Archive for June, 2010

Three Revolutionary Tools for Success

By · June 24, 2010 · Filed in Uncategorized · No Comments »

1.  The first revolutionary tool is understanding how to distinguish your natural talents from things you can learn. Human beings are adaptable creatures, and if it is important enough for us, we can get a little better at virtually anything.  The question is whether you can reach consistent near perfect performance in these activities through practice alone.  The answer to this question is “No, practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect.”  To develop a  strength in any activity requires certain natural talents.  Talents are your naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior.  Knowledge consists of the facts and lessons learned. Skills are the steps of an activity.   These three—talents, knowledge, and skills—combine to create your strengths.  The key to building a bona fide strength is to identify your dominant talents and then refine them with knowledge and skills.  Take a close look at knowledge, skills and talents.  Learn to distinguish each one from the others.  Identify dominant talents and then in a focused way acquire the knowledge and skills to turn them into real strengths.

2.The second revolutionary took is a system to identify your dominant talents. There is one sure way to identify your greatest potential for strength:  Step back and watch yourself for a while.  Try an activity and see how quickly you pick it up, how quickly you skip steps in the learning and add twists and kinks you haven’t been taught yet.  This is probably what school should be like: a focused hunt for a child’s areas of greatest potential.  This is probably what work should be like: an intentional effort to find out how each employee might approach world-class performance levels.  Unfortunately, neither school nor work seems up to the task.  Both are so preoccupied with transferring knowledge and plugging skill gaps that developing awareness of natural talents is disregarded.

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Oscar Johnson Interview Parts 1,2 & 3

By · June 19, 2010 · Filed in Coaching, Education · 2 Comments »

It was in 1946, at age 15, when Oscar Johnson first picked up a tennis racquet. Now, nearly 55 years later, he is recognized as the first African-American ever to win a national USTA- sanctioned event. In 1987 Oscar joined Bjorn Borg, Stan Smith, Dennis Ralston and Billie Jean King in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Black Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and later into the Pacific Coast Hall of Fame.

At the time that Oscar won the National Public Parks Tournament in 1948, Arthur Ashe was 5 years old and had not yet begun to play tennis.


At age 17,  Oscar was recognized as the “Jackie Robinson” of professional tennis.  It was only a year before Johnson broke the color barrier in tennis that baseball legend Jackie Robinson broke it in baseball, by beginning his career with the then, Brooklyn Dodgers as the first Black professional baseball player.

Tennis Elbow is not Undefeatable

By · June 19, 2010 · Filed in Coaching · No Comments »

Tennis is a physical sport. Running, jumping, swinging, and sometimes diving on the hard court; like any sport, there are many ways that tennis players can incur an injury. However, there is one injury that is so prevalent among tennis players the injury itself has the word tennis in the name; that injury, of course, is tennis elbow.

While tennis elbow, known medically as lateral epicondylitis, is not limited to tennis players, it is estimated that one third of all tennis players will experience the condition at some point in their lives. Anyone who engages in lifting at the elbow, or repetitive movements of the elbow and wrist, is likely to be susceptible to this condition, so naturally tennis players are at high risk.

The cause of pain from this condition is not a medical certainty, although it is believed that it is caused by small tears of the tendons attaching the forearm muscles to the bone at the elbow joint. It is the muscles of the forearm that are used to cock the wrist back – extensor carpi radialis brevis – that are the suspected culprits in this condition. (more…)

Power Tennis Movement

By · June 17, 2010 · Filed in Training · No Comments »

If you want to emulate the powerfully impressive style of play by world No.1 Rafael Nadal, try training on one leg.


Top tennis trainer Paul Gold explains


Who wouldn’t want to be like Rafael Nadal? His muscle-bound physique and awesome talent with a tennis racket means he looks the part and plays the part of a player ranked No.1 in the world.


It’s hardly surprising therefore that many players are hitting the gym in a quest to emulate their Spanish hero.


Modern tennis is, after all, all about power ‘ power of movement, power of shot and power of thought ‘ and Nadal is an undisputed world-class powerhouse in all of these departments.


It’s clear that the stronger you are the greater the intensity at which you can perform and the less risk you face of injury. But can you be too strong?


Could the new gym rats who want to look like and play like Nadal be doing themselves more harm than good?


There is no question that strength without skill or even good skill levels with low strength will produce less than optimum results. But is it really that important for a tennis player to be able to perform a traditional gym exercise like a squat using a 200+kg bar?


It could be argued that a squat of 100kg along with great stability, power, body control and skill is a far better combination.


This begs the question, “Why not have all these and a 200+kg squat?” Although this sounds like the ideal solution, discussion of this nature is totally misguided.


The main problem is that when it comes to weight training, players (and their coaches and fitness trainers) are often guilty of using old, non-sports-specific bodybuilding principles that focus on building size in isolated muscles through use of exercises that operate in only one plane of motion.


In tennis you need to be able to convert muscle strength into explosive power very quickly. Although traditional weight training will make you stronger, it won’t necessarily enable you to convert that strength into power quick enough for maximum tennis performance.


Let’s face it, in a multi-skilled sport like tennis, the objective is to improve sport performance and reduce injury potential, not build entrants for bodybuilding competitions!


You may possibly start to look a bit like the heavily muscled Nadal, but you still won’t be much nearer to producing his level of power ‘ that’s assuming you haven’t injured your back in along the way!


Let’s examine the example of the 200+ kg squat.


To work on the squat in the traditional way means at best the player loads up the bar to the point where they need a ‘spotter’ (someone who provides support) for safety reasons. Alternatively, they use a cage that is safer but because the bar is fixed it does not allow them to work in a multi-plane environment ‘ which after all is how the game of tennis is played.


One of the biggest problems with both of these scenarios is that the excessive loading that occurs to the spine and joints on an ongoing basis impacts on the risk/safety ratio over time. The greater the loads, the greater are the chances of injury. Often players get to the point of ‘failure’ because of the physical and mental pressure of the bar on their backs rather than because of fatigue in the legs.


There is no doubt that for a player to improve strength they must train at intensities high enough to elicit a strength response (the principle of overload), but there is a better way to increase muscular loading AND nervous system loading ‘ thus improving core stability and balance in the process and lessening the strain on the spine and joints.


This can be achieved using single-leg exercises ‘ replicating the game of tennis that’s played predominantly on a single-leg basis anyway.


You can still do maximal lifts just as you would with traditional double-leg squatting, but without the excessive loads on the spine and joints.


Note – You can also use this type of training on the upper body with the use of dumbbells.


This kind of training means that unlike traditional weight training you are working more muscles ‘ the primary muscles (big muscle groups) as well as the smaller stabilisers.


Furthermore, this kind of strength training also provides an added skill component to your physical training that will reap rewards when transferred to the court.


As far as Nadal is concerned, he is clearly a very talented player who was born with great tennis skills, which he has honed over the years.


His physique and the physicality of his style of play only go to enhance his considerable racket skills, without which he would not be the same player.


Try incorporating some single-leg and single-arm exercises to help maximise your tennis performance while staying injury-free.

For more tennis training info and your FREE TOP 10 Tennis Training Tips go HERE

Tennis Clothes – A Revolution In Style

By · June 16, 2010 · Filed in Coaching, Education · No Comments »

Tennis clothes have changed drastically in style, fabric, and color over the last 100 years. The first lawn tennis players in England wore formal attire when playing. Standard tennis clothes for women were full-length dresses. Men wore long pants and formal, long sleeve shirts. The tennis clothes of both men and women were entirely white in color. Contrast this formal style with the tennis clothes worn by the tennis players of today. Modern tennis players favor synthetic fabrics, more athletic clothing styles, and a greater variety of colors.

The evolution of tennis clothes has mirrored the changes in everyday fashion. For example, male tennis players in the 1970’s and 1980’s favored short, tight-fitting shorts and traditional polo shirts. In the late 1990’s and 2000’s, male tennis players began to wear larger, looser shorts and more casual shirts. In addition, female tennis players of the 1970’s and 1980’s favored traditional tennis clothes with an updated style. Popular clothing included shortened tennis skirts and dresses. Today’s women tennis players wear a variety of tennis clothes, ranging from tennis skirts and dresses to shorts and t-shirts. While tennis players still wear white at more traditional clubs (e.g. Wimbledon), there is a much larger variety of colors in modern tennis clothes. (more…)

A Legends’ Tale In Tennis: Chris Evert

By · June 12, 2010 · Filed in Coaching · No Comments »

Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in December of 1954, Chris Evert was made to play tennis. Tennis was a tradition in her family before she was even born. Her father, Jimmy Evert, was a professional tennis coach and helped Chris and her sister Jeanne reach the professional tennis ranks. Her brother John also went on to receive a scholarship to play tennis at the college level. From the beginning tennis was destined to be a part of her life.

At five years old she began to play tennis with her father coaching her. She was a great player even in her childhood, becoming the number one ranked player in the United States in the 14-under girls division.  Her fame only continued to build from that point as at age 15 she topped the then top player in the world (Margaret Court, with match score  7-6, 7-6). This win allowed the nation to see what she really might become as a tennis player and she was selected to represent the United States as the young player ever on the Wightman Cup team. (more…)

Improve Your Skills without a Court with these Tennis Drills

By · June 11, 2010 · Filed in Training · No Comments »

Every tennis players wants to improve his or her game, and over time most players get better. However, all too many players are willing to dedicate the time and energy it requires in order to take their skills to the next level of excellence; but find that limited access to a court is keeping them from achieving their goals. If this sounds all too familiar, try some of these off court drills. By learning how to practice your tennis technique without needing a court or a net you can turn a backyard, or even a garage, into your personal tennis training gym.

The most effective thing you can do to improve your game when you don’t have access to a court or a partner is to build your endurance and do footwork drills. Making a regular practice of following increasingly challenging jogging routes will help you build the kind of endurance that will help you keep your energy levels high throughout even the most challenging games. To keep from injuring yourself during a jog, be sure to do a full set of warm-up and cool down stretches.

In addition to covering some ground as a jogger, it is a good idea to make up your own personal footwork drills so that you will be able to put your newfound endurance on the courts to full use by exploring your full range of lower body movement. Going through even a short daily regimen of slides, backwards jogs, side steps, kicks, jumps, and other low-impact aerobic moves will help you become more agile. Being light on your feet can give you a huge advantage when you are running for the ball. The more effortlessly you can slide, skip, run, and bounce on the court, the more graceful and efficient your play will become. If you have access to a lot of open air space like a large field or park, try playing a bit of tennis golf as a break from your regular drills. (more…)

Tennis Lesson – Learning the basics of how to hit a lob – Tennis Tip

By · June 7, 2010 · Filed in Coaching, Strokes · No Comments »

The defensive lob is an important shot in tennis but unfortunately one of the least practiced. The key to hitting a consistent defensive lob is to lift the ball high over the net to accomplish two things. First, if your opponent is at the net, your lob pushes her back to the baseline. Second, the ball hangs in the air a relatively long time, giving you more time to recover into proper court position. To hit a consistent and controlled defensive lob, finish with both your racquet hand and the racquet head above your head as demonstrated in this video clip. In fact, try holding it in this position until the ball you just hit reaches the highest point of its arc. If needed, you can insert a foam arrow to help you visualize this shot. Once you have the basics of hitting this shot, make sure to practice it in a realistic situation. Whats reality when lobbing? Running like heck, of course. Otherwise, at least most of the time, why would anyone hit a defensive lob in the first place? For beginning players, moving and hitting can be challenging. So, if needed, start off standing still in the service boxes. Then, once youre more comfortable with moving and lobbing, move back to the baseline. Take note that you still need to check that your racquet hand and racquet head both finish well above your head. www.oncourtoffcourt.com

Tennis Fitness – Strength Training for Chest 2 by Adam Brewer

By · June 5, 2010 · Filed in Coaching, Fitness · No Comments »

www.TenXFitness.com -offering tennis fitness solutions to tennis players of all abilities. http Adam Brewer shows you the finer points of the common, narrow and staggered push-up…develop chest, shoulders and core for stronger play

Reaction and Coordination Drills

By · June 4, 2010 · Filed in Coaching · 2 Comments »

Reaction and Coordination Drills fitnessdevise.blogspot.com