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Tennis,  " A Sport for a Lifetime"
coachgfall2002pix.jpg
The game of tennis can be complicated. However, I have followed the way of one of my former coaches, Dennis Van Der Meer, and stayed with the K.I.S.S. method.  (Keep it simple stupid.)
 
The serve starts every point, so obviously, the serve can be very important.   If you can't throw a baseball or softball very well, then you will have to work very hard to develop a good serve.
 
Teaching Tennis Professional  Fees
 
Check with the following locations
Cypress Lakes Muscle Shoals
Court House Racquet Club Florence
Russellville Parks and Recreation Dept
Turtle Point Club Florence
Estimated Fees range  from $25/hour to $39/hour
 
However, the best thing about tennis is you can play and improve.  Several teams have wanted me to coach them, but I usually defer and say,   "Go buy ya'll a tennis machine and a video camera".
Hitting balls is usually better than taking lessons.
 
Good luck with your tennis game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Coach Ross Sonny Glasgow attended Van Der Meer Tennis University, in Miami, Florida, in 1975.  Coach G attended Russellville High School and the University of North Alabama.
He played collegiate tennis from 1976-1978.  He has taught tennis for the Russellville Parks and Recreation Dept. and Twin Pines Country Club, along with private lessons.
 
Any Adults that  are interested in playing on a tennis team league team please contact the Russellville Rec Dept.
 
Dennis Van der Meer is the Founder and President of the Van Der Meer TennisUniversity and the Professional Tennis Registry. Dennis is recognized worldwide for his innovative teaching techniques. Tennis Magazine has awarded him the title of Teaching Pro of the Decade and he was designated the first National Master in Tennis by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. Dennis has taught more people how to play tennis than anyone in the history of the game.
Simple Tennis
 

Beginning Tennis 101

 

Forehand-----Note: you do not break your wrist or move your wrist forward   Don't let the elbow drift out or up

Grip: should be like shaking someones hand -------you may want to try the extreme western grip for automatic topspin...................

the racket must be turned at 45 degree angle inward..........and finish with your hand higher than it was when the shot was contacted.

Balance::::: Feet about shoulder width apart.

Turn ----weight on right foot, shoulders and hip turn

Racket back and down---the racket is parallel to ground

You must take small steps and hopefully get your left foot forward for right-handed person. Opposite for left-handed person.

Step forward with left foot and finish the shot or contact the ball slightly behind left foot. This may not be possible on every shot.

Try to keep elbow from raising during the forehand shot.

The hand should be even with the left eye after completing the shot.

The racket should get below the ball with the racket slightly turned forward or a (60 degree angle) Cross-court shot are usually easier than down the line shots because the net is 3 feet high in the center and 3 feet 6 inches on the ends of net.

(After the shot, you should go toward the center of the court or anticipate the next shot)

Backhand----(Two handed is recommended) for right handed person this shot is used when the ball is returned to the left of the player facing the net. Turn, left foot is back, and front foot is the right foot. The racket goes back and down. Step forward, the right foot is forward if possible. Finish with both hands up about even with the right eye. Volley- a shot returned to the opposing court without the ball hitting the court (ground)

Volleys

Head of the racket should be higher than the hand. Key is to bend the knees as the ball comes lower. The lower the shot, the more to bend your knees.

Forehand volley right side

Backhand volley---left side

For volleys,,, you should step with one foot.then cross over to two steps.

SERVE---Beginner serve is racket on the back, toss up and hit.

Advanced Serve--- Racket and ball in front up where racket head is head high.

Racket and ball hand go down together and up together. The racket

Will have to loop around as the ball goes up to highest point. Toss

Should always be too high than not high enough. The racket turns

Inward on follow through.

Overhead Smash

Shot  is hit just like the serve but get the non-racket hand and point upward to the high ball coming down. Timing should be hit just like a good serve and follow through.

Match TIP

Tennis is played in matches. You don't have to hit the ball a certain way to win.....Just get the ball back across the net every time and your opponent will eventually miss returning the ball to your side. Your serve doesn't have to be hit very hard. The second serve should be hit with some spin and make sure you get the ball in. However, a good player will hit a return of a weak serve and win the point. If you hit a weak serve you better be ready to sprint to the ball because a good player will make you.

High School Scoring

Server starts on right side of center line and serves to opposite serving box. 2 serves)

Then the game is played between singles and/or doubles lines and baseline.....

First person to win 4 points wins the gameServe should say the score before each point begins. If 3-all in points, receiver gets to choose what side to have serve served to them. Alternate serving after each game. The match is first to win 10 games(PRO-SET) or two out of three sets to 6.

 
 
 
The Integrated Approach to the Serve
 
Out of all of the strokes in the game of tennis, no single stroke has as much mystery, awe and fear associated with it, as does the serve. As I travel around viewing players, I see so many variations in the service motion that, at times, I wonder if a player is actually serving.

The serve is the single most important stroke in our game. First, it is the only stroke that gives you two tries to execute successfully. Second, it is a stroke that is hit without the ball having bounced. Third, if we never double faulted or lost our serve, we would never lose a match.

For these reasons, I make certain that I never neglect my serve. If I can make it through two sets without a double fault, I am very pleased. I will practice my serve every training day. In fact, I hit about 100 or more serves each training day.

Most players have two servesa first serve and a second serve. However, the differences between these two serves in terms of spin, pace and placement can be very different for each player. In some instances, however, the player will simply use her/his first serve hit with less pace, as her/his second serve. This is okayif the second serve can reliably be placed in the service boxparticularly if it lands deep. However, for most intermediate and advanced players, a second serve that kicks and spins is best.

All serves have some common ingredientsespecially when one looks at them from an integrated approach. This months column will focus on these common ingredients with a view toward helping you develop a consistent and effective servewhether it be the first or second serve.

To begin, I must review our tennis priorities, which apply to the serve, as well as any other stroke. First, we need to get the ball over the net. Second, we should try to get the ball to bounce deep in the service box. Third, we need to be able to control the placement of our serves. This is key. Next, we should be able to impart spin to the serve. Lastlyand I repeat, lastly, we need to impart pace to our serves.

Unfortunately, so many players begin their games with an effort to hit aces. This is usually an exercise in futility. For every ace, there are probably three to five faults. Any fault is a wasted serve opportunity. The goal is to get as many first serves in the box as is possible. The best way to take pressure off of your second serve is to hit first serves in. Likewise, the best way to take pressure off of your first serve is to have a very reliable second serve.

My point is simple. I have seen players with serves that have little or no pace win points off of their serves simply because the serve is in the box, lands deep in the box and is directed at the opponents weaker wing. I have seen matches lost because players who want to hit the big serve all the time are hitting faults.

Obviously, hitting aces, if one can, is a good thing!!! However, few of us are truly blessed with this type of serve. If we were, we would probably be on the tours.

Most writing about the serve, today, addresses what some call the "kinetic chain of motion." By this, the teachers and coaches mean that a fluid, smooth and complete service motion is the most important ingredient from a viewpoint of form and technique. When we have this flow, we are moving without jerks, staining or any "hitches" (little pauses in our service motion).

The single best technique I know to help with kinetic flow does not involve using a racquet. Simply, go to a court and take your hopper of balls. Instead of practicing serves, go to the baseline and throw serves into the proper service box. Try to imagine that you are a pitcher who is playing American baseball. Try to serve with a pitching motion. By this, I mean that you setup, begin the pre-throwing motion, release the ball at the top of your delivery arc, and that you finish with a complete throwing motion. If you perform this correctly, you will find that there is a natural weight transfer from the back foot to the front. You will also find that you are standing in a somewhat closed stance as you pitch the ball. Your finish will be complete and your throwing arm will cross the front of your body.

I think that women frequently do not have the same service weapons and their male counterparts because they have not had as much experience throwing balls like a pitcher. This is particularly true of women from Europe, where baseball may never be played. Although my anecdotal insight is not statistically proven, I do believe this to be true.

So, my first piece of advice is to spend some time throwing servesnot actually serving. I do this drill religiously, at least once per week. It really helps me to regain or maintain a proper serve motion.

Unlike most integrated strokes, the serve begins with no motion at all. Instead, we develop pre-serve rituals. Usually, we stand at the baseline, pause, bounce the ball a few times, look at our opponent, and then, we begin the service motion.

A key ingredient in developing a consistent serve is to have consistent rituals for all serves. By ritualizing your pre-service, you will find that there is a mental consistency that greatly helps the consistency of your actual serve.

Stance in the serve should be more closed than open. New players to the game, often times, will face the net as they serve. This stance does not allow for the body rotation, knee bend and weight transfer that are necessary ingredients in a good serve. Again, practicing serves by tossing or pitching a ball, is a great way to discover the specific stand that is right for you!!!

Grips can vary greatly when it comes to the serve. Most players begin to serve with an Eastern Forehand Grip. This usually feels comfortable and provides an immediate sense of pace. Here is the Eastern Forehand Grip.

the lefty

the right hand

However, the major drawback to the Eastern Forehand Grip when used to serve is that it does not allow for a "breaking" or bending of the wrist upon impact with the tossed ball. This breaking of the wrist is very helpful in providing power without strain, and is absolutely necessary if one is serving with slice spin or topspin. Additionally, using the Eastern Forehand Grip will probably force you to serve with a more open stance. This stance will not really allow for a true kinetic chain of motion. Instead, you will find that you are probably hitting the serve with arm powernot body power.

So, I recommend one of several other grips. The Continental Grip:\

the lefty

the right hand

The Hammer Grip (which is really a closed fisted Continental Grip)

and the Eastern Backhand Grip

The next component in our integrated approach is stance. The stance should be somewhat, if not completely, closed (John McEnroe uses a completely closed stance when he serves).

The Integrated Approach to the Serve

Out of all of the strokes in the game of tennis, no single stroke has as much mystery, awe and fear associated with it, as does the serve. As I travel around viewing players, I see so many variations in the service motion that, at times, I wonder if a player is actually serving.

The serve is the single most important stroke in our game. First, it is the only stroke that gives you two tries to execute successfully. Second, it is a stroke that is hit without the ball having bounced. Third, if we never double faulted or lost our serve, we would never lose a match.

For these reasons, I make certain that I never neglect my serve. If I can make it through two sets without a double fault, I am very pleased. I will practice my serve every training day. In fact, I hit about 100 or more serves each training day.

Most players have two servesa first serve and a second serve. However, the differences between these two serves in terms of spin, pace and placement can be very different for each player. In some instances, however, the player will simply use her/his first serve hit with less pace, as her/his second serve. This is okayif the second serve can reliably be placed in the service boxparticularly if it lands deep. However, for most intermediate and advanced players, a second serve that kicks and spins is best.

All serves have some common ingredientsespecially when one looks at them from an integrated approach. This months column will focus on these common ingredients with a view toward helping you develop a consistent and effective servewhether it be the first or second serve.

To begin, I must review our tennis priorities, which apply to the serve, as well as any other stroke. First, we need to get the ball over the net. Second, we should try to get the ball to bounce deep in the service box. Third, we need to be able to control the placement of our serves. This is key. Next, we should be able to impart spin to the serve. Lastlyand I repeat, lastly, we need to impart pace to our serves.

Unfortunately, so many players begin their games with an effort to hit aces. This is usually an exercise in futility. For every ace, there are probably three to five faults. Any fault is a wasted serve opportunity. The goal is to get as many first serves in the box as is possible. The best way to take pressure off of your second serve is to hit first serves in. Likewise, the best way to take pressure off of your first serve is to have a very reliable second serve.

My point is simple. I have seen players with serves that have little or no pace win points off of their serves simply because the serve is in the box, lands deep in the box and is directed at the opponents weaker wing. I have seen matches lost because players who want to hit the big serve all the time are hitting faults.

Obviously, hitting aces, if one can, is a good thing!!! However, few of us are truly blessed with this type of serve. If we were, we would probably be on the tours.

Most writing about the serve, today, addresses what some call the "kinetic chain of motion." By this, the teachers and coaches mean that a fluid, smooth and complete service motion is the most important ingredient from a viewpoint of form and technique. When we have this flow, we are moving without jerks, staining or any "hitches" (little pauses in our service motion).

The single best technique I know to help with kinetic flow does not involve using a racquet. Simply, go to a court and take your hopper of balls. Instead of practicing serves, go to the baseline and throw serves into the proper service box. Try to imagine that you are a pitcher who is playing American baseball. Try to serve with a pitching motion. By this, I mean that you setup, begin the pre-throwing motion, release the ball at the top of your delivery arc, and that you finish with a complete throwing motion. If you perform this correctly, you will find that there is a natural weight transfer from the back foot to the front. You will also find that you are standing in a somewhat closed stance as you pitch the ball. Your finish will be complete and your throwing arm will cross the front of your body.

I think that women frequently do not have the same service weapons and their male counterparts because they have not had as much experience throwing balls like a pitcher. This is particularly true of women from Europe, where baseball may never be played. Although my anecdotal insight is not statistically proven, I do believe this to be true.

So, my first piece of advice is to spend some time throwing servesnot actually serving. I do this drill religiously, at least once per week. It really helps me to regain or maintain a proper serve motion.

Unlike most integrated strokes, the serve begins with no motion at all. Instead, we develop pre-serve rituals. Usually, we stand at the baseline, pause, bounce the ball a few times, look at our opponent, and then, we begin the service motion.

A key ingredient in developing a consistent serve is to have consistent rituals for all serves. By ritualizing your pre-service, you will find that there is a mental consistency that greatly helps the consistency of your actual serve.

Stance in the serve should be more closed than open. New players to the game, often times, will face the net as they serve. This stance does not allow for the body rotation, knee bend and weight transfer that are necessary ingredients in a good serve. Again, practicing serves by tossing or pitching a ball, is a great way to discover the specific stand that is right for you!!!

Grips can vary greatly when it comes to the serve. Most players begin to serve with an Eastern Forehand Grip. This usually feels comfortable and provides an immediate sense of pace. Here is the Eastern Forehand Grip.

However, the major drawback to the Eastern Forehand Grip when used to serve is that it does not allow for a "breaking" or bending of the wrist upon impact with the tossed ball. This breaking of the wrist is very helpful in providing power without strain, and is absolutely necessary if one is serving with slice spin or topspin. Additionally, using the Eastern Forehand Grip will probably force you to serve with a more open stance. This stance will not really allow for a true kinetic chain of motion. Instead, you will find that you are probably hitting the serve with arm powernot body power.

So, I recommend one of several other grips. The Continental Grip:

The Hammer Grip (which is really a closed fisted Continental Grip)

and the Eastern Backhand Grip

are all useful grips for the serve. Some players may find that an extreme backhand grip like the Full Eastern Backhand Grip may provide added wrist snap for power and spin. Below, is the Full Eastern Backhand Grip

You need to experiment with what grips feel comfortable to you. One advantage to the Continental or Hammer Grips is that they allow for serving and volleying without any grip change. If this is your natural or preferred style of play, these grips are worth using when serving.

The next component in our integrated approach is stance. The stance should be somewhat, if not completely, closed (John McEnroe uses a completely closed stance when he serves). Here is a picture of Daniela Hantuchnova in proper stance.