We're introducing people and their methodologies, apps, seminars, opinions. Tennis professionals from all over the world will be sharing their ideas and methods.
BRIAN TEACHER'S FULL COURT TENNIS
By Rich Neher
It is not often that we see a former Grand Slam champion introduce a tennis app. The last time we wrote about a tennis legend was when we introduced our readers to Mats Wilander's Neuro Tennis wearable and app.
Full Court Tennis was founded by Brian Teacher, a former Australian Open Singles Winner who has coached extensively on the ATP and WTA Tennis Tours, as well as developed junior athletes along the way.
The mission of Full Court Tennis is to give players at all levels of the sport instant and seamless access to great coaching.
Players can self-learn by following and interacting with coaches on the Full Court Feed or hiring a coach for in-app virtual lessons.
Brian tells us that Full Court Tennis (FCT) is a purely instructional app based on Dartfish mobile technology. One of the features is that it allows users to compare their strokes to those of top players.
Brian realized that most professional ATP and WTA touring coaches do not have a network they can rely on to get hired. However, FCT users are able to hire coaches in the app for e.g. stroke analysis. They can upload video on the app and discuss their strokes with a coach during a Live Video Call lesson.
The FCT website states, "Full Court Tennis is cutting edge technology that connects the tennis community to world-class coaches, delivering cameo type virtual in-app lessons." Teaching pros are also able to establish a coach's profile on the app.
Brian targets everybody who plays tennis as clients. He plans to reach players through promotions like banners at tournaments and offering free stroke analyses.
Contact Brian here.
MINDSET COLLEGE = MENTAL TOUGHNESS + MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Food for coaches and athletes
By David Sammel
David Sammel is a tennis coach, sports consultant and writer. Since 2010, David is the head coach at TeamBath and the author of the book Locker Room Power: Building an Athlete’s Mind. David has coached dozens of professional players and international junior champions. He currently coaches Liam Broady, and ATP Tour doubles tennis players Marcus Daniell, Marcelo Demoliner and Matwé Middelkoop. David has 30 years of experience transforming fears and doubts into a Winning Mindset. He has developed a streamlined and proven programme that helps all athletes win more and become extremely resilient.
I created Mindset College because winning tournaments is as much about how the player operates off the court as on the court. This course is a methodical pathway for coaches to use for producing healthy, mentally robust, and tough athletes.
The skills are relevant to their life tackling huge anxiety topics such as comparison, labelling, judgement, expectations, introversion, rejection and so much more. "I designed the course for coaches to help young people with practical and easy to use tips handy on an App with short videos and worksheets. I defy anyone to go through Mindset College and not have a transformation in their thinking” David Sammel
Briefly, who is David Sammel?
He has coached three Olympians, Barry Cowan (Sydney 2000) with Liam Broady and Marcus Daniell involved in Tokyo 2021 where Marcus made history with Mike Venus, winning bronze, New Zealand’s first-ever tennis medal. Apart from success in tennis on the ATP/WTA tours, he coaches private clients including international cricketers, a pro golfer who recently won her first European Tour title, several college students, and is a consultant who has worked with the likes of Chelsea and Fulham Football Clubs. He has a best-selling book "Locker Room Power" and a successful online program called Mindset College. A graduate of the Berkeley Executive Coaches Institute (BECI) as well as earning a European Mentoring (EMCC) diploma. He illustrates that whilst his coaching is based firmly on applied psychology, sound theory sits behind his knowledge.
Mindset College tackles the very real problem of delivering a top-class mental skills programme at an affordable price with answers to most issues competitors face, using tried and tested tools from the coal-face of elite performance. Whilst the stand-alone course is very helpful, the true power of the course is in the opportunities it opens for constructive and interesting conversations.
The most inspirational and effective use of the course is led by coaches who personalise the learning, making a difference by extracting the messages their students need to hear.
The mindset program is an incredible tool for our team. It is a tremendous asset in helping our players strive to reach their full potential competitively.
Elizabeth Anderson (Head Coach)
‘Over the years we have wrestled with the best way to deliver mental skills to best suit the players, coaches, and programme overall. Mindset College has answered that question allowing us a flexible approach that supports the player as an individual but also the programme as a collective.
The product is excellent and the additional Information and webinars Dave releases have benefitted Teambath tennis significantly. You only have to look to how the players and coaches prepare and the results that are being achieved.
Barry Scollo Director of Tennis (TeamBath university)
I just wanted to say thank you for your help. With just 1 session, MS college & reading your book. I’ve changed the way I approach my work and compete on the tennis courts. Both have improved tremendously. Things are going really well and I’m starting an exciting new challenge this summer alongside a lot of competing.
Callum Li - coach and player
IS IT JUST ME?
By Howard Chodak
Howard is a USPTA Master Professional with over 43 years of teaching experience. He is the author of the Seven Deadly Sins of Doubles, a primer on recreational doubles play. Howard is also the creator of the Perfect Practice video learning system. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it just me, or does it disturb anyone else when you see high-level players plant themselves several feet behind the baseline and continue to play balls from there, even though numerous balls land several feet inside the baseline ranging all the way to the service line? To me, these are wasted opportunities, and it drives me up the wall! We train players to hit the ball deep because it puts more pressure on their opponents, reduces their angles, and makes it more difficult for them to attack. When the balls land short, it is a mistake. No one is trying to master the skill of hitting the ball on the service line. I hope. If we don’t take advantage of our opponent’s mistakes, then there are no repercussions for them when they make those mistakes. By moving in and taking those balls sooner, we can become more directionally aggressive, our shots will carry more weight, and we will take away the valuable commodity of time from our opponents. Taking time away from our opponents is often at the heart of achieving competitive success. I am not necessarily talking about coming to the net behind all these balls but merely increasing the pressure and making our opponent’s lives more difficult. We also are sending them an important message that anything less than a very deep ball will spell trouble for them.
So, why is this such a widespread problem? My answer is that coaches have allowed this to happen. In many cases, coaches have actually cultivated it, but players are also responsible for this being the norm. How many times do we see players just go out and hit and perpetuate this pattern? They are not competing, so they are just out there banging balls and staying behind the baseline because it is the easy non-competitive thing to do. It becomes habit, and it becomes culture. Is it fun to do this? Heck yeah! Is it making us more competitive tennis players? Not really. When we as coaches allow our players to go out and practice in this way, we are creating a generation of players who are not developing the necessary instinct and skills to take advantage of their opponent’s short balls. These are qualities that must be practiced often and over a long period of time to become second nature. By allowing this to continue, we are doing an incredible disservice not only to our players but also to the game itself. We can change this pattern by simply training our players to always move forward to take the ball inside the court when the opportunity presents itself. If they are just hitting in a non-competitive way, they don’t need to be directionally aggressive and go for winners but can use depth and power to pressure the opponent. In this way, they are still developing the skills and instincts necessary to make this natural and organic. They are also allowing each other to experience the repercussions of hitting the ball short. When they continuously do not experience this, it creates the illusion of competence. It’s not real. When they inevitably come up against a player who can take advantage of their short balls, they are in for a rude awakening.
I believe this has gone on long enough. Let’s start training our players to move in and take the ball early at every opportunity, develop the skills necessary to do so, and change the future of tennis in the process.
ACTIVE U + MARDI GRAS LAWNCHAIR TENNIS
By Kelly Marshall
Kelly Marshall, Director of Athletics knows what it takes to succeed on the court. With over three decades of playing and coaching experience on multiple levels, Kelly brings a high level of skill and expertise to any program. Her extensive knowledge provides an atmosphere that is positive and enables athletes to work through the struggles and on to success.
Kelly’s tennis background began at 11 years old and progressed to a NCAA Division 1 University. She held a National ranking of #3 in doubles and # 10 in Singles and was named a Sun Belt All-Conference Player. She also led her team as Captain all four years. Following college, she competed in several professional tournaments before becoming a USPTA Elite Professional. Kelly currently serves as a Vice President of the United States Professional Tennis Association’s Texas Board and is a conference speaker. She also serves on the USPTA Diversity and Inclusion committee’s for Women and Native American task forces.
I must admit – I was not a favorite of my college professors – I believe it had to do with the fact that I kept referring to my degree plan as the Parties and Entertainment (PE) Degree instead of Kinesiology. I will say though that this thought process has served me well over the years as the Director of Sports at several clubs. It is the Director’s job to find fun and innovative programming that engages the player – getting them to the courts and club as often as possible, where they are likely to spend their discretionary income. I would like to share two fun programs that have been recently successful for our club.
The first is a beginner program that we termed Active U. The idea was to provide a very basic introduction for four activities that we offer on a regular basis. Many people feel intimidated or overwhelmed when trying something new. I described the program as a 101 class in which the registrant would receive everything they needed! Included in the package was the equipment to start and (4) one-hour group classes done once per week. We offered Tennis, Pickleball, Aqua Fit, and Boxing. I worked with our product representatives in each sport and was able to obtain introductory equipment at low prices. Tennis players received a racket, Pickleballers received a paddle, Aqua Fit participants received a kit with water gloves and a paddleboard while Boxers got new boxing gloves. We charged $150 total for each package, allocating $100 to the instructor for their work and keeping $50 for the product we gave out. We accepted 10 students per class and several chose to do more than one activity. We have done this program in the fall and spring, generating 28 new tennis players!
The second thing I wanted to share was a recent event we held. Mardi Gras Lawn Chair Tennis was different and hysterical! Each player was required to bring a lawn chair (aka soccer Mom chair), which were then spread out with 10 -15 chairs on each side of the court. We used orange dot balls. Each side of the court has a “Rover” who is able to stand and run anywhere on their side. All other players must stay seated and hit from their chairs. The Rover from the backcourt with a drop feed starts play. The point is in play until it rolls which results in a loss of point! Players should rotate positions every five points. Games are played to 21. We were able to play 3 games in a 2 hour period. Many played with a drink in hand and it definitely had a Mardi Gras feel to it! We served Gumbo and Hurricanes along with beads and fun decorations. Our price point was $35 per player. I was a little nervous to do this because it was so different and not competitive play. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Lawn Chair tennis had players of all different levels able to play together and the laughing that went on has people begging us to do it again!
Contact Kelly here.
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