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February 1, 2000
Two myths of tennis

Hi, and welcome to all the new players that came aboard this month. 

Any new email tennis buffs that would like to receive my free email Tennis Lesson please send their name and email to tom@tenniswarrior.com.  

After teaching tennis for many years you begin to realize that players have many incorrect, preconceived ideas. For instance, most players think hitting a winner means power, or consistency means you hit the ball right back to your opponent. Another tough one is thinking the technical strokes are what makes them good players. Also the two I have tackled below; keeping your eye on the ball makes you hit the sweet spot, and when the racket turns in your hand you think you did not hold on tight enough. The answer to both of these is....not true!!!

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson

Welcome to the tennis lesson hotline, sponsored by Tom’s Tennis Tapes, "educating players one mind at a time." I’m Tom Veneziano. This lesson lasts approximately two minutes and changes on the first of every month.

In this lesson I would like to give you two simple myths of tennis. First, keeping your eye on the ball does not make you to hit the sweet spot of your racket. Many times when players miss hit you hear them say, "keep your eye on the ball." Sounds logical, but it is not true! It is your JUDGMENT that helps you hit the sweet spot of your racket, not keeping your eye on the ball. When your judgment improves you do not even have to follow the ball right into the strings. How do you think a pro hits the ball from behind his back. He never sees the ball hit the strings, but he hits the sweet spot anyway. It’s judgment! Stop thinking that keeping your eye on the ball will make you hit the sweet spot of your racket. It will not! At best keeping your eye on the ball gives your brain information about the flight of the ball and eventually, with time, your judgment will improve. Over time (repetition) when your judgment improves you will be able to follow the ball with your eyes automatically. The better your judgment is the easier it will be to keep your eye on the ball! 

Second, when the grip turns in your hand you think you did not hold on tight enough. As a result, the next time the ball comes to you, you squeeze tighter to make sure this does not happen again. Squeezing tighter is not the answer. The true answer is you did not hit the sweet spot of your racket! You hit off center which causes tremendous pressure and makes the racket turn in your hand. I have always felt that this was one of the reasons players develop tennis elbow. They simply are squeezing the racket to tightly! Holding tighter is not necessary. When you hit the sweet spot there is no pressure for the racket to turn. How do you hit the sweet spot of your racket? Simple, keep your eye on the ball....only kidding! Again, the answer is improve your judgment by learning from the greatest teacher of all - REPETITION! If your judgment improves you will hit the sweet spot more often. Hitting the center of the strings is a natural result of improved judgment. 

The interesting thing about hitting the sweet spot of your racket is that no one can tell you anything that will speed up the learning process. The only answer is seeing a lot of tennis balls go over the net. This is very similar to the way we learned how to walk. Repetition was the great teacher. If you really would like to learn how to hit the center of your strings and improve your ability to watch the ball simply play more tennis or practice on a ball machine. The more times you see the ball go over the net the faster your judgment will improve. Remember, the key here is judgment.

In summary, stop thinking every time you miss hit that you have not kept your eye on the ball and every time your grip turns in your hand that you did not hold on tight enough. The solution to both of these problems is improving your judgment. I challenge you to not say or think a thing the next time you miss hit or your grip turns in your hand. Test yourself when you are on the court and see what automatically pops into your mind when you miss hit or lose your grip. Then remind yourself of this tennis lesson, forget whatever you were thinking and move on!

Thank you.

Your email tennis coach,


© 2000 Tom Veneziano, 10855 Meadowglen #1022, Houston, TX 77042 - Tennis Lesson Hotline 713 957-6446

What others are saying about my tapes!

"Tom deals with the thinking end of tennis like no one else. It's almost too difficult to explain, you have to experience it. He has an uncanny knack for getting right to the heart of the matter. You come away thinking, that's right: it makes sense!"

Colleen Cremer, Houston, TX.

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"On the way to my HLTA match I listened to Tom's tape, "Some Before Match Pointers." Call it a coincidence, but I won my first HLTA match ever! I just seemed to be in a better frame of mind. Thanks, Tom."

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"Tom and I have been friends for over twenty years. It's not surprising to me players talk so positively about his tapes. He's always possessed exceptional athletic ability along with an unusual analytical mind. Tom simply likes to think! At times he would drive me crazy, but he was the driving force behind my journey into tennis. I'm 6'1" and Tom is 5'6" but I could never beat the little imp! All joking aside, if Tom's thinking is on audio cassettes, you should listen! You'll never view tennis the same way again!"

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Thank you all for the testimonials! I appreciate it!


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