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Basics recommended to master?
What basics would you recommend to a beginner / intermediate player to master in Tennis? And how important is strategy to a beginner player?
And I would like to thank you also for allowing us to ask questions of you through this forum.
Though I am not Mike I would say work on your ground strokes. Untill you reach the point in time where serves make a difference the number one key to focus on is consistancy. If you can get yourself a good forehand and a fairly decent backhand you should do just fine. As far as tactics go attack people's backhands. Eventually hit deeper balls to the backhand of your oponents and then come to the net. If you can play off of people's backhands and keep consistant ground strokes you will have a sucessful game.
Dear Mike, here is one of the tips (a very controversial one) that I wrote in regard to a very basic common error. I'll be happy to expand to other areas as well.
Preparing early: just a myth commentators help perpetuate !
Most conventional tennis teachers, including coaches at a very high level, not realizing its negative effect, counsel their students to take the racquet back early.
But look both at Roger Federer and Andre Agassi, the two best strokers in the game. Roger and Andre keep following the ball with the racquet (or hand) for quite a long time, without taking it back early. Even while running, they keep the racquet in front their body. Even James Blake is finally doing the same thing, tracking the ball longer and waiting for the last moment to strike. Hopefully he is aware of this and will have continued success.
If you really look, you'll see there is much more time than you think between the bounce and the hit. (Addition: Mary Carrillo's comment that Federer seemed to always have a lot of time was very apropriate. My answer would be: he takes his time.)
Roger and Andre are able to make adjustments after the bounce of the ball, following its flight, trying to find it as comfortably as possible. While running as if to catch it, all they are aware of is where their hand is, and the ball and it's flight.. The stroke comes later, and it is instinctive, perfected by endless practices. No need to worry about that.
We all have this potential, even a beginner. You just need to learn a simple technique, well explained in my book and videos. And with play and practice, you'll further develop this instinct, although, if you rush, it gets complicated and not as perfected.
Errors that amateurs commit usually depend on the player, whether your attention is focused on your hand and the flight of the ball, or on the stroke you are going to make. If you follow the ball without making a complete commitment as to your stroke, you'll observe it clearly until you make contact. I am sure that you won't forget to strike it the way you practiced, no matter how long you stalk the ball.
If you do the opposite, preparing your stroke early, you are just made a mental image picture of where you expect the ball to arrive. What is unfortunate in this case is that not only you are imagining something that will occur in the future, but also that your attention gets dispersed towards your mental pictures. You stop observing the ball to quite an extent, and you are quite stuck into your pictures of the future, out of present time.
That's the way many people play tennis. Encouraged to prepare by their teachers, they are thinking, not looking. They feel no calmness at all.
Of course there seems to be no time in tennis. But beware, because time is measured in most persons against the speed of thought. So, while you think, you are monitoring time through your thoughts, and the game really seems faster than it is.
What happens when you stop thinking and you just plainly observe the ball?
You'll notice that you'll see the ball longer. There seems to be a lot more time.
Sometimes, as the ball is getting close to you, it almost seems to come to a stop. (Addition: Agassi has said that in an interview.)
Many professionals talk about being "in the zone". What is this "zone" phenomena? Only a calmness born from stalking it, from tracking the ball very long.
There is one drill that will convince you of this. Let's say you are at the baseline. Right at the bounce of the ball, count one, and continue on counting, striking at the count of five. (Addition: Federer has admitted in Europe that he counts to five to calm himself down. He did not say expressly whether he ever does it while he plays.)
You may be a bit late a couple of times, or panicky. For sure your mind isn't used to this.
But if you persist, all of a sudden you are going to find that you adjust better to the flight of the ball and that there is a lot more time than you thought. Additionally, you'll feel the ball a lot more.
I could add some more explanations. But they could complicate matters.
I would rather ask you to forward to us via e-mail your comments on what you experienced after a practice like that. I can truly recommend this type practice. I have tried this counting with beginners, intermediates, advanced players, top juniors and touring pros. Most were skeptical at first, but later in awe of their success.
One time, with Jimmy Arias, a former Top Tenner, we hit the ball back and forth without missing, over 400 times. And he missed first!
yea u should master the basics
bring a note pad so that u can write ur oppennents weakneses and strengths
no when ur warming up u gotta talk to ur self while ur warming up to know where to attack- forehand-backhand and on groundstrokes or volleys. You gotta know their serves and how they are built mentally and physically. if ur opponent is "big" you know to move him/her around the court to deplete their energy and stamina. You just gotta know ur opponent like a book before ur match. period.
"first things first"
Hi Mike !
When you're a beginner/intermediate you should only focus on sending the ball in your opponent's side one more time than he does.
To reach that goal on a technical point of view, Wegner's tricks are great to start because it's based on simple and clear explanations and that's what you need first.
Try your best to hit the ball regularly in all configurations (serves, forehands, backhands, volleys, smashes) and get good feelings.
Play in the middle of the court playing over a minimum double height of the net.
When becoming more accurate, play a bit across the court (better security, easier to replace). Under the pressure of your opponent, the less time to play you have, the more you have to play high to "win" some time. Just like Sampras and Federer, let you opponent take the risk to accelerate along the corridors and then attack cross (no much run for you but a lot for them).
While doing so, improve your mental skill to hold the ball in the court one more time than your opponent over and over to the end of the match.
When you'll rally with ease and mental confidence being strong intermediate, then try to hit the ball earlier (after the bounce, when still going up instead of later, downway), to reduce your opponent's time to get organised. At this time, don't loose the idea of timing and rythm...I mean, it's always a fast-slow-fast-slow tempo (move-prepare & adjust-hit-observe).
To get then more power, keep the butt of your racquet towards the ball as long as possible (for a more comprehensive approach, look for slow-mo vids on youtube of Federer, Agassi and Roddick).
Reaching this point, you should go through the etcheberry experience for body training, easytennis.com for technical details leading to power, look for a coach that fits your needs towards confidence and add a bit of sophrology.
After that, get the advice from some else, I can't help you ! ;oP
In any case, benefit from all positive advices, from different teachers and forget about negative critics (careful ! a coach that only prevents you from doing something and can't tell you what to do, might ask you to pay the Bill when you're caught in his mind's Bungalow...Oupss, sorry, not fair at all ;oP ).
Don't adore anyone (not even yourselves even when winning often, lol) or anything, just learn and keep the best and leave the rest.
Be patient, from my experience with players, on a neuronal point of view, the body requires a mean of 6 weeks to get a feeling recorded. So don't ever try to focus on different details each time you hit a ball. That's why I do recommend to go through Wegner's method first (one dvd & the book are enough to get it all, it's more or less the same stuff in every dvd) for a complete year if you're a beginner.
Keep confidence, learn strategy with copying the stars of the game. Look what they do or try to do...What works and doesn't...Make your own experience and enjoy as much as you can, take a (small) rest after a day without feelings.
THANKS M.WGENER your teacging really work!
Hi Just a word to confirm that you advice about wait until the bounc really work.
I teach tenis to m son which is one of th best youg 8years ols player in france
and I've tried a few advice of oscar Wegner and it worked immediately!
For example your advice about volley( counting until 5 ) help my child to get immediate good volley, I was so surprised bny so incredible and direct result.
So thanks for your intelligence and innovative way ofn teaching
(excuse my english )
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