Tip of the Week (Coach Jorge): Backhand Volley Drill April 26 2017, 11 Comments
Today, Coach Jorge would like to share this simple drill he did with his adult intermediate player, Naoko.
It is called the "2-touch" backhand volley drill. This drill is for her to have better racket head control and footwork on her backhand volley.
First, she has to block the ball in order to control it and then hit the ball back as a backhand volley. Note: the ball shouldn't bounce in between hits.
In the second progression to this exercise, alternate between regular volleys and "2-touch" volleys. It is essential to have the contact point in front of the body and to be light on the feet.
Watch the following video to get a better understanding of the above drill.
Naoko did great and hopefully, this drill can help her and many others gain more confidence and control of the backhand volley.
Tip of the Week (Coach James): Timing of the groundstrokes – Easy as 1, 2, 3! March 27 2017, 11 Comments
Do you have the feeling of having no time? Do you feel rushed on your strokes?
You have so much more time to hit your strokes than you think. Follow the easy steps of 1, 2, 3.
3 things to consider:
1. The Racket - Is the racket ready to be used?
2. The Bounce - Is the racket ready before the ball bounces?
3. The Hit - Is the racket ready with enough time to swing to contact?
A lot of players I encounter in their first few lessons make the mistake of trying to get to the ball and then think about getting ready to hit it, therefore having no time to swing creating a PUSH!
Try this the next time you are on the court:
1) Before the ball bounces on your side of the net, get the racket ready by turning the shoulders and SAY 1! Note: The take back can be high or low depending on the speed of the ball.
2) Use the time you have left to move the feet into position. When the ball bounces, SAY 2!
3) Last but not least, swing to contact and SAY 3!
When you have hit the ball, get ready and start the process again! Watch the short clip below.
The first few shots that you play will feel strange but with repetition of this very simple exercise during your tennis lessons and tennis practices, you will be finding your timing in no time at all.
Cheers and have fun!
Tip of the Week (Coach DC): 3 Ways to Improve Your 5 year old's Co-ordination Off-court February 07 2017, 12 Comments
It is always good to continually help develop your child's co-ordination outside of his or her tennis lessons.
Here are my top 3 suggestions to do so. Note that you can even practice these indoors!
That's right! Buy some balloons and challenge your child to keep them up in the air, using any body part they like (eg: hands, head, feet, elbows).
Count how many taps/hits your child can do without the balloon touching the ground.
2) Racquet and Balloons
Similar to Tip 1, add in the racquet and see if your child can keep the balloon up. Allowing them to use different body parts and the racquet is a fantastic way to build co-ordination skills.
Challenge them to balance on one foot and keep the balloon up. This will help to develop your child's balance, a vital skill for hitting those forehands and backhands.
Probably one of the must under-practiced skills is the ability to hop, land and balance. This is a very important motor skill for your child.
Challenge them to hop forwards and backwards on each foot.
CAUTION! Make sure you stand behind them to catch their fall when they hop backwards, especially if their balancing skill isn't quite there yet.
Hopping backwards is great practice for pushing off and using the ankle to accelerate, useful for eventual tennis shots. Hopping also helps develop the motion required for split stepping during rallying.
Hope you can give these ideas a try and be sure to let our tennis coaches know how you get on!
Coach Sam B - Why Play Tennis In Singapore January 27 2017, 9 Comments
Hi, everyone! I am Sam B, a tennis coach who just joined Anyone For Tennis in January 2017!
In this blog, I'm going to explain why tennis is such a good sport to play and be involved in, particularly in Singapore!
Tennis is a sport for life! You are able to play tennis socially, or competitively, or both! In my experience, I have given tennis lessons to a child as young as 2 years old and to an adult of 80 years, as well as every age in between.
Nobody is too young or too old to start playing tennis. Tennis is undoubtedly a skilled sport, you will improve your playing standard and competence with practice, persistence and ideally tennis lessons too.
There are so many forms of tennis you can choose to play including cardio tennis, singles, doubles, tennis boot camps etc.You are never far away from a tennis court in Singapore and since all courts here have floodlights, you can play even at night.
Tennis is truly a global sport. Currently, the top 10 players in the world in both men and ladies professional tennis tours (ATP & WTA) are made up of 10 different nationalities in each.
Playing tennis is a great way to make friends and you can really improve your social connections by participating in tennis, unlike any other sport.
Last but not least, tennis is a great way to improve your fitness. Studies have shown that participating in cardio tennis for 1 hour can burn as much as 600 calories!
I will end off with a picture of me taken while travelling between lessons, drenched by one of Singapore's magnificent storms!
Tip of the Week (Coach Cata): The Slice Approach Shot January 16 2017, 13 Comments
The slice approach shot is one of the most effective shots in tennis, but lesser used because of the speed and power of the game.
The big advantage of this shot is that the ball stays low, which allows the net player to make an aggressive volley.
Usually, the net players are using an offensive backhand slice hitting their slice approach in cross. The opponent probably isn’t expecting you to slice when you come into the net.
The key of this shot is the footwork. As can you see in the picture above featuring Sasha Zverev, his left foot steps behind his right foot as he hits. When he hits the ball, he takes that karaoke step, enabling him to stay sideways and continue to close the net.
The technique for a backhand slice approach shot is pretty similar to that of a backhand volley. The main difference is in the length of the swing. It will be a little longer than a backhand volley as the shot has to generate more pace.
With everyone using poly hybrid and more extreme grips, players can take cuts at these low balls, get more spin, get some bite and get them up over the net with pace.
To learn how to execute the slice approach shot, you may approach any of our tennis coaches for more information.
Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Practicing Tennis (Part 2) June 23 2016, 13 Comments
Question: How should I practice if I have a court, but no practice partner?
Answer: Hit some serves! This is the most important shot in this sport and it is often under-practiced.
Before each serve, make sure you do these 4 things:
1) Stand sideways
2) Feet should be shoulder-width apart
3) Knees should be slightly-bent
4) Racket and ball are together with loose, tension-free hands
Be sure to start all your practice serves in this position, just like how 8 year old Ethan is demonstrating in the picture above.
Below is a picture taken by Coach Dave when he was in Melbourne earlier this year for the Australian Open.
World #7 Milos Raonic with one of the most-feared serves at Australian Open 2016.
How does he serve so fast? Apart from his obvious physical ability, take note of his "trophy position":
- Left arm extended very high
- Left hip shifted inside the baseline
- Shoulders tilted, left above right
- Elbow pointing toward the back fence
- Racket face slightly closed, no "waiter's tray" there, which is very common with recreational players
Tip for improving your serve: Pay attention to your trophy position.
Adding on to how else students may practice without a practice partner, shadow swings and working on footwork patterns on the court are excellent drills as well. Practice moving for the wide ball, the deep ball, the short ball. The possibilities are endless!
Do check with any of our tennis coaches on some drills you may use to practice on your own. The ball is in your court. ;)
Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tournament - 12 June 2016 June 17 2016, 13 Comments
Anyone For Tennis held our first ever Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tournament last Sunday.
It was organized by our Managing Director Dave, for 13 of our students, aged 7-9 years old. It was incredible seeing our students come together to play at this one-day event.
They were able to put what they learnt during their tennis lessons into practice with others of similar playing standard!
The Mini-Tennis Orange Ball Tennis format is played in a smaller and narrower court around three quarters the size of a regular court, using a lower compression ball.
This enables kids of young age to experience the game of tennis, holding longer rallies and constructing points in a court more in proportion to their body size and strength.
The competitors were split into two groups, who then played a "round robin" format, which guarantees each player at least 5 matches. The winners and runners-up of each group went into semi-finals and finals.
Matches were refereed by the students themselves, who were waiting for their turns to play matches. This kept them active between matches and also enabled them to understand the scoring system and serving order of the game.
Players were not allowed to challenge the umpire under any circumstances, so there were no mini John McEnroe antics! The umpire's decision was final.
Parents especially enjoyed watching the games from the sidelines while cheering their kids on! A special mention to them for being around and helping to supervise the kids as well!
It was a fun afternoon, despite the blazing heat! Prizes were given to all players who participated in the group matches.
The semi-final matches were played between Riti vs Agastya and brother & sister Max vs Luisa.
The final match, played between Riti and Luisa, was very closely-contested with Riti coming out on top, winning 10-8.
The event was a huge success! We received feedback from the parents of our little superstars, who would like us to continue organizing many more of these tournaments in the future.
Mini-Tennis Red/Orange/Green Ball and Junior & Adult one-day competitions will be coming to a venue near you. Watch this space!
Interested in joining our one-day tournaments? Register your interest with any of our tennis coaches.
If you are currently not taking lessons with us, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/sms/whatsapp to 93351340.
Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Practice Tennis (Part 1) June 06 2016, 4 Comments
Whether you are a beginner or a touring pro, you must practice regularly in order to achieve your goals. Finding an hour per day to practice can make a huge difference to your improvement and will help you get more bang for your buck during your tennis lessons.
Question: How do I practice tennis with a practice partner, but without my tennis coach present?
Answer: If you are lucky enough to have a hitting partner and access to a court, fantastic!
Grab your practice partner and aim to make a rally of 10/20/100 strokes (whatever is realistic to your level of play) from a distance in the court where you can both maintain control of the ball and hold your shape on each shot.
If you are unable to make more than 10 strokes in a row from the service line, work in a smaller area until you can! Once your goal is achieved, you and your practice partner can play a small game of first-up-to-21-points in the area where you are both competent.
If this means playing mini-tennis in the service boxes with a red/orange ball for adult beginners, then so be it. You are still playing tennis! There is absolutely no need to rush into playing full-court until you are ready.
Coach Dave's mini-red kids - Hugo, Archie, Sophia, Jonas
As tennis coaches, we do notice if our student has put in even just the smallest amount of practice in-between lessons. An example is how the student tends to notice the ball earlier. Students would also have had the chance to digest what was taught to them during the previous lesson.
Having regular weekly tennis lessons would improve one's tennis game, but never underestimate the difference of practices in-between lessons.
Congratulations to Coach Sam's student - Shiv ;) February 10 2016, 4 Comments
Big congrats to Shiv on a tremendous 2015 with a few bumps along the way (broken arm and all).
Shiv has been taking tennis lessons with our Head Tennis Coach, Sam for the past year.
Coach Sam describes Shiv as "an extremely dedicated student who has so much passion for the game!"
The result for his hard work and perseverance is starting 2016 being joint-ranked first in Singapore!
Congratulations once again, Shiv! Hard work pays off!
Tip of the Week (Coach Steph): The Importance of The Ready Position July 26 2015, 2 Comments
Today, we are going to talk about the importance of the ready position!
The ready position is the stance a player takes before the coach or opponent hits the ball. It allows the player to move quicker around the tennis court in any direction.
This is why it is very important to implant the 'habit' of the ready position before and after every shot that your young superstar hits. Without the ready position, the footwork would be slower, heavier and less 'proactive'.
Coach Steph with her students (Imelia, Trisha, Olivia)
How to perform the ready position:
- Feet shoulder-width apart
- Knees slightly bent
- Both hands to be on the racket with your dominant hand at the bottom, and the other hand at the top
- Lean slightly forwards
If the player has only ever learned to be 'sideways' with the guarantee of a forehand or backhand, the movement will become more 'reactive' and rushed. Not only do mini tennis players feel 'professional' whilst copying their favourite famous tennis players, they and their parents will see the difference in speed and preparation for their shots (both forehand and backhand!).
Preparing mini tennis players from the start of their tennis journey is what we do here at Anyone For Tennis, re-emphasized during every tennis lesson. This will enable them to pick up good habits and routines, that will in turn allow them to progress other technical areas of their shots.
The encouragement of being 'proactive' over 'reactive' will always stand in good stead for increased enjoyment and improvement.
Tip of the Week (Coach Sam): Tennis Is An All-Rounded Sport July 06 2015, 2 Comments
If you are looking for your child to learn new skills while having a blast, then tennis is definitely the way to go!
Our team here at Anyone For Tennis believes that tennis is an all-rounded sport.
On top of ensuring that your child learns the correct technique, coordination & fundamentals during tennis lessons with us, your child will also be able to build social skills and create friendships through this sport.
Coach Sam with his students, Eloise & Anise
Not to mention, having lots of fun - during lessons with our tennis coaches and outside of lessons with their friends!
5 year old Emilia hits 34 shot rally with Coach Dave! June 23 2015, 3 Comments
Hi, I'm Coach Dave from Anyone For Tennis. Take a look at one of my youngest students!
Recently turned 5, Emilia from Germany breaks her highest rally record scoring 34 shots.
Here, she is showing fantastic racket head ball control as well as nice, simple and compact swing shapes. No need to over-complicate the technical side at this age, fundamentals are the key.
I would like to see her show better recovery into her ready position after each shot but hey, plenty of time to address that. Such a joy to work with talented young kids and seeing them progress.
Since this clip, she has broken her highest rally score and is generating some topspin on both forehand and backhand sides. She is developing a nice all-round game and is comfortable coming to the net and volleying.
4 years of age is ideal for starting your child on tennis lessons. For more information, please call us at 93351340.
Tip of the Week (Coach Steph): Internal & External Motivation June 17 2015, 3 Comments
Practice makes perfect. It sure does, if it is "good" practice.
The acquisition or improvement of a skill requires good habits from the start to enable a player to repeat it correctly.
Motivation is required if repetition of a skill seems challenging. Motivation can be created by oneself (internal), or by inspiring and energetic tennis coaches (external)!
Internal motivation is in general created easier by adults. Children need that extra "fun factor", and some adults need that confidence boost to feel free to make mistakes in the learning process.
No matter the age, if the player is motivated to learn, internally and externally, there will be no stopping their improvement!
At Anyone For Tennis, all our coaches are extremely motivated to make a difference! Book a session with us and let us motivate you to take your tennis game to the next level.