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December 1, 2005
Be flexible, try an option


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.

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


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
Be flexible, try an option

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


In one of my quick tips I explained that when playing doubles you should not put pressure on yourself to hit winners. You should wait until you have a high short ball up at the net and then go for the winner. This does not mean you never hit winners in other situations. It just means that the majority of the time, to play your percentages correctly, you wait for the correct situation. Attempting to hit winners occasionally from difficult positions is fine, but you should NOT build a game plan around such situations.

This is one of the difficulties in learning tennis strategies, tactics and point play. Most players like a black and white solution for each situation in tennis and they go merrily on their way. Unfortunately there are always nuances and situational changes to all game plans.


You are playing a spectacular match! On that day you can break many of the percentage play principles. In doubles you may be correct to wait for a nice high short ball up at the net to go for the gold, but on that given day when things seem to be going your way, you can hit winners from all over the court! You must have a general game plan but be able to modify your strategy according to how well you are playing.

To compound the problem even more, within that same match you could fluctuate between great play to terrible play. When you are on a roll, you go for shots you normally would not attempt, but when you are not playing well you stay within your percentage play. Tactics and strategies are not always a black and white situation!


This same black and white thinking is often brought into point play for singles as well as doubles. Players think they have only two options:

1. To go for a winner by hitting the ball away from their opponent.
2. To play consistent by hitting the ball only to their opponent. 

They calculate all situations according to these two black and white options. No in-between! The nuances within these two options do not even exist for this type of player. Thus they never access the third and most important option: To play consistently by hitting the ball away from their opponent without hitting a winner. You may be thinking, "well that's simple enough." Excuse me for the pessimism but I DON"T THINK SO! :)

This seems simple on paper, yet it is not in play application. Players think consistency means hitting the ball to their opponent. And they think hitting the ball away from their opponent means hitting a winner. Intellectually you may sit there right now and think you understand the difference, but I'm betting that if I came to your court and watched you play you would be a black and white offender. Don't be discouraged though, most players are guilty of this infraction! This is one of those pitfalls to developing point play in tennis. Consciously you think one thing but subconsciously you do another!

Your goal is to add this third option to your game. The next time you play and you do not have a clear-cut winner, let's see you move the ball away from your opponent WITHOUT thinking "winner." In other words, you are not trying to win the point, only setting yourself up to win the point.

Whether you know it or not, this is called "working a point." When you have no clear-cut winner you work your opponent by moving him around and making him hit many tennis balls. This is a great strategy and an option that most players will NOT choose. Be a maverick, be different!

Your tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano



Hi Tom,
"This is Karl from Austria, if you remember me.  I have to say your book, "The Truth About Winning!" and your CD, "Think Like a Pro" did not only change my tennis but also my life."

Keep it going,

Karl Streit
Stockerau, Austria


ADDENDUM:  I teach a total system of thinking in regard to stroke production and mental attitude which I cannot explain in one email.  Although each lesson can stand alone 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 help you not only learn tennis at a faster rate, and develop mental toughness, but also give you the knowledge necessary to help guide you and your children to a better understanding of the developmental process.
Click here for more information about my books and tapes


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