But as a teacher and player, I…

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ETI 049 | Racquet Rebound Potential – you will be surprised

A racquet hangs from a rope or is balanced on the butt cap

A ball machine shoots a ball at the racquet and the rebound velocity is “x”

Now the racquet is fastened in a vise so it cannot move.

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ETI 050 | Multitasking on Court

Perhaps on court we all think too much, too often, and as often as not this truly intereferes with just playing the ball.

No judgment, one shot at a time, where the “winning takes care of itself.”

Well in the 1970’s before we ever knew of multitasking or mindfulness – those concepts were developed in a breakthrough book – The Inner Game of Tennis.

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ETI 048 | Swivel Discs

Courtesy Joe Dinoffer of On Court Off Court

Balance and rhythm may be the most important, but equally the least trained and understood, key to playing a more natural flowing game of tennis.

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ETI 047 | Will Staying Sideways help you hit up on the serve?

The common problem I see at the club, as well as on television, is where the server flexes at the waist at the hit – more or less jackknifing to create a little more ball speed.

And this action creates both forward and downward forces – and is generally associated with netted serves.

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ETI 046 | Gravity Motion

Agility = moving quickly and easily.  We know when we are gliding, we know when we are moving heavily. Equally, when can see on the adjacent court who moves well and who does not. But often more than strength training or explosive movement, the secret can be in a subtle unweighting where the body leads…

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Martina Navratilova Doubles at Any Age – and the Whistler

Martina Navratilova – Doubles at Any Age If you’re a doubles player, you won’t want to miss this free video from Will Hamilton where she shows you her “Newt Ball” volley, which is a type of volley she hits from no man’s land, when she’s coming from the baseline to the net… But it was…

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Attacking Half Volley Return of Serve – Federer – you guessed it

In the last few tournaments Roger has implemented something dramatically new. On second serves, as the opponent begins tossing the ball, Roger darts forward to the service line to take the ball on the rise. He indicates this is “fun” and though sometimes it backfires, he used it to good effect against Djokovic in a…

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ETI 045 | Sidespin Serve

Pete Sampras, “I won 7 Wimbledon titles because I had the best second serve in the game.”

The second serve is about spin that will make the ball curve down as it crosses the net.  Yes it may corner the opponent and either swing them wide and out of court, or kick up into their backhand.

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ETI 044 l Topspin and the Racquet Drop

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Consider the critical 24 inch hitting zone when creating topspin on a forehand or on a serve – to create this spin the racquet must be swung up from beneath the ball (12 inches) but carry upward after impact (another 12 inches) to create the rolling spin that more and more of us want in…

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Doubles Specialist

Partnering Questionnaire – Example You are under attack after your own poor second serve, and the receiver has returned the ball cross court deep into your corner and taken the net – among your options – what is the percentage play that you should select and that your partner should anticipate? Drive it up the line…

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ETI 043 | Point of Contact Area of Contact

Ball control – ours is a game of accuracy, of consistency, but equally it is a game of timing for the opponent will send us shots of varying spin, speed, length and difficulty. Timing describes the relation between the incoming ball and the swinging racquet – and certainly the entire game revolves around the moment…

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ETI 042 | Measure Twice Cut Once

The carpenter measures twice to cut once, to make sure the cut is accurate, for if too much is cut off that mistake cannot be undone. In tennis consider measuring as preparing first to the side for the incoming ball, but then to measure precisely the height of the backswing such that the racquet is…

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US Open – Djokovic and Federer – and something new

The US Open mens final featured the best defensive player in the world – Novak Djokovic – against the best offensive player in the world – Roger Federer. Paul Annacone, Federer’s former coach said, “I think what happened is what happens to everybody against Novak. And the reason is that when you play Novak, the…

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Bank of the West finals – Pliskova vs. Kerber

Serve and Return – the classic contest and no where was it more obvious then in the finals, here at Stanford on a very hot Sunday afternoon. Karolina Pliskova, seeded 4th, had made it through to the finals without the loss of a set. But what a serve, often well into if not above 115…

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Bank of the West – Agi Radwanska – thru to the quarterfinals

Defense wins matches.  Djokovic proves this day in and day out.  Radwanska does the same.  Excellent movement, adequate though not overpowering on the serve, but as the match progresses most of her opponents know they will have to win the match because as often as not she will not “lose the match.” Misaki Doi, who…

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Bank of the West – WTA – Madison Keys – early exit on Wednesday

Madison keys, a mere 20 years old even though she turned pro in 2009, after break out performances in both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, is presently ranked 18 in the world with a huge upside. Just this year in the Australian Open she lost to eventual winner Serena Williams  76 62, and at the…

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Bank of the West – WTA – Stanford – Day One

Opening thoughts, day one, Bank of the West WTA tournament at Stanford. Serena has withdrawn earlier in the week, but the field is as strong as ever – there will be competitive matches throughout, surprising upsets – I am hoping the local crowd will come and embrace the tennis. Bu there is something about the…

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ETI 041 | Quantum Tennis/Golf

Many interesting parallels have been drawn between the tennis serve and the golf swing. Once the tennis player (or golfer) gets the feel for the mechanical elements of the serve (or golf swing) then rhythm becomes the overriding issue. Does the swing build smoothly and gracefully? Is there economy of effort? Can the server (golfer) swing easily yet hit hard? Are the body parts coordinated so that the force from the legs moves to the hips, and then to the torso, and then to the shoulder, then the arm, then the forearm, then the hand, and finally the fingers?

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Wimbledon 2015 – Federer takes net!

Serve and volley Chip and charge Finish at the net Yes more and more players are crushing the ball from well behind the baseline.  And yes the strings, the racquets, even the conditioning – all favor the topspin baseline game. Once, it was not that way – when so many of the champions knew how…

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Mac the Knife – Wall to the Ball – Part 2

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