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January 1, 2011
The Racket-Back Myth

RAMBLINGS!

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.

Official subscribers - 7,687

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STROKES ARE BASED ON 'FEEL' NOT MECHANICS!

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
The Racket-Back Myth

Happy New Year! Let's start off the new year right with a reminder of how detrimental a simple mechanical technique can be on your tennis game.

On your groundstrokes, should you take the racket back as soon as the ball is coming to you? Absolutely not! Stop thinking about jamming the racket back when the ball is coming to you. This is too mechanical and robot-like. You must learn to be more instinctive and automatic. How? Take the racket back when you are about to hit the ball, not while you are running to hit the ball. Taking the racket back too soon is unnatural and is not compatible with the principles of timing and rhythm.

Do you think I have gone wacky? Not so! At least not in the way you think. Here is another question for you. Have you ever seen a pro take his racket back, then proceed to run with the racket hanging behind him? Watch the pros the next time and see what you think.

You will be surprised to discover the racket goes back as they are about to hit. They may have a slight turn in the direction they are running, but the full swing begins when they are about to hit. If I were you, I would forget about even thinking about taking the racket back. Let it happen naturally as you approach the ball. It is time to begin playing more like a pro. Do not fall for the rigid conventional method of taking the racket back like a robot. I'm not sure where this came from, but it's a myth. It does not hold up under true playing application.

One of the reasons the pros take the racket back later than you would have expected is because it is more natural to run to meet the ball with the racket in front of you rather than behind. The pros may take a slight turn in the direction of the ball, but the racket does not go all the way back until they are ready to hit the ball. I usually demonstrate to my students how silly it looks to run to meet the ball with the racket behind. Then I ask if they have ever seen a pro look like that. They usually laugh. You can click here to watch a video of my explanation given in one of my tennis clinics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtWxzV9ST-k

Another reason the pros wait to take the racket back is because the back swing is part of the timing and rhythm of hitting the ball. If the racket is back too soon they will lose the rhythm and feel of the shot and become too mechanical.

The lesson here is to not take the racket back too soon. Wait until you are near the ball and about to swing. As I said earlier, if I were you I would not even think about taking the racket back. Just let it happen naturally. The more you practice letting the racket go back naturally, the better your timing and rhythm will become. Do not fall prey to the myth of taking the racket back too soon.

Your tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano

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TESTIMONIAL

Hi Tom:

Your books and CDs are the best. A lot of tennis pros talk about mental toughness but offer no systematic training methods. The main focus is on the technical part because it is easier to demonstrate. The mental part is so much more harder to fathom and master. You seem to be the only exception I know. Your students are lucky to have you. I am so glad I found your materials on the web.

Have a great afternoon!

Zung Nguyen
The Woodlands, TX

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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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