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Friday, 13 November 2015 18:57

Coaching Tip 001 - Service Return

Coaching Tip 001 - Move your body forwards into the court on every service return

This might feel counterintuitive against a big power server but you should move forwards into every return of serve. Having the body weight behind the return acts like a wall. You will also improve your accuracy and consistency with this technique.

From the split-step move into the court and cut the angle of the ball off. If you struggle doing this move back a step and give yourself an extra half metre. This should give you the time. Especially playing against big servers, you want to feel almost like you’re throwing your body at the ball.

Stay tuned for more free coaching tips.

Thursday, 09 July 2015 03:18

Adults Winter Round Robin 2015

Adults Winter Tournament 2015 (Pic’s included)

On Sunday we had our Adults Winter Tournament and it was a blast. As usual there were 4 divisions with 6 players battling it out in each group. The playing conditions were perfect for tennis. The sun was out and not a hint of wind. It was shaping up to be a wonderful day.

After the speech and the rules were set out it was time to play. Best of 8 games for 5 matches each player and the 2 top point scorers play out the final for the trophy… and the glory!

Unfortunately we were missing Tony Strachan for his infamous BBQ so I had to make do. A few BBQ steaks and veggies were had, even a few beers. There's nothing better to slow down the footwork o

 

The cool kids...

 

Division 1

It was a class of regulars including David O’D who won the Division 2 round last comp. In the end John M. defeated friend Matt B. 6-3 to clench his first Four Season Tennis trophy. John uses the unconventional double handed forehand and backhand which maximises power although it was a close match. Not bad for a hangover.

 

Division 1 Winner John and Matt

 

Division 2

 

Two first-timers were contenders for the trophy in Div. 2. Marc F. from our Social Tennis and Marcelo H. Playing in his first tournament in Australia. Marc took it out with a 6-1 victory. It was nice to see Marcelo using the serve volley tactics but Marc had slightly more power which clenched the victory.

 

Division 3

It was regular players all around in Division 3. All play in our tournaments, social tennis and/or do lessons. It was the most evenly scored division of the day. In the end Ash P. defeated Rachel O’C 6-3 for his second FSTS trophy. Might have to be division 2 next time Ash.

 

Division 4

After waking up in Brisbane Kate B. flew into Sydney with only one thing on her mind… tennis tournament! Making a late entrance Kate ended up playing a final against the Frenchman Eric A. who eventually defeated her 5-3.

 

Thank you to all who participated in the tournament and those who came down to cheers friends on. It was a wonderful day and I hope to see everyone next time.

Plus, here are some more pics...

:)

Thursday, 25 June 2015 00:34

June/July School Holiday Notice

School Holiday Dates for June/July - Tennis Camps

Saturday Junior Classes continue on as usual. There are no credited days.

Afterschool Junior Classes paused from 26/June-12/July. Classes resuming Monday 13/July.

Adults Groups continue on as usual. No credited days.

Tennis Camps are running both weeks of the holidays with plenty of room. Book online at http://www.fourseasonstennis.com.au/index.php/juniors/camps

The kids might even win a trophy :)

Use the tennis tactics and strategies get help win you next tennis game.

This article will give you a simple tactical game plan to get you over the line in your next match. Keeping your strategy simple when playing matches is key. It’s easy to get disheartened when expectations are too high and you will ultimately end up losing the match.

Strategy 1 - Strengths and Weaknesses
Tennis players approach their matches in different ways. Some just hit and hope. Some over think their game plan, making it too complex, thus becoming negative in their approach when they can’t accomplish their goals. Some work out their opponents weaknesses and use their strengths to exploit them. The last approach is the best and most likely to pay dividends. It is also the first strategy I want you to implement in your next match.

Look for these obvious weaknesses in your opponent:

  • Backhand - Keep it deep to the BH, or slice low and make them bend their knees. An awesome approach is to hit a high looping topspin ball, bouncing deep in the corner. This forces the opponent to hit on the rise from their weaker shot. This will also give you time to either recover from a wide ball or approach the net. Mix it up and use variety.
  • Second serve - Step up on it and hit the ball early to force the opponent on the back foot. This cuts their reaction time and helps you dominate the point or at least puts it on an even playing field.
  • Volley - Most of today's players are baseliners and can’t stand the net. Bring them into the net where they don't feel comfortable. Expect unforced errors, slow feet and weak returns. Once at the net hit the ball for a passing shot, lob, or straight at them.
  • Slow Movement - If your opponent is not getting in position to hit the ball, is slow to recover, or just generally slow around the court this is often because of bad footwork or lack of fitness and conditioning. Do the obvious, take advantage by hitting to the open court. Make them move their feet to get to the ball. Even body shots work a treat because they can’t move out of the way.

Strategy 2 - First Serve
The second strategy is to get the first serve in to play. The returner is mentally on the back foot for the first serve, and you’re under less pressure. Take advantage of the mental pressure the opponent is feeling by being consistent and making them play the ball every time.

You can build this consistency by:

  • Dropping 20% of the power off the first serve or adding a little spin. Keep a firm pace so they will still have to work for it. Don’t lollypop the ball in so they can crush it.
  • Increase your margins by having a half metre buffer between where the ball bounces and the line. Also clear the net by at least half a metre. You don’t have to hit the lines.
  • Take your time between serves. Breathe, bounce the ball a few times to reset and think about where you’re hitting the ball and which type of serve you will use.

 

Strategy 3 - Crosscourt

The third strategy is to hit crosscourt. Don’t even think about hitting down the line. This simple placement strategy will keep you in the point and still allow you to attack. This crosscourt strategy works particularly well on the return of serve because it puts you in the point and neutralises your opponent therefore setting up a level playing field.

Be aware that it can become an easy read for your opponent after a while. If you pull your opponent wide or see them lagging to get back into recovery position then you can hit down the line to the open court to keep them honest.
The crosscourt shot is a high percentage shot because there is more length of court to hit to and the ball travels over the lowest part of the net. Also your body is naturally rotating crosscourt.

Crosscourt hitting is the essence of percentage tennis, which every tennis payer should aim for.
Some tips for hitting crosscourt:

  • Hit the ball in front of the body and around 45 degrees away from the body to ensure the racquet can follow through towards where you want to ball to go. It’s nearly impossible to hit the ball crosscourt with any pace or spin from behind or beside your body.
  • Hit the ball with an open stance or semi-open stance footwork. This allows a good contact point and easy body rotation into the ball.
  • Have your racquet head come around the outside of the ball to create the crosscourt angle.
  • Follow through the ball towards the crosscourt direction.

 

Use this simple game plan to take into your next match. It is easy to execute and will definitely steer you towards a win:

  • Know what your strengths are so you can use them to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses
  • Get your first serves in
  • Hit crosscourt
Monday, 06 April 2015 07:49

Adults Tournament Results March 2015

Adults Round Robin Tournament Results (and Pictures)

 

What a beautiful day it was. The sun was out and the matches were awesome. It was great to have some new players join us as well as some usual suspects. Tony cooked wonderful steaks and the BBQ, all the matches were played with sportsmanship and everyone had a blast.

 

Tournament Results:

 

All the finals were close matches with Group 1 and 2 having tie-breakers! Ash and Katherine was only a break in it and Group 4 ran out of time for the final and was decided on points.

Group 1 David Allan defeated Rayes Caillas 7-6 (8-6)

Group 2 David O’Driscoll def. Myat Zaw 7-6 (7-4)

Group 3 Ash Pereira def. Katherine Paixao 6-4

Group 4 Elena Meluzova def. Lyn Blundell on round robin points

The next Round Robin will be 28th June 2015. The tournaments are limited to 24 players so make sure you book early.

Let us know if you want to reserve your spot. Click Here

 

Tournament Pictures

Here's a few snaps from the day:

Ash and Myat throwing battle signs at me.

Tennis Tournament first match

Megan and Barbara playing cross court tennis

Group 4 looking angelic in the light. Tony not looking bad either :)

Christine approaches the tennis net with a beautiful down the line approach

The cool kids waiting for their matches. Usual suspects at our tennis tournaments and other shenanigans.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 00:12

Easter Holiday Dates 2015

Easter Holiday Dates

 

Junior Group Lessons

 

Saturdays Junior Groups will break for the Easter Long Weekend (4th April) and resume back on the 11th April and continue until Christmas.

Afterschool Junior Groups will break for the whole 2 weeks of holidays and resume on Monday 20th April. Afterschool classes always break in the school holidays.

Junior Squads will break for the school holidays and resume 20th April.

Tennis Camps are running both weeks of the holidays. Let us know if you want to reserve a spot.

 

Adults Group Lessons

 

Saturdays Adults Groups will break for the Easter Long Weekend (4th April) and resume back on the 11th April and continue until Christmas.

Weekday Adults Groups will continue as normal without a break. Monday 6th April WILL BE ON!

 

Happy holidays... we hope enjoy any time you get off. Make sure the Easter Bilby visits the kids :)

The Four Seasons Tennis Team

 

 

 

 

Monday, 16 March 2015 21:07

Win Free Tennis Lessons

WIN FREE TENNIS LESSONS!

 

You could win up to 3 FREE GROUP LESSONS worth $120.

How?

If you persuade someone, or even several people to book programs with us by the end of APRIL, we will add one, two or three extra group lessons to your current program. 

Junior Programs

For a 10 week program– You get 1 Free Lesson Added

20 week program– You get 2 Free Lessons Added

40 week program – You get 3 Free Lessons Added  (That’s $60 value)

Adults Programs

6 week program – You get 1 Free Lesson Added

10week program – You get 2 Free Lessons Added

16 week program – You get 3 Free Lessons Added  (That’s $120 value)

 

Please have the person to quote your name as the source of the enquiry when he or she contacts us.

 

Terms and Conditions:

  • Cannot be redeemed for previous bookings or referrals
  • Credits applied for new student signups to the school
  • Offer lasts until 30th April 2015
Friday, 27 February 2015 09:58

Tennis Starter Pack

Are you just starting out or need new to upgrade your tennis gear?

 

We are offering 2 Tennis Starter Packs as a new deal for Four Seasons Tennis customers only.

Starter Pack (Beginner-Intermediate Tennis Player)

1x Z Drive Racquet (RRP $170) – New Model

 

Drive Z Tennis Racquet

2x 4 Ball Cans Babolat Gold (RRP $15)

Babolat Gold Tennis Ball Can x2

2x Babolat Tennis Trainer T-Shirt (RRP $35)

Babolat Tennis T-Shirts x2

2x Overgrip (RRP $5)

1x Vibration Dampener ($5)

All this for $220                (RRP $285)

(Discount of $65)

 

 

Advanced Pack (Advanced Tennis Player)

2x Babolat Pure Drive (RRP $270 each) – New Model

Babolat Pure Drive 2015

Or

2x Babolat Aero Pro Drive (RRP $260 each)

Babolat Aero Pro Drive 2014-15

1x Babolat Pro Racquet Bag 6 (RRP $80)

Babolat Racquet Bag 6

2x 4 Ball Cans Babolat Gold (RRP $15)

Babolat Gold Balls

2x Babolat Tennis Trainer T-Shirt (RRP $35)

Babolat T-Shirts x2

2x Overgrip (RRP $5)

1x Vibration Dampener ($5)

All this from $635 (RRP $735)

***THAT’S $100 OFF***

If you’re interested in one of these starter packs please get in contact with our club HERE

If you would like a FREE TRIAL tennis lesson to use your equipment please check out our Junior Timetable or Adults Timetable 

 

Offer open until March 31st 2015.

Quality Drills for Intermediate Hitting Partners - Part 2

If you have a hitting partner or someone to practice with and want some variety and direction, try the 3 drills following.

Lets get straight into it.

First up if you missed Part 1 check out the Hitting Partner Drills click here.

Lets get straight into it.

Tennis Drill 1 - Figure 8's

This drill is one of my favourites to do but also to watch how players hangle it. Figure 8's teaches recovery, timing, shot selection, fitness, and brutal toughness to just keep going and retrieve one more ball! The drill is very difficult to do well and takes a lot of practice. Your heart rate will shoot up within a couple of minutes so stagger the drill timing. Maybe 4-10 rallies then 30 sec rest.

Tennis Drill:

Using the full singles court Player A can only hit down the line (DTL) and player B can only hit crosscourt (CC). The result is the ball does figure 8’s around the court. Practice hitting CC and DTL for 10-15 minutes each.

Progression 1 - Rally

Start by rallying the ball and setting goals of how many rotations you can get. Every 4 balls equal 1 rotation. Start slow, aim for 3-4 rotations and build up from there. As your consistency improves you want to be getting 6-10 rotations more often than not.

This will build stamina, fitness and consistency.

Tennis Drill - Figure 8's

Progression 2 - Competition

Same format of drill however you play the point out. If you’re hitting DTL the ball must bounce in that zone otherwise it’s out. Score mini sets of first to 11 then swap shots CC with DTL.

Progression 3 - Rally/Comp

Give a goal of rotations before the point can be played out. Example: You have to play 3 rotations then play the point out in the figure 8 format. Score mini sets of first to 11 then swap shots CC with DTL

Progression 4 - Groundstroke vs Volley

The same progressions and formats can be played with the baseline/ground stroker vs volleyer. The baseline player will have to work overtime.

Tennis Drill 2 - Forehand Winners

It’s a dog eat dog world and a simple rule in tennis is play your strengths against your opponents weaknesses. That’s what I want you to think about with this drill.

90% of tennis players have a stronger forehand (FH) than backhand (BH). Most players work this out pretty quickly about their opponent and of course hit most balls there during a match.

This drill is all about that scenario.

Tennis Drill

Feeding the ball into play you only have 2 simple rules:

1. Full singles court

2. You can only win the point on a FH shot

That means hit it to your opponents BH as much as possible. If they start waiting on the BH side too much play to the FH to keep them honest. This will help open up the court for the next shot anyway.

You want to be looking for the FH. Any balls in the middle of the court or you think you can run around, do it! If want practice getting the feet around balls, playing the off FH, inside out and inside in FH. Become the aggressor and force them to play BHs all day long, but remember they’ll be doing the same to you.

In the diagram, you can see when you play a deep shot to the opponents BH, if their return isn’t deep/wide enough back you can it a FH. Work on your anticipation and have fast feet. The area in blue is where you should be able to hit a FH if you want.

This is the key for BH defence is to hit it the ball early and out in front. If you can’t do that there is no hope of hitting a decent crosscourt ball and you’ll be giving the opponent a FH. Any late BHs are likely to be in the hitting zone shown in red.

Forehand Winner Tennis Drill

Progression - DTL FH

When you get around the ball and are able to play a forehand, instead of being able to play it anywhere, it must be played DTL.

This means 2 things.
The first is you have to set yourself up to be able to hit FH they’ll struggle to get to. If the opponent is already standing in the middle of the court when you hit the DTL it’s an easy CC shot for them and you’re immediately on the back foot, playing a BH. You set it up by pulling the opponent wide on that BH, try to get their feet past the singles line, and then pounce on the FH DTL.

Tennis Drill 3 - Protect, Attack, Defense (Red Light, Orange Light, Green Light)

Every tennis coach has done some version of this drill sometime in their life. Protect/Attack/Defence (PAD) teaches players about:

  • Decision making
  • Reading the opponent
  • Knowing your court position and what shot to play from there
  • Pick your battles
  • Give an insight as to what the opponent is thinking about their positioning

Tennis Drill:

PAD is played full court singles, one on one. You need to call a word before you contact a ball describing what kind of shot you’re playing. You can use Protect (Orange), Attack (Green) or DEfence (Red). Some prefer to say colours in this drill. In the diagram below, you can see the general areas r what shot needs to be played.

The RED AREA is generally the defencive zone. Often you pulled out wide or playing balls off the back foot. When playing from these areas give yourself time to get back into position by giving the ball clearance over the net and slow the ball down by using spin. The ORANGE AREA if the neutral zone. You might come up with some strong hots from here but in all likelihood the opponent will be able to retrieve most returns. Stay in the rally from here by hitting deep and making the opponent play at least an Orange or Red ball.

THe GREEN AREA is the attack zone. If you’re pulled into the court you have to do something with this ball. you bodyweight is already moving forwards into the shot so take advantage. Remember the closer you get to the net the more angles you can play.

Tips:

  • If you pay an Attack shot, you want to opponent to return with a defencive shot. If you play Attack and they are able to play a neutral ball, the point can quickly change momentum and you’ll be playing a defensive shot.
  • From the defensive position you want to force the opponent to play a neutral ball by hitting deep. Don’t go for an all or nothing hero winner from off the court. PLay a percentage shot to stay in the rally.

PAD Tennis Drill - Protect, Attack, Defence

Progression - Competition

Once you have the hang of it, add some points into the drill.

  • You can win a point by saying Attack before hitting the shot.
  • However, if you say attack and make an unforced error, the opponent get the point.
  • If you win the point on neutral or defence it doesn’t count.
  • First to 11.

This make you think before pulling the trigger. Too many players attack at the wrong time or change their technique on the attack shot. This leads to unforced errors. A winner or true attack shot is when you notice to opponent is out of position or on the defence, and you capitalize.

These drills will boost your game if practiced regularly with your hitting partner. Our coaches do these drills and many of the same caliber during private lessons and adaptations for our group classes.

There are many variations for each of the drills above. This is a starting point but you can change rules or goal to suit your needs. Remember you want to be specific with your training and keep progressing. Don't just hit full court for an hour and call it a training session.

Click here if you’re interested in private lessons at Four Seasons Tennis or if want to check out our coaches out beforehand here they are.

Keep the practice up!

CSB

Four Seasons Tennis

Thursday, 05 February 2015 00:00

5 Tennis Tips for Social Doubles Players

Improve your tennis game with these simple strategic doubles tips.

 

1. Doubles Positioning

Start in the classic position for doubles With player A at the baseline serving or returning, and player B at the net ready to poach and apply pressure. This is the best starting point for doubles play, especially at a recreational level.

Too often both players will start at the back of the court or Player B will just hang around behind the service line the whole point. You ideally want the volleyer to be in front of the service line and the baseliner behind/on the baseline.

 

 

2. Player Communication

Start communicating from even a beginner level. It’s important to have a strategy, even a basic one, but also to build moral. Communication can be anything from a ‘good shot’ to ‘I’m serving down the T, try and poach the return’.

Try and set up plays, or at least tell your partner where the serve is going so there is some structure, otherwise they’re playing as blind as your opponents.

 

One of the simplest communication tactics is to shout ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ during the point. This can be applied for a mid court shot, lob, or any ball that could potentially be hit by either player.

 

3. Get to the Net

 

Over the years I’ve taught a lot of B and C grade players who when they start lessons struggle to commit to the net, usually because they’re scared of net play. If you’re one of those players you need to practice approaching the net. You will win some at the net, and lose some but you have to get there to get better at it.

Start every point in a neutral position, but don’t just stay there all match. The most aggressive position to win the point is both players at the net, the most defensive is both players at the back of the court. Get to the net.

Remember this, the closer you get to the net, the more angles you can play. Doubles is a game of angles and you want to get on top of the net and put the ball away. Playing from the net also means the opponents have more court to cover, plus as you come closer to the net the opponents have less options to hit to and often revert to the lob, which can often be a smash, or try and hit a winner which can easily turn into an unforced error. If you stay back on the baseline every point, you don’t create any pressure and the opponents have more options to hit to.

 

4. Don’t hit to the volleyer

If you have a player at the back of the court, and a player at the net, HIT TO THE PLAYER AT THE BACK OF THE COURT! The volleyer can finish the point easily if they get a swing at the ball. Keep the baseliner back by playing deep balls wide in the doubles so it’s also out of the volleyers reach.

As you pull the baseliner further out of court the volleyer has more court to cover, then when you see the opportunity play the down the line shot. But be patient, you have to create the openings before pulling the trigger. You can also play a down the line winner if you think the volleyer is moving in to the court early or leaving space, but it can be a low percentage shot if played at the wrong time

 

5. Poach, Poach, Poach

On the reverse side, as a volleyer, you need to poach the crosscourt rally and finish the point. This is tricky because it all comes down to timing. Move too early and you might get passed down the line, move to late and you miss to ball and open the court a little. The key is to move once to opponent has committed to their swing trajectory. If they try and change mid shot there is a high risk of an unforced error.

Try doing fakies. Feign a step to poach early and make the opponent hesitate. This is a great tactic for sussing out the opponents timing and nerves. And most important of all is it applies pressure which results in unforced errors.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these little tips for improving you double social play. They’re easy to implement with a little practice. In your net double match just aim for 1 of the tips for a whole set and you’ll see some progress. Keep building on each of the goals and before you know it they will all come naturally.


If you’re keen on playing some social tennis here at Four Seasons Tennis or want some more info check out the Social Tennis Page

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