All about your ground game - building blocks - targeted drills - putting it together on court

How To Build Rock Solid "Groundies" - So Your Game Will Follow Suit...


Just as we build a house with attention to the foundation, 

this course presents foundational materials, for you to discover more accuracy, more power, and all with less effort.  

- Jim McLennan

Have you sampled instructional materials that pour on the words but don't deliver the goods?  This is a common complaint.

I have spent years working on training methods that are basic, lucid and actionable. 

And I have come up with something pretty good here, something that just may surprise you.  

Mastering the Ground Game - everything you need to know including building blocks, targeted on court drills, a primer on grips, swing paths, and specific methods to improve your attitude and awareness when on court. 

So who is it for?

Mastering the Ground Game is for players who want to build, and or rebuild their forehands and backhands with a no non sense time tested approach. 

Place Order

Since Mastering The Ground Game is a brand new product I've included a few testimonials from people that have purchased my other products, here's a couple for Mastering The Kick Serve...


After years of having an "ok" serve, I finally have a CONSISTENT dangerous first serve and a much more reliable second serve... furthermore, I can be my own coach and "tweak" my serve during a match/practice and feel confident that I have a MUCH better understanding of the mechanics/physics/principles that encompass an effective serve!!

Being able to reference the material online with videos is absolutely PRICELESS!!! THANK YOU!!!

- Armand Gallanosa
Anderson, IN



No lesson I have ever had with a teaching pro — and I’ve had a lot — ever made the kick serve remotely as clear as Jim McClennan’s superb online videos.


- James Kaplan
co-author You Cannot Be Serious (with John McEnroe), and
I’ve Got Your Back (with Brad Gilbert)
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

In this course you will ...

  • Take ownership of your game with an accurate self assessment
  • Follow a step by step, how to manual with specific on court drills
  • Master the art of preparation (not racquet back) and moving in twos 
  • Learn to use your eyes on both sides of the net - seeing the ball and the court
  • Discover racquet path and swing mechanics that match the incoming ball
  • Learn to use rhythm and relaxation to get effortless pop on your groundies

And much, much more!

Who am I and why should you listen to me?

A good question.  But first a genuine proviso. 

So much of the tennis teaching craft entails self promotion. But there is no way for you to know if the methods of a teacher will speak to your own learning style.

My hope is that you judge me by the tone and tenor of the posts you have received. 

That said, the following is a thumbnail of my background:

  • As a player and teacher for 40 plus years I am the sum total of the coaching I received from Blackie Jones, Tom Stow and Don Kerr. 
  • Blackie Jones was our neighborhood coach, but from a small group of young boys we have 5 full time tennis professionals and one who reached a top twenty world ranking
  • Tom Stow, “the Maestro,” coached American Grand Slam Champion Don Budge,  pioneered teaching the All Court Forcing Game, and legions of players and teachers flowed from his work at the Berkeley Tennis Club and then Silverado Resort
  • Don Kerr, Tulane tennis coach and genuine Renaissance Man authored work on gravity motion, and brought insights from his work with world champion badminton players to the tennis world.  Interestingly the badminton clear is an exact copy of the Sampras service motion.
  • I played four years of college tennis, first at Chico State and then for Cal Berkeley
  • I have held regional and national rankings in men’s open and senior divisions
  • I developed and patented a teaching aide, “the Whistler”, and used the device to study the effects of biomechanical feedback on the serve.
  • Presented dozens of seminars on the serve, gravity motion (footwork) and teaching methods to regional, national and international tennis teacher conferences.
  • Editor of
  • Tennis Director at Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills, California
  • Created The Secrets of World Class Footwork - featuring Stefan Edberg (video) and Tennis Footwork – the complete training manual
Tennis Footwork
Tennis Footwork
Tennis Footwork

I continue to study the art and science of the tennis teaching craft and think of myself as a life long student of the game.

What this is NOT:

This is NOT a lot of technical jargon and teacher speak mumbo jumbo...
And this is definitely NOT a quick-fix solution...
This IS a proven, lucid, grounded, time tested method to build reliable, accurate and effortless ground strokes


I think what you are doing is fantastic. I took a few sessions of a clinic with a pro a few years ago and I would get frustrated that all he seemed to want to do was tell me what I should be doing. I wanted to SEE it.

With Essential Tennis Instruction you are the second wave of "The Inner Game of Tennis" revolution bringing the ability to actually see the mechanics of good tennis to a wide audience. I feel like I have learned more in the past two days on your web-sites that the previous two years of analyzing pros on my DVR.

Doug Harrell
Wilmington Delaware



Of all sites and videos that exist on 'how to serve' your explanation of leading with your elbow as you come up into the serve, has changed the entire result of my serve - the power, the spin, the confidence of delivery.

Serving has changed from challenging to successful. Thanks.

Martin I. Hassner
Upper Saddle River, NJ



Your ”Mastering the Kick Serve ” is terrific! Your step by step pointers brought back good memories on my very lost serve! I was so excited I stopped half way through, drove to my indoor club, and practiced what you preached and experienced immediate results, especially on the ad-court, where I have been exploited by opponents. Not any more!!

Thanks, Bob.

Bob Strimel


So here I am after eight months. Hitting flat serves and sides serves reliably and comfortably with reasonable accuracy wide, body, and down the line. I'm even mixing between flat and slice easily.

My opponents are complimenting me on my good serving and some are talking about my "trick" serves. :-))) Several of my serve games are being won on the 4th or 5th serve point.

Then comes along this new kick serve stuff. Ok, I decide to go slow into it.

I read the introductory material and watch the videos. I'm saying yeah, let's do the 123 rhythm again and focus even more on hitting the first and second serves the same pace for every serve point.

And, hey watching you bend your knees, I figure it's about time to start bending mine.
Ok, magic, knee bends work straight off, my rhythm between first and second serves gets more consistent during matches.

Now I listen to you about hitting low for topspin and it works, so I'm hitting that for a week or so and now you say tell time. It dawns on me the twist part is easy, because I've been telling time with my flat serves.

I go out to the court tonight and there I'm am hitting comfortable kick serves with a twist right off the bat - and they look really good when they go in. No stress on the arm.

You're brilliant Jim!

Rodger Schuester
Vallejo, CA


Hey Jim,

Thanks so much for this great analysis of the kick serve. I was working on trying to do this serve when I came across your great instruction. I was doing some but not all of the parts of the serve.

I had immediate results. This is my GO TO serve now. I use it if I am feeling nervous, always on my 2nd serve and on big points. I really like dropping the finger off, I am so relaxed and fluid. My last match, a 3 setter, I did not double fault once, YEAH! I do refer back to your instruction before a match just to have reminders.

Thanks again for helping me be more consistent and placing my serve where I want it.

Debbie Wessely
Marietta, GA, USA


Hi Jim,

I have nothing but praise for Mastering the Kick Serve. Not only have I reduced the number of double faults I used to dish up, I now have a serve which more often than not tends to make opponents pop up a return for a relatively easy first volley or put away rather than a low return around my feet.

I live in Japan and my partner and I have played in doubles tournaments at the prefectural level (equivalent to a county or small state) for a number of years. We tend to do OK and even made it to the semis once. However, a few weeks ago we actually made it to a final and ended up beating the top seeds to win the tournament. It was out first ever title and I put a lot of that down to the skills I picked up in MTKS. I’ll explain why.

One of our opponents was a big guy with a monster forehand. He received serve in the ad court and with my new kick serve I was able to serve to his weaker backhand side. He tried to run around it as often as he could, but even if he did manage to get his racket on the ball for a forehand return, he wasn’t able to put full power on it, which made it a straightforward matter for me to keep serve. In fact, I didn’t lose me serve once. So I’m pretty chuffed.

Thanks for your help Jim. I really appreciate it and would recommend Mastering the Kick Serve to anyone who wants to add a new dimension to their serving.

Dennis Murphy
Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan


OK, so what's included?

A thorough workbook on the forehand and backhand - with actionable on court drills - including your own self assessment - teaching materials based on the Tom Stow system - understanding and then implementing the differences between macro and micro approaches  - and finally putting it all together within a framework of building blocks and on court execution.  

Mastering the Ground Game includes the following:

Introduction - self assessment, the Tom Stow method, and the all important difference between macro and micro when it comes to forehands and backhands 
Building Blocks - preparation, moving in twos, rhythm and efficiency, contact point and racquet path
Putting it Together – the 5 Keys, Center and Periphery, Seeing the Ball and Seeing the Court, and concluding thoughts

Instant access to the Online Interactive Coursework

This is a website that you can access any time of the day and anywhere you have an internet connection. 

You will be able to quickly and easily find exactly what you need and be able to follow the simple instructions to improve your groundies.

Below are
testimonials from customers and subscribers to my free report and email tennis tips.

Let them speak for themselves.



The materials you have been teaching on the ETI Network and Building The Serve program are by far more helpful than most of the tennis instructional websites on the internet.

- Kwok Kwan
San Diego, California


"One of my 16 year old juniors loosened his grip and the serve improved almost immediately"

- Kevin Hawkesworth
United Kingdom



"Your tip on the 3R's - ready/read/react was amazing. After I received this tip, I went out the next day to put it into use and what an amazing game I had.

I was able to put more points away because I was actually getting to the balls with plenty of time to get set up and react. Thanks so much. I can't wait to receive more tips from you and I cannot say enough how much I appreciate your help with my tennis."

-Betty Huang
Vancouver, BC




After reading "Are you making these 5 costly mistakes on your serve?" I was able to implement the techniques and gain some additional power on my serve.

In addition, my balance is better and thus I am moving better to my first shot. Thanks a million!"

- Bob Hartwick
Harbor Springs, MI



"Your serve tips have helped me improve my JV (Junior Varsity) tennis team's serves across the board"

- Ann Loose
Albuquerque, New Mexico




Your "5 costly mistakes" piece was very helpful. ... I found some specific nuggets. One example: You seem to promote the idea of separating the toss motion from the serve motion, and static balance is the way to do it.

A big idea! Works for me! Thanks."

-Fred L. Carrillo
Hilton Head Island, SC




Your report breaks the [details] down to something I can understand.

I tried it out. It feels like that is the first time I know what I am doing when serving.

Although it will take me some time to figure everything out and get used to the rhythm, the information immediately removes fear from me.

I no longer fear what my next serve will come out as I now know exactly what goes wrong when my serve does not land in.

To say the least, your report is a lighthouse to me. I think I have finally found the shore after all these years."

-Pluto Ng
Hong Kong



"Jim, After reading your serving report my eyes were opened: I was holding my racket much too firmly.

After loosening my grip my serve improved and I do not get a sore arm after serving anymore. Thanks for the help."

- Daniel McCarry
United Kingdom




First, let me thank you for the wonderful tips and instructions.

Second, I want you to know that I am 63 years old, played tennis for over 40 years, and now I play every day. I have no talent for the game, but I am a student of the game. I usually identify a small thing to improve but it typically takes me at least 6 months to incorporate it in my game.

Anyway, a few days ago I read your piece about a "cop or a watchmaker", and it dawned on me that I should try watching the racquet head of the guys I hit with, just as you describe it.

I tried it three days in a row with three different partners that I regularly play against. I've known that I strike the ball better than they do, but I had difficulties winning against them on a consistent basis.

Well, nothing short of a miracle happened!

The difference in our tennis ability materialized out of nowhere, I was never out of breath, most of the time in good position, and even toyed with them at times (a bit cheeky of me to say that!). To add to the enjoyment, the 3 gentlemen are respectively 35, 38 and 40 years old!

I confess that I have never experienced such instant improvement from such an excellent tip.

Many thanks”

- T. N.



"Excellent, excellent. You really have captured the concept of the slice serve. That's the way that Dennis Van Der Meer personally demonstrated it to
me almost 25 years ago and and I still use it personally in my game that way.

Now, teaching it the concept, that's another story, but with your analogy, and perception, it gives me extra words to descibe the swing pattern and the toss pattern.

Thank you"

- Dave Gongora

"I have read several books and watched many videos trying to build a kick second serve. This video has, by far, been the most helpful of them all.

Of particular help was the slow motion completion of the swing and looking at your watch. Those types of visualization checkpoints are ideal. At age 56, improving my racquet head speed is the final task to making this my favorite shot."

- Ken Cassady
The Woodlands, TX, USA

"I tried the serve in the box exercise and both my cousin and I were amazed at the instant improvement. I got 10 out of 10 serves in instantly without much effort."

- Jeebee Yim
Tucson, Arizona

"As always your way of describing the essentials of a hit is great. I like your tips very much, because for me this is a good way to learn new "weapons".

Thank you Jim and I'm excitingly waiting for what is coming next."

-Christoph Michlmayr


In Mastering the Ground Game you will;

1. Take responsibility for your game with an accurate self assessment
2. Learn the time tested secrets of the "Tom Stow Method"
3. Feel the differences between the Macro and Micro elements of your ground game
4. Discover how preparation is entirely different than simply "racquet back"
5. Master positioning and timing by "moving in twos"
6. Be able to feel the distinct difference between muscular and effortless hitting
7. Learn how to time the point of contact depending on your grip
8. Discover the decision points when choosing topspin or underspin swing paths 
9. Build Self Confidence using the "5 Keys" 
10. Understand how your center (core) always controls your periphery (arm and racquet)
11. Learn an effective use of your eyes to see both the ball and the court
12. Master the use of topspin to control your net clearance, depth and pace

In this course you will practice;

1. Preparing in time with the incoming ball
2. Moving on a "Turn - 1-2-3"  count beat
3. Hitting a heavy ball without effort

Using your legs to create yet more topspin

5. Matching your swing path to the flight of the incoming ball
6. Popping the racquet head into the "Count Dracula" finish

In addition to this great content let me share with you something else I'm throwing in to sweeten the pot even more...

Bonus #1: - Primer on the Grip

We play with an eight sided tennis handle. These 8 facets, as well as the corresponding edges allows you and me to feel exactly how we are holding the racquet.

Whether forehand or backhand, the trick is to match the grip with the point of contact. Further, to match swing path with angle of racquet face – up swings with closed faces and down swings with open faces.

And finally, whenever possible, use a grip and point of contact that places the wrist in more or less of a locked position. Locked not from muscular force but from the bones in the wrist extended to a position where they will move no more.


Bonus #2: - Inside Out Outside In

Varying the swing path in the contact zone tends to either pop or drag the racquet head. And certainly there are many times when you must accelerate (pop) and other times when you must swing carefully (drag).

The modern power forehand is defintely an inside out stroke, finishing in the Count Dracula position (happy to answer your questions on this one). But when returning big serves (professionally or recreationally) an outside in swing path allows the racquet to stay within the contact zone a moment longer.

At the end of the day these two types of swings depend on the speed and difficulty of the incoming ball, and on your decision to either add or borrow pace.


So how much does all this cost?

First let’s do a quick review.

This is an online course designed to help you master the kick serve.  It is not about any other aspect of the game - just the kick serve. 

What you'll get Value What You Pay
Instant access to Mastering The Ground Game $97 $47
Primer on The Grip $17 $17 FREE
Inside Out Outside In $17 $17 FREE
Total $131 $47

No Risk 30-Day Guarantee or Your Money Back

BTS Gurantee

In fact, if you are not happy for any reason, just let me know and I will return every penny. Plus you can still keep the Worldclass Footwork Booklet.

We make it very simple for you to cancel. No hoops to jump through. Just let us know.

What are you waiting for?


YES! SIGN ME UP! Please give me immediate access to Mastering The Ground Game. I understand I get:

  CheckBox Instant access to Mastering The Ground Game online coursework including videos and instructional material
  CheckBox Primer on the Grip Bonus valued at $17 for FREE
  CheckBox Inside Out Outside In Bonus valued at $17 for FREE

Place Order

Here's to you Mastering the Ground Game,


Jim McLennan

PS.  Take the challenge.  Build your Ground Game.  I guarantee your tennis will improve.

Get Mastering The Ground Game