“Greatness, generally speaking, is an unusual quantity of
a usual quality grafted upon a common man.”
William A. White
We see the best players in the world carving up the court, trading balls with laser precision at rocket speeds and wonder…”How do they do that?”
For most people, the notion that they could duplicate what they’re doing seems far-fetched to say the least. Sure, they see all the tennis coaching sites promising that they can learn to hit like their favorite players, but it doesn’t really ring true.
“Maybe a top ranked junior training several hours a day could so. But me? No.”
Perhaps if I had come to tennis as an adult I would feel the same way.
But my passionate and tenacious journey of tennis learning started when I was around 12. I wanted to play like my favorite player, Ivan Lendl and later like the big hitters of the 90s. After all, they were clearly walking onto the court with a bigger game than 99% of their opponents. But how?
Well, of course, you ask your coach!
My coach at the time was a personable, hard working club pro. He had developed a number of good players and had dreamed of playing pro tennis himself. In other words, he didn’t just fall out of the sky with a ball hopper calling himself a tennis coach.
But he and I clashed.
His reply to me saying that I thought there was a difference between what he was advising and what my tennis idol Ivan Lendl and up-and-comer Andre Agassi were doing was, “Eric, that’s them, and they started when they were four.”
In other words, you don’t have the talent, and it’s too late. But…I’ll teach you!
Thus began my long journey to figure out what it was that separated the champions from the almost players. I dropped out of Michigan State University, moved around the country several times to work with different coaches, and I kept experimenting in my own game. My goal, after all, was to develop a world-class game myself!
What I can tell you now, in my 40s is this:
1. While your swings are only one part of your game, they matter.
2. Champion tennis swings (world-class strokes) have three qualities to them.
3. Each stroke, in its ideal expression, has particular elements that are common to them, though the style of a player might be different.
4. These elements can be isolated and integrated into varying swing styles.
5. YOU can duplicate these elements and thus their games.
While I won’t argue that the pace and athleticism is out of reach for most people (nor necessary), I absolutely promise you that you can duplicate much more than you think in their games. In doing so, you can play tennis that makes you a stand out player in your own right.
Today, if they are coach-able and diligent, my students learn in a few months what has taken me three decades, and by learn I mean in the way they hit. If it’s just on an intellectual level, they can learn it in five minutes. It’s like being handed a recipe.
The challenge is finding all of these ingredients through one coaching source and then being able to understand what they’re saying in a manner where you can go out and apply it successfully to your game.
My intention is to be an outstanding and enlivening resources for you in this regard, helping you realize your dreams faster and more enjoyably.
Let’s get to it!