New memberships are currently on hold until we’ve made some changes to the layout.
Read on to find out if The Tennis Book is for you.
What is #TheTennisBook, exactly?
#TheTennisBook translates in-depth tennis technique and world class tennis strokes into an entertaining cocktail of words, pictures and enhanced artwork.
The `Tennis Book is a top-quality educational resource, for anyone who wants to develop tennis strokes, based on many of the all-time best tennis players.
It’s also a labour of love … and I’m not talking about Gabriela 🙂 (well, maybe just a little).
Why isn’t it free?
Because the ‘free’ model is usually paid for by adverts – or some other form of selling – and the advertising model can compromise writers and quality writing.
But it’s affordable to everyone who can afford racket and balls.
Why should potential players be interested in your take on tennis strokes?
The first 5 STAGES of THE FOREHAND are free to access and there will be more to come.
As well as teaching the game for almost two decades, I’ve been studying tennis technique for over 30 years, I’ve written about tennis strokes for tennis magazines in Europe, the USA and Britain and I’ve been shooting instructional sequence photos at tennis tournaments since 1988.
I have also started my ‘Stroke Library’, so independently minded members can study animated player strokes and reach their own technical conclusions – if they differ from mine, we have grounds for healthy debate.
What’s already inside?
There’s currently a stage-by-stage, fully animated tennis book on how to develop ground strokes – the forehand, one-handed and two-handed backhands, the serve (THE NET GAME is still to come) and I’ve just started the ADVANCED section.
I’ve prepared (individually) over 2000 tennis images, from which I can furnish these first pages, and I’ve started on the next batch.
Is it for beginners?
The Foundation Pages (the ones accessed from the main menu, above) have been written to favour those who know nothing of tennis technique, though they should be an entertaining read for everyone.
Think of this site as high altitude tennis technique, made accessible to a non-techie audience, by relevant writing and artwork.
What about advanced players?
As a sports communicator, Technical Tennis as Art is my strong point, and the in-depth and advanced stuff is where I’m most at home.
So yes, I hope to stimulate the minds of even the very best.
And I’ve never been shy of a debate, so members are welcome to pitch in.
So what’s with the stroke animations?
They’re made from my still tournament photos – I realised I could make them in 1999 and have been doing so ever since.
Turning them into animations is very labour intensive (some animations take days and I’ve made hundreds: – do the math!), though as an educational aid they are hard to beat, because each miniature artwork is designed specifically to highlight relevant elements of each tennis stroke.
Is it finished?
#TheTennisBook is an ever-developing project, which has the potential to become an encyclopaedia of tennis strokes – I certainly have enough tennis images to fill one.
Health and circumstances permitting, these pages are the cornerstone on which I hope to keep building until I turn my toes up.
Is it safe and suitable for kids?
Firstly, accounts for juniors must be set up as ‘UNWAGED’, with the name and email address of (and be overseen by) a parent or legal guardian.
I’ve changed the discounted plan from ‘JUNIOR’ to ‘UNWAGED’, to extend it to full-time students and unemployed, so the age of each member is known only to themselves.
Secondly, questions and conversations will take place in the open, in the ‘Comments’ section.
Thirdly, all ‘Comments’ will be approved manually.
And as for learning, these pages are very visual (and will become evermore so, as ideas blossom) and much can be absorbed from just looking at – and clicking through – the many stroke animations.
So, within the sphere of what I can control, I’d say it’s close to being the perfect resource for hungry sporting minds.
Ultimately, though, adults take responsibility for all accounts, so why not just pay the full price, gather round the hearth and make these pages a shared family experience? (family face-masks are optional).
LINKS TO THE VARIOUS FOUNDATION PAGES BELOW
We’re building forehands that are (both past and) future proof, and this is a required shape..
…the shape… determines the grip… which determines the game… which equips the individual
The palm is a key to developing the right forehand for the job
Turn and let’s get this stroke on the court
The ‘swing’ doesn’t quite cut it as a description of the modern forehand, but it’s a measured start.
Three things determine the perfect contact on every stroke.
Topspin demands the primary shape.
Learning to move… with a clearly defined purpose.
Learning to read is the foundation of a good forehand.
Create magnetism in your groundstroke.
Front foot aggression – or not.
Back foot forehands, as a stroke ‘choice’.
‘Stance’ ? – An open and closed case.
Looping up a force to be reckoned with.
Add some spin.
Give direction to your efforts.
Attacking off the back foot.
THE ONE HANDED BACKHAND
Pick a grip to start with.
The thumb is the path to power and topspin.
…. but it’s all pointless without a Connct 3.
No turn, no stroke.
Pulling the trigger back
… and load up the head to load up the shot.
Swing high, swing low.
The Achiles Elbow.
If you’re going to dress a game in someone else’s strokes, look to the best for your inspiration.
The (wo)man who stands still sees everything ?
The ball’s on course… but which course?
Delivering a payload.
Keeping things square….
…is helped by having a fleeting anchor.
THE TWO HANDED BACKHAND
A first look at the duality of two-handed backhand grips.
Reading what the ball is doing is the foundation of good movement (which is the foundation of good tennis).
Keeping it simple on the two-handed take-back.
3 x 1 = perfection.
Revisiting the three lines and applying them to a two-hander.
Hitting the ball on the rise two-hand stylee.
Jack up the power by creating your own magnetism.
Additional power sources to stick to your stroke.
Crank up extra racket head speed with a two-handed loop.
Unlocked for moving away from the scene, and getting quickly to the next job.
Two shapes for a two-handed backhand.
Extra hand, extra whip? – two handed topspin.
Keep those lines pure with a temporary anchor.
Connecting racket to ball.
The most unnatural element of a tennis serve is…
A serious angle for serious power and spin (potentially…)
Rolling with the thumb to make full use of ‘the unnatural’.
How to set it all in motion.
‘JOB VACANCY – WANTED: – RACKET HAND TO THROW RACKET HEAD’
‘JOB VACANCY – WANTED: – EXTRA HAND TO ASSIST RACKET HEAD THROWER’
Almost right is not yet good enough, especially when setting up a serve.
Coordinating your efforts with a wonky ‘W’.
A sudden surge of thrown racket.
‘Where else is there for me to go?’
Stay sideways and the serve goes nowhere.