There is an intimate relationship between simplicity and the quality of your game.
Actually, by actual survey, the top pros get to that stage by eliminating as many complications as possible from their game.
This process, for them, becomes so extreme that they favor coaches that make them FEEL they are playing a simpler and easier game, and they reject anyone that adds details that make them THINK more. Some of those coaches so favored are former champions themselves!
And right there are two keywords to a superior game. Tennis is a game of FEEL, not of THINK, although this needs to be clarified. We all love FEEL in all endeavors of life, It’s an ability to be in touch (forgive my pun) with the physical.
Whose ability? Here comes the philosophical: the SPIRIT WITHIN (each one of us).
There are two types of “thinking”. One is with the “mind”, the other more “knowing”, much higher into the aesthetic waves. You look at something, you find it “aesthetic”, beautiful, more natural, more consonant (in agreement or harmony) with who you are.
Getting back to the practical, tennis is a game of feel, of simplicity, of mental calmness, of doing what is natural, efficient, and the way to achieve that is taking the game’s basics to its upmost irreducible principles that include how you learned to walk, how to use your hands, how to feel with them, how to find something, how to play games.
Further, tested with kids, it works unbelievably well. Kids rally back and forth in no time!
That is why I teach open stance, like shaking hands (which could be also called NO STANCE, NATURAL-STANCE, NO-THOUGHT STANCE), tracking the ball until it is within your reach, rather than undue “preparation”. Just run to where you want to meet the ball, FIND it, FEEL and FINISH the stroke (the 3 Fs).
Why that FINISH? So you relate this FINISH to where the ball just went, without any other thought. It is part of that FEEL that is the aesthetic memory of the athlete within!
The reason to turn for the one-handed backhand is because it the playing hand closer to the ball and allows an easier FFF (Federer, Wawrinka, Dimitrov, Kuerten, Henin, Sabatini). Natural stance again!
Two-handed backhands, so well demonstrated by the Williams sisters, also open stance.
You find that in all my DVDs and books, the irreducible basics of a superb performer and the delicate developments thereof.
Why did I get so simple? Why do I keep repeating the?
Simply, to counteract the tennis world “experts” that keep adding misconceptions and complication that “kill” the game!
For a horrible example of a recent article that seems nice and harmless in the beginning but turns incredibly harmful from there on, go to: