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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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?…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Mental Toughness – Maybe?

  The following are some of the articles in the “Mental Library” within the ETI Network Continuous Learning – willingness to change Andre Agassi – how I beat Boris Becker The Super Fluid Swing Information and Knowledge The Space Between Stimulus and Response Setting a Trap Growing your “CQ” but only if you are Curious…

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Using Your Legs on the Serve – does jumping help?

Okay – the game keeps changing.  The racquets, the training, the speed of the game, and yes for sure the technique. Once it was common, and even a rule, that the server would have to keep one foot on the ground during the delivery.  Then the rule was changed (though I am not sure when…

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Unscrew the Light Bulb (on the serve)

I learned this method from Don Kerr, former Tulane tennis coach, but interestingly a badminton coach who brought his material to the tennis world. He and I developed the Whistler, a biomechanical teaching aide, which led me to a Masters program at the University of West Florida where I studied motor learning as applied to…

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A Challenge to Create Sidespin while Rotating the Forearm

This one is harder than it looks – unless it already looks hard to you – if so GOOD!  

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The Art of Winning and the Second Shot Pass

There is a connection here. The second shot pass is a basic strategy when your opponent takes the net – for your do want information about their volleying skills This play works best when the volleyer is centered which then reduces the volleyers natural angles. But in the main, this play creates pressure, challenges the…

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Singles Playbook – Do All Points Have Equal Value ?

Singles You have no on court coach available No doubles partner for support The winning and losing is all on you We know the feeling And more, we have won an occasional match and not known why, but equally we have lost (perhaps more than a few) matches and not known why The factors include…

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The Serve – Marin Cilic – Tossing into the Swing

Many players change their rhythm between first and second serves. A one-two-three count creates a swish in a particular location and with a recurring tempo. But when introducing the toss, the rhythm may become disrupted. Either the starting tempo becomes too quick, or just the opposite, an overly high toss creates an extra beat when…

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Roger Serving with a Snap

On Court Exercises The following exercises identify specific elements of the serve. Do not attempt all exercises at once, but rather, start with the first exercise, and take as much time as needed until you feel comfortable, then progress in sequence to the next one and so forth. Snap down Positioned at the service line,…

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