First Things First – Preparation

What is your first move when you read the incoming ball? Move your feet? Racquet back? How soon? When in relation to the bounce of the incoming ball? For Tom Stow, the first move may have been the most important aspect of the shot. He said, “If it starts correctly, and finished correctly, probably it…

Continue Reading →

Agility – Hsieh Su-wei

Agility – the ability to move quickly and easily Perhaps we overlook this basic training approach – nothing about force, power or even strength Just about posture – turning hips and shoulders to the ball as the leading foot drops just a bit and preparing the racquet when about to hit instead of running with…

Continue Reading →

The Badminton Clear (from the archives) to Unscrew the Lightbulb

From the archives (yes I do look younger) – and as usual this is about hitting up instead of forward or down on the serve! Badminton – Many parallels exist between the badminton overhead clear and the up and out snap on the serve. And I have found that experienced badminton players ALWAYS serve extremely…

Continue Reading →

Footwork Secrets -and the “Crazy Rich Asians” by Jon M Chu

There is a story here. Some many years ago a talented high school senior filmed “The Secrets of World Class Footwork” (sowcf) He had been a tennis student – and this was Jon M Chu If you have seen Crazy Rich Asians you may know of him, of his vision, his talent – and for…

Continue Reading →

Elbows on Court

  Perhaps the most important element in the game is to PREPARE But for sure there can be many ways to turn and get ready My childhood coach, Blackie Jones (pictured at the left) at Acalanes High School in Lafayette California taught me to line up for the ball by pointing the bones in my…

Continue Reading →

Tom Stow Introduction

We hosted a USPTA sponsored specialty course at Fremont Hills, Sunday November 4th from 1 to 5pm. Four prominent local tennis professionals shared their experiences with, and teaching methods derived from their lessons with Tom Stow. The following pages can be used as reference material for the specialty course, and hopefully will also provide interesting…

Continue Reading →

Bianca Andreescu – “She plays different than other players. That’s why she’s good.”

Bianca the problem solver. Belinda Bencic on Bianca Andreescu: “She won Indian Wells, Toronto, she’s final here. I’m not very surprised about this. She has put together great results. For me it’s not a surprise. I think she’s a very smart player on the court, plays different than other players. That’s why she’s good.”  Her…

Continue Reading →

Our Game is Played in a Box

Yes I am a tennis nut – and have played taught and studied the game for a long time I am now believing that the single most misunderstood element of the game has to do with court position and shot selection. Said more clearly, players have more options when moving forward and fewer options when…

Continue Reading →

Djokovic – Prepared in Time with the Bounce – the Inner Game

The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey- perhaps the best tennis book… He described multitasking and mindfulness in the 1970’s before either term was popularly used ​​​​​​​Gallweys idea was to focus totally on the ball, and that any thoughts on how to hit the ball would interfere with the shot Minimalism – classically so Tom Stow was…

Continue Reading →

Fire the Extensors (when serving) !!

Having lunch with the famous Vic Braden at a USPTA conference in Carmel Valley 1989, someone walked by and asked Vic to give a tip on the serve, to which he (famously) replied, “FIRE THE EXTENSORS BABY” It may be that Vic called many “baby” but the memory has stayed with me. As regards extensors,…

Continue Reading →

Federer – Sequential Elements on the Serve

Allow the tossing arm to rotate back (not out in front) to move the weight into a balanced position The most common problem occurs when players shift their weight forward doing the tossing action                             Federer releases the ball at eye level…

Continue Reading →

Federer – the back foot – and the Scissor Kick Overhead

For the scissor kick overhead, the player drifts back, pushes off and up strongly from the back foot A tricky maneuver but very helpful for players who lose their balance forward when serving. Similarly, Federer keeps his weight back on the serve, even dropping his back hip and shoulder Then he pushes up, his hip…

Continue Reading →

Tennis Jujutsu – it not always “GO BIG OR GO HOME”

The martial art form “Jujutsu” involves manipulating the opponent’s force against themselves. Phrases that arise include flexible, pliable or yielding.  I see so much of this in Federer’s game. Especially his low, short skidding slice. Yet somehow I find a lot of the material on the internet is about bigger shots, more power, more spin, with very…

Continue Reading →

The Underspin Backhand – Rosewall to Federer

The one handed under spin backhand can be a weapon Ken Rosewall drove his nearly flat under spin backhand with ruthless precision to the corners of the court. “Muscles” as he was called. Steffi Graf knifed her under spin backhand, keeping the ball low to ultimately open up the court for her dominating forehand. And…

Continue Reading →

Steps to a Half Volley like Federer

Photos courtesy Jim Fawcette   ©jfawcette Federer astounds on the half volley He makes the most difficult of shots appear simple And this has nothing to do with so-called NO MAN’S LAND, for certainly the ball can land at your feet no matter where you are positioned. Want some simple keys to improving your half volley?…

Continue Reading →

Serving with your Wrist in a Cast

This is perhaps a “thought” piece For certainly some will push the serve, some will snap the wrist (impossible with a cast on) and some will rotate their forearm. At this point – I believe all methods work. This one, for better or worse, is far different. In my studies of the serve, and the…

Continue Reading →

Volley Demo – Conking the Ball

Federer reminds us about playing the net His technique appears flawless (as most everything else) As a caveat, there are many ways to hit the ball, and coaches may or may not agree with the following interpretation Takeaways include Turn the the side with the prepared racquet facing or inline with the incoming ball Begin…

Continue Reading →

The Live Arm

Overhand throwing might be a lost art Whether male or female, adult or junior – some throw much better than others. How come? Permit me a guess… Some whip the ball, and others use a subtle pushing motion And for better or worse those two types have similar serving actions Mike Krukow, former Major League…

Continue Reading →

Leg Kick on the Serve – What is yours?

There are many ways to play this game, many ways to hit the ball, and truly many ways to use your legs when serving. The USTA has an 8 stage model of the serve – which finishes with a pronounced back leg kick (featuring Andy Roddick, the previous model was Maria Sharapova) But what of…

Continue Reading →

John McEnroe – slo mo – the receivers point of view

Are there takeaways from this delivery that might help you (and I ) ? YES !! Observe his “dual leg drive” up and into the hit – by staying balanced and getting good use from his back foot he maximizes his leg drive Observe his head with reference to something behind him and note how…

Continue Reading →

Stan Wawrinka – a simple kick serve

Stan Wawrinka holds three Grand Slam titles – Australian Open, French Open and the US Open. He owns a brilliant backhand, heavy, penetrating, and truly dominating. But this article and video is about his serve – from a camera angle that shows simplicity. Including …… A pinpoint stance but where Stan gets entirely rebalanced after…

Continue Reading →

Federer – Up and Down – then Down and Up

The following five shot sequence identifies key elements within the serve (as demonstrated by the redoubtable Roger) but importantly – these elements are part and parcel of a fluid and effortless delivery And a definition – I am calling UP and Down the moment when the racquet head is UP and the body is DOWN…

Continue Reading →

Wall to the Ball

  Download this Video Tom Stow often introduced the simplicity of the volley technique by using a stool or chair such that the player would be still, be centered, and would make contact with the fewest moving parts. I am using a ball machine and attempting to hit the ball precisely back to the machine…

Continue Reading →

USNews

40 years experience as a player teacher and student of the game foundational point of view students describes my approach as “brilliant simplicity” far far less sales pressure, deadlines and special offers more about content, and our relationship if you love the game you owe it to your self – check out Essential Tennis Instruction…

Continue Reading →

Federer – The Model Serve – and projects for you

                                      This magnificent picture was taken by my friend Jim Fawcette – shot at the Laver Cup in Chicago I want to highlight a number of aspects of his form captured in this photo And for sure…

Continue Reading →

Page 1 of 3