Monthly Archives: April 2014

Developing Weapons on the Tennis Court

As my good friend and mentor Coach Chuck Kriese says tennis is a “High Beta Sport.”  I have blogged before that tennis is really an eye-hand combative sport.  It is like two gladiators walking into the arena and only one gets to leave victorious.  Tennis is a civilized form of eye-hand combat and there is no time clock, which means you must finish your opponent off.  We really are asking our players to be sophisticated gladiators or polite boxers.  It is not often people think of tennis this way but it is exactly what happens out there when two players take the court for a match.

Kitchen KnivesLet me provide an analogy for you.  Going into the gladiator arena would you rather have two 3-foot swords or one 5-foot sword and one 1-foot sword?  Even though both total up to 6 feet I know I would much rather have the 5-foot sword combination. Think of all the advantages and how much easier it would be to hurt your opponent with the longer sword.

Here is how the analogy relates to tennis players.  If your forehand and backhand are equally good that is wonderful.  However, imagine if your forehand or your serve are significantly better than all your other strokes.  In that case you have a big weapon that can be used to hurt your opponent with often.

I am not saying you should neglect developing the weaker parts of your game, because if your backhand is weak you need to make it stronger.  What I am saying is that if you have developed a weapon like a big serve or forehand use it and develop your game plan around using it often.  Many times players focus all their efforts on improving their weaknesses but never continuing to improve upon their strengths and that is a mistake.

And if you happen to come up against an opponent with a big weapon you had better make sure you do everything you can to avoiding getting hurt by it.

New Balance High School Tennis Championships

There is a groundbreaking annual tournament that will be launching this summer!  I say it is groundbreaking because it finally puts High School Tennis at the forefront of the Junior Tennis World…

New Balance is sponsoring the first annual National High School Tennis Championships.  It is going to be a top-notch singles event and anyone is eligible to enter as long as they competed on their school’s varsity tennis team.

The tournament will be held in Boston, MA July 21-25 at Harvard University.  During that week 64 Boys & 64 Girls will compete in a compass draw to determine the best High School Tennis Player in the country.  The winners will be receiving a wild card into the ITF International Hard Court Tennis Championships at the JTCC in College Park, MD.  New Balance is subsidizing the costs and providing some pretty amazing amenities to the player selected to play.  You can enter online at TennisLink and the tournament ID# is 450042714.

Players will be selected based on their Universal Tennis Ranking (UTR).  If you have no idea what UTR is I suggested reading a post I wrote some time ago about the difference between Rating vs. Rankings.  And because they are using UTR as the means of selection it will have no impact on player eligibility in Pennsylvania High School Tennis, I know because I am on the committee and asked…

Finally, take an hour out of your day and listen to my friend Lisa Stone interview Bruce Shilling from New Balance and Bill Mountford from USTA who are spearheading the ground breaking High School Tennis Championship.

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