Friday, February 8, 2008

Tennis: Invest in a String Machine

I am currently a college tennis player and looking to make my next move in to the Professional ranks. I have been playing tennis for quite some time and feel like I know enough about tennis when I say investing in a string machine is well worth it. If you are like me who plays every day for a couple of hours then there is no question the next thing you need to do is purchase a string machine. Yes they can be quite expensive initially but you will see in a quick period of time that it will pay for it self.

Now if you are more of a social tennis player who plays a couple of times a day here are some reasons still to invest in a string machine. Well first it really isn’t that difficult to learn how to string. Almost every racket is designed in the same way and by learning on one racket you will be able to string many other types. Well this leads me in to my next point. As I told you earlier that a string machine will save you money as well as paying for itself in the long run, but by putting it to good use you can make a bunch of money just by having one. You see many people pay for their rackets to be strung and the price is normally around 15-20 dollars. Now if you belong to a club or tennis group right there is access to people who need their own rackets strung.

Once you learn how to string a racket it really only takes about 20-25 minutes per racket. That isn’t a lot of time when talking about instant ability to play with your racket newly strung. How many times have you been caught ready to go play but your rackets are at the sporting goods store and they have told you it won’t be ready for another day? It just becomes a hassle. If you want to take control of your own game then make a small investment with a>string machine.

I recommend getting a manual crank machine. There are electric machines out there but they seem to be slower and higher maintenance. It just is safer and more efficient to go with a manual crank. I have had a prince ektelon for 8 years now and it hasn’t had any problems. I have made tons of money from it and it has saved me much hassle and money. I again recommend it you want to keep your tennis going and take control then purchase a>string machine.

The LGE Tennis Site for new and used string machines

Monday, February 4, 2008

Is Roger Federer the Greatest Tennis Player of all Time?

Is Roger Federer the Greatest Tennis player ever? Well this question has been circling the tennis world for the past couple of years. Since Roger has made it to the top of the rankings know one has been able to come close to him until this past Australian Open where there was talk if Roger were to lose in the Quarterfinals and Nadal were to win the tournament he would become the new #1 player in the World. Well a newer and younger player ended up taking the title and now Roger still is placed at #1 where he belongs.

Se the problem with the ranking system is that it only goes back to the last year. So tournaments start falling off once it has been more then a year, and that is how Nadal has been able to stay somewhat close to him. First Nadal plays many more tournaments then Roger and most of those are on the surface that he absolutely dominates (clay) and two all the tournaments on various surfaces that Federer is winning is falling off after 1 year.

So he continuously has to win the big tournaments because he doesn’t play as many as the rest of the playing field. Know that we know how has is able to keep his number 1 ranking, it is much more impressive that he is sustaining that ranking for longer then anyone else in the world. His ability to dominate the competition is basically every surface but clay (nadal) time an again is remarkable.

Now what if you say that Sampras is the best of all time well I have a few arguments to say about that. First I’d like to say that I have always thought Sampras is the best tennis player to ever play until I saw Federer do what he has been able to do over the past 3 years. Each new year you ask yourself can he keep this up. Well the odds aren’t with him but he finds away to do it. His ability to stay motivated determined to keep his standing is something to be acknowledged. The way he competes with every match even if he isn’t producing his best is a sign of someone who won’t be content or satisfied. He is always looking to achieve more and to improve.

Sampras had an amazing talent and competitive drive when he played. That’s how he was able to win so many Wimbledon’s. But one thing that distinguished these two great competitors from each other is how they won. If Sampras was playing someone he could beat 1 and 2 he would beat them 4 and 5. That’s just how he is but Federer if he can beat you badly he is going to do it and he has no problem doing that. He has bageled Hewitt and other top 10 players numerous times and to me is a true example of a champion. He doesn’t let up nor does he relax. Time and again he comes to win and they way he does it with such class and style is quite a thing to watch.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tennis Practice: How to hit a Kick Serve

As a beginning tennis player whether you are young or old learning how to hit a kick serve can be a great asset to your game. The kick serve has been around for years and has been used from all of the games greatest. Andy Roddick has one of the nastiest kick serves on the tour. He drives opponents crazy because of how much spin and pace he able to generate in to his serve. If executed properly a kick serve will allow you to get free points on your first or second serve and will also generate short balls off of your opponents returns.

So how do you exactly hit a kick serve? Well there are few fundamental tools you need to execute a kick serve properly.
1. For a beginner you want to start throwing your ball toss a bit over your head. Now if you are righty then that means if you are standing on a court about to hit a serve in the deuce your toss should drop about a foot in front of you and 6 inches behind you. Now this is going to vary for everyone but when starting out trying to hit this type of serve you have to get a consistent ball toss and it needs to be a bit over your head.
2. Next step is to open up the head of your racket so when it approaches the ball it can sweep the back side of the ball. What I mean by this is the racket face needs to be open like you were to hit a forehand slice.
3. Now that the ball is up in the air and your racket is open as you appraoch the ball (as a righty) from the back side and below you want to try and hit topspin on the ball from a serve. So let's look at this again as the ball is in the air you must keep your forearm very relaxed so you can flick your wrist up and out towards 2:00. This is something that needs to be practiced a lot and you will gain to become more familiar and confident hitting this serve the more you practice it.
The keys to success for a kick serve:
1.Keep your arm loose and fluid through out the serving motion
2. Your ball toss must be consistent
3. When you make contact with the ball it needs to be from below the ball and forced up and out towards 2.00 for right handed players and towards 10.00 for lefties.
4. Make sure you follow through in to the court and keep accelerating.

Like I said this is a great serve to learn for any level player and if executed properly the spin that is created will cause the ball to jump in a different direction then the path of the ball. Causing your opponent to be caught off guard even if they are expecting it. Learn this serve and you will find many free points coming your way as well as less stress in holding your serve.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Learn how to improve your Tennis game in a week

First of all Tennis is a life long sport and that is the great thing about the sport. You can play it forever and you can enjoy doing it. No I no a number of people especially juniors who don't truly enjoy the game because they have been taught from the beginning to win. Well that's another article in of it's self but the truth of the matter is you must truly enjoy the game for you to be successful at it. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, intermediate, or professional player if you don't like stepping out on that court each time then 1. your not going to get better and 2. you will burn yourself out before you get the chance to succeed. So lesson one is enjoy the game and do it because you love it.

Lesson 2, understand that this game is a mental game . I don't care how many forehands you hit a day or how many serves you practice. This game depends on two players and that is you and whoever is playing against you. Well when you get in to that type of situation in our world today many other factors come in to play and now that forehand you have practiced so many times before doesn't seem to be feeling as sweet and fluid as it did on the practice court. What I am trying to say is as a competitor you must learn to control your mind and allow your body to perform. Now that might sound simple and easy but no my friend this one element in itself can destroy a whole match. It has the power to take over your game and allow you to spiral in a downward negative effect until you either choke or lose it. Let me try and be more clear, your mind tells your body what to do, if your mind is focused on external issues that you normally can't control that will effect the messages that are sent to your body in order to perform at your peak. Read that sentence over again until you realize what I am saying.

This is very tough to do because it takes a lot of mental energy and focus. Your not going to block out everything that enters your head but you do need to control what is entering and try and not let it effect your ability to perform with INSTINCT. This means acting and not reacting. When you think about each shot before you hit it you spend to much time over the unnecessary preparation. You have already prepared use that and now trust your body and act off instinct. Do this and you will improve dramatically.

Check out Tennis Mind Game for detailed steps and instructions on how to improve your mental game.

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Tennis Equipment: Tips for Purchasing the right Tennis Racket

Over the years the tennis racket has evolved and changed. They are now lighter which gives you more power without substituting lack of control. When you go to purchase a racket you are overwhelmed with the possibilities and options for your own game. Today rackets come with different string patterns as well as different size grips, light or heavy, midsize, or stretch.

You must understand your game style in order to purchase the right racket for you. If you are a steady baseliner who enjoys to sit back and crush groundstroke’s then a head heavy racket probably isn’t the best option. I would recommend the Babolat pure drive. It is light which gives people the power they need to generate those heavy groundstroke’s. This is a very popular racket for people who play on clay especially the Spaniards because they can generate so much racket head speed due to the lightness of the racket. Babolat makes great rackets so you can’t go wrong with them.

Now what if you weren’t born on the red clay and you earn a lot of your point at the net. You don’t want to be grinding at the baseline, when you can you get to the net and try and dictate. Well then you need a heavier racket. Something that is going to give you great feel at the net as well as control with approaches and vollies. I love the Wilson K-factor. It is a little on the heavy side but it gives you great control and feel around the mid court and net area. I also would recommend this racket for someone of a style with a mix of both. If you like to grind from the baseline but are always looking to punish a short ball and get to the net then this racket could really benefit you.

The point is to understand your style and you can make a much better decision when it comes to finding the right racket for you. Next never just choose a racket, always pick two or three that you think might work and demo it. Many sporting good stores allow you to demo their rackets for a small fee. This allows you to take the rackets home and try them out for yourself. Play a couple sets with them and see how they react to different types of shots. Then you will know which one is right for you.

Use these simple tips when go to buy your next tennis racket and I guarantee you will be satisfied and be off to playing great tennis.

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