December 13, 2002, Newsletter Issue #52: Time Tested Tennis Tips

Tip of the Week

Apply these tennis tips, and your game, as well as the quality of your life, will be immediately elevated. They are in no particular order.

1. Be kind to tennis strangers and less talented players. Always be willing to invest at least one set in a fellow human being.
2. Tennis reveals your character: play accordingly.
3. Do your very best, but recognize your limitations. Donīt try to be something you are not.
4. When on the defensive on the baseline, concentrate on keeping the ball in play.
5. Play with courage. Donīt be fearful.
6. Against good volleyers, try hitting straight down the middle.
7. Donīt confuse yourself with mechanical drills and details during a match.
8. Strive for relaxed concentration; be neither too casual nor too tense.
9. If age is creeping up on you, pace yourself accordingly.
10. Work extra hard to hold service.
11. Develop a variety of shots, including a solid return of serve. Nobody practices the return, so spend some time on it!
12. Study your opponent carefully for weaknesses, and exploit them.
13. Never try for more angle than necessary.
14. Donīt try to overpower the ball.
15. Realize that being nervous during a match is natural. Your opponent is also nervous.
16. Keep in mind that everyone has off days. Return to the fundamentals in order to get back to your "zone."
17. After hitting a bad shot, relax, and FORGET IT.
18. Warm up intelligently and slowly but be considerate of your opponent. Use the "warm up" to size up your opponent as much as possible, NOT to warm up your game. That should have been done earlier.
19. Have a game plan, and think positively. Refuse to allow negative thoughts to enter your mind. If you ask yourself positive questions, your brain will come up with great answers.
20. Mix up your game. Keep your opponent off balance constantly. Learn and use the 8 variables--hit the ball high, low, fast, slow, in the body, away, and with top and backspin. You`ll also need to receive the 8 variables as well as you give them!
21. Never, never give up. The sweetest victory is the come from behind victory.
22. Stay with a winning style of play when winning; change only when losing. Have a backup plan!
23. Never lob when the wind is behind you, unless you have a masterful topspin lob.
24. Change your pace; keep your opponent guessing.
25. Donīt play first in when starting to serve. Warm the serve up adequately, and then when ready, state to your opponent, "these are good."
26. Avoid arguments of any kind. When in doubt, give the benefit to your opponent. It will be returned in kind. If not, you donīt want to play with that opponent again.
27. In between points, send the server the ball directly; donīt make him chase it.
28. Donīt get angry at yourself or your opponent. It`s not worth it. If you find this happens, practice nasal and oral breathing...breathe in through the nose, and breathe out through the mouth.
29. Make all calls of let or out immediately.
30. Try to even up the ability of your doubles teams when not in tournaments.
31. When playing doubles, seize the offense as soon as you can. The best way to seize offense in doubles is to hit the ball below the white band on top of the net, forcing your opponent to hit up. If both opponents are back, learn the drop shot, to force them to run hard to retrieve the ball. Always think angles when playing doubles.
32. When playing doubles, come to the net as often and as quickly as possible.
33. When the ball goes down the middle in doubles, BOTH should go for the shot.
34. In doubles, play the percentages; low, down the middle, and deceptive lobs will keep opponents off balance.
35. The most important shots in doubles are the serve and return; practice accordingly. Take a little off the first serve, and get it in! Serving into the body is very effective in doubles.
36. When you play, play to win, play fair, and play to have fun. Tennis is truly a microcosm of life--ENJOY IT!

Thanks for reading!


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