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Tennis Anyone
August 2008 Article

Contact John Mills

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Simple, But True

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John Mills, USPTA

  1. When playing doubles, one of the most important things to remember is to keep the ball low. There is usually one opponent near the net who is ready to attack and kill the high ball at your partner. So, keeping the serve return low, your approach shot low, your mid-court volley low and your half-volley low is essential. No two players will exhibit the same form. So, by focusing on the effect rather than the form or style you can create a very good doubles player.

  2.  
  3. Learn to start the point. Quit trying to win the point every time you hit the ball. Most points are lost in less then three hits. Get the point started.

  4.  
  5. If you are receiving a very difficult lob forcing you backwards, hit this overhead straight ahead. This will not allow your opponents to create a difficult angle for you to return after you manage to catch your balance after hitting the overhead.

  6.  
  7. When you are lobbing, try to hit the lob over your opponent's week side, not their power overhead side.

  8.  
  9. When you are approaching, learn to hit the approach shot a little slower as to allow you more time to move forward. Remember, get to the approach shot sooner, raise your point of contact, hit the shot slower with more accuracy and leave it sooner to get to the net sooner, avoiding the low ball at your feet.

  10.  
  11. Usually, in every point you will be given an opportunity. When you see this opportunity, take advantage of it. Think positively and act aggressively. Even if you do not win the point, congratulate yourself for recognizing the "opportunity." You will be on your way to becoming a more aggressive player.

  12.  
  13. Your goal is to learn to win. Think only about things that allow you to focus on winning. Quit thinking about losing.

Good luck on the courts!

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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