Attn: Jake Nelson
July 10, 2002
By STAN…THE TENNISMAN– STAFF WRITER
I already know how to play the game…why
do I need lessons?
Another part of the enjoyment
of playing tennis is improving your fundamental base of skills. You may find yourself always able to beat some, but always
loosing to others. When you reach this plateau you need to get back on the road to improvement, raise your game, win more
Your coach can help you analyze
your game in general, and analyze each of your opponents in particular, You can tighten up your approach, learn to seize openings,
and not play a bad game. Learn how to win most of the easy points and steal a few of the hard ones.
If you find your second serve
is just a slower, higher version of your first serve (you just missed) you can learn a variation like a kick serve, or slice.
Use these to gain consistency, accuracy, set up predicted patterns of play, and keep your opponent guessing.
When your ground strokes
become so strong or land so deep in the court that your opponent is hitting a lot of short returns, what do you do? Learn
the approach shot to set up your advance to the net. Then what? Learn the volley and overhead smash. Start winning matches
from the net.
If you are constantly being
forced to the back court, learn how to neutralize or return defensively and stay in the point long enough to gain the upper
When the player cannot get
past you at the net because of your rock solid volley net game, he may resort to lobbing over your head. Your coach can teach
how to watch for that, prepare, and hit an overhead smash that will set up an easy winner or be an outright winner.
Learn to hit
these new shots at will, to the intended location, with the intended spin and speed, without straining any part of your body,
and you will have a more complete game to be proud of. Your game will become distinguished. This will take time, be patient.
Tip of the month: Tell your
coach you want to master a new shot. He can show you the fundamentals of technique, proper time to use it, proper placement
and then your movement after you make the shot. Also pick up practice drills. After some time of concentrated effort, your
shot will become automatic and you will be able to bring it out to help you win. Along your path of improvement, take time
to play a match with an opponent you do not mind losing to. Use this chance to hit that new shot over and over in game play.
This will allow you to test your skill, and see what happens when your opponent hits it.
For further information call
Stan Carter, USPTA certified professional, at the Flint Canyon Tennis Club: 818-790-3355 or 213-321-8699. You are invited to please email questions and comments to Coach@StanTheTennisman.com.