Tuesday, May 29, 2012

************IN LOVING MEMORY*********
This Post is for my father, T.N. Bala, who passed away this Memorial Day Weekend. It was the saddest day of my life. My father was 85 years of age. May his soul rest in peace for eternity. And God bless all those who offered their condolences. Gary

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quotes of the Day

On Tennis as Theatre
 "Tennis belongs to the individualistic past - a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers - against the world."
~Jacques Barzun, Historian

On Playing Recreational Tennis
"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall."  ~Mitch Hedberg, Comedian

On Aging
"Age ain't got nothing to do with how old you are."  ~Dick Clark, Television & Radio Personality 

More On Aging
"Age is a matter of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter."  ~Will Rogers, American humorist

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: Why Play Ball?

"[I]f play is brainfood, then ball play is like a high-protein, calorie-packed energy bar. The ball may be the most animate of inanimate objects in our material world. . . my own term to describe balls as objects [is]: kinetically interesting. Balls can bounce, roll, be struck, thrown and caught  fairly easily at a wide range of speeds. They are highly aerodynamic and yet unpredictable in their trajectory, capable in the hands of a deft knuckleball pitcher of appearing to defy the laws of physics. . . Balls are also by nature social tools. They draw animals and humans together, inviting either cooperation or competition, or as in most sports, some dynamic combination of the two."

-John Fox, PhD, Anthropology
The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game
(New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2012), pp. 28-29.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Can Tennis History Improve Your Game? Yes! And here's how . . .

- By learning from the styles and attributes of the great stars of the past, says Peter Burwash of PBI in his latest piece for Tennis Magazine, "Learning from the Past", pp. 38-43 (June 2012)

In this masterful article, Burwash readily admits that there's a lot to admire in the games of today's top pros such as their remarkable power, accuracy and fitness.

But he admonishes that today's recreational and club players may not be able to "copy" such super-charged games.

And he suggests that we "mere mortal" players may profit much more by simply studying the styles of yesteryear's players.

Here are a few examples:
1. Forehand of Bjorn Borg - Borg's heavy Western topspin blazed the trail for today's pro forehand, explains Burwash. Lesson: hit with more topspin and higher over the net.

2. Backhand of Ken Rosewall - The one-hander will become more important as you get older, says Burwash. Lesson: You can use it to get better reach to offset the fact we get slower as we age.

3. Volleys of Billie Jean King - King has the perfect technique on the forehand volley, writes Burwash. Very short take-back, no huge backswing, and an open racket face. Lesson: "Catch" your volley, don't "punch" it.

4. Finish the Stroke like Andres Gimeno - Burwash comments that he never saw any player hit and stay through the ball into the court as well as Gimeno. Lesson: Staying through the swing pushes the ball deep towards the baseline, making sure your opponent cannot hurt you.

5. Move Between Points like Steffi Graf - For Burwash, no one offered a better example of footwork, especially between points, than Steffi Graf. You can't play very good tennis, no matter the quality of your strokes, if you are out of position. Lesson: Work on improving footwork between points and, for that matter, before every point.

For more insights and illustrations, check out Burwash's fine review in the June 2012 issue of Tennis Magazine.


Video:  The Top Thirty Tennis Players of All Time
By: itakse

REPRISE: The 11th Dimension of Tennis - The Super Relaxed State (From August 16, 2010)

Photo: InfiniteTranquillity

In current theoretical physics, the 11th dimension is a characteristic of space-time proposed by physicists who study "quantum mechanics". It is used to help explain a larger scientific theory called the "Grand Unified Theory" or "Theory of Everything" (TOE).

The 11th Dimension of Tennis is about a super state of tennis play - playing tennis in the ultimate free, loose and relaxed state. Some call it "The Zone".

Watch, listen and enjoy this video . . . and continuously find new ways to play tennis more free, more loose, more relaxed . . .

Best, Gary

The 11th Dimension of Reality
By: 5953056

Monday, May 7, 2012

Want More Energy for Tennis (or anything else)?

Learn to relax and rejuvenate better between matches and practices!

Take 10 minutes, and just chill!

Friday, May 4, 2012

REPRISE: Tennis and the Power of Rotation (From May 29, 2011)

Video: Rotational Power of Federer and Nadal

Why is a rotating object so pleasing for us to see?
Think of any rotating object - a ball, a sphere, or even a coin. Why do we like to watch it? Why are we sometimes even mesmerized by it? Because there appears to be a "smoothness" or "fluidity" or "flow" to such an object which the human eye is naturally attracted to. Indeed, there seems to be something strangely hypnotic and appealing about the object's rotating quality.

Think again about more rotating objects. Think of a spinning top. Think of the waves of the ocean at the beach. Think of that old toy for kids called the "Slinky". Think of a swinging pendulum. Think also of watching a video of a tennis ball rotating in slow-motion hit by your favorite pro. And on "contact" the spin of the ball changes, and it suddenly spins in a different direction.

The sight of rotation for most of us appears to be magnetic.

Why is rotational force so fundamental to our world?
The power and constancy of rotation is self-evident everywhere in our world. And it appears to be a primary force in our universe in creating energy and motion. Our Earth rotates on its axis, and also rotates around the sun. Our sun and solar system rotate within the galaxy. Our galaxy itself rotates around its core, and rotates within our observable universe.

And on the other side of the cosmic scale, at the sub-atomic level, electrons rotate around protons and neutrons. The electron itself was recently measured by scientists at the Imperial College London as the purest spherical object in nature, and itself always rotating or spinning on an axis. Thus, rotation is fundamental.

How does rotational power work in tennis?
Rotational power in tennis essentially comes from rotating your hips and shoulders into the shot. Your arm and racket head follows from behind your body and completes a full follow-through in a circular motion. Some coaches describe this as "sinking and coiling, and lifting and uncoiling". You are using your body's largest parts to power the racket head "through the line of the shot", and the shot "through the body of the court."

This is the bio-mechanical generation of power and spin through the release of the human kinetic chain:
1. From ground to foot & ankle
2. ankle to knee
3. knee to hip
4. hip to shoulder
5. shoulder to elbow
6. elbow through forearm
7. wrist & hand into ball contact point