I stumbled onto Oscar's web site after watching the French Open in July and ordered his complete DVD set that night. Right away, my singles partner and I improved our game. After a few weeks, we joined a weekly doubles club, and went in thinking we would blow everyone away. Well, once I got into pressure play, much of my old habits came back (I played tennis for most of the '70s with close to 3 years of traditional paid instruction) and I played well below my normal play. Went back to the videos and the next week saw some improvement.
My partner and I continued to play singles on the other nights, and we started to set 1/2 of our 2 to 2 1/2 hour playing time aside to practice lessons from the DVD's. Finally, I realized what I was doing wrong to make my forehand so inconsistant, even with what I thought I had learned. I WAS NOT KEEPING MY EYES ON THE BALL!! I thought I was, but I wasn't. I always thought I needed to see what part of the court I wanted to hit the ball to. But when I forced myself to keep my eyes on the ball by keeping my head down until well after contact, and not looking up until I felt the racquet hit my back or hand hit my shoulder, depending on the shot, I started getting a very high percentage of my forehand shots in with lots of topspin, pace and accuracy.
What was happening was my follow-through became very natural without me having to even think about it. In the past, I had to think about follow-through, along with...Think about footwork!...Think about turning my body!...THINK! THINK! THINK! It drove me nuts. I just wanted play, and that was the main reason I quit tennis in frustration so many years ago.
Now, I have learned that all I need to think about is to focus on tracking the ball with the head of the racquet as Oscar teaches, keeping my head down watching the ball, and send it back to where I wanted it to go just by feel. Then everything just started coming togeather and I trounced my partner. It was awesome! The ball seemed to always go to where he wasn't, and I wasn't even looking up to see where I needed to send the ball! I could see (almost feel) where he was while I focused on the ball without looking up. The times I mis-hit, or hit the ball out was when I looked up too soon. I even started looking up on purpose occasionally to see what would happen, and sure enough, my quality of shots dropped.
Before the next set, I asked him if he would like to know what I was doing differently and of course he had already been convinced. His game improved to where we had some of our best rallies ever. We walked off the court elated! We played again the next night, and sure enough, the technique still worked. It still takes a lot of concentration keeping my head down, as this does not feel natural to me, but by doing it, everything else just falls into place. Watch any of the pros in slow motion, it is amazing how long they keep their head down after hitting the ball.
Coupling this with Oscar's methods makes me feel the sky is (not) the limit for this 60 year old!
I will let everyone know how this works out in the doubles match next week....I can't wait!
Thanks for reading this long winded post, and remember...KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN AND YOUR EYES ON THE BALL!!