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Tennis Warrior
June 2020 Article

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Simple Tennis is Best

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Tom Veneziano

One of the most critical elements of learning and playing tennis is to remember to keep things simple. Players tend to think that the more sophisticated and difficult the strategy or technique, the better. As if the sophistication or difficulty in itself means that it is right. This backward thinking is one of the reasons why many players still fall for the style of learning that focuses on the excessive and overdone technique. They think, "Tennis is a difficult game, so it must require all of these exact, intricate techniques."
I remember when Michael Chang won his first French Open title against the great serve and volley player Stefan Edberg. What was the complicated strategy that Michael employed to disengage his tough attacking opponent? His solution was to keep the ball lower when Edberg charged into the net. That's it! Michael won the French Open by keeping the ball down at Edberg's ankles.
You too must learn and remember simple information and use it to win at tennis. Here is a simple strategy that most players forget. When returning a second serve, adjust your position and move in closer. Why? Because your opponent must get that second serve in or lose the point, so that second serve will be slower. Moving in closer allows you to hit the ball sooner, which in turn sends the ball back quicker and creates pressure on your opponent. Plus, the fact that you are standing closer will create even more pressure! Make sure to employ this tactic relentlessly the next time you play. By positioning yourself closer on all second serves, you are letting your opponent know that the pressure will come if he misses the first serve.
Now, on the other hand, if you are the one serving, make sure you hit a high percentage (60 - 70%) of first serves in the court. Why? Because, as I just mentioned, your opponent can move up on second serves and create more pressure on you. There is enough pressure in tennis without creating your own by missing too many first serves. Getting your first serve in will stop the pressure you feel when your opponent moves in closer to return your second serve.
On the surface, this is not an earth-shattering phenomenon. Yet all Tennis Warriors know that these simple concepts are not only earth shattering, but the reason why they win more often than other players. Tennis Warriors also know that not many players will make these simple concepts a priority. Do not be one of those players. Remember, keep it simple!

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This column is copyrighted by Tom Veneziano, all rights reserved.

Tom is a tennis pro teaching at the Piney Point Racquet Club in Houston, Texas. Tom has taught thousands of players to think like a pro with his Tennis Warrior System.


In Tom Veneziano's book "The Truth about Winning!", tennis players learn in a step-by-step fashion the thinking the pros have mastered to win! Tom takes you Step-by-step from basic mental toughness to advanced mental toughness. All skill levels can learn from this unique book from beginner to professional. No need to change your strokes just your thinking.

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