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Tennis Anyone
July 2015 Article

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Never Too Old

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John Mills, USPTA

Many of my older students say, "I am too old to change or too old to learn." I say, "You are never too old to do these things on a doubles court."

  • Watch the ball, get the point started, and keep the ball low!
  • Move your feet.
  • Move your position with every hit.
  • Remember: your good shot is also your partner's good shot and your bad shot is also your partner's bad shot. Your good shots create offensive positions, as your bad shots create defensive positions. As a team, the kind of shot determines how you play the next shot, offense or defense.
  • If you are in a good position, hit the ball wherever you want.
  • If you are coming out of your shoes to reach the ball or in a bad position, hit the ball in the direction you are falling.
  • Always ask yourself these two questions: "Where should I hit it?" "Where should I move to after I hit it?"
  • An ounce of placement is better than a pound of power.
  • Do not say anything to your partner unless it is positive.
  • Show up on time.
  • If you need to get a sub, find someone that is at least as good as you or better.
  • Bring a can of new balls to play with.
  • Lob occasionally, not all the time.
  • If you are not able to play your "A" game, be a good support player.
  • The entire doubles strategy can be seen as: over/under.
  • If your opponent is too close to the net, hit or lob over them.
  • If your opponent is moving in toward you, hit under them, at their feet, forcing them to hit up.
  • Don't let your age slow you down!

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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