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Last call for the gotta play tennis podcast

Sunday, July 31, 2011

FAVORITE SITES: Timeless Tennis by Gary Bala

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Book Review: "Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long Term Fulfillment", by George Leonard

In this short yet focused book, George Leonard outlines the roadmap common to success in any human endeavor...read more

Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

REFLECTIONS...Wile E. Coyote or Road Runner on the court?

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are a duo of cartoon characters from a series of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons created in 1948 for Warner Bros. Wile E. stands for the world "wily"–an adverb which means "gaining an advantage, especially in a deceitful way. In the cartoon, the coyote is always attempting to capture this incredibly fast bird who always outsmarts or outruns the predator's elaborate plans and schemes. 

Why the trip down memory lane? Today my style of play was referred to as "wily." In other words, I was not gaining the upper hand in rallies from overpowering play but from something else. It was my shot selection, variety of spin, sneaking to the net, drop shots, and everything else that made my opponent have difficulty finding a solid rhythm. This is not to be confused with pushing the ball since my hitting partner would assure you that ripping winners on groundstrokes from midcourt is not pushing. But this is not the way I would win most of the rallies. I was, as he put it, wily. 

While growing up and watching these cartoon characters of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, it was always clear that one was nefarious while the other had enough skill and smarts to get away. I never identified with the coyote until now. And you know what? I'm now proud to be a Wile E. fanboy. You see, tennis is hard on the knees, feet, ankles and toes. I will only be able to "meep, meep" like the road runner for a finite amount of years. But I can always become a better and smarter coyote. AND SO CAN YOU!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Episode 74 (Podcast): Practicing Tennis on purpose

Did you really mean to go out on the court and practice your tennis, or does it usually happen by chance due to unexpected circumstances? Perhaps DELIBERATE PRACTICE should be in your future. (Reference: Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin)

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Blog post at www.timelesstennis.net by Gary Bala
Book Review: "Talent is Overrated", by Geoff Colvin

Monday, July 18, 2011

FAVORITE SITES: Timeless Tennis by Gary Bala

Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011
Tennis and Yoga
Are tennis and yoga perfect together? Yes, say many - including world-class stars Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Andy Murray who all practice aspects of yoga.
Yoga is the ancient Eastern system of exercise...read more

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Andre Agassi hits winning words on my court

There are hundreds of reasons for one to play and enjoy the game of tennis. But I don't think I've ever heard the link between tennis and life as eloquently stated as when Andre Agassi was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on July 9th, 2011. His moving speech is the essence of what we should really be looking to gain from sports of any kind. We don't need the tattoos, bold and outrageous claims, and hour-long pre-hype television spectacles. We only need great athletes, respectful of their sport, the fans, and each other, and the courage to admit failure as much as celebrate success. The following is an excerpt from Andre Agassi's acceptance speech. Enjoy! 

"Tennis has not only given me much, it has taught me much. It is no accident that tennis uses the language of life: service, advantage, break, fault, love. The lessons of tennis are the lessons of maturity. In tennis you prepare and you prepare, and one day your preparation seems futile. Nothing is working, another guy's got your number cold. So you improvise. In tennis you learn that what I do instantly affects what you do and vice versa. Tennis makes you perceptive, proactive, reactive all at the same time. Tennis teaches you the subtlety of human interaction; the curse and blessing of cause and affect…and there is nothing quite like a tiebreak to teach you the concept of high risk, high reward. Tennis teaches you there is no such thing as perfect. You want to be perfect, you hope to be perfect, then you're out there and you're far less than perfect. And you realize I don't really have to be perfect today. I just have to be better than one person."

Words of tennis wisdom from one of the best who has ever picked up a racket.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Episode 73 (Podcast): Camp, and you, Rock around the Clock

What do a clock face, both kids and adults, a tennis court, and the use of basic principles of good stroke production all have in common? Well, for the sake of this podcast, me. Listen, and you too can Rock around the Clock!

(Note: listeners inform me that at one point in my podcast I reference 12 o'clock as a "Hit" point in error. The resting or ready position is always at 12 o'clock and the racket head points directly at the net. Hit points on the clock are 2 and 10. Sorry for the confusion.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

REFLECTIONS...is it time for double trouble?

One thing has always been a constant in most people's tennis games. The common thread? "What to do about the backhand." When growing up, the one-handed backhand was the norm. On the odd occasion, you had players like Connors or Borg burst onto the scene with a two-hander. But these again were the exception rather than the rule. Now the roles have been reversed. Four of the five players at the top of the ATP tour are two-handed backhand players. Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and Soderling wield the double-fisted weapon. Only Federer keeps the single-handed stroke alive.

As we move down the list to round out the top 10, we see Ferrer, Monfils, Fish, Berdych and Roddick all keeping a grip with two hands. Clearly this is a sign. The real question for all of us to answer now is, if we grew up with the one hander, do we consider a switch to two hands on the frame? And if so, what would be our justification?

I may want to cover this in a podcast in more depth, but it certainly is a head scratcher. My main interest relates to a key point for each of the two hands. First, when battling the high humidity we get on the east coast presumably due to our proximity to the ocean, my grip on the backhand side tends to slip creating an errant ball that misses it's mark too often. An additional hand on the wheel would more than likely eliminate that as an issue. Secondly, one can hit an effective groundstroke with an open stance using the two hander. This is extremely difficult to do with one. This stance allows for less commitment to one side and helps facilitate quicker recovery to the center or even opposite corner of the court. These are two really good reasons for considering a switch. Just don't expect me to ever lose my deadly accurate slice easily produced with one hand. It's a keeper for sure.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

NEW CONTENT OF NOTE: 2011 Summer Camp 1 Pics

Take a moment and view the fun and learning that took place at the 2011 Summer Camp 1 in Gloucester Twp...See Pics

Sunday, July 3, 2011

FAVORITE SITES: Timeless Tennis by Gary Bala

Sunday, July 3, 2011
Wimbledon 2011: The Joker is "King"
He pounded shots from the baseline, exchanging and winning long, powerful rallies with one of the best baseliners in memory. His defense covered the court...read more