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  1. #1
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    Sampling Oscar's Tennis Tips

    Dear friends, I love Tennisw Forum and I think more and more people should get the chance to experience the ease and naturality of Modern Tennis. With that in mind, I posted a bunch of tips. Be sure to tell your friends to visit this Forum, join, and post comments. Please refer to the tip you want to comment on, so I can read it and respond if requested. With my best wishes, Oscar

    Tennis and Martial Arts.

    Quotes by Bruce Lee – Tennis Comments by Oscar Wegner

    “Art is the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method, the less the opportunity for expression of one's original sense of freedom.”

    “Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques.”

    Furthermore, the first things you learn in a sport (or in life) are the most marking, affecting future computations. Typically, tennis beginners are taught restrictive procedures and movements to be adhered to systematically. For example, players are taught to move in a certain pattern and assume certain positions for hitting, rather than letting the person accommodate to what they feel most comfortable. Another blight is preparing early, while pros stalk the ball. These techniques are significantly different from the style of the pros. Tennis is perhaps the only sport where teaching the way the pros play is shunned by teachers. The end result is that most people end up limiting their tennis performance.

    “. . He is actually becoming a slave to a choice pattern and feels that the pattern is the real thing.”

    “One must be free. Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression.”

    “Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being "wholly" and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”

    The goal of a Tennis Coach, whether coaching professionals or teaching beginners, is not to add more to the complexity of the tennis technique. Your goal should be to simplify it, have the student appeal to the his or her instinct, move less, and still achieve the same or even better effectiveness of the student’s shots.

    “Each one of us is different and each one of us should be taught the correct form. By correct form I mean the most useful techniques the person is inclined toward. Find his ability and then develop these techniques.”

    Overall, this is what Oscar Wegner’s Modern Tennis techniques are all about. Efficiency. Natural, powerful moves and strokes, a delicate guidance of the student to help him or her find out, by themselves, what feels good and what does not.

    # # #

    Timing

    This tip is very simple, but powerful.

    Fact number one: players of all levels have good days and bad days.

    Fact number two: most players,*including professionals, are not certain on how to fix a bad day and make it a good one. They don't know the underlying cause, and they may blame a bad performance, from player to player,*on a myriad of different things.

    Fact number three: on bad days, 99% of the time it is your timing that is throwing the rest off. People either tend to rush or they do too much too early.*That is, 99.9% of the time the player is not tracking the ball long enough before hitting it.

    Fact number four: it is easy to fix a bad day. You just have to correct the mother of all errors, the one underlying cause: bad timing. After that, everything starts feeling better and you can trust your strokes as much as on a good day.

    Therefore, when you are in trouble, check your timing and apply the solution: track the ball longer and longer, waiting as much as possible, tracking it with your eyes, your racquet, your hand. You may be running to reach the ball, but your hand is stalking it, still in front. Forget about having to be perfectly positioned, forget about racquet preparation, forget about thinking at all. Just track the ball as if you were going to catch it with your hand or to stop it with the racquet, then give it your usual whack!

    You may lose some power in the process, but you'll be confident that the ball is going in the court. Then you can go for power again, incresing the amplitude of your swing. If your timing is still good, you'll feel wonderful: your power strokes are going in and in.

    Most players, including pros, may think this is too easy a solution, and don't believe in miracles. I'd like to insist: if there are some possible miracles in your tennis, this is one of them.

    For the other miracles..........you'll have to review my tapes.

    # # #


    Keep your cool

    Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl are players who never showed an inch of their emotions on court. (Sampras exception was in regards to his coach's death). Whether you celebrate a point with a showcase demonstration, or you show your disappointment at a point you lost, you are showing some weakness, some lack of control. The above players killed opponents with their impenetrable mask. It made them seem unbeatable, that you couldn't worry them no matter what. The end of match celebration showed that these players were not ice cold, but that it was a decision they made to keep their cool no matter what. Furthermore, you spend less energy in this state and are more aware of what you need to improve either your stroke performance or your tactics. Emotions can cloud your perceptions and your decisions. They can impair your timing and make you feel in a rush. Stay cool and eventually you'll play as well as you want.

    # # #

    Backhand Volley

    The notion that you can volley effectively without changing your grip at all between your forehand and backhand volleys is somewhat inaccurate.

    Although many professionals volley without rotating the grip between the thumb and forefinger, there is some change at the heel of the hand.

    On the forehand volley the racket grip is usually aligned with the life line of your palm, while on the backhand volley the heal of the hand is a bit more mounted on the grip.

    This rotation is instinctive and born from practice, with the player adopting, by feel, the most efficient way to hit the ball.

    The best backhand volleys are hit across the body, rather than forward, slicing the ball quite a bit. They are a very short motion, and they firm up at the impact with the ball.

    While on groundstrokes it is best to get below the ball and hit up, the opposite is true on volleys. You should hit down, as if your racket was going to the bottom of the net, but with a short and chopping hit.

    The racket face should be open, according to the height of the incoming shot.

    What works best to learn to copy the top pros on the backhand volley is to advance the butt of the racket across the body, from left to right, as if you were elbowing somebody out of the way.
    Oscar Wegner
    www.TennisTeacher.com
    THE LEADER in modern tennis teaching methodology.

  2. #2
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    More tips

    Dear Oscar,

    I would like to get your advice on the following: I am coaching the a girls varsity tennis team. Two of my girls have very pretty ground strokes but absolutely lazy feet during matches. Even at practice they are kind of slow reacting to balls, even though we do agility drills jump ropes, etc. or working on sequences of approach shots, volleys, overheads. When the lobs are too deep they can't get there. When it comes to match play it becomes downright ridiculous; they just stand there mesmerized or shell shocked or do something goofy with their racquets. Both girls are playing all year round and have private coaches, who must have given up on them with regard to foot work.

    As soon as I talk about being them being on their toes and ready to move, I kind of feel a little bit of resentment on their part or "oh, not again" reaction. Do you have any magic drills in your bags of tricks?

    I am having lots of fun teaching and coaching tennis and feel that I pretty good at it. It is obviously easier to have a beginner than undoing someone's bad habits.

    Kind regards, Jorg.

    Oscar's response:

    Hi, Jorg, interesting scenario.

    The key may be the following:

    "Both girls are playing all year round and have private coaches, who must have given up on them with regard to foot work."

    Kids that are taught "footwork" with the conventional teaching usually have two barriers created: first, the way they are taught in conventional footwork coaching, brings about that they have to think about the way they move, and second, that those moves are not natural. The end result is clumsiness, no speed (huge, but common problem, mostly in the USA).

    I usually tell the kids: you don't have to move your feet in tennis (and they laugh at that), and then I tell them to move the head (or I push them in that direction). The feet will follow naturally. After that, it's drill rounding the can (caution, exactly like in the book, rounding the can from behind, or you'll create another barrier), and I just tell them is to check how quick they are. I don't feed the balls very far, I let them get their "win", then slowly I keep stretching them. And the funny thing there is, they get surprised at how far and fast they are getting, with time, on a gradient scale of difficulty. Adjust each drill to each player, don't give them losses. Even if the ones you push farther start complaining that you are nicer to the "slow" girls.

    If you have a group, do ten ball on the forehand down the line with one player, then complete the group on the same drill, then forehand crosscourt (always rounding the can), backhand crosscourt first, then down the line. If you have a left hander, let them do the same drill as the others, even if it is their backhand.

    Mark the court in one side with a couple of cones so that they are hitting to about 1/4 of the court, between the cones and the sideline.

    Give them time to get back to the center, even if they are slow, but as soon as they start rounding the can you feed the ball to where they can reach it with a bit of effort. Don't let them stop somewhere around the can while they wait for your next feed, or it will destroy the purpose of the drill.

    Let me know how it works.

    If you don't have the old book with the drills explained, here is the link:

    http://www.tennisteacher.com/chapter_16.htm

    It does not have the drawings. You can access the same chapter with the drawings and pictures at the Online Tennis Academy.

    Best regards,

    Oscar Wegner

    # # #

    Hit across the ball

    A coach called me and told me his observations at this last US Open. He said he sat in the lowest row, just behind Federer. He noticed a huge amount of sidespin, as well as topspin, mainly on his forehand.

    He also noticed how much he hits across the ball with his racquet, rather than following the ball's path.

    I like to remind you that most coaches still counsel you to follow the path of the ball, as if you were hitting "five balls in a row."

    This is something you can address on your own game. You can still hit down the line or even inside out forehands by lagging the racquet head behind your hand, even while hitting across to the left, towards the left side of your body (for a right handed forehand). The ball will go wherever the racquet is facing.

    Lift as well, with the racquet in a windshield wiper motion, as if you had a large glass window in front, sweeping it, but without breaking it.

    The tendency, for a human being playing tennis, is hitting forward. Using this glass window analogy will give you still a strong shot, but it will make it safe, penetrating, and allow you to hit harder and harder every day. The mistakes will be fewer and fewer, no matter how hard you hit.

    # # #

    Why players excel

    This article could also be called "why some people learn better than others" or "is it the student fault or the teacher's?"

    On one side there is the viewpoint that (quote) " there is nothing that any human being knows, or can do, that he has not learned ".

    Proponents of this assertion exclude natural body functions, such as breathing, as well as reflexes, such as the involuntary closing of the eye when an object approaches it.

    Let's assume for a moment that the natural body functions, as well as the reflexes, are learned over a longer period of time, such as the span of the species. Let's call that instinctual.

    How could the student learn anything quickly and efficiently? Would it be best to follow the natural instinctual lines, or, on the contrary, with no regard to previous learning processes?

    Would it have to be learned on a progressive scale of difficulty, where simple learnings accumulate to obtain a whole that is a composite of the earlier steps taken?

    Would it have to be adjusted to the learning speed of the student or could you just force the person to the class or the teacher's speed of teaching?

    Would every step have to be understood, felt and experienced so as to permit the student to use his own judgment on whether it feels good and is effective?

    Would it have to be adjusted to the learning preferences of the student, whether the person learns by feel and repetition, or by more of a mechanical system, such as making mental image pictures? Furthermore, could a person be guided towards learning by feel, even those who thoroughly depend on memorization through mental image pictures? Even further, which mental imge pictures help you and which detract from your effort?

    And finally, what is focus ? Would the person need to easily acquire an understanding of how he concentrates on a certain task in a way that he simplifies it and repeat at will?

    I am afraid that the answer to all these questions is an emphatic YES.

    And that's the crux of tennis learning. Which also answers how some people learn quickly and efficiently just by themselves. Number one, they have the ability to simplify matters. Number two they prefer to operate by feel, simplifying matters. Number three, they are very aware of what causes what and what is not efficient. They judge situations and responses instinctually. If it does not feel good, they throw it overboard. In sports this is usually called athleticism. I would define it as a natural selection of the simplest way to achieve something.

    A friend of mine, Manuel Santana , who won Wimbledon, Roland Garros (now the French Open ) twice, and Forest Hills (now the US Open), told me how, as a ball-boy in Madrid he learned first with a piece of wood. Someone later on gave him an old racquet and he sneaked at slow times some games with the other ball-boys. In time, with no lessons whatsoever, having seen (and most likely copied) the best players of the previous generation, he had a complete game, including the best forehand in the world at his time.

    His schooling, as he told me, was almost nil. So, rather than thinking, he adopted what felt best and had the best results.

    Not all of us have the time to spend the entire day on the tennis courts, playing, observing, and running around catching and throwing the ball, as he did.

    That is where my teaching techniques come into play. All throughout my books and videos, they teach you, number one, to follow what you would do instinctively anyway, should you have the time to spend countless hours, or a lifetime, on a court. Number two, I teach you on a gradient scale of difficulty (Important note***). Number three, I make it easy for the student to follow his own pace of learning. Number four, I insist on drilling each step until you are comfortable and familiar with your own interpretation of it, and it just feels like your own. Number five, I gear you to learn by feel. If you don't have much feel originally, or you are, by your own nature, rather mechanical, the techniques in my book and videos develop your feel, learning to perform just like a top pro would.

    And finally, these materials teach YOU to play, not just your mind. The mind is just a tool you have. You are a lot more, a wonderful being, full of feel, ability, sensitivity, innate intelligence, coordination, athleticism, sense of timing. You can probably add many more traits, such as balance, grace, feline moves, you name it. Are some of these traits hidden? I help you bring them out.

    Tennis is a beautiful sport, extremely simple should you know (or feel) certain basics which include knowing how you operate, how you create, how you feel, and how to quiet your mind. After all, you are the creator, you are the boss, not your mind!

    Sounds too good? It CAN be achieved, as shown by thousands and thousands of results.
    Oscar Wegner
    www.TennisTeacher.com
    THE LEADER in modern tennis teaching methodology.

  3. #3
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    more tips

    Developing the talent within.

    Back in the 1960s, less than ten million people played tennis in the USA. In 1968, professionals and amateurs were allowed to compete together for the first time in open tournaments, sparking an explosion of interest and TV exposure for the game. By the late 1970s, close to forty million Americans were playing tennis.

    At the beginning of 2000, industry figures show the number of players ranging between 16 and 23 million. Official figures from the United States Tennis Association show three times this number have left the game in the last twenty years.

    How did this happen?

    As unpalatable as it may seem, from incorrect instruction—tennis has been taught one way, while the top pros play in a completely different way.

    When you watch a top tennis pro, you marvel at his ability to place the ball regardless of the power generated by the shot. You may also admire the player's focus, graceful moves, demeanor, attitude, will to win, and how he handles the power of the other player.

    The skill level of these pros seems to be superhuman yet extremely simple and efficient. Tennis students have been led to believe they should not copy the pros, especially in the beginning stages of learning the game. But those top pros are so natural, why not copy their strokes?

    One of the most frequent reasons people shy away from copying the top players is the consensus within the tennis teaching industry that this is an unreasonable proposition, that the pro players' style is only suited to the super-gifted, to those born with an unbelievable level of skill. They recommend that you only copy the top pros after you are good. This is nonsense. These pros are good because they started playing the way they play.

    Shying away from the extreme simplicity of a top player's game is causing severe problems in the tennis teaching profession and in the popularity of the game.

    And this is sad, because anyone can learn tennis quickly, and also reach a higher level by copying the best players in the world. In essence, you may be much more talented and have much more ability than you are credited with by conventional systems (or that you credit yourself with).

    Tennis has been made too complicated. When focusing any player only on hand movement, I noticed the body coordinated itself naturally, resulting in the same fluid motions as the pros.

    Just by adding very simple but specific instructions on how to stroke the ball, still focusing on the hand, players experienced an incredibly rapid rate of improvement. In the same way, you should expect to be a changed player after a couple of hours of practicing this fundamental truth.

    # # #

    Play like the pros !

    Tennis has been considered for a long time a very difficult sport to learn. One has to mind where to place the arms, the feet, watch the balance, weight transfer, how you take your racquet back, etc.

    This is false, cultivated from the late 1920s on, and still very much in vogue in most of the world. The truth is that tennis is a simple game and easy to learn. Just watch the top players to see how loose, natural and fluid they play.

    Of course at that high level there can be great effort both to get to a distant ball and to impart velocity to the shot. But, in terms of attention, all the player's concentration is on finding the ball well and playing it back with the racquet as if they were doing it with the hand.

    Those players don't worry at all about body position, and use it instinctively solely to help their stroking, either when they are standing or on the run chasing the ball.

    This can be easily learned if you simplify things from the beginning, playing while you walk forward, backwards, or to the side, without any attention to your feet, as if you were walking in your kitchen or running at the park. This teaches you immediately a total independence of the arms and hands from the rest of the body.

    Unfortunately, standard tennis teaching is opposite. You learn to put a foot here, the other there, and many other complications.

    Already in 1968 at the Beverly Hills Tennis Club in California, and then much more widely in 1973, as national coach for Spain, I broke away from tradition and had players focusing mainly on their sight and hands, actively promoting their hand-eye coordination above all else. For increased feel and control, I also pushed hard on ball rotation on groundstrokes and serve.

    The results were admirable, and this is the basic reason for the massive Spanish success at the professional and junior levels in the last 28 years.

    In 1982 I did the same work in Florianopolis, Brazil, with Carlos Alves, the director of a children's tennis academy. In this program was born and nurtured the game of Gustavo Kuerten, three time French Open Champion and Number One in the World in 2000.

    A recent study found similarities in other sports. It was learned that Michael Jordan, perhaps the best athlete in the world last decade, focuses all his attention above his waist.

    Summing it up, not only in tennis, but in most sports where hand-eye coordination is a must and you run after a ball, the way to get better is to focus only on this and let the rest of the body find its own way in a natural way. This way there is no mental interference with instinct and with movements and balance you learned when you were perhaps two or three years old.

    Going back to the tops pros, you can study them following the player rather than the ball, and see how natural they move and play. As if they were doing it just with the hand!

    # # #

    Serve

    One of the most important strokes in tennis is the second serve.

    A weakness in this shot puts the player on the defensive right from the start of the point.

    Most of the top pros excel in getting the second serve deep, with a high kick, preventing the other player to hit a winner or to advance on the court.

    Practice your second serve spinning a good quantity of balls over a high fence, to force you to serve up.

    After you accomplish a good percentage of balls clearing the fence, come back to the court and now practice from the normal service position by the baseline, but spinning the ball up, with a lot of rotation.

    You'll see the ball first going up and then curving down, kicking up after the bounce. The more kick, the more difficult for your opponent to return.

    Sampras' second serve, even on hard courts, has been measured to spin sometimes over 5,000 RPM.

    Such a rotation makes the ball feel heavier to the returning player, and also kicks within his racquet, impairing the accuracy of the return.

    As a result, even at the top pro level, the other player usually returns well inside the court, rather than going close to the lines, thus keeping the advantage of the server through the beginning stages of the point.

    Toss the ball a bit behind you, bend your arm so that most effort goes to the triceps, rather than your rotator cuff, and hit up past the ball.

    Keep the wrist bent as if you were watching the inside of your hand, the racket strings should almost feel like a hat when it goes across above your head, moving from left to right for a right hander.

    Even though you are serving towards your right, the angle on the racket will make the ball go to the left of the direction of your follow-through.

    With practice, you will be able to have more and more clearance over the net and still bring the ball down in the service area, usually with good depth.

    # # #

    Forehand Volley

    The best volleys in the world are not a full swing, but a firm block of the ball.

    First of all, you need to wait for the ball to get to your side, otherwise you'll be chasing it forward, rather than blocking it firmly.

    If you wait for the ball to get near you and then you'll hit it by locking your wrist and your arm, the trunk of the body connects to the impact, generating more power than a loose and swinging arm.

    On the forehand side, make sure your elbow is tucked in to the front of your body.

    A floating elbow will give you plenty of errors and more difficulty controlling the shot.

    It is good to hit across the ball, this meaning that the butt of the racquet moves a couple of inches to your left, as if you were hitting the palm of your other hand with it.

    Remember that the main factor for power is not swinging at the ball, but the weight you connect to the volley block.

    The placement of your volley is totally dependent on the angle of your racquet, not on the direction of your stroke.

    Volleying a hard passing shot, after finding the ball path with your racquet, the hand may go on a very short motion, tightening up when you meet the ball.

    On a high and slow volley you would need more of a follow through, but always tightening the grip and arm muscles when you meet the ball.
    Oscar Wegner
    www.TennisTeacher.com
    THE LEADER in modern tennis teaching methodology.

  4. #4
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    More tips

    Four types of players

    There are four major types of championship styles.

    One is the purely defensive player, who stays back as much as possible, and often just goes to the net to shake hands at the end of the match.

    The next type of player is mostly a baseliner, but as soon as he gets a short ball, he hits a very forceful approach shot, almost a winner in itself, and gets to the net for a volley put-away.

    The third type is the player who is skillful from the back, but who is always looking to maneuver to the net. He'll take more chances of going forward, and is usually good at placing the first volley where the opponent has difficulty making a good passing shot.

    The last category is that of the serve-and-volley player who does it as a way of life, regardless of the surface. He probably isn't very skilled at matching groundstrokes from the backcourt, and usually thinks of it as a waste of time. Rather than work his way into the point, this player risks everything, from groundstrokes to storming the net on any kind of ball.

    This can be very effective on given days, when things go right and the opponent collapses under the sheer pressure of the attack. But if this player is matched against a skilled all-court player, he'll have a struggle on his hands. The backcourt player will dampen the other player's attack with low angles and skilled lobs mixed with some forceful passing shots. Although backcourt players do more running, they do so with more time to get to the ball, while the attacking player depends mostly on jumping and lunging ability.

    On clay courts, where points are long (average point duration at top professional play is above 8 seconds) and matches between players of comparable skill usually go on for hours, an attacking player will have difficulty sustaining the effort for an entire match.

    But on grass courts the average point duration has been measured to be, at the top level, about one and a half seconds.

    At championship level, serve-and-volley players get to most of their opponent's service returns near their own service line. The shot from here, should they be able to reach it before the bounce, is called the first volley. In most cases, the ball is by then below the level of the net. This first volley needs placement, pace, and depth. After hitting the first volley the player continues to advance toward the net, and is now prepared to cut off the next return, usually a forceful passing shot or a lob.

    The attacking player is now in a more commanding position, but here the options for the opponent vary according to the type of surface of the court. On a slippery surface like grass, good players go for a forceful passing shot most of the time, or for a very defensive lob. The attacking player just needs to angle the next volley to the open court, and most likely it will be out of the other player's reach.

    Here is where an accomplished serve-and-volley player has something that the accomplished backcourt player does not: a sense of net coverage, of which angles to open and which ones to close. Serve-and-volley players know how to lure the opponent into hitting a particular shot. They can close the net fast, while still preparing to smash even a decent lob. A little while into the match, they've learned to anticipate the passing shot by reading the racket angle of the opponent at contact time. It is a skill that you develop by committing to a volley game. Your tactical approach changes, adjusting to different conditions that you create for yourself.

    One major aspect of the successful attacking game is the pressure put on the opponent to make very good shots, which leads to many errors, especially in important points. The faster the court, the more pressure the player under attack feels.

    The Low Volley at Championship Level

    For a low volley, you obviously have to lower the racket from the normal height where you were holding it to the point where you'll meet the ball. You can use this downward (and at the same time forward) movement to get momentum to hit the ball. You get it to go over the net by opening the racket face, while you stop at contact with a firm grip. This will give the ball good speed, while it will still be accurate and clear the net. The ball will also have some backspin that will keep it low after it bounces in your opponent's court.

    You can use this low volley with spectacular results from anywhere in the court, including being caught behind the service line or somewhere in the backcourt. The ball may be at your feet, without a bounce, and you can still make a good shot.

    # # #

    Slice Serve & Twist Serve

    The Slice Serve

    In the slice serve (for a right-hander) the ball would spin, as seen from the player's viewpoint, from left to right, as if it were rolling forward on a wall to the player's left. As a result, the ball curves toward the left of the server, it skids a bit, and it doesn't bounce high. This is mostly the serve used as first serve on grass.

    The American Twist Serve

    The American Twist serve is similar to hitting topspin on your groundstrokes, except that it is more difficult in the serve to get the ball to roll forward and still clear the net.

    Players achieve this serve by tossing the ball slightly behind themselves or to their left, then bringing the ball up and forward with a closed racket face. The ball gets a combination of topspin and some sideways rotation, curving down and slightly to the left during flight, but then jumps to the right and up on the bounce, curving again to the left.

    This serve is very safe, because the ball drops very quickly, even while clearing the net by as much as three feet.

    Top players use it abundantly for second serves, not only for its safety, but also for its effectiveness in keeping the opponent from attacking the serve due to its kick, except on grass, where it tends to sit up.

    Professionals use different degrees of spin according to the surface and the score situation. Most first serves spin over 2,000 RPM, while second serves go many times above the 4,000 RPM mark. (Source, Advanced Tennis Research, http://www.advancedtennis.com/results/servemen.htm)

    Only on grass does the American Twist lose some of its efficiency. The ball slides and doesn't grab the surface on the bounce, losing the characteristic high kick that otherwise makes it so difficult to return.

    # # #

    Modern groundstrokes

    Modern topspin forehands and two-handed backhands are very similar. Players find the ball from below and lift it up, swinging across the body, and finishing over or close to the opposite shoulder.
    It is this constant finish that gives the player his or her confidence. The player swings slow up to the ball, and much faster thereafter. Acceleration from the ball up to the finish is the most important trademark of these players.

    Notice how the forehands of these four players in the Wimbledon finals are quite similar, as are their backhands. Their approach to the ball is a bit different, but the finish of the stroke is quite alike.

    They also hit the majority of the groundstroke balls below the center of the racquet, which creates a torque that maintains the racquet covering the ball, rather than forcing it to open and having the ball fly out. This also helps to get more feel and more topspin on the ball.

    Research has shown that top players play with tremendous ball rotation. Go to http://www.advancedtennis.com/results/ballspin.htm to find out your favorite player's topspin rate.

    # # #

    Modern Tennis and Topspin

    After a Wimbledon with so many surprises and wonderful matches, the hard court season is coming up in a hurry.

    There is a misconception that top players play flat on hard courts. The latest research, which was done during tournaments on hard court surfaces, which you can see in www.advancedtennis.com, a non-profit endeavor, will show you that top players included on that study, such as Agassi and Pete Sampras, Venus Williams, hit their groundstrokes with plenty of topspin, well above the 1,500 RPM.

    This week's lesson is from Chapter One of my book:

    Modern Tennis and Topspin

    In the last two decades professional tennis has taken a big jump technically with the acceptance and use of topspin among most players.

    Topspin is a forward roll, just as if the ball were rolling forward on the ground. It is created by brushing up on the ball while stroking. You lift the racket much higher than the intended line of flight of the ball.

    The air friction on top of the ball will be considerably higher than that on the bottom. The air below the ball will escape much faster, creating a zone of lower air pressure that will also slow the ball and pull it down.

    That, in addition to the force of gravity, makes for a much more pronounced downward curve. The ball will drop much sooner than if it had no spin at all (a "flat" ball). The faster the ball rotates forward, the more downward force it gets.

    Although still not widely taught at the beginner and intermediate levels, topspin is a tremendous advantage to any player. It allows you to hit the ball with great force, well above the net, knowing that it will come down in the opponent's court. The ball is also going to take quite a jump, making it difficult for your opponent to advance to the net or to hit a winner from the backcourt.

    This happens very often at the professional level. You see many rallies between the top players in the world where the ball doesn't clear the service line by much, but it is still very effective in keeping the other player back.
    Oscar Wegner
    www.TennisTeacher.com
    THE LEADER in modern tennis teaching methodology.

  5. #5
    I worked on staying (COOL) on the court this morning, with good results. Without putting out all that emotion on good and bad shots i had more energy to actually see what was happening on the court.
    Glad to be part of this forum

  6. #6
    I hope everyone down loads and study what Oscar wrote. He is the Master Yoda of tennis.

  7. #7

    Talking Great stuff

    I have the dvds and review them all the time. They cover every aspect of the game and its righ at your fingertips

  8. #8

    Oscar's DVDs

    Quote Originally Posted by haretrigger View Post
    I have the dvds and review them all the time. They cover every aspect of the game and its righ at your fingertips
    I was playing doubles the other day and one of the ladies husbands videotaped us. Afterwards we sat around and critiqued ourselves. This is not a pleasant experience, but we all wanted to work on improving, so we did it. We were not only able to see what we were each doing wrong, but also could find those things we were doing right! This turned out to be a morale booster and gave us each something concrete to work on. We all concluded that the #1 thing we should do to work on improving is WATCH OSCAR'S DVD's REPEATEDLY. I feel like I have watched them a million times, but I always find something new or a great reinforcement of the basics there. These lessons and tips are truly timeless - Oscar makes it so simple yet so effective to apply his techniques! It's easy to forget about those DVDs and fall back on bad habits without realizing it. Even the book should be dusted off and reviewed periodically. Sometimes I refer to the online academy on his website, too www.tennisteacher.com. It is a good way to review sections of his book and clips from his tennis tips on the computer.

    If you watch the Tennis Channel and read tennis articles and newsletters you will see more and more how tennis instructors are following Oscar's method - it's nothing new as he's been promoting these ideas since the 60's, but suddenly more and more of his techniques are showing up in other sources. Even Nick Bollitteri, after teaching the closed stance only for decades, endorsed the open stance (one of Oscar's basic precepts) in his recent episode of Tennis Academy as well as at the USPTA National Convention in September! If you already have Oscar's book and DVDs I invite you to compare the similarities and the differences between Oscar's methodology and the latest teaching trends. I think you will find it most interesting and beneficial to your own game or teaching style. If you don't have Oscar's book and DVDs you might like to consider getting them to bring you up to date with the latest teaching techniques being delivered from various sources.
    Last edited by Tennis Angel; 01-04-2009 at 02:52 PM.
    How good can your game get? You too can play like the Pros with The Wegner Method.
    Discuss The Wegner Method here at TW in the MTM forum or visit www.tennisteacher.com for more info.

  9. #9

    MTM or Local Pro?

    My son is currently learning from a local pro he likes. After reading comments here I concluded that MTM is really the way he should go. The problem is we don't have anyone here in NJ that teaches MTM. Is it your advise for him to only receive instructions from Oscar's DVDs and stop going to his private lessons? He is a very natural athlete and loves tennis. He plays with his feels and they are sometimes conflicting with what he is being taught.

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