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June 1, 2010
A Tennis Challenge to Unleash Your Inner Power


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.

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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.  Click here for an article that I wrote on 'feel' vs 'mechanics' in April 2001

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson
A Tennis Challenge to Unleash Your Inner Power

I have a friend who has recently taken an interest in golf. Knowing that I have a system for tennis based on 'feel' not mechanics, she questioned me about utilizing this system to learn golf. Can it be done? I told her it could, and we discussed the various aspects of learning to play with your own individual style, form and personality without being short-circuited by excessive technique.

She caught on quickly, understanding that the body has the ability to unconsciously self-correct with sensory feedback from repetition - similar to learning how to walk or learning how to ride a bicycle. I cautioned her that if she read books or magazines or listened to the commentary during a golf tournament she would encounter a preponderance of techniques.

The next time I visited with her she had just purchased a golf.com magazine."Look at this!" she said and pointed to an article. I read the opening paragraph and was shocked! A young phenom pro golfer, Rickie Fowler, had written an article explaining his golf philosophy. Below is the beginning of the article that made me stand up and cheer. A standing O!

The article is "Unleash Your Inner Power!" by Rickie Fowler:

"I'm not your typical Tour player - before I took the game seriously I raced motorcycles in the deserts of the Southwest. I've never looked at my swing on video - I rarely think about mechanics, and sometimes I take a practice swing before I hit a shot and, well, sometimes I don't. For me, golf is about feel and swinging free, like you couldn't care less about your results. I know that might be hard to accept, especially if you've been struggling to hit the ball straight or have contact issues, but hear me out. When you're able to build trust in what you're doing and simply 'let it go,' power creeps into your swing as if by magic."

I never looked at my swing on video! Rarely think of mechanics! Play by feel! Build trust in what you're doing! Simply "let it go"! I almost had a heart attack when I read these common sense concepts all in a single paragraph.

The highest priority when learning to play tennis is to keep monitoring yourself and reminding yourself of these principles. Yet, how easily we all slip back into the subtle trap of overthinking mechanics . Often it is for our own emotional security that we rationalize our failure and blame mechanics. It is easier emotionally to have a reason (imagined or real) for why we have failed than to just accept the failure and move on. Having a reason conveniently transfers the responsibility to the reason as the cause of failure and not ourselves.

With that in mind, here is my challenge to you. The next time you are playing think only of conquering these two mental stumbling blocks:

1. Failure. When you miss a shot do not say a word or even think about the failure. You just keep remembering, "The next shot is more important than the last mistake."

2. Mechanics. During the match do not think about mechanics. There is no time to tell yourself to bend your knees, keep your eye on the ball, keep your head still or anything. Repetition practice will give your strokes that feel.

If during your match you happen to falter on one or both of these stumbling blocks, just keep playing and constantly remind yourself that the next shot is more important than the last mistake. Stop wasting your energy focusing on inconsequential factors. Tennis "is about feel and swinging freely, like you couldn't care less about your results."


Your tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano



Hi Tom,

First I want to congratulate you for the articles and books. I have already read "The Truth about Winning" and enjoyed it. I'm currently number 1 of Brazil's and number 47 of the ITF (International Tennis Federation) of the 45+ category. Your articles have helped me a lot.

One of your phrases that I remember most games is, "The next shot is more important than the last mistake." I taught this to my son. He is 11 years and he has applied this in court. He stopped complaining so much and plays much better now. My son also reminds me of that phrase when he's watching my games and I start to complain about my errors. The tennis requires repetition and mental preparation. I try to train it.

Luis Claudio Prehl Gambali
Assis - Sao Paulo - Brazil


ADDENDUM:  I teach a total system of thinking in regard to stroke production and mental attitude which I cannot explain in one email.  Although each lesson can stand alone 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 help you not only learn tennis at a faster rate, and develop mental toughness, but also give you the knowledge necessary to help guide you and your children to a better understanding of the developmental process.

Click here for more information about my books and tapes


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