I started to play when I was of 35 years old. My two children were going to tennis lessons and so I decided to learn how to play. From the beginning it was clear to me that I'm facing a task which requires a lot of time, energy and money. They have advanced very quickly. I had to decide whether I want to keep up with them, or loose them as tennis partners. I took lessons for about a year and a half, almost twice a week, although I was making nice progress I felt that something was missing. 20 years later I have decided to check this matter more thoroughly. I started by reading everything that was related to tennis I could lay my hands on. From different practice approaches to technical studies, clinical studies of biomechanical aspects of the game, articles about mental fitness, tactical approaches to the game and essays by people who cover the game for the media for a long time. The next stage was to watch videos on the internet. I did that for several months. After doing all that I could not find a straight answer for the key question I was trying to solve: What can be done, in order to have a better way to introduce tennis to people who want to start playing at a later stage of their lives? At this point I thought to look for an answer from people who had experience at the ATP tour, or instructors with professional history in the game. In general they expressed two basic ideas. The first one is to have a very moderate version (in terms of intensity) of the way they were taught when they were young. The other one addressed the issue by emphasizing the fun that can be drawn out of simplyplaying the game. It took me some time to actually understand that even with their best intention, deep down in their mind they don't really believe in getting significant results with adults who have no prior or very little experience. All that led me to a dead end. Finally I have decided to use an advantage resulting from my living apartment. I have a clear view of the tennis courts in our neighborhood's country club. I set down and started to watch tennis lessons given to adults for hours on end, trying to figure out a way to make something better out of it. At the beginning I thought that I have to deal with poor athleticism and slow reflexes. I started to make notes of the game elements that are being affected by those diminished characters. It led me to nothing. Later on I realized that in order to overcome common approaches to tennis I should look for a more positive approach to the problem. Slowly it led me to the idea that in order to accomplish better results, I will have to use the better qualities adults have over young people. By that I mean- more education, more patience, more experience in life and general ability to understand a more complex matters. At that time I was reading a study of an Israeli researcher designed for the rehabilitation of joint movement of Parkinson disease patients. The main idea on this study was to use guided imagery. It all clicked. That is where I started to draft the first ideas of TENNISBYMIND. At first I started with friend I know, he was 65 years old at the time. I had incredible results with him. Later on I gathered a group of 8 people, 3 women and 4 men. None of them had experience in tennis except from one woman. Ages were between 33 to 66 years. I encouraged them to express their view about the process they were going through and they happily did. It gave me a great deal of insight and helped me to a better articulation of my ideas. After that I have experimented TENNISBYMIND with several groups who were younger, it led to similar results. From that I concluded that putting emphasis in mind training in tennis (and probably in other types of sports) is very effective. The idea is that this type of teaching is at the heart of the methodology and not just an extra element that helps through practice. It is most effective at the first stages of teaching and can be used as a tool to solve frequent discouragement that people are experiencing when starting a new type of sport. The video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxbFTtlTXsw was created by a crew of a local community channel. They did not care much about tennis. They were more interested in the `buzz` the methodology made and the fact that people responded so well to it. They also received acknowledgment from Oded Jacok who was up until recently the Israeli Davis cup coach and the former personal coach of Shachar Peer who is ranked 29 at the ATP tour today. I tried to give you a short description of the process which led me to TENNISBYMIND. It is too difficult to outline the bits & bites of the actual experience that I have acquired during such a long Process. I have never put my idea in competition with other traditional instructing methods of tennis. All I'm saying that it works. Those of you, who choose to use the complete process or parts of it, are requested to comment on it. For more material or general information you are welcomed to contact me.
5 Hamekubalim St` Neve-Amirim Hertzliya 46447 ISRAEL