Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book Review: "Tennis Strokes That Win", by Frank Early, Photographs by Ron Bernstein

Tennis Strokes That Win: Breakthrough Techniques for Mastering the Game, by Frank Early, Photographs by Ron Bernstein (Contemporary Books, Inc., 1995), 123 Pages, 5 Chapters, with Acknowledgments, Introduction, Afterward and Index, profusely illustrated with Black & White photographs.
"Tennis Strokes That Win offers clear, solid instruction." -Roy Emerson, Winner 28 Grand Slam Tournaments
This book is a quick read, concisely written and visually illustrative. The book's basic premise is simple - strokes are the foundation block of your tennis game. And improving the quality and reliability of your strokes will serve to elevate the success of all parts of your game, including areas such as strategy, mental toughness, and court fitness.

Early is a teaching pro with 13 years experience, and formerly tennis director at The Island Club in Miami. Early's explanations in the book are pointed and clear. Bernstein is a free lance photographer who specializes in sports photography. Bernstein richly illustrates the book with action photographs of many top pros executing their strokes.

The photographs, and discussion, are meant to show the "big things" that top pros do in common and exceedingly well in their stroke production.

What about their top strokes makes for maximum efficiency, and world-class power, control and reliability?

*Hip and shoulder rotation in the upper body (core), especially in ground strokes
*Separation of movement between upper and lower parts of the human anatomy
*Weight transfer, especially in punched or net strokes
*Effective use of eyes to track the ball, emphasizing head stability
*Maintaining balance, moving the feet, bending the knees, and developing a consistent contact point

In the words of Cliff Drysdale, ESPN analyst and former top pro, "Early's book is innovative and informative...[and] will have an immediate, positive impact on your game."

Well worth a careful reading.
Best, Gary

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