Saturday, 1 March 2014


Only a tennis player's head prevents them from making their worst shot their best , given of course that they are physically capable. How many tennis players actually cringe when a ball goes to their non preferred side which invariably makes them put back into play a shot that lacks substance ? I can lay claim to this 'phobia'.
I am unsure when things started to go wrong on my backhand side however i found that when i was doing a lot of coaching it was easier to simply slice or push the ball back to my students , as opposed to hitting through with the double hander. I also admired the way my hero Mats Wilander from Sweden nullified the heavy topspin hitting from Ivan Lendl in the 1988 US Open final by simply slicing his own backhand , keeping it low out of Lendl's hitting zone. The tactic worked however it took Mats nearly 5 hours to do it , he rarely hit his two hander which in it's day was one of the best backhands i have ever seen.
When i was a kid my two handed backhand was my best shot , i preferred it to my forehand so taking the mind back to where i used to hit it so well took me back down memory lane, an educational process.I have been tired of opponents picking on my backhand over the past few years so i decided to do what every keen tennis player does to refine a shot , wheel out the ball machine.....
I spent hours on this device just recently to see where i could make some changes , i also set up a video on a tripod and analysed it in detail , i threw my racket on a few occasions also ,( i don't think anyone was watching) , i was determined to get it right .I went to a little tournament just recently and tried a few things , my backhand on this particular day was remarkably better than my strength , the forehand , the mindset was different , i welcomed each shot to my backhand instead of cringing, all in the mind i told myself. Leading up to this tournament i played club tennis and played each set on the backhand side , sometimes even starting with a backhand grip , just hoping that it would come to that side , i was reprogramming myself to accept , not reject.
We can all fix our weaknesses , only the head will prevent us from doing it , we are usually physically capable of change , unfortunately too many times we talk ourselves out of positive play and revert to a negative mindset . At 45 i believe i am heading to a point with my game that i should have reached  many years ago but my mind was not in the right place , keeping fit is the key, a challenge when you are into your 40's but a rewarding one . The backhand is on the way up , now for the serve.......

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