Speed not power!

Almost anyone you ask who plays tennis will say they try to hit with power, but in my Tennis Lessons in Paphos, I try to change this perception.

Why? If you listen to tennis commentators, you often hear them talking about players tightening up, especially on the big points.  Think about it.  What’s happening?  They get stressed, they hold the racquet tighter and they try to force the shot.  So, what happens to the flow and shape of the stroke?  It changes. The relaxed, consistent stroke disappears, there’s less spin and bam! The shot goes out or in the net.  This is exactly what happens when you try to add more “power” to a shot and to “muscle” it.  You straighten your arm, grip the racquet tighter and lose the shape of your stroke.

So what can you do?  Change your mindset.  When you want to add power, what do you want the ball to do?  Come on, think for a sec.  Yup.  Make the ball go faster.  So, if you want the ball to go faster, what does it make sense to do?  Make the racquet go faster – accelerate the racquet head speed.

So next time you want to add power to the ball, just think that you want to add speed.  Power can come from the legs.

Let me know how it works for you!

Do You Have A Future Baghdatis At Home?

It’s always a dream of a coach to discover a new amazing talent, one like Baghdatis, someone who can go right to the top.  just look at him now – he’s playing amazxing tennis and I’m certainly going to cheer him on at the Australian Open.

The key though is to nurture that talent, to engender a love of the game that survives the demands of competitive tennis.  If you push a child to much, what do they do?  They stick their toes in and rebel.  After all, it is only they that can decide if they will learn.  OK, this is not true one hundred percent of the time – look at Andre Agassiand read what he has to say in his autobiography.  Also, if you push too hard they can get injured and that’s not good.  The secret is sustainability, durability – to get to the right performance level and be able to maintain it.

Marcos Baghdatis

Image by mirsasha via Flickr

So what do you do?  First of all you have to find that talent and that means grass roots work.  Going into schools, giving children an opportunity to try tennis and watching them perform.  That’s part of the reason why I started our after school clubs – to spot new talent and of course nurture it 🙂  Also, it was to pass on my love of tennis.  I am a strong believer that it can teach us many things that will stand us in good stead in our everyday lives and that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.

So, the after school clubs will be starting again in the Pafos area the week beginning 23rd January.  Costs are kept as low as possible, with monthly fees available.  If you’re not aware of a programme at your school, then give me a call and I will do my best to arrange it. It doesn’t matter whether your child has never picked up a racquet before.  We can train children right from the beginning through to advanced play.

So, if  you think you may have the next Baghdatis, or Federer, or Serena Williams, then why not find out.  Call me on 99 329107 or email me at tenniscoach@squaremango.net to arrange the first lesson.