2020 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin
Directors of Tennis Operations
First time in history: two Grand Slam tournaments in one month! Compare & contrast the characteristics of the different surfaces; you can learn a lot from watching. Clay takes patience, tenacity and defense with sliding into the ball as a big benefit. On the other hand, strokes have to shorten to adapt to a ball coming at you much faster on hard courts -points are shorter with far less time to get to the ball and organize with offense being easier to implement.
Most volley issues are problems caused by too lengthy of a stroke. To develop crisp volley technique, stand 2-5 feet from a hitting wall and try to volley the ball back multiple times. To accomplish this successfully, you must have a short, crisp and staccato stroke.
Have aim- target your serve! Most players are too concerned with power when serving. Instead, focus on an area of the court. Being accurate can increase your percentage and cause your opponent to begin the point with a weaker stroke. Pick out your target and go for it!
One of the hardest things about overheads is judging the ball-particularly on a clear day. Hold non racquet hand up and point; place the racquet hand with racquet behind your head (like pulling back a bow aiming up) this should line up the shot. The pointing hand could also be used to block the sun!
Remember during these trying times, tennis is an excellent, safe and fun way to get some exercise. At BCTC, you can enjoy fresh air in a beautiful setting while still maintaining smart social distancing.
2019 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin
Directors of Tennis Operations
Loosen Up! If feeling tight or having arm fatigue, you may be using the "DEATH GRIP." Try holding a more relaxed grip... it will help you relax, give you better feel, and increase smoothness.
Inconsistent serve? Most players toss the ball too high or too low. For most players, the best toss height is for the ball to peak at the contact point of thee xtended arm.
P.S. If dumping serves into the net, release the ball at a higher point.
The continental grip is the grip of choice for volleys, serves, and overheads. Mastering this takes some wrist strength. To build up the wrist and get more comfortable with the grip, hold a continental grip and bounce a ball repeatedly - soon the grip will seem natural.
Get back to the middle!
If you hit a good shot, don't stand and watch. Make sure you recover to the center of the court or the center of your half in dubs. Don't expect to win the point. Be prepared.
When sunny, warm up wit the sun facing you. You will be better prepared for serves and overheads. If you win the toss, make your unready opponent serve into the sun!
Watch the ball!
Seems obvious, but most mistakes are caused by timing issues - a little early, a little late. Best way to cure this is to watch the ball from opponent's contact your contact. Watching the ball will also improve concentration and timing.
2018 BCTC Pro Tips
Words of wisdom from former Northwestern scholarship tennis player and business leader Doug Conant (past CEO of Campbell Soup and chairman of Avon)
October: Pressure is Privilege
These words come from the title of a book by Billie Jean King.
They speak to the need for competitors to have a mindset that delights in being in the arena
͟and having the opportunity to do something special. In both my tennis and work life, I talk
about rising to the challenge of the moment, and finding a way to prevail with integrity. Having the opportunity to perform under pressure is indeed a privilege.
September: Civility Matters
Tennis promotes civility and the development of good character while also demanding competitive excellence. As a teen, my temper could get away from me. However, the game challenged me to channel my energy into the next shot, not to project it elsewhere.
August: Critical thinking is Critical…
When playing a match you have to constantly analyze the situation and make adjustments. In many ways, this is a lesson in vigilance: be hyper alert to the world around you in order to craft a winning point or a winning proposition.
July: Play to your Strength….
In tennis, human nature often points people in the direction of wanting to “fix” their weaknesses. But in my experience, your greatest success lies in getting maximum leverage of your strengths while smartly managing weaknesses such as running around your backhand to hit your forehand.
June: Have Fun....
The people who have the most success both on and off the court are those who derive genuine joy from their journey. You simply find a way to enjoy the ride; the demands/pressures are too great. If you can’t enjoy the ride, pick another path or sport-life is too short
May : Practice makes Perfect…
The level of success I achieved in competition was directly proportional to the intensity of my practice. It’s hard to imagine achieving any enduring success without intense practice and hard work. Bring a fierce resolve and sense of purpose to your game, knowing that every day is “game day.”