Quantcast
nodot nodot
Turbo Tennis
March 1999 Article

Contact Ron Waite

Latest Turbo Tennis Article

Turbo Tennis Archives:
2003 - 2014
1996 - 2002

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Victoria Azarenka
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Jelena Jankovic
tennis ball Dominika Cibulkova
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Juan Martin del Potro
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball John Isner
tennis ball Richard Gasquet
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Turbo Tennis
 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
Video: Seeing Your Way to a Better Game

Ron Waite Photo
Ron Waite, USPTR

Tennis players, today, have a wonderful opportunity that was not available to those who played the game in the past. Yet, I suspect that many players fail to take full advantage of this chance to improve their performance. Specifically, I am referring to the medium of television and its Siamese twin, video.

Recently, I read an article in a tennis trade that described Bosworth International. As many of you may know, Warren Bosworth customized the racquets for Ivan Lendl and continues to fine tune the racquets of many contemporary pros. What you may not know, is that Bosworth International runs a performance enhancement program that uses high-speed video analysis. Truly, in the high tech era of sports science and performance analysis, video is an absolutely essential tool.

The price tag for a game makeover can be as much as $5000. This would be beyond the budget of many, if not most players. Yet, televised tennis matches and amateur video analysis are clearly within the range of the serious player.

Let’s start with televised tennis matches. As you read this, the heart of the tennis season is just beginning. The Lipton Championships (really, the fifth grand slam event) is in the offing, and in several months, the 1999 French Open will be a reality. Televised tennis takes a quantum leap forward during this time of year and televised professional tennis abounds through the US Open. If you take the time to watch and analyze the matches presented "free" by TV, you can truly have a top-flight, instructional program in tennis technique and strategy.

First, you need a VCR. It as advised that the VCR have some slow motion capability. If yours does not, don’t dismay. All VCR’s can rewind the tape and most TV coverage provides ample slow motion replays.

On your first viewing of a match (whether watching it live or on tape), play close attention to what analysis the commentators provide (many of whom are former professionals). Frequently, a Patrick McEnroe or Tracy Austin will provide invaluable insights on technique or the strategic considerations associated with a particular match. Keep a notebook nearby! Jot down these pearls of wisdom. Later, you might want to categorize these tips (e.g., Tips on Volleying…Serve Strategies). If you could watch a match with Fred Stolle or Martina Navratilova sitting next to you, what would you pay for the opportunity? Fortunately, television networks pick up this tab for us. It just doesn’t make sense to let the knowledge that these experts can provide slip by.

Also, you’ll want to make notes on what sections of the match you wish to examine more carefully (e.g., a critical point in a critical game). At a later time, you will want to watch these sections. However, this time turn the sound down! Watch these sections carefully and repeatedly. Don’t hesitate to rewind the tape and view a key section five or six times. If possible, use slow motion analysis to assist you if you are trying to examine technique. It is absolutely amazing what you can learn, if you review matches in this manner!

Another way to view a match on tape is to "chart out" areas of concern. For example, how many backhands is Pete Sampras forced to hit when he is playing on clay? How many times does a server go directly at the receiver with the "jam" serve? How many errors occur because the ball hits the net vs. balls that are hit out? (This is probably one of the most telling statistics that is rarely if ever presented as part of TV commentary. I promise you that more often than not the losing player hits more balls into the net than the winning player. It is absolutely amazing and speaks volumes about hitting with a margin for error.) How does a particular player play points to set up her/his weapon? Who does the most running in the match? Why? Where do most of a player’s errors occur?…off the backhand or forehand side? How many times on average does the ball cross the net before the point is ended?

There are myriad ways of examining and charting a match. Trust me. In a very short period of time, you will have a much better understanding of what works and what doesn’t if you chart out this kind of data…very useful information to have if you seek to improve your tennis match performance!

The second tool available to many players involves a camcorder, tripod and videotape. Many people own or have access to relatively high quality camcorders. If you should not be one of these, take heart. Some places actually will rent this type of equipment to you on a per diem basis. Tripods are not as common. If you don’t have a tripod, you’ll need someone to serve as a cameraperson.

Regardless of how you secure this equipment, the next question is…how do you use it effectively?

Well, the first type of analysis in which you’ll want to engage is known as individual stroke analysis. Here, you go stroke by stroke and tape yourself from a variety of perspectives. For example, you begin with the forehand groundstroke. You set your camera up near the netpost on your forehand side and tape yourself hitting approximately 25 to 30 forehands. (Obviously, you’ll need a hitting partner or ball machine to feed you balls.) Next, move the camera behind you… near the back fence or curtain… placing the camera so that it covers the entire forehand backcourt. Again, hit about 25 to 30 forehand strokes. Repeat this taping procedure with the camera near the netpost on your backhand side. Finally, place the camera behind your hitting partner or ball machine and tape yourself hitting 25 to 30 forehands. From this latter perspective, you will see how you appear to your opponent.

You should videotape each stroke from at least 4 different vantagepoints. I start with forehand groundstrokes. Then, I tape backhand groundstrokes, forehand approach shots, backhand approach shots, forehand volleys, backhand volleys, overheads, first serves from the deuce court, first serves from the ad court, second serves from the deuce court, and finally, second serves from the ad court.

I tape myself for individual stroke analysis twice per year. I use my ball machine to feed me balls and I am fortunate to have a sturdy tripod. I start the camera, start the ball machine, get to position and hit the necessary number of strokes. Then, I shut down the ball machine, move the camera to the next vantagepoint and repeat the entire process. It usually takes me about two hours to tape all of my strokes in this manner. If time is critical, I will do half one day and the other half the next.

Now comes the hard part… play the tape and watch yourself hitting balls. No one likes to see himself/herself on tape. We always seem to be more awkward and less skilled than we imagine ourselves to be. This is completely normal. Watch the tape two or three times. If this were a hitting partner instead of you on the tape, what advice would you offer? Don’t forget to watch this tape in slow motion if your playback VCR permits it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Believe me -- after several viewings, you’ll know with certainty what changes you want to make in your stroke production. If you don’t know how to effect these changes, bring the tape to a local teaching pro. Seek her/his advice.

Don’t be surprised if, after viewing this tape, you think that everything in your game needs to be changed. It is a natural reaction to seeing yourself on tape. We always exaggerate our flaws. Choose the one or two strokes that need the most work. Prioritize! If you significantly improved only one stroke every 6 months, imagine how well you would be playing in two years!

Don’t erase this tape. Rather, save it and refer to it when you tape yourself in the future. This allows you to have a very accurate reference guide with respect to how your strokes may be changing and, hopefully, improving.

Stroke analysis of this type, however, is not the same as analyzing how you play real points. So, you should also go out with a hitting partner and videotape your strokes as you play out points. For this purpose, the two netpost camera positions offer the most useful and safest placement. You don’t want to hit the camera with an errant shot nor accidentally collide with the camera as you scramble for a ball.

Tape yourself serving points and receiving points. Be certain to tape yourself from both netpost positions. I usually tape myself serving 10 to 15 points before I change the camera position. Then, I repeat this procedure while I return serve. If you intend on playing serve and volley, you’ll need a camera operator to pan the camera as you move to the net (to keep you in the picture), or you will have to place the camera behind the opponent in one of the net corners (this is less useful because you are usually not filling the picture’s frame from this point of view).

To assist you in understanding the best vantagepoints for camera placement, I have created a visual. Those locations marked with an "X" are the most desirable positions. Those positions marked with an "O" represent secondary placements…only somewhat useful.

Finally, you need to tape yourself playing an actual match… preferably, one that is a "serious" competition for you. For this type of taping, you almost necessarily need a camera operator. If you don’t have one, set your camera up outside the court and shoot through the fencing. This latter approach is not great, but is better than nothing. If you do have a camera operator, have her/him tape you from various viewpoints, if at all possible. A mixture of close ups and wide shots is desirable.

Again, you need to spend time watching both the "point" and the "match" tapings. Try to pretend that it is someone else displayed on the tape. What strengths do you see? What weaknesses? Were there key points in the match? How did you play these points? What advice would you offer the person you see on the screen to improve his/her game?

Now, it is absolutely critical that you keep an open mind when you examine yourself on tape. We all think we know what is right and wrong with our game. Yet, you need to look at yourself with no preconceived notions. That forehand that you believe is your weapon may in fact be a liability. That weak backhand may actually be the stroke that is keeping you alive in points. The camera won’t lie if you look at yourself with an open mind!

Finally, you need to see what you do well, as well as, what you do not do well. The purpose of taping yourself should be to improve your game. In addition to eliminating or minimizing weaknesses, you need to amplify the positive aspects of your game… if you truly expect to get better. It is all too easy to get negative… we all exaggerate our flaws.

Careful analysis of televised professional matches, regular videotaping of your strokes and matches, open-minded critiquing of yourself and your game… these are the elements that will rapidly provide you with the insight, knowledge and gameplan necessary to become a tennis overdog.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Turbo Tennis Archives:
1996 - 2002 | 2003 - 2014


If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Ron Waite, all rights reserved. Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Ron by using this form.

Ron Waite is a certified USPTR tennis instructor who took up the game of tennis at the age of 39. Frustrated with conventional tennis methods of instruction and the confusing data available on how to learn the game, Ron has sought to sift fact from fiction. In his seven years of tennis, Ron has received USTA sectional ranking four years, has successfully coached several NCAA Division III men's and women's tennis teams to post season competition, and has competed in USTA National singles tournaments. Ron has trained at a number of tennis academies and with many of the game's leading instructors.

In addition to his full-time work as a professor at Albertus Magnus College, Ron photographs ATP tour events for a variety of organizations and publications. The name of his column, TurboTennis, stems from his methods to decrease the amount of time it takes to learn and master the game of tennis.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Wimbledon Tickets 6/22-7/6
 
Rogers Cup Tickets Toronto 8/4-8/10
 
Western & Southern Open Tickets Cincinnati 8/9-8/17
 
US Open Tickets 8/25-9/8
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
Tennis Warrior: Who's in Charge on the Tennis Court? You or Your Emotions? by Tom Veneziano.
 
April 2014 Tennis Anyone: Set, Lay, Press and Brush by John Mills.
 
April 2014 Turbo Tennis: The Concept Of Control In Tennis by Ron Waite.
 
April 2014 Wild Cards: Revenge of the Yankees! Great Britain Dominates The U.S. In San Diego by Vince Barr.
 
April 7, 2014 Between The Lines: Becoming A Superstar -- Risers Of First Trimester 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
March 2014 Turbo Tennis: Seven Universal Strategies, Tactics and Tennis Principles by Ron Waite.
 
March 2014 Tennis Anyone: Position of Receiver's Partner by John Mills.
 
Tennis Warrior: Coping with adversity in tennis by Tom Veneziano.
 
March 2, 2014 Between The Lines: The Power Nations In Pro Tennis by Ray Bowers.
 
December 2013 Wild Cards: Tennis Channel's Top 100 Players Of All Time List Constitutes A Double Fault! by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 13 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 14 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 15 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 16 Finals W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 11 Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 10 Men's Second Round Women's Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 9 Men's Second Round Women's Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 8 Second Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 13 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 3rd Round Women's Singles 4th Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 14 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 3rd Round Women's Singles 4th Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 15 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 4th Round Women's Singles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 16 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 4th Round Women's Singles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 21 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Semifinals Women's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 22 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Semifinals Women's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 23 Tickets Miami Woman's Singles Final Men's Doubles Final Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 24 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Final Women's Doubles Final Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy