MAX THE TENNIS PRO

Santa Monica Tennis Lessons







TEACHING PHILOSOPHY


       I specialize in stroke production. I’m the guy that can make sure you have the proper technical stroke that will allow you to reach your potential as a tennis player. ANYONE can learn proper technique. Proper technique is easier and simpler, not harder, than improper technique. Basic principles such as preparing your racket before you run and finishing through your shot, most likely over your shoulder, are at the root of any great stroke, classic or modern.


     Along with that, is proper concept: making sure you’re hitting your groundstrokes UP over the net and spinning them back down with topspin. Then varying that concept depending on position and situation: more arc and topspin for defensive positions, less arc and spin (more drive) for offensive positions, somewhere in the middle for neutral positions. 

     Serve concept: hitting the ball at the peak of one's reach and snapping it DOWN on the first serve, tossing the ball to the left of one's head (righty) and hitting UP over the net on second serves with topspin to bring it back down safely and consistently. 

      Volleys: Hitting straight or down to angle off volleys above the net, bumping the ball UP on low defensive volleys. 


      Once those skills are established (I call them "tools"), it's time to work on STRATEGY in match situations. Tennis is a simplified version of chess. Once you know the moves, the big picture of tennis becomes much clearer. Watching tennis becomes more fun too; you can see what they’re doing or trying to do.

      Groundstrokes: teaching the value of keeping the ball crosscourt to neutralize positioning and only attacking down-the-line when an opportunity is created by angling your opponent off the court first.

    Volleys: Angling off high volleys above the net for offensive winners, hitting low volleys defensively in front of you for court positioning. 

     Serve: placing the ball to maximize court position and opponent weakness in order to set up the "plays" in your playbook.  


    Of course these are the ideal goals for my players if I’m teaching them from scratch or if they are really adamant about making substantial changes in their game. If someone comes to me having hit the ball a certain way for 20 years, it is often more prudent to use their existing strokes and concepts, making more minor changes, to work towards reaching the outermost limits of those concepts. Basic principles of strategy should remain the same, just using a different set of “tools” in their toolbox. All can be adapted and often is.


     As you might have noticed from the testimonials page, that I find the best results come from patience and positive reinforcement. There won’t be any pushups or laps around the court for your child if they miss a shot in one of my classes. If one of my clients misses a shot, it’s my fault for not conveying to them how to correctly execute it. My job is finding the way to convey stroke or strategy concepts in the learning style that makes sense to my students and giving them positive reinforcement when they’re “in the ball park” and, especially, when they’ve hit it on the head. Always produces excellent results.

 

Philosophy

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