Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Your Racket Preparation - Moral: You can never take it back early enough - (but smoothly, please)

A BEGINNER takes the racket back after the bounce. 
A RECREATIONAL CLUB PLAYER takes the racket back after the ball crosses the net.
AN ADVANCED PLAYER takes the racket back when the opponent hits the ball to the forehand or backhand side.
A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER takes the racket back before the opponent even hits the ball. 
A TOP 100 PLAYER takes the racket back a week before the match. 
A TOP 10 PLAYER takes the racket back a month before the match.
The WORLD's No. 1 PLAYER takes the racket back one year before the match.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tennis Mural of the Day: History's Stars

(Click Image to Enlarge)
By: Tanya Sistare for Healthplex Sports Club, Tennis Lounge
(Springfield, PA - December 2016)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tennis Quote of the Day: The Power of Creating Uncertainty in the Opponent's Mind

You cannot risk your shot becoming predictable. At all times, the opponent must be guessing what is coming next. "It's important to set yourself up so that you have multiple options. That's when you are most dangerous for your opponent. Don't always hit in the same spot. What you want to do early in the match is to show your opponent that you can hit all the shots so that when it's important in the match, he doesn't know where it's going to go. I can hit the slice, the topspin and the flat backhand. I try to mix it up as much as I can. But, at the same time, I also need to be able to make enough in a row just for consistency and also for my confidence."
-- Roger Federer

[From: Fedegraphica: A Graphic Biography of the Genius of Roger Federer, by Marc Hodgkinson (London: Arum Press 2016), Page 59.]

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tennis Quote & Topic of the Day: "Let's Move" and play tennis

"With all of the changes going on in tennis, tennis is an even better way for kids to get active and have fun. You're going to learn things like hard work, teamwork, discipline. That's why playing sports is so important. It teaches you that if you keep on practicing, and giving 100% to anything you do, you will get better at it, and that's not just true on the tennis court." 

-- Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, "Let's Move" (White House Campaign to encourage kids to exercise, eat better, and get fit) as quoted in Tennis Magazine (Nov.-Dec. 2016), Pages 36-37. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tennis Topic & Video of the Day: 5 Life Lessons from Roger Federer in his own words

5. Learn from loss
4. Constant quest to improve
3. Targeting goals leads to success
2. Keep calm under stress

1. Play to your strengths and believe in yourself

Courtesy: Tennis Now

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tennis Quote and Photo of the Day: Both flesh and light

"Federer is a creature whose body is both flesh, and somehow, light."
--- David Foster Wallace, Roger Federer as Religious Experience, New York Times (August 20, 2006) 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: The First Four Shots in Tennis are Everything

Tennis Facts:
1. The first four shots in tennis are: the Serve, the Return of Serve, the Serve Plus One, the Return Plus One.
2. The most common rally length in tennis is: 1 shot!
3. 70% of all points at all levels of play end in the first four shots. 
4. That is only two shots for each player or side.
5. 91% of all winning points in matches are within 0 to 4 shots.
6. The psychological reason that this is not intuitive to us is because the human mind tends to remember the spectacular and lengthy rallies. 

What this means:
1. The top priority in practice should be the Serve and Return of Serve.
2. Of these, the quality of Return of Serve distinguishes the best from the rest.
3. The highest premium should be error-free tennis in the first two shots - Serve and Return of Serve.
4. Thus, the tennis athlete's primacy should be: perfect technique on the Serve and Return of Serve and attacking the Second Serve. 

-- Craig O'Shannessy, World-Class Coach and Analyst for ATP World Tour, New York Times, Wimbledon and Australian Open, (from U.S. Tennis Congress, October 2016) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Only Two Types of Shots

There are only two types of shots in tennis:
the set-up shot and the finishing shot.
--- U.S. Tennis Congress, October 2016 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: The Swag

Swag - (abbreviation for Swagger)
Noun - definition:
"a very confident and aggressive manner or gait" 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tennis Quote of the Day: Tennis Rewards Footwork - Proper Spacing to the Ball

"Tennis, at its essence, is a footwork sport. It rewards small, precise steps and perfect balance." 

--- Tom Perrotta, "Why Tennis Players Can't Dance", Wall Street Journal, Sept. 05, 2013 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Tennis Quote of the Day: The Dance of Tennis

"Tennis is such an elegant sport that if you watch it in slow motion and add a little bit of music in the background, it becomes a dance." 
-- Roger Federer

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: What is the object of tennis?

1. The Object of Tennis is to win more sets than your opponent by winning more games than your opponent; by winning more points than your opponent; by making less mistakes than your opponent. 
2. The Object of Tennis is to get incomparable exercise, and thereby elevate the quality of your life and extend it. 
3. The Object of Tennis is to make your opponent eat the fuzzy yellow ball. :)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Dominance

"What is meant by dominance? It is the feeling that inferior players get when they face better players; [they] miss shots that they would have made against other players. How does one establish this dominance? Start by recognizing that all of your actions have an effect on your opponent's mental state. Human beings are a social species, and we instinctively react emotionally to the way other people treat us. If you show that you fear someone, they feel strong; if you ignore someone and dismiss their efforts, they feel weak. So if you appear tough, confident and resolute, your opponent will tend to feel ineffective. If your opponent hits a great shot, don't react. Simply walk back into position as you always do: head up, steady stride and looking like you know exactly like you know what you are doing. This is a dominant attitude. If you make an error, no matter how egregious, act as if you're unfazed. Just go about your business and ready yourself to play the next point. . . Acting in dominant ways imposes your will and force of personality on your opponent."

-- Allen Fox, Ph.D.,  Psychologist, Author, Wimbledon Quarterfinalist, from The Most Dominant You, Tennis Magazine, Page 74 (Sept.-Oct. 2016) 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tennis Topic of the Day: Conscious Tennis - Three Ultimate Keys

Credit and Courtesy: 
"Conscious Golf: The three secrets of success in golf, business and life", (Rodale: St. Martin's Press, 2003) (160 Pages)
-- Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., psychologist, author and motivational speaker

This short yet superb book offers penetrating insight and inspiration into the worlds of golf, business and life. Motivational speaker and author Gay Hendricks unlocks what he sees as three secrets to elevating performance and satisfaction --- whether playing golf, doing business or pursuing life. And what about tennis? Amazingly, you can substitute the word "tennis" for "golf" in his philosophy and benefit from exactly the same wisdom. In this blog post, I have done just that --- adapting Hendricks's ideas to the game we all love: tennis. Enjoy. -- Gary Bala

Blog: Conscious Tennis - Three ultimate keys

Tennis is the greatest game of all, and tennis players are the luckiest people on earth. If you play tennis, you are blessed with the rarest of gifts: to walk in beauty, to enjoy companionship and friends, and to discover the true essence of living with every swing. What more could we ask of any game?

Tennis gives us two great gifts: insight and transcendence. We reveal who we are as we play the game -- with every swing of the racket we have the chance to ascend to new heights of the person we wish to become. 

First key: Focus on task completion
Focus on finishing your task before looking up about the outcome and what's next. 

In tennis, the focus is on the ball and completion of the stroke before looking up. In business and life, it's about focus on completing the assignment or the project at hand before putting energy into something else. Completed focus means you avoid shifting your attention before moving on and losing energy. 

Ask yourself: Did I complete the task impeccably and elegantly? If so, the job will take care of itself. Why is task completion so critical? Because completion frees up energy. Because we cannot control outcomes, but we can control completing a specific task or technique. 

What is the biggest and most fundamental mistake in tennis? Answer: Peeking to see where the shot went before you've completed hitting it. The biggest fundamental mistake in life is failing to finish one thing before going on to the next. Human beings feel good when we complete things; we don't, when we don't. With every tennis swing and with every moment of life, we face the same choice: finish the task at hand impeccably, or jump ahead prematurely to peek at the result. 

Second key: Swing it
Swing freely, feel the flow and have fun. 

What is a swing? A swing is a "rhythmic movement back and forth" --- and the good feeling and flow emanating from it. In tennis, it's not about striking the ball; it's all about the swing and putting the ball into the flow of the swing. Life itself is a swing back and forth between having a good time and not having a good time; between pain and pleasure; between victories and misfortunes. 

The three essential questions to ask yourself in tennis, business or life are: Is it easy? Does it feel good? It is it fun? If it's not feeling easy or good or fun, it's not likely to work out. 

Third key: Your energy, motion and intention create the final outcome
The third and final key is supreme. It unlocks the cosmic power of the universe --- and powers your ultimate elegant triumph. 

It's about relationships --- to the ball, to the activity at hand, or to the moment. It enables us to achieve a supremely calm and reflective moment. For example, as it applies to tennis, it says to us that there is no bad tennis shot. Every shot in tennis simply goes where it is supposed to go, given how it was hit. Whether our shots are "bad" or "good" is merely a made-up concept we've invented to keep from having fun all the time. Thus, if we are sufficiently open to learning, we can learn from every shot, every deal in business, every moment of life. 

In a primordial sense, the ball and the court are forever fixed at a singular point in the space-time universe. It just sits there and it doesn't go anywhere. The ball only moves, travels and spins in response to the energy, motion and intention applied to it by us --- without morality, judgment or emotion. It is we who ultimately create and infuse the tennis ball with the outcome. 

Thus, at every moment, we have the opportunity to be in a relationship with whatever is occurring. If we are truly in a relationship with the ball, we just want to know where it's going and how it got there. We won't impose our values or notions of where the ball should go or how, onto it. We simply learn from it. There's always only something to learn. Substitute the ball in tennis for any project in business or any moment in life. 

The third key then is that we create our own destiny if, without illusion or blame, we continuously learn and apply ourselves to what is at hand. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tennis Quote of the Day: Tennis and Lessons from Poker

"[T]ennis has a number of elements in common with poker.
Poker is like tennis in that we have a good idea of how strong
our own games are, but during the course of a match, we have
only a partial understanding of the strength of our opponent.
Smart tennis players always try to appear strong and in control, no matter how insecure they may feel. Their objective is to convince you that you are going to lose.  

In poker, we have pay money to see all the cards, and sometimes it's not worthwhile. Tennis is different: we pay to see additional cards using physical and mental effort rather than cash, and this is almost always worthwhile. 

In tennis, it always pays to assume that your opponents are bluffing. No matter how tough they look, or how outclassed you feel, if you play out your best game plan with maximum physical and mental effort, you always have a chance to win."

-- Allen Fox, Ph.D., Psychologist, Author, Wimbledon Quarterfinalist, from Tennis Lessons from Poker, Tennis Magazine, Page 74, (July-Aug. 2016) 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tennis Quote of the Day: Tennis - A Beautiful Game

"Tennis: the most perfect combination of athleticism, artistry, power, style and wit. A beautiful game . . . " 
-- Martin Aims, Prize-winning British novelist and professor