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Welcome to the June Newsletter and to all new subscribers.


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We are now looking forward to the summer months and hopefully some good weather in which to play our tennis.
How delightful it is, to go to the tennis club for a quite game with friends, then to sit around chatting and having the odd drink, then back on court again to hit the ball all over the place.
I do not think there is a better way to forget all the day to day problems - chores - etc., it is possible to eliminate all your cares and just think about the next point ( no reason to get into a lather over who is going to win!)
This is what makes tennis such a great game and it is not limited to those young fit fanatics who want to win at all cost. NO! tennis is there to be enjoyed by everyone.
I started coaching an elderly lady six months ago; she had never played tennis before and was very worried about whether she would pick up the game - six months later she is now playing games with other members and enjoying every minute on court.
This newsletter is published in the hope it will assist you to enjoy tennis more.

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.

You can now search and buy any book
from Amazon via our website or this newsletter.

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

Tip of the Month







All players need to warm-up before starting to play, even the pro-players do a considerable warm-up before they come on court at Wimbledon etc


They do their warm-up off court on the practice courts prior to going on to the match court as they then only have 5 minutes to prepare before starting.


There is now a concensus of opinion that it is wrong to do static stretches before you do your warm-up and even before you start to play. It has been discovered that after static stretches it takes the muscles up to 20 minutes to adjust to playing conditions.


You should start doing easy strokes in the boxes for at least five minutes, you can then do some dynamic stretching – such as lunges (any stretch that involves movement) proceeding into your normal hitting workout and/or match.


Static stretches are for flexibility and should be done in your warm down at the end of your play.




There are five elements to the strokes in playing tennis.


1/.        Control


2/.        Placement


3/.        Depth


4/.        Spin


5/.        Power


All strokes should be learned roughly in this order.


We must learn to control the ball, how we hit the ball; we must learn to hit the ball softly as well as hard.


We have a saying in tennis: ‘It is easy to hit the ball hard, but hard to hit the ball easy’  and we have to learn the hard bit first. This takes time and cannot be rushed.


Once you can control the ball, this will enable you to learn how and where to place the the ball. One of the ways you are going to be able to win at tennis is to be able to place the ball where you want to, and often this is away from your opponent.


We are now in a position to look at depth, this is different to where we are able to place the ball. Depth covers hitting the ball short and close to the net, and all of the variables until the ball hits the baseline. This requires being able to hit the ball at varying heights, to get the ball to the back of the court, does not necessarily mean hitting it a lot harder. By hitting the ball a little higher over the net, achieves what you are trying to do.


To move on, it is now possible to add different types of spin, such as under-spin (slice or possibly a chop), side-spin and top-spin. There are other combinations of these spins, but the above will suffice initially.  Of course there is still the flat

hit to consider, although to get the ball over the net, even a flat hit has some minor form of spin.


And finally, you can start adding power to your game. Please don’t mistake power with muscling the ball. To achieve power there are a number of factors involved – the most important at this stage being good technique, followed by bio-mechanics and the kinetic chain – use of the turning of the body and shoulders etc.  Even a change of grip will enable you to hit the ball harder and still get it in court.

Drill of the month.


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

please see the diagram in the attachment.



Serious Drill  -  PRESSURE PLAY  -  DEUCE GAME.


Game starts at deuce.  B is serving and has to try to win the game to retain the serve. 


If B wins the first point score is advantage B – then has to win point from the advantage side or the score reverts to deuce.


If A wins they get a game plus take over the serving and next game starts at deuce.




Fun Game   -   SKELETON.


Set out six cones as shown – everyone starts at the first back cone on the left, as it is their turn they move to the forward cone.


Coach feeds a ball which must be hit over the net anywhere into the overall court. If they succeed they go to the back of the line – if they don’t, they are dead and move to the middle cones. 


As soon as there are more than one on the middle and right cones they must also go to the back of each line as they succeed.


The coach must feed all of the lines in turn. When failing at the middle they are buried and go to the last cone.


On failure there they become skeletons, they go round to the coaches side,  and put their racket in the tramline near the net, and must catch the ball after one bounce to go back to the live position (first cones).


Whoever is caught moves to the net position.


Playing Successful Doubles.


Part Five of this monthly feature.







Movement in doubles is not dependent on skills, these differ widely depending on the standard.  By learning how to move correctly, together with your partner, will make you a better doubles player and enable you to win matches, even against a pair with better technical skills than you.


Naturally, the better your techniques, the better will be your game, especially if you and your partner work as a team.


The following are the priorities required in order to be ready and in a position to attack or defend against your opponents play.


  1. Always be in a split-spring position before your opponent strikes the ball.   This applies equally to all the players on the court.


  1. You should be in the middle of your opponent’s return angle. (we will look at this separately.)


  1. Get to the net position whenever possible having met priorities 1 & 2.


Each player should achieve a balanced position in order to cover the largest possible court area and to be able to move quickly to attack the ball, and also to defend if the ball is hit directly at you.


The balanced position we are looking for is the split-spring position.


Split -      your feet are shoulder width apart, you are relaxed with

                knees slightly bent and the weight should be on the balls

                of your feet.


Spring – this position will enable you to move quickly, to either

               attack or defend your opponent’s shot, or to improve

               your position on the court.


You are now ready to move quickly in reaction to your opponent’s hit –

                to the right, left, forward or backward.


Just as you use the split-step when approaching the net etc., you do the split-spring as your opponent takes the racquet back ready to hit the ball.


If the ball is then hit to your partner, you should continue to move in order to improve your position on the court.  When you hear your partner strike the ball, you should then be ready for your next move.


The important point to remember is that you deal in time not distance and all players on the court should use the movement of the ball between players, in order to improve their position.


There are three factors that determine how much time you have to change your position.


Factor 1.    How much distance has the ball to travel. The further the ball travels, the more time all four players on court have to improve their position.


Factor 2.    Speed of the ball.  The harder the ball is hit, the faster it will travel and the faster it will be returned.


Factor 3.    Speed and quickness of the player.  The player who reacts quickly and moves well would have an advantage over a slower player and would be able to gain a better position in relation to the opponent’s return angle and the net.


Opponent’s return angle.


See the following diagram which shows the return angle as relating to doubles.

Every shot creates a return angle and if you are in the middle of this you have the best chance of reaching your opponent’s shots.




Every time one of the players hits a ball, the return angle changes and this means that all the opponents must move in order to be in the middle of the possible angles. The ball should be your guide for side-to-side (lateral) movement.


It is not possible to cover every shot that might be made; the best that anyone can do, is to be prepared for the for the high-probability shots; take away the easiest shots and leave only the most difficult shots, which your opponent will need an element of luck to succeed.


At all times during a point, all four players have a best place to be, and it is important to learn and understand where these will be.


In doubles, a player has less of the court to cover, than in singles. The closer partners move to the net, so the distance between them narrows.


Attack the net whenever possible after you have succeeded in the forgoing areas.

When partners are at the net, they are the most powerful players on the court. This gives you certain advantages:


            Less skill is needed to hit the ball over the net because of

            your proximity to the net.


            Being close to the net gives you opportunities to use sharp

            angled volleys which your opponents will have difficulty



            You can play more aggressively and even with miss-hits,

            they may still be winners.


Having established your position at the net, this should not be given up unless two things occur:


            The ball is hit behind you  and

            One or both opponents rush the net.


Do not leave the net position even if the ball is hit behind you, but your opponents stay back on the baseline.

We will look at where to move to, in the next article.


If you have any questions, please do email me.

Two items to see on the website:
1/. Advanced Tennis - click on link in left hand
colomn - You will find Mental Training -
Periodisation - Fitness Training.
Keep viewing to keep up-to-date.
2/. Rules - Misunderstood and mis-interpreted rules.
This will also be added to.



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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