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October 1, 2001
The truth and the missing link


Welcome to all the new subscribers to my email tennis lessons.  You will receive one long lesson on the first of every month and some quick tips in between.

Send your tennis buddies or whole team to www.tenniswarrior.com to sign up for their free email tennis lessons.

All past email lessons are posted at my website from 1 January 1998 to 1 August 2001. www.tenniswarrior.com



1. Interesting quote, with a little modification it applies perfectly to tennis.

"Success...seems to be connected with action.  Successful men keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don't quit." - Conrad Hilton

"Success...seems to be connected with action.  Successful tennis players keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don't quit." - Tom Veneziano :)

2. There are many ‘perfect' tennis players with ‘perfect' technical strokes out there, but I can tell you one thing, they are not in the top ten professionals of the world because the top ten are swinging, jumping, diving, and flailing at the ball with controlled abandonment!

3. Remember the basic principles for learning tennis with my system is to develop a ‘feel' for different strokes along with developing mental skills through REPETITION.  Repetition of simple procedures create that ‘feel' NOT an over emphasis on the technical skills and mechanics.  Here is a link to an article I wrote on 'feel' vs 'mechanics' on 1 April 2001 for those who have missed it.  www.tenniswarrior.com/feelvsmechanics.htm

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson
A downside to following successful people

Welcome to Tom's Online Tennis Lesson, sponsored by TennisWarrior.com, "Where you can learn to think like a pro!"

As I have explained before, most players that are learning the game of tennis overdo the technical skills and underdo (is that a word? :) practice and repetition.  They take lessons, read books, and magazines filled with technical information, then go out and play.  When playing they attempt to execute what they have learned.  If they miss, you hear them wailing, "darn I should have bent my knees, I should have kept my eye on the ball, I should have moved my weight forward!"   If the last tip they read was on keeping their wrist firm you will hear, "I should have kept my wrist firm."  As if doing all these technical skills will make the ball stay in the court.  I have seen players do all these skills correctly and they still miss!  Now what?   I guess it's back to the drawing board for another lesson to find something technical that you're sure you must be missing.  You're thinking, once you find out what's missing, you'll correct it, VOILA! the problem will be solved.  

This is the typical cycle players go in as they attempt to develop their game.  Of course, when I learned the game of tennis I practiced, played, ate, drank, slept, and  thought tennis for months and years to become an accomplished player.  But, you're going to take a short cut and have someone or a book tell you to keep your knees bent, than go out and do it, and that will be the reason for your success.  Right!!!  I hope you have read my lessons and web site enough that you no longer think in this fashion.  You should execute the technical correctly, but not as the all consuming cause of your development.  The all consuming cause of your development should be the same thing that has gotten every pro where they are today, PRACTICE AND REPETITION.

Hidden within the repetition practice is the MISSING LINK that is undeveloped in most players.  This MISSING LINK is the foundation for developing the technical skills and will help you execute the technical skills more naturally and efficiently.  Learning the technical skills without it is like trying to run before you learn to walk.  The MISSING LINK is your balance, timing, and judgment of the ball.  You can learn the technical skills all you want, but if these fundamentals are not in place your progress will be frustrating and slow.  Not to mention when you over emphasize the technical skills you will have a total misconception of what is necessary to improve and become proficient at this game.  This is why you may even be having trouble understanding what in the world I'm talking about!  You cannot efficiently learn the advanced skill of making a turn on a bicycle until you first develop some balance, timing, and judgment.  The same principle holds true when learning tennis. 

You may be thinking, I'm an "A" player or I'm a championship player I have already developed these fundamentals.   Not so fast!  The balance, timing, and judgment of the ball are all relative to the level of your play.  As a beginner, or intermediate player you need them as a core for developing your strokes.  As a championship player you need the refinement of these fundamentals to develop the subtleties necessary for advanced play.  

Yes, you need guidance in some technical skills (minimum), but even more important is the development of balance, timing, and judgment that only comes through repetition.  Lots of repetition.  This is not good news for the lazy or the slothful!!!

Repetition is the chariot of genius!

Let me close by giving you a different perspective of what you saw in the 2001 US Open mens finals between Sampras and Hewitt.  Hewitt, I must admit was outstanding.  In beating Sampras he played flawless tennis.  What you saw in Hewitt was not a player with superior book like technical skills (he was jumping, diving, and flailing with controlled abandonment everywhere), but what you did see was a player with superior balance, timing, and judgment which allowed his own style of technical skills to flow effortlessly. 

Spend more time improving your balance, timing, and judgment with minimum technique and maximum repetition and watch your game soar!

Your email tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano


APPENDIX: What I teach is a total system of thinking in regard to stroke production and mental attitude. I cannot explain in one email the whole system.  Although each lesson can stand on it's own you will derive tremendous physical and mental benefit by understanding the total philosophy.  These emails, my web site, books, and tapes are part of a course in tennis, not just isolated tennis tips.  They all fit together into a system.  A system that once understood can not only help you learn tennis at a faster rate, and develop mental toughness, but give you the knowledge necessary to help guide yourself and your children to a better understand of the developmental process.

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Copyright © 2001 Tom Veneziano. All rights reserved


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