Thursday, 27 February 2014

Roger Federer - Top 10 Show Off Tricks (HD)


I could never surf , tried , nearly drowned , gave up , wore surf clothes to look the part instead , but I wish i could have mastered the art of wave riding , i hear that there is a feeling of pure freedom when you ride that wave to perfection. I believe Roger Federer could lay claim to riding that perfect wave on many occasions as he effortlessly hit his way through matches that he could look back on and say to himself 'perfection'. Would that be the driving force behind tennis players as they go in search of a feeling that brings euphoria and a sense of self satisfaction that perhaps could be likened to surfing a barrel ? Absolutely , tennis is a game that can bring a feeling of greatness  then a low point of disgust in one's own ability in the blink of an eye , in a time frame of perhaps two matches . Why is this ? 
There are many reasons why we can play a perfect game of tennis , conditions , mind set , health , and perhaps the biggest factor of all , how well our opponents allow us to play . The perfect game of tennis can be played if all of the above factors fall into place on the one given day that gives us a true sense of worth as a tennis player that invariably gets us back on court wanting more the next time. When things go wrong we tend to despise the game and go through the thought process of hating ourselves for the lack of commitment , concentration or desire to push the physical barriers that are required in a one on one sport.
In reference to the great Roger Federer  once again , as brilliant as he is there are better stroke makers in the game but not too many as smart , in his prime the great man rode the barrel and received the perfect score more often than not . His mind set was so good that every day to him was a day where the sun shined and the birds sung his favorite tune , the 40 km winds were a gentle sea breeze and his opponents, despite their high rankings were putting each ball exactly where he wanted it. 
Quite often you will see a low ranked player beat a top 20 opponent then lose the next day to a player who is ranked 50 places lower than themselves , why is this ? The mind works in mysterious ways . It's not the shot making , it's the thought process that doesn't allow for greatness in certain players that it does for others on a regular basis . Not many players can stay switched on for long enough periods of time that will bring them victories day after day and it's what can bring players to their knees in frustration and anguish as to what is in fact taking place. 'Who am i today ?? This is not who beat the number 3 seed yesterday!!'
Does a surfer ride the perfect wave each time he goes into the water ? Does a golfer hit the fairway on each drive? The body is willing on most occasions, teaching the mind to be just as committed is not only Sport's biggest challenge but perhaps life's as well........

Sunday, 23 February 2014


When I was a kid first starting out on my tennis adventure i only ever played doubles as a bit of fun , i had no real skill when it came to the two on two format , yet it netted me my first city Championship. When i turned 15 , just three years after i starting playing , my buddy from Fremantle Dale Jones and i won the City of Melville Doubles Championship against the best team in the State for the 18's age group. In the semi's we defeated Ken Mcreery, a Country Week Singles Champion and Tim Burrows , a player who from memory had been ranked as high as 1 for 16's in WA. It was an extraordinary win as we saved a match point and won 7-5 in the third, we then won the final in straight sets. Yet doubles was simply a novelty.
As the years have rolled by and with living in a Region as i do all Tournaments are a two on two format , one that i am not comfortable with but with no choice , it's that or don't play . The art of doubles is one that requires angles , dinks , lobs , finesse and a requirement to keep it cross court , away from the net player. Singles is up and down hitting more often than not with an option to close into the net to create an angle if you are not one of those players that only go to the net to shake hands , the two forms of the game are chalk and cheese. 
The last two Tournaments i played in locally were 'educational' as i finished second at The Albany Open to two young fellas who played predominantly from the baseline , but did it to perfection and the Katanning Men's Doubles to two wily veterans. Peter Rundle and his cousin Graeme are two guys who know the art of doubles and we were no match for them , yet we won our first 5 matches with surprising ease. 
Whenever i play a doubles comp i simply try to gain knowledge as to how i can be as good as some when i am their age as most of these guys are 52-55 , very experienced and knowledgeable , in the 'prime' of their careers as far as court craft goes. I am ok at doubles but i never dominate , never have done, i simply try to play a good brand of singles cross court and hope it will be competitive enough , most times it is yet i struggle against teams that know the intricacies of two on two. Do i look upon this as a failure? Never, it's a part of tennis that i always find intriguing , a mind game , always trying to better my last performance so i remain philosophical . Singles is my game , that may seem strange as i just turned 45 yet i am physically fit enough to still hit with the young blokes , that's the key to singles , the legs , they need to feel young enough to keep going. 
Doubles will help with your volleying without a doubt and can help you move into the net with more confidence when you are playing singles so i treat doubles tournaments in a different way as i do singles. I treat a singles loss as a personal defeat , perhaps a mental as well as physical defeat whereas a doubles loss is never too hard to shake off . Mindset in tennis is a huge thing and you need to always put things into perspective when analyzing your own performances.
Personally i feel i still have a lot to learn in the game of tennis and losing sometimes in a format i am not comfortable with is now looked upon as something that is no longer the 'end of the world' as it was when i lost as a kid , especially in singles . I find the game now days educational and gaining knowledge is still high on my list of priorities as it naturally helps with teaching the game also , but boy am i looking forward to my next singles Tournament, the true physical and mental test..........

Monday, 17 February 2014

Professional Purposeful Practice Doubles Drills

The Best Game Of Tennis Ever?


Don't you just hate pay TV ? NAB Cup Footy is on at the moment and unless we have Foxtel we can't watch it , most disappointing, great Tennis on too but will have to see it on You Tube at a later date. Tennis used to be 'free to air' until certain Organisations took it over and claimed it as their own and now everyone pays for it . Certain 'authorities' that i won't name just in case someone else threatens me with a law suit for speaking common sense may just take offence so i will refrain, have claimed the game of tennis as their own , not sure how it all happened. If you pay a Membership to a Tennis Club then the money doesn't all go to the Club , a generous portion goes to a 'higher being' , this fee for simply being just that 'a higher being'. These Clubs have probably been made from dirt into fantastic facilities from local fundraising perhaps plus Govmt grants , even sometimes generous local Businessmen , the case at one local club i know for a fact. So why is it that the fees go elsewhere ? It's because the game has been taken over by greed and egos plus people who have found a way to make the sport what it is today , quite simply a Business.
I have said on many occasions that i believe the game is a 'Rich Person's Sport' ; Why does the cost of learning have to be so high ? Some will use the excuse of Litigation to justify their $60- $80 hourly fees , others will simply be sheep and follow the leader ' he charges it , so that's good enough for me'. 
My Parents would never have been able to afford for me to play full time tennis in Queensland back in 1985 as i did if the game had been what it is today , back then it was affordable , more players were taking the court and players were still interested after the age of 16 , very few now pursue it after this age. 
Look at the way local clubs now do things , most have big glossy signs on the fence with a sponsor's name or 'higher being' information , or both , plus a 'Coach's name with a list of times but usually not costs . They want you to call them  regarding lessons and then they will sell you their product like a car salesman does , complete with a 'guarantee' that they will have you playing like a Champion in no time , most are gullible enough to go for the sales pitch. $80 - yep this guy must be 'The Man' . Don't get me wrong there are actually real Tennis Coaches out there who can deliver a product that if you really want to get better then they will be worth the fee , I would say less than half can justify their existence.
Do I think i am worth $80 an hour with a Level 2 accreditation and 26 years of Experience ? Ha ! that's laughable , i can teach the game well and i can pick up what someone is doing wrong in 2 or 3 shots and can correct it within the session, yet I don't believe that a high hourly rate will justify it. The problem is with tennis that it takes a long time to get it right as a student and great players aren't made in an instant so why not make the process affordable ? Wouldn't this prolong careers and make improvement a certainty? 
Come on Glenn that makes way too much sense buddy.....
The game is not what it used to be but I am doing my bit to make it not only affordable but to give the public a realistic outlook on things . My honesty with certain players' ability may not be what some people want to hear but i will tell it how it really is , if it costs me then i can live with it .
No one 'owns' the game of tennis . When you hit a ball perfectly it probably feels like when a surfer rides the perfect wave , no better feeling . No matter at what Tennis Club you do it at or which 'Coach' you do it with it shouldn't cost people a small fortune for the 'privilege' of  being there. I used to jump the fence at my local club to play 5 sets with a mate , twice or three times a week , that's how i got better, 'Free To Air' ............

Thursday, 13 February 2014


I had an interesting conversation with my old coach one day regarding a common occurrence in the game of tennis , it was in regards to 'poaching' , or in simple terms Coaches pinching other Coaches kids , happens all the time . My frustrations used to be at boiling point as my junior program that worked on refining technique was continually interrupted by other Coaches offering 'better deals' , until it was explained to me in English.
'Anyone can offer a good kid all the bells and whistles routines but it shows a significant lack of one's own ability'. Sound confusing ? So was I until things became a little clearer, let's look at it realistically; 
Anyone can 'pinch' a good kid from a training facility with the offers of things such as 'reduced fees', 'Mickey Mouse Scholarships', free restrings etc , the list goes on , to hopefully give their Organisation the publicity  they 'require' to stroke their ego. 
In reality it's easy to 'poach' , it's much harder to take a kid from 'novice' to Champion , as good Coaches can do , it's all in the way you teach . Some Coaches rely on simply 'ball hitting' to somehow gain improvement whereas the good teachers of the game won't take the easy way out by risking getting off side with their pupils by not accepting mediocrity. I have often made the point that just because a kid gets a ball over the net it's not necessarily a 'great shot' as many 'Coaches' will say . I would say to a pupil that if they can hit the back fence on one bounce in court with a topspin forehand that this is 'acceptable' , anything else well then it needs 'work'. 
I had a hit with a kid not long ago who thought he was 'god's gift' to tennis but in the end i refused to hit any ball that he hit to me that bounced twice before it got to me at the baseline . Apparently this is 'accepted' with other coaching and it's why he will not get any better . Hard but fair i would call my style of coaching. Seeing the game both played and Coached in Europe has toughened me up as a Coach and I believe my take on the game is classified as 'reality'. 
Poaching of good kids will continue in every town where ego's are bigger than the game itself , sad nature of the sport, but makes life interesting all the same . If we didn't have people wanting to take our good players then looking at it philosophically then we wouldn't have a gauge on where we are at with our teaching . I simply take it as a compliment , and have my own philosophical way of looking at it. I would much rather take a kid from scratch and make them into a great player rather than reinforce what another Coach has already taught. I recently played a Championship where the other three players on court with me in the Final were all kids i taught from an early age . To be involved was a thrill and the respect was mutual , makes us 'old blokes' sleep well at night........

Saturday, 8 February 2014


In 1991 Brad Gilbert beat his future 'student' Andre Agassi 6-1, 6-2 at the Semi Final stage of the San Jose tournament in San Francisco, absolutely belted him , a tennis lesson in any man's language. Two years later Andre asked Gilbert to be his Coach , the rest is history as Andre won six of his eight Grand Slam Titles under the guidance of a man who knew the intricacies of the game of tennis. Brad Gilbert was far from perfect technically with his own game, but a brilliant mind, Agassi was a technical genius, but lacked brains, their partnership was always going to be a winner . If you know anything about tennis in the 80's and 90's you would then have an idea on the way Gilbert played , if you don't then here's the best way to describe him , he was a 'pest'. Gilbert hit the ball so unlike any other players , almost in the Mats Wilander clay court style , slow and annoying but he did it on hard courts as well as carpet , he made the opposition make their own pace , he gave them none. Most players rely on the ball coming over the net at a reasonable pace to give them some rhythm and to almost be a spring board . If a ball is coming slow then a player has to swing through harder to force the pace , slow balls are a lot harder to deal with than harder hit balls .
Brad Gilbert had a tactical mind that Andre Agassi desperately needed as he was fast becoming a 'wasted talent' with losses to guys who he should have beaten easily with his game that was in a word 'exhilarating' , he just needed a brain. 
Tennis has seen some contrasting styles over the years ; The Borg - Mcenroe rivalry was chalk and cheese as far as their playing styles were concerned as were the Agassi - Sampras matches but they all had a mental battle to them as well. Brad Gilbert felt that because Andre was aiming for perfection on each shot and more or less going for winners at inopportune moments that all he had to do was 'reprogram' his way of thinking that would make his opponents play more balls . Of course in Andre's case most of his shots were so good that this was eventually the way that he ended up being the World's best, he simply stopped trying to be perfect on each ball, he made his opponents play more.
Tennis is like that , I wrote an article that was published in the ATPCA's monthly journal that more or less stated the Gilbert way of playing , but i put my own twist on it . I felt that the game now days is too predictable and needs a different approach to throw the opponent's rhythm out, Brad Gilbert made 40 Tournament finals with this way of playing and won 20 of them . Kids could take a leaf out of his book by looking up his style and implementing some  different tactics that can work in their favour , an unpredictable game plan.
Tennis is a thinking man's game , simply just playing to the current style of sitting on the baseline won't guarantee you a win , these players are a dime a dozen , think outside the square........