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July 1, 1998
Watching a professional match

Welcome to the tennis lesson hotline, sponsored by Tom's Tennis Tapes, "educating players one mind at a time".  I'm Tom Veneziano.  This lesson lasts approximately 2 minutes and changes on the 1st of every month.

Since everyone is in Wimbledon mode, in this lesson we are going to cover how to watch a professional match with an informed and intelligent eye.  All too often we miss some of the key things that are happening because we are too caught up in the sensational or the dynamic winners!  We miss the simple consistent things the pros do that ultimately are the reasons why they are so successful.  As a result we develop misconceptions about what we are supposed to do to play tennis correctly. 

The first thing  I am constantly telling my students to do is recover quickly after hitting the ball.  Do not stand there and watch the greatness of your last shot.  Watch the pros closely as they recover by straddling back and at the same time watching their ball go over the net. That's right!  They watch the ball just like you do, the only difference is they are not standing there watching it, instead they are recovering and watching at the same time!  I have discovered that this is a technique that can take months to learn.  Watch the pros closely and maybe that will motivate you to begin recovering faster.

The next thing to watch is when hitting ground strokes or volleying they are not always going for winners.  Many times the pros just move the ball around looking for an opening to finally hit a winner.  I guarantee you this is not the way you play.  Too many times you are trying to win the point on every shot, instead of keeping it in play looking for a better opportunity.  I call this mental attitude playing in the hit-winners mind-set.

And finally, watch to see the depth they hit on some of the low volleys or approach shots and what happens when they do not hit deep.  By the way, note that the pros do not have to hit the ball harder to get the ball to go deeper.  Instead, they slightly open the face of the racket and let the correct racket face carry the ball deep.  All too often players try to send the ball deep by hitting it harder. 

To summarize when watching the pros, watch for some simple things that really make the difference. A few are: 

 1. Recovering quickly after their shot.

 2. Not trying to hit winners all the time. 

 3. Hitting deep on volleys and approach shots. 

If you would like more information please leave your name and address and I will mail you a price list for my audio cassettes. Thank you. 

Copyright © 2000 Tom Veneziano.  All rights  reserved.

What others are saying about my tapes!

"Tom deals with the thinking end of tennis like no one else. It's almost too difficult to explain, you have to experience it. He has an uncanny knack for getting right to the heart of the matter. You come away thinking, that's right: it makes sense!"

Colleen Cremer, Houston, TX.

"It's interesting to note that everyone can use these tapes from beginner to championship level. You can apply the information to whatever level you play on."

Dan Hanusa, Houston, TX.

" Tom's audio cassettes have changed my thinking, aligning it with the correct information needed to improve my game. He's right there with you, inside your head, challenging you to make those changes. It's like having your own personal coach! I highly recommend his tapes for everyone."

Linda Zimmerman, Houston, TX.

"On the way to my HLTA match I listened to Tom's tape, "Some Before Match Pointers." Call it a coincidence, but I won my first HLTA match ever! I just seemed to be in a better frame of mind. Thanks, Tom."

Mary Ogden, Houston, TX.

"Tom and I have been friends for over twenty years. It's not surprising to me players talk so positively about his tapes. He's always possessed exceptional athletic ability along with an unusual analytical mind. Tom simply likes to think! At times he would drive me crazy, but he was the driving force behind my journey into tennis. I'm 6'1" and Tom is 5'6" but I could never beat the little imp! All joking aside, if Tom's thinking is on audio cassettes, you should listen! You'll never view tennis the same way again!"

Sam Lacava,Tennis Professional, Stewartsville, N.J.

Thank you all for the testimonials! I appreciate it!

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