email_us_left_rail_box_85x40 staff_directory_left_rail_box_85x40
contact_us_left_rail_box_85x40 top_jr_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40
join_jr_team_left_rail_box_85x40 join_adult_team_left_rail_box_85x40
ntrp_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40 age_level_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40
jr_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40 jr_rankings_left_rail_box_85x40
find_jtt_left_rail_box_85x40 adult_rankings_left_rail_box_85x40
usta_league_left_rail_box_85x40 adult_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40

The Spectator's Guide to Playing Better Tennis

April 3, 2006 02:12 PM

Dr. Robert Heller

Would you like a free tennis lesson from one of the world’s best players?

All you need to do is attend a professional tennis tournament. The top players will be competing and showing you their stuff. You can take advantage of what they are showing you by attending the early rounds, sitting down in the first few rows of seats, and “closely” watching what they are doing.

Now, I don’t mean “casually” watch while you munch on food or talk to your companions. Nor do I mean “generally” watching by trying to take in everything that’s going on. Instead, I would encourage you to think about what part of your game you want to improve upon and selecting that to be your focus for the day. Match after match, zero in on that particular part of the player’s game.

For example, you may want to improve your serve. Maybe you have a low or unsteady toss. Concentrate on each players serve. Observe the service motion, the tossing arm, the position of the hand and fingers holding the ball, the arm releasing the ball, the height at which the ball is hit, the player’s eyes at the point of contact, how far in front of the body the ball is released etc. Isolate each action and view it 6-10 times before moving on to another specific aspect. Finish off by watching the complete serve from the ritual ball bouncing to the leg landing into the court after contact.

Make some written notes on what you notice. How is what the pros do the same or different that what you do? What will you do differently next time it’s your turn to play?

So, next time you want a great free tennis lesson, go watch some high level tennis, select a specific aspect of the game you want to improve on and really watch- closely!

Until next time,

Dr. Robert Heller is a psychologist, sports psychology consultant and certified tennis instructor based in Boca Raton, Florida. He is the author of the 2-volume mental conditioning CD-Rom program, “TENNISMIND.” For information on sports enhancement training, workshops and other services, contact him at (561) 451-2731, robertheller@adelphia.net or visit www.thewinningedge.usptapro.com.​



Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share
Newsletter Signup