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January 1, 2002
Move fast, hit slow!


Welcome to all the new subscribers to my email tennis lessons.  You will receive one long lesson on the first of every month and some quick tips in between.

The VOICE MAIL TENNIS LESSON HOTLINE will be discontinued shortly.  I will be concentrating all my efforts on the email tennis lesson newsletter, web site, and new books and tapes.  Sorry if this has inconvenienced anyone.

Send your tennis buddies or whole team to www.tenniswarrior.com to sign up for their free email tennis lessons.

All past email lessons are posted at my website under "Archives" from 1 January 1998 to 1 January 2002.  www.tenniswarrior.com


1. There are many ‘perfect' tennis players with ‘perfect' technical strokes out there, but I can tell you one thing, they are not in the top ten professionals of the world because the top ten are swinging, jumping, diving, and flailing at the ball with controlled abandonment!

2. Remember the basic principles for learning tennis with my system is to develop a ‘feel' for different strokes along with developing mental skills through REPETITION.  Repetition of simple procedures create that ‘feel' NOT an over emphasis on the technical skills and mechanics.  Click here for an article that I wrote on 'feel' vs 'mechanics' in April 2001

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson
Move fast, hit slow!

Welcome to Tom's Online Tennis Lesson, sponsored by TennisWarrior.com, "Where you can learn to think like a pro!"

To help players learn to play in different gears I teach a doubles clinic where everyone has to play their volleys at a slower pace.  I do not want them to slow down their body, just slow down the speed of their shots a little.  It's an essential drill.  I usually get yelled at a couple of times because players have trouble moving fast when they know they have to hit slower.  This of course does not make sense.  Moving and hitting are two different skills.  I explain briefly that they must learn to move fast and hit at different paces to become a better player.  Then they see the light and we move on.  A few minutes later I get yelled at again (tough drill for me :) when they miss an easy shot.   They exclaim, "when I slow down, my timing goes off and I miss.  I could have made that shot at my normal volley speed."   I often think to myself, can you imagine a pro saying I slowed down my stroke and it made me miss.  Pros learn to play at all different speeds and so will you!

After a while I pull them all up to the net for a powwow.  I have many such discussions in my day! I begin by quizzing them, "do you know why you are having trouble with this drill?" They usual are not one hundred percent sure why they are having so much trouble.  My answer is, "because you are not good enough."   Well, you can imagine that comment is not a big hit, but I usually do not get my self in trouble without a means of escape, so I quickly explain to slow down a shot and play at a different speed is an extremely high level of play.  Have you ever seen a pro run full speed on the court then hit a slow touch angle?  Do you think you can do that?  To move fast and hit slow is tough!!!  But, this is a level of play you must strive to reach.  With this explanation I barely escape unharmed and we go back to the task at hand. 

NOTE TO TEACHING PROS - try this at your own risk.

Another problem I run into is players think the ball they hit is moving too slowly.  The truth is when they slow their shot down they are not really slowing the speed of the ball down all that much.  What's happening is when they slow down their shot they have to slow down their mind at the same time, creating the illusion the ball is traveling super slow.  Most players hit with their mind racing and think everything is happening faster.  Do you?  This is one of the main reasons I do this drill.  To teach them to move fast but slow down their mind.  If they can accomplish this slowing of the mind they will play more relaxed, aim their shots with more accuracy, and improve their feel of the point.

The reason their timing goes off is because they have their timing connected to this frantic state of mind when hitting.  When they attempt to slow down their mind their timing goes completely out of whack!  

The challenge is for you to learn to play with this relaxed slow mindset and not blame your misses on slowing down.  Your top pros play with this mindset, so why shouldn't you.  That's right the pros move FAST, but maintain a slow controlled mindset.  Even when they are hitting hard they are mentally relaxed and controlled.  You can do the same.  But, first you must learn the art of moving fast and hitting slow.

Below is a list of benefits you can expect if you can master this mindset.

  • Improved accuracy

  • Play more relaxed

  • Save energy

  • See the ball bette

  • Improved feel of point play

  • Move more fluidly

  • Not over play as much

  • Create a sense of mental control

This is only a partial list. You will even improve your confidence.  This is one of those magical moments of doing less to get more.  The art of moving fast but slowing down your mind is a mental challenge that is well worth the effort.  To accomplish this mental technique, practice slowing down your shots just a little during some of your fun matches and experience the slowing of your mind.  At first this can be frustrating.  You will have to work yourself through some of the pitfalls explained in this lesson, but if you stay with it long enough you will experience an inner tranquility that you never knew existed on a tennis court.  And without Valium! :)

Your email tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano

APPENDIX: What I teach is a total system of thinking in regard to stroke production and mental attitude. I cannot explain in one email the whole system.  Although each lesson can stand on it's own you will derive tremendous physical and mental benefit by understanding the total philosophy.  These emails, my web site, books, and tapes are part of a course in tennis, not just isolated tennis tips.  They all fit together into a system.  A system that once understood can not only help you learn tennis at a faster rate, and develop mental toughness, but give you the knowledge necessary to help guide yourself and your children to a better understand of the developmental process.

Click here for more information about my books and tapes



"Hi Tom, I really enjoy reading your tennis tips (and doing my best to execute them). They really make a difference every time I go out and play."

Dan Bancod, Palo Alto, California

"Tom, I would really like to express my gratitude for sending me those interesting tennis lessons for free. Besides their content, they generate a continuous stream of motivation for improvement, and stir up the thinking about various aspects of my play. I would miss those lessons if they would cease to come along."

Ulf Cihak, Nuernberg, Germany

Copyright © 2002 Tom Veneziano. All rights reserved


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