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A tip on Passing Shots

I see quite a few students miss passing shots.

Even against players who have relatively poor volleys, they still end up missing passing shots.

Reasons: Rushing.

When the players see the opponent coming to the net, they have a rush of blood and want to hit the stroke with a lot of power and so quickly that the ball should pass the opponent before the opponent reaches the net.

Wrong thinking!

At the end of the day, the ball has to come to you before you hit it. You can’t (and shouldn’t) rush into the stroke.

Play it with a cool head. Don’t rush it.

Play it as you would do on a normal groundstroke.

Control that urge.

Also look at the ball and not the opponent.

This is also one of the main reasons why players miss passing shots. They look at the opponent and not at the ball.

Avoid this.

And also it would be criminal not to make the opponent volley; especially if he/she is a poor volleyer.

Make the opponent volley. You will see that you will still win a lot of points.

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Every Point is Important

Tennis is quite unique.

It is not necessary that the player who has won the most number of points, wins the match. You may win more points and games than your opponent and still end up losing the match.

So as some argue, clearly every point is not as important as the other.

Some points carry more importance than the others, right? Continue reading →

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A Free Tennis Lesson with: Novak Djokovic (Courtesy: TIME Magazine)

This week, since I am extremely busy with the ongoing tournaments, I will take a back-seat. (Busy here implies watching AUDA-PITA students compete in matches, day in and day out. And since the students happen to reach the finals, it really makes for a very hectic and busy week.)

And I am not complaining 🙂

So what I will do is, I will step aside and I will let an able substitute teach you a few tennis tricks.

You see it helps if the able substitute happens to be the present World no. 1 on the ATP Circuit and the winner of three Grand Slams in the present calender year.

Now that’s note a bad substitute, is it?

So here’s A Free Lesson With: Novak Djokovic

Thank you Time Magazine!

Have a good Time! 🙂

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A Note on (Re)-Hydration

Water.

A necessity.

As a tennis player, you need to keep yourself hydrated all the time- in other words, keep re-hydrating yourself- since the body loses fluids through sweat and urine.

So here’s the million dollar tip:

Don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink water.

Source of the pic: http://tennismd.com/TennisMD_ArticleList/id/98.aspx

Thirst is a sign that you are already de-hydrated.

Keep sipping on water continuously. Force yourself and your kids/students to keep drinking water at regular intervals.

Then, slowly, it will become a habit.

Think of it this way- You don’t wait for the fuel to run out completely before you re-fuel your automobile, do you?

Similarly, don’t wait for yourself to feel thirsty- it is a sign that the body‘s fuel tank is empty. Re-fuel it (with water, sports drink & coconut water) before you feel thirsty.

Jet, Set, Go!

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Key to Good Movement!

We have a student (a 10 year old boy) at our academy who thinks a lot.

Really.

If you ask him, ‘What’s your name?’, he would pause for two-three seconds, think, and then answer! 🙂

Really, No kidding!

Now this guy has a decent build, moves fairly well while doing fitness off-court.

However, on-court, it’s a different story altogether. Continue reading →

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Serve Vs. Return of Serve – Whom would you bet on?

I was watching the U.S. Open men’s final the other day and it was a treat to watch Djokovic and Nadal – the two champions – battle it out.

According to me, the thing that tilted the match in Djokovic’s favour was his superior return of serve.

Djokovic, along with Andy Murray, possesses one of the best returns of serve in tennis today.

Here is proof of what I mention above. Continue reading →

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How to watch the ball?

One of the very first blogs that I wrote was about the importance of ‘watching the ball’ http://www.samasamtennis.com/index.php/2011/02/the-most-important-rule-of-tennis/

Yes, I believe it is the most neglected tip in tennis.

Most players don’t watch the ball. They just see the ball – or watching something like the ball.

Let me ask you a question: does the ball rotate on a ball toss for the serve? How much?

Can you do the ball toss and check?

Answer: …..

It does rotate, right? Continue reading →

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Using Overheads to better the Serve!

We had a new student (with wonderful potential, I may add!) join our academy recently.

Good forehands, nice backhands, good energy – but quite a poor serve.

There were a lot of things that went wrong with the serve.

Yes, he had a poor toss.

He also kept his hitting arm very stiff & straight while hitting the serve – his arm didn’t have that natural bend from the elbow.

But what was really bad was that he kept mis-hitting his serve every now and then.

He would try to really hit the ball very hard with the serve – but the ball would not hit the sweetspot of his racket and would go into the opposite side without too much power.

So we had a problem at hand and I had to help sort it out. Continue reading →

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Characteristics of Three Basic Grips

One basic thing that I learnt while playing tennis is that each grip (the way you hold the racket) has its advantages and limitations.

And let me be very specific here to the forehand groundstroke.

As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs http://www.samasamtennis.com/index.php/2011/02/using-the-right-grip/ ,there are three basic grips with which to hit the forehand.

The figure above shows the base knuckle of the index finger. Source: http://www.everything-tennis.net/tennis_grips.html

The picture above shows the forehand grips according to the placement of the base knuckle in the bevels

Source:http://www.infobarrel.com/How_to_grip_a_tennis_racket

Please note: To get the correct bevels, the the racket has to be held with the racket head vertical to the ground.

The Eastern Forehand Grip- with the base knuckle of index finger on bevel 3

The Semi-Western Grip – with the base knuckle of index finger on bevel 4

The Western Grip – with the base knuckle of index finger on bevel 5

Of course, there are a few iterations in between these basic grips. Some have a text book grip while others have an extreme grip.

Now,

The Eastern forehand grip will naturally produce a flat stroke. That is the characteristic of the eastern forehand grip – a flat stroke.

The Western forehand grip will produce a topspin stroke. It is almost impossible to hit a flat stroke with that grip. Hence the characteristic of the Western forehand grip is a topspin stroke.

The Semi-Western grip will naturally add a little bit of topspin to your stroke, but the topspin will never be as excessive as with a western grip.

So my request to all players is: Respect the natural characteristics of your respective grips. Don’t try and hit flat strokes with an extreme semi-western grip. You may get a couple of them in but it will result in a lot of errors.

Similarly, don’t try to play with excessive topspin with the eastern forehand grip. The grip isn’t suited for that purpose.

Rather work hard to maximise the advantages of your grip. If you use the western grip, work on hitting a lot of short corners. That way you can move the opponent a lot.

With the Eastern forehand grip, you will be able to take the ball early and hence rush the opponent.

Respect the characteristics of your grip and you will not go very wrong.

In the process, you will make fewer errors.

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It’s Raining, What to do?

The rainy season is well and truly on.

Until the beginning of August, our academy would probably have lost a maximum of three sessions due to rain.

However, since the past week, there has been a constant downpour; as a result of which I and the AUDA-NEO-PITA academy kids have not visited the tennis courts for the last six days!

(Source of the pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9205272@N07/5494475147/

The picture above belongs to Leslie Gordon)

Rains can be frustrating for tennis playing kids. These are kids who run on a very tight schedule and then due to rains, they seem to have a lot of spare time at their disposal. And what do you think happens? Continue reading →

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