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Welcome to the August Newsletter and to all new subscribers.


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There are many good tennis websites around and you can access some of these on the 'Links' page.


This month I have featured a brand new website, launched by a friend of mine - John Yandell.


There is a write up in the email you received announcing this newsletter and John is offering a 50% discount for new subscribers.


There are a great number of video links and you can view one or two initially before subscribing.




  We are delighted to bring to you a special offer from the new cutting edge instructional site, Tennisplayer.net, created by John Yandell.  Tennisplayer has articles from the greatest coaches in tennis, and literally thousands of digital stroke clips of the best players in the world: Federer. Agassi, Sharapova and dozens more.
        A regular subscription is $99.95 for a year.  Subscribe and get an instant $50 rebate!  You can take a Free Tour to check out the site. (
www.Tennisplayer.net) If you sign up, just send an email directly to John Yandell and he will give you the instant rebate.
        This is a limited time offer, so take advantage now!

Go to: 



Latest Scores and Results.
Details on all the U.K. tournaments.
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In This Issue

As a thank you for subscribing to the monthly

newsletter, there is a FREE BONUS of 100 drills.

See below.

Item 1/.       Tip of the month

Item 2/.       Drill of the month

Item 3/.       Fun Game of the month

Item 4/.       Play Better Doubles

There are 100 drills of various types that will help you
with your tennis, some are for more than two players,
but you can adapt these to suit your needs.
Where a pro is mentioned, substitute 'your partner'
Click on the following link to go to the download site.

Click here for the drills.

We now offer the leading tennis, sports and
fitness books from the leading sources.
These can be bought via the tennisatthenet website.
We offer these at the same prices that you would
buy direct.
For any of our International subscribers -
if you are unable to purchase these via the suppliers
we would be happy to obtain them and send
adding on the postage costs.

Want a great tennis holiday,
play tennis until you drop!
See details on the website.






Every club wants to be more successful and the question is ‘What is more success?’


My new website will help and advise on improving your club, with lots of ideas to put into practice. Your committee and members may need a change of mind, but progress often entails radical thinking.


The website can be accessed via the website: http://www.tennisatthenet.com

or direct via the following link:     http://hoskinsjohn.bizland.com/successfulclub

The QuinnAgility, Dynamic Balance
& response Time Test.
By Anne Quinn - Australia.
Anne Quinn believes this should be included
in every serious tennis player's fitness programme.
To go straight there click on following link:


Tip of the Month





There are two tips for you this month.


The Right Mindset to Play a Great Game.


Approaching the match with positive thinking can make a big difference.


Start off by smiling! It takes fewer muscles to smile, it can increase your confidence and a relaxed jaw has proven to increase your energy output.


Plus you are playing the game you love!


You also want to expect mistakes because you will make them.


If you can recover quickly and positively from a mistake you will probably not lose any momentum and more points.  After a mistake, have some sort of closure, like snapping your fingers or taking a slow deep breath?  The pros walk to the back of the court adjusting their strings, this will help you forget about the mistake. Focus on the point to come.


You are now ready to play the next point and you have the right mindset to play a great match!




Do this when you win a Point.


If you win a point from your opponent when they miss a shot, give them another opportunity to miss that same shot.


For example, if you hit an approach shot to their backhand and they miss an attempted pass, keep this in mind on your next approach.


After one or two similar errors it’s easy to lose confidence in a particular shot, so try to exploit that weakness.


In addition look for patterns that might develop with your opponent. Do they hit their forehand crosscourt or play second serves to your backhand? Using these tactics can give you an edge to play better tennis.



Drill of the month.


(Extracted from my drillbook - (Over 250 games & Drills)

please see the diagram in the attachment.




                            THE NET.  -  STAGE ONE..


Lay down lines as shown, those near to the net must only be about 6” (15mm) in front of the service line and the back lines 2 feet (61mm) behind.


Explain to the players rhat this is the transition zone, and they need to be able to play shots in this area. Point out that as they are approaching the net, the ball may be low at their feet and they could have to hit a low penetrating volley, a half volley or a slice off the ground.


The player in the zone is not allowed to step outside the zone and must be as close to the front line as possible. They should not back up unless the ball is so close to their feet, they have no alternative.


The feader must endeavour to feed a low – topspin shot right upto their feet and the player in the zone must practice getting the ball back low.


Change positions occasionally, when satisfied with the progress, move to the next stage.


The practice takes place in half the court, so that two pairs are able to work separately.




                           STAGE TWO.


A & B start close to the baseline and feed a ball to their hitting partners C & D. They follow the ball to the net. C & D do a return to dip at the feet of the approaching A & B.


A & B should do their split step as the see their opposite number go to hit the ball, any later than that and they are too late.  A & B do their approach shot and the drill is finished.




The above drill is repeated, but now, after hitting their approach shot, they continue on into the net, do a split step and a volley – drill ends. They can then go on to playing the point out after the first volley.

Note: I always ensure C & D have an extra ball in their hand so that if the ball does not get to them, they can feed it in and the drill continues.



Fun Game   -   MILKSHAKE


Players line up in the volley position with their rackets in the ready position


They each give themselves the name of a milkshake – i.e.  Chocolate  -  Raspberry  -  Peach etc.


The coach hits a ball to a player and calls out say “Raspberry”  if that player is “Raspberry” they must volley the ball, if they are not, they must let the ball go.


If they do this wrongly then they must sit down. Last one standing wins.


Playing Successful Doubles.


Part Six of this monthly feature.





Before looking at specific areas of play, I want to raise the need to:


Generate Power.


There are several forces involved when you hit a ball.  The power generated by the step you take just before hitting the ball is called linear momentum. Stepping in at a 45o angle rather than a 90o angle puts the power of linear momentum behind your shot.


If you step sideways when you are attempting to hit forward, this energy is diverted from your shot. Bio mechanically, your body is working against itself, resulting in a weak shot.


If you step in the direction you are hitting the ball, you are taking full advantage of the force created by linear momentum. In the case of a wide shot, a 45o step enables you to utilize this force to the greatest extent possible.


A second force, which will enable you to strike the ball harder, is ‘Elastic Energy’, however, incorrectly used it will also reduce your hitting power.


When taking the racket back in preparation to hit the ball, you should use a small loop and as this is being done, the body should turn from the waist in the direction of the take-back. Elastic energy is built up between the shoulder and the neck. As you use the kinetic chain to produce your shot, legs first – waist – torso – shoulders and arm.

You can add another 10% power. However, there must be no stopping in the complete movement. if the racket stops behind you for 1 second you lose 20% of your hitting power, and 4 seconds or more 50% of your power. This is why it is so important to have a clean pure hitting motion.


The major point in raising this issue is, that you can judge the effectiveness of your return to determine how much to attack your opponents.


Isolate the Player.


This is an advanced doubles tactic and if executed well, will win your team plenty of points.


You and your partner are at the net and you have contained the opponents on their baseline.  When the opportunity arises and one of your opponents is under pressure, you and your partner should play every ball in the area of that opponent, obviously making it most difficult for that player and endeavouring to hit the winner.


This ploy effectively cuts the other opponent out of the point.


Australian Formation.


This is a tactic that many players are aware of but which they seldom use.  Your partner at the net takes up a position on the same side as you, when you are serving,

You will serve from near the middle of the court and then move to the opposite side to your partner. It is important that your partner sets themself up in the correct position and this would be a place dissecting the angle of return crosscourt. Your partner should also be roughly 6 – 8 feet back from the net.


The advantages in this play are:

1/.        To disrupt your opponents rhythm

2/.        If the opponent is left handed and is hitting winners crosscourt.

3/.        The opponent has a good backhand shot.

4/.        Your partner prefers only to play in the deuce court.


This strategy can be effective on both the deuce and ad. sides of the court.


The ‘I’ Formation.


The advantage in using an I formation, is that your opponents do not know which way the net player is going to move. I have seen this strategy work extremely well, when the net player is very quick and agile, supporting a player who is perhaps the least proficient of all four players.


The I formation can also be very effective in disrupting the opponent’s game, especially if they are not used to playing against such format.


The first priority is for the partners to have some form of signalling system, I favour this rather than verbal setting as then you don’t have to confer for the second serve, having already committed the move on a first failed serve.


Some players do still confer prior to starting the serve; this is useful to discus where the serve is being placed.


The second important point is that the serve acknowledges to the net player that they are aware of the decision.


A common signal is for a clenched fist, which indicates the net player is moving to the normal side, where they would usually start, and with fingers pointing outward, they would go the other way, (keep in mind that if they are using their left hand for the signal and they would normally be in the right hand box, whilst the fingers point to the right, they will actually be moving to the left, the server will be slightly to the left of the centre line.


The position the net player takes up is on the centre line, about 1 foot (300 mm) from the service line, they would be crouching down in order not to be hit by the ball, but in a dynamic position so that they can move quickly as they hear the server strike the ball, about half a second afterwards, they must not commit and give away their direction too soon but must be in a position to cut off the ball.


The server stands just to the side of the centre line to serve, and as the net player goes one way, the server goes the opposite.


Try out both of the above formations; see how they go for you and your partner. I would however say that you do need to practice these with a regular partner.


Playing in no man’s land.


The area near the service line is commonly called no man’s land which implies that no one should be there. This is not true. When in the transition stage of going from the baseline to the net, you will often find yourself in the area, when you have to do a split-spring in preparation for your next shot, usually an approach shot.


There are a number of times when this is precisely the area where you should be. As an example, suppose you are at the net, the ball is behind you, and one or both your opponents approach the net, you must retreat to this area.


Playing in the area around the service line demands a high level of skill because of the type of shots you must execute from that position; long volleys, half volleys etc. It is difficult to win a point from that area, so you should try to take only one hit from there are move to a more advantageous position.


Good doubles players must know how to play there; therefore arrange some drills that will help you learn to play capably and confidently. Seek advice from your coach.


Also see this weeks Drill of the month.




Tennis Balls now available



I.T.F approved pressurised Tennis balls – can of four only 2.60 plus postage.


See on website




Tennis Racquets and Stringing.




Top Quality racquets and excellent junior racquets at competitive


Visit the website for details.

Until next month,


John Hoskins – Coach.



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