Tag Archives: books

“Commit to get to every ball”

 Like many other teaching pros, when I look for a youngster’s potential talent in tennis, I look for three things – the desire to win, a good attitude, and most important, good footwork.


Footwork is important because your feet line you up for contact with the ball. It’s just that simple. The pros make the game look so easy because their footwork is so very good. They line up correctly for each shot over and over again without having to make uncoordinated body moves and stabs at the ball while trying to reach it like many lower level players do. They understand the importance of good footwork and let their feet do the work in bringing out successful play in themselves. They are able to “groove their strokes”, hitting similar shots over and over again, by lining up the ideal position to play each shot.

 Players wishing to advance their game should make a commitment to reach all balls on court. Your capacity to reach just one extra ball and send it back across the net could raise your game another notch. This may require you to get in shape because when you commit to reach all balls on court, you must be prepared to keep this up for an entire match.

 The first thing you can usually look for when stroking problems develop is slow moving feet. This is why so many professionals of the game train so hard to keep their tennis play at the highest level. They too have made a commitment to reach all balls on court and fully intend to uphold this commitment, no matter how many miles they have to run during the match they play.


This lesson is an excerpt from Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids




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“Cut back on your errors”

Most of the points in a tennis match are over after only three or four hits. At every level, the majority of points are lost and not won. This means that most of the points are won due to errors rather than winners.

 The best way to understand errors is to learn the four mistakes in tennis. They are:

  • hitting the ball into the net
  • hitting the ball over the baseline
  • hitting the ball wide to the left
  • hitting the ball wide to the right

 Once you’ve made contact with the ball, these are the only four errors you can make playing the game. The object is to avoid making one of these four mistakes by learning to keep the ball in play.

Even though this is a very basic premise, it is one that is easily forgotten.

The net is where the majority of the errors are made in tennis. The best tactic to use to avoid making this error is simply to aim two nets high when making shots. By swinging low-to-high, the ball will clear the net with a greater safety margin, allowing fewer errors to be made into the net. This “lifting” of the ball on your strokes will help to insure success over the net – often the number one obstacle in tennis.


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Trenton Times Review of “Bring Your Racquet”

GOOD READING: A new book for kids, “Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids” by Steven White offers some good advice for everyone’s mental game.

“The first thing you should do if you ever find yourself choking is to slow down,” White writes. “Slow down your breathing, slow down your walk, and, most of all, slow down your tendency to play fast. Attempt to clear your mind of all unwanted thoughts. Take a deep breath and recommit your thoughts to the challenge of the match. Long, deep, slow breathing can send a message to the mind, telling it that the body is relaxed and back in control.”

A different fundamental of the game is introduced on each of the book’s 112 pages, starting with how to hold the racket, progressing through the strokes, footwork, and other insights into playing tennis. This structure allows it to be used as a reference book or a cover-to-cover read. An easy online search will give you easy options on purchasing this easy-to-follow book for anyone looking to learn or improve — Ann Loprinzi, United States Tennis Writers Association and columnist for the Trenton Times.

 Available @ Amazon and Barnes and Noble


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