Is there TOO MUCH information?

The short answer is YES

The longer answer may lead you yo examine (or reexamine) your point of view.

Whether discussing tactics, footwork, ball striking, the mental game, and more – there are myriad online presentations.

A new student/friend aptly described, “It is so hard to know where to start

And when she and I got on court I noticed how much she knew, how it may not have really fit well together, and a bit like a doctor my so-called “diagnosis” started with her “symptoms” but then led to the (probable) “causes”. 

As regards “too much information” …

Factoids are the Information we receive online or on court.

Knowledge describes our attempt to assemble the information into useful bites

And on-court wisdom (so to speak) presents how the knowledge is applied

Somehow players at any level from 3.0 to 5.0 have similar amounts of “information” but their level of skill clearly defines how they have integrated and applied that information.

So where to start depends on the nature of the volley, the nature of the forehand, or the nature of the serve – for each has a different skill set.

Consider your drop hit forehand – and whether you can …

  • Hit the ball squarely with rhythm, balance, and minimum effort
  • Aim the shot near a specified target
  • Purposely control the nature and amount of spin

At age 22, after playing a lot of college and open level tennis, Tom Stow began my first lessons with just this task. Saying that any time I touched the ball it was in fact a “practice opportunity.”

He wanted me to hit harder and harder, yet also asked me to hit hard without effort, he called it swinging slow to hit hard.  Much the same as is done in golf instruction.  In fact Tom did teach tennis on the theory and practice of the golf swing (as regards the forehand).

Can you, on three beats …

  • 0ne – Turn onto the back foot
  • Two – Drop the ball
  • Three – Finish on balance

This simple drill captures the application of your tennis experience, a simple but equally maddeningly difficult task.  a well struck, well aimed, purposeful, balanced and rhythmic drop hit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Comments

  • robert beckvall

    Reply Reply December 7, 2019

    10 years with beginner youth at a small summer program, and this drop hit of 1-2-3 needs no more and no less (funny how adult players trying to improve can’t believe the simplicity-they have to dig for something more complicated) Follow this advice and you will be the one to beat. Thanks Jim, this is spot on and now I send to an 80+ year old I hit with.
    8 to 80 & 1-2-3.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 7, 2019

      Robert – thanks for the note – and yes it is fun for those 80 (and over) – best Jim

  • JDB

    Reply Reply December 3, 2019

    I like your simple explanation of the rhythm which is often neglected when teaching/learning the game of tennis.
    Without getting to wordy nor to technical you provide great insights to the game

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 3, 2019

      Thank you very much – I try to do a bit of what you noticed – Jim

  • Brian Taylor

    Reply Reply December 2, 2019

    I like the way you maintain a spirit of curiosity, Jim, while giving coaching advice.

  • Eugenio ovalle

    Reply Reply December 2, 2019

    Jiim
    As far as getting your weight on the back foot
    1) Do you pivot first
    2) Turn your shoulders
    3) Or do them at the same time
    I find that turning you shoulders first will get you in the correct hitting position (sideways)
    Naturally you have to focus on the ball as soon as possible to achieve this
    What is your professional opinion
    Eugenio

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 3, 2019

      Eugenio – I appreciate you staying in touch – best Jim

    • Donald McDonald

      Reply Reply December 6, 2019

      Did you ever hear about the centipede who was asked which foot he moved first and was never able to walk again?

  • Noushin

    Reply Reply December 2, 2019

    Many thanks for sharing your invaluable knowledge and experience. It’s really appreciated.

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