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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz2] Re: Instructional questions

From: Grant Williams <>
Date: Tue 3 Oct 2006 09:09:15 +0200

Hi Ron,

1. As kids we would always swing the perfect swing without a ball
directly after missing a shot. I have not heard of coaches using this as
a teaching method only as I can imagine the pupil getting bored very
quickly and wanting to hit the ball. If used with the right pupil it
could be highly beneficial. It is kind of like taking someone surfing
and showing them how to jump to their feet on the sand. If they cannot
jump up and swivel to the side on the beach, there is no way they are
going to do it on a moving board while a wave is breaking behind them.
It's called muscle memory.

2. It is called a circular swing.
The advantages are:
a) More rhythm
b) More power
c) Disguise for the drop shop. Looks like you are going to hit a hard
shot by picking the racket up and then dropping it short.

The disadvantages are:
a) Harder to time the ball
b) Harder to time the ball
c) Harder to time the ball

3. This is a very good question and one which separates the great
players from the others. It is like a fighter learning all the moves but
needs to fight to actually learn situations. In tennis an instructor
needs to teach the fundamentals and this is by far the most important
starting point. It is very important to assess the individual you are
coaching to see if they can handle all the instruction. An astute pupil
will bear with you until their technique is grooved because you have
explained in detail how important it really is. If someone is looking
bored while you are trying to correct faulty technique, try and keep it
fun by playing games. One of my favorite is to tell the pupil that you
are making a movie about a tennis player. You are not interested in
where the ball goes only if the style was perfect. Demonstrate the
technique you would like the pupil to emulate and give them a grade out
of ten or tell them you will have to retake the scene. This goes back to
your first question about hitting without a ball.
There is no short cut to getting out of the ego mind. One needs to
practice getting out of your mind as hard, if not harder than any shot
learned in tennis. This comes from playing matches or even practice
matches if there are not enough tournaments. Some people are more
natural at doing this than others but this is where the expression
"playing out of your mind," comes from. Completely calm and relaxed,
moving effortlessly, following a distinct well structured game plan,
adjusting where necessary.

4. If I am not mistaken, Steffi Graf had an Eastern forehand grip.
If your student is hitting the ball well, it must be slightly in front
of them otherwise it wouldn't work.
Ask them to experiment by exaggerating how far out in front they hit the
ball, to not so far in front, to behind them. Then let them be the judge
as to what works best.

Hope this helps a little. Best of luck and keep up the good work.

Kind regards
Grant Williams
Teaching Professional
Bantry Bay Tennis Club
Cape Town, South Africa
Mobile +27 833093833

Received on Tue Oct 03 2006 - 14:48:47 CDT

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