Tip of the Week (Coach Jorge): Backhand Volley Drill April 26 2017, 9 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 Sam HS): Find & Finish - A Beginner to Intermediate Forehand Guide March 03 2017, 9 Comments
Hi, I'm Coach Sam HS and here is one of my Mini Orange players.
She has been training with me for just under three months and already we are working on match play tactics.
She is going to demonstrate the steps in which I would coach a beginner or intermediate player of any age to hit a forehand.
Step 1: The Ready Position
• Feet shoulder width apart
• Two hands on the racket (dominant hand at the bottom)
• Racket out in front of your body
Step 2: The Find Position
• As soon as she recognises that the ball is coming to her forehand, she puts the racket in the “find position”.
• This is the position she wants to make contact with the ball.
• The racket is waist height and in front of her.
Step 3: The Swing
• All in one motion, she takes her racket back slightly and swings for the ball, keeping her strings pointing forward as much as she can, doing her best to make contact with the ball in front of her body. (Sack the camera man!)
Step 4: Finish
• After making contact with the ball and remembering to keep her strings facing forward as long as possible, she finishes with her racket over her shoulder.
• Here, you can also see her forwards momentum has carried her over the Orange baseline.
Don't forget to smile while practicing the above! If you have any questions, feel free to approach any of our tennis coaches!
Tip of the Week (Coach Cata): The Slice Approach Shot January 16 2017, 11 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, 11 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. ;)
Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Practice Tennis (Part 1) June 06 2016, 3 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.
Tip of the Week (Coach Billy): Improve your forehand with the lag i.e. 'Laser' December 21 2015, 3 Comments
One of the fundamental bio-mechanics of the forehand is reaching a position where the racket head is lagging behind the wrist, the arm, and also the grip of the racket.
I teach this technique to all of my mini tennis players with the nickname 'laser' meaning, pointing the butt-cap of the racket (i.e. laser) towards the other side of the net.
It is vital for players to reach a good racket head lag position to increase the power and speed of their forehand, making it a far greater weapon.
Here's a video of Stan Wawrinka's forehand in slow motion. See if you can spot this position and how long his racket lags for before striking the ball.
This motion incorporates more of a lasso action and brings the wrist into play while also giving more room to accelerate the racket through the ball.
Get in touch with our tennis coaches at 93351340 if you want to learn how to generate more power on your forehand!
Tip of the Week (Coach Sam): Tennis for a 3 year old! November 27 2015, 3 Comments
Tom is one of Anyone For Tennis Singapore's youngest students. I started coaching him just before his third birthday around 6 months ago.
Initially, I wondered if he could even understand my instructions during every tennis lesson, but it soon became apparent that his brain was absorbing everything like a sponge and his concentration was outstanding among a few cheerful tantrums.
Tom can now hit forehands and backhands over the net and continues to blow me away with his focus at such a young age and willingness to learn.
Here's a video of the little superstar in action:
Just remember - it's never too early or late to get involved in this great game of tennis we all love!
We can organize structured group classes for 3 to 4 year olds! They will pick up the fundamentals while having loads of fun! Contact us at 93351340 to find out more.
Tip of the Week (Coach Cata): The Inside-Out Forehand November 09 2015, 4 Comments
The inside-out forehand in tennis is one of the most commonly used shots in professional tennis.
It is not just for the Roger Federers of this world. YOU can also master this very effective weapon and attack your opponent, especially if they have a weaker backhand.
This shot can be used when the oncoming ball is either down the middle of the court or onto the backhand side. You must make the decision to play this shot very early and adjust your body position to the backhand side of the court. Point your feet towards the opposite backhand side in a “semi open stance”, then rip your forehand cross court and watch your opponent flail at the ball as he/she is shocked to see you go that way with a forehand.
Unless your backhand is STRONGER than your forehand (i.e. Stan Warwinka, Andy Murray), I recommend attacking all balls that are central and slightly onto the backhand to the court with your forehand.
Beware - this shot does have an element of risk to it as you are opening up the court for your opponent. If you take this shot on, you must be AGGRESSIVE!
See Federer above throwing his body into this inside-out forehand. If you are passive with this shot, a good player can easily stroke the ball into the open court.
Another safer option on this shot is to go high with heavy topspin, still being aggressive. Your opponent will then have to play a backhand above shoulder height, which is very difficult to attack from, especially for the one-handed backhand. When executed successfully, it can result in a weaker short ball from your opponent. The extra height on the ball can give you more time to recover for the next ball.
This shot is also a must-have for doubles when you are playing backhand side. Next time you are practicing your cross-courts with your hitting partner, be sure to throw in some inside-out forehands in the mix also.
Check out this video to see how it’s done!
Feel free to contact us at 93351340 if you need to enquire about the inside-out forehand! Any of our coaches will gladly do a demo for you during your tennis lessons.
Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Balance & Contact! October 26 2015, 914 Comments
Whatever stroke you are hitting, simplicity is key.
Too many swing thoughts happening during the stroke can cause unnecessary errors.
Tennis is a game based on reactions so during a match or live ball situation (rally), there is not enough time to be focusing on your backswing, shoulder turn, which stance you will use, where your racket will finish, the list can go on.
Two very simple points you can use on every stroke. Here is our example on the 2 handed backhand, featuring Coach Billy and his student:
1 - Balance
Make sure feet are at least shoulder-width apart with knees bent, good solid back posture with head above hips.
2 - Contact zone, as opposed to contact point
Contact zone ideally should be out in front of the body, in and around waist height. Avoid making contact with the ball above shoulder height and below knee height. The racket should "extend" through that contact zone, before finishing at shoulder height on groundstrokes.
So if you're ever having a bad day on the court, you can go back to these 2 fundamentals, BALANCE and CONTACT. Could turn a bad day into a good one!
If you need to enquire about strokes correction, please contact our team at 93351340 for a tennis lesson.
Congratulations to Coach Dave's student - Sophie! ;) October 22 2015, 3 Comments
A proud moment for Coach Dave when his student, Sophie came in Champion of the KLM Orange Ball Tournament last Sunday.
Sophie has been taking tennis lessons from our Managing Director, Dave Reade for the past year.
He describes Sophie as "such a joy to work with! She possesses great 'ABCs' i.e. agility, balance, co-ordination, and is very coachable. Her parents are also very supportive of her playing tennis, often communicating with me on tips for Sophie to work on her technique during her own training sessions."
Congratulations once again, Sophie!
Tip of the Week (Coach Sam): The SABR. October 13 2015, 1 Comment
Want to learn Roger Federer's new chip-and-charge 'SABR' attack move?
SABR stands for "Sneak Attack By Roger" and involves rushing towards the net at the moment of the second serve and chipping against the ball.
It has proven very successful for Roger, who employed this tactic in the competitions leading up to the US Open 2015.
I have been working on this new tactical returning weapon with my student, Leandro, who is ranked number 20 in the Men's Open Ranking Singapore.
At Anyone For Tennis, we always try to help our students improve and stay current. Contact us at 93351340 to join our trial classes.
Tip of the Week (Coach Steph): The Importance of The Ready Position July 26 2015, 1 Comment
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, 1 Comment
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, 2 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, 2 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.
Tip of the Week (Coach Sam): Off-Court Fitness Training June 02 2015, 1 Comment
If you are looking to take your tennis game to the next level or just want to enjoy playing for longer, then what you do off the court in terms of fitness can make a huge difference to your game.
At Anyone For Tennis, we believe that tennis is a whole body sport with a major focus on leg and core strength, along with speed agility and stamina. We recommend circuit training that involves exercises that fire up the muscles used in tennis.
Here is a beginner body weight circuit to get the ball rolling:
- Squats - 20
- Lunges - 20
- Planks - 30 secs to 1min
- Skipping - 1 min
- Wall Sit - 1 to 2mins
- Mountain Climbers - 50
- Burpees - 10 to15
- Court Sprints
By adding in fitness training 1-2 times a week, you will notice a huge difference in your game and get more satisfaction and enjoyment from being able to play your shots with correct technique when it comes down to crunch time.
Professional tennis players are some of the fittest athletes on the planet. So put the hard work in and the results will happen.
Contact us to join our trial classes for tennis-specific fitness programs including cardio tennis, personal training, coordination lessons (foundation tennis fitness lesson for kids), and boot camps.
Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Utilize Your Practice May 15 2015, 1 Comment
Hi, I'm Coach Dave from Anyone For Tennis and here's my tip of the week: Utilize your practice.
Remember: Practice does NOT make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Always practice with a purpose, don't just go out and hit balls aimless.
Make a solid first move on the forehand, use the non-playing arm and get the racket tip UP!
If you want to maximize your options on a forehand and generate easy power, a smooth, solid first move is essential. On the contrary, a slow, late or jerky first move can lead to the dreaded late contact and/or even worse...the shank.
Here's how: From an athletic-ready position with good posture, after making the split step right on the opponent's racket contacting with the ball, the racket tip should be facing up and the left (or non-playing hand) on the throat of the racket initiating the shoulder turn (see Roger above) all done simultaneously.
Things to watch out for:
Be careful not to open the racket face when lifting the racket head above the hands as that may lead to the dreaded slice. You can make sure the racket strings are facing the side fence during the backswing and some point the string toward the back fence before dropping the racket.
Don't go too high or too far back with your looping backswing. That also can lead to late contacts, causing the ball to miss to the right. A simple loop will do to help generate rhythm and effortless power and to help deal with the high ball, this will also make taking the ball early much easier.
Drill of the week:
You can practice this feeding from a basket, or rallying with a partner, or both.
Using just the cross court half of the court (include doubles sidelines if you like), set yourself a goal of say 10/20/30/50 (depending on your level) consecutive strokes without error.
You can then get your competitive juices flowing by playing first to 11 or 21 points in a half court (cross court or down the line) using ONLY forehands.
Okay now, go practice.
Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Why should my child use coloured tennis balls? Surely the sooner they get to full pressure yellow balls, the better right? Wrong! November 11 2014, 30 Comments
At Anyone For Tennis, we focus on helping your child train using the right coloured tennis balls in relation to their age and experience during tennis lessons.
Our tennis coaches are all mini-tennis certified and highly experienced in this area of the game. We believe that this is vital In order to speed up your child's overall learning process.
Each player will be carefully assessed by our coaches before being recommended on which coloured ball to start off with.
The Mini-Tennis System using traffic-light coloured balls (Red, Orange, Green) has been in place in the UK since around 2000 and before that, there was Foundation Tennis using orange balls and Short-Tennis using sponge balls.
There are many other versions of modified tennis around the world, for example ITF Tennis 10s and the acclaimed Australian "Hot Shots" programs. All these modified versions of the game are designed to make tennis easier for kids to learn the strokes and have the ability to enjoy a match.
Smaller, Slower, Easier.
Mini-tennis is played on smaller courts and using smaller rackets that are more appropriate for a young child who is just starting to play.
The mini-tennis ball bounces much lower than a traditional ball, enabling him/her to strike it at a more comfortable height as opposed to hitting most balls at head height or above. The latter often leads to extreme grips and poor technique, which makes it very difficult for him/her to re-learn at a later stage in their development, not to mention chronic injuries that can be caused by the heavy rackets and balls.
Assessing children to the correct level under the age of 10 and using the right ball is where our tennis coaches have particular expertise.
Note from the diagram above that children can enter the system at any age.
For example, a beginner 9 year old would start on orange balls. However, a very talented and coachable 4 year old who started taking red ball tennis lessons and playing 2-3 times per week could easily progress through the levels quickly and be able to play green ball tennis by the age of 6.
A lot depends on the player's love for the game, co-ordination, athleticism and playing experience.
Q: What if my child has always used regular balls? Does he/she need to go back to green balls?
As long as your child is technically proficient and can hold their shape while rallying at speed and under match conditions, there would be no need to move back.
However, if put to the test and the tennis coach finds that the rally is breaking down after less than 5 strokes due to lack of fundamentals, then it would be beneficial in the long term to train with a more appropriate ball depending on their skill level.
This can often be hard to take for the player/parent initially, but they will quickly realise that the learning process is faster with a softer and more appropriate ball. A good point to note is that most under 10 competitions use green balls now as well.