Atlanta Tennis Instructor

Jeff Michaud is a Atlanta basesd tennis instructor and personal trainer, who can improve your physical condition as well as your tennis game.

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Buckhead, Ansley, Midtown Atlanta

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Little Tennis, great for little tennis players

This article came from my certification body: USPTA Little Tennis®, I thought my Atlanta Tennis group would enjoy:

Little Tennis is the nation's tennis equivalent to Little League Baseball, soccer or basketball. The program was designed by the United States Professional Tennis Association – the world's largest and oldest organization of tennis-teaching professionals. It includes a structured program of lessons and play designed to move children ages 3-10 quickly through the transitional stages of graduated equipment to full-court tennis.

Little Tennis has more than 2,000 participating professionals and sites around the nation and is the fastest growing tennis program for children in the world.

Visit the Little Tennis Web site at for tips, drills, games and more.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tennis Match evaluation of one of my Players, Tennis Theory and practice of one of my tennis players in match play,

My general evaluation and thoughts about one of my tennis players, lets call her Cory in a match and during tennis practice and drills that I observed, even if I was for a very, very short period of time talking to her team mates and eating her snacks, which she told me I was able to, guess she forgot about that, but again that is neither here nor there. This was developed for Cory but could be used to talk about most tennis players that I come in contact with. Don’t get me started on THEM!
Cory has Overall good swings and natural athletic ability, with somewhat lazy feet and maybe slightly slow ones at that.
The largest issue for most tennis players and Cory is no exception is taking to ball to low making her hit to many balls in the net or turning the racket under the ball causing it to fly long. We will continue to work on these things and hopefully with this evaluation give her a black and white view of the things that I feel are important to her continued development. I will work towards having her simply take the ball higher (simply not let the ball drop below the knees), not giving ground and have the confidence to move up on the ball, moving vertically on the court (most players move just fine horizontally across the tennis court but moving up; in particular for most players including Cory is a problem). The second part of the equation for Cory is not bending her knees enough, I was watching her during the match taking practice swings concentrating on getting the racket low (which I like very much), but not bending the knees, it really looked more like a golf swing with the straight front leg then a tennis swing, again a very common problem. Most people are more comfortable with the straight leg but again it leads to either hitting the ball in the net or coming under the ball and sending the ball out long.

On Volleys, still not moving up to cut off angles and taking the ball to low and either again coming under the ball and sending long, or driving the ball in the net or just as bad sending a weak ball back to your opponents who get easy winners, which in my opinion is worse because it expends energy and demoralizes your partner.

This leads me to Doubles play, a lot of doubles play is the interaction and confidence that you have with your partner, yes both players need good skills to win but if you don’t have confidence in your partner, that skill won’t be able to shine through. A lot of this comes with practicing and playing together for a long period of time, to know the other persons strength and weaknesses and what they will do in various situations. The other part is verbal communications for switches and out calls and court responsibility. The other part of doubles play is to know when and how to pickup your partner, both with encouragement, saying or not saying something. But nothing works better then great shots to keep the pressure on your opponents. When I was playing competively, I and my partners won lots of matches just because we were able to shake off a couple of bad points which is inevitable during a match, the key is to make those periods as short as possible and again put the pressure on your opponents. Again if you can work with your partner and play in non league matches to build confidence and can make all the difference in the world. Cory’s partner Brittany is also a very good player but does a lot of the same things that Cory does, and I don’t know Brittany as well Cory but would be willing to guess that like Cory, she has been away from the game a few years.

The Tennis Service:
This section will discuss the tennis serve and again Cory like most of my players does not practice serving enough, I have urged her to keep some tennis balls in a bag in her car, better yet a hopper with say 50-70 tennis balls to practice serves a couple of times outside of tennis
practice and games. This will work on honing the skill for the serve more then anything. Also recommend doing ball toss drill at home, even can do in your home, just recommend tossing the ball to a set target on the ceiling of your choice, for the Right handed tennis player the toss should be at what if you had a large clock would be 1:00, for the leftie would be 11:00, if your on the court in addition to the 1:00 or 11:00 rule can use the for the right hander the right post for the left handers the left post, this works both on the Duce and the Add sides of the court. The other observation is while watching Cory both in practice and in her Double match was that she would not catch the toss if the toss were not in the right position, I still will catch the ball a couple of times per service game especially on my second serve. Just don’t want to give away points, also puts pressure on your opponents who are hyped up anyhow.

Other Tennis leagues and competition:
With Cory the other part that she does not do enough is play matches outside of her ALTA (Atlanta Lawn and Tennis Association) season. There are other leagues like K-Swiss, USTA, Round Robin tennis matches. The more your in game situations the better able you will be to handle the stress and make no mistake even in the lowest intensity league there is pressure to perform and especially in doubles play where the players are so tide to together to win. One of the key problems with Cory’s game is a lack of confidence, she plays great against me, but put her in her league where there is some pressure, what I see is going for shots she probably shouldn’t, simply trying to go for winners where she should just try to make a good solid shot and put the pressure on your opponents, lets face it most people don’t win matches, most people simply lose matches. The other part of the time Cory is very tentative on shots that she should hit with more authority, this does not mean going for winners but just make good solid shots, again let your opponents go for the winners which usually turns into losers

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