I think that too much emphasis is placed on the competitive aspects of tennis, and too little on what it was originally meant to be: a way for people to get together with friends, get some exercise, and just have fun. The current emphasis our society places on competition, fame and fortune in sports is appalling to me. These were not the original intentions of sports.
I think you should take the court to play tennis for the simple reasons that itís a pleasure to play, and to enjoy the company of friends and make new ones. Winning or losing a match is inconsequential to the sheer joy of participating. The one-on-one aspect of tennis means that, as Vic Braden has said, ďHalf the people who play every day are going to lose.Ē The sheer odds of that equation should tell us to put it out of our minds and focus on something more positive. And that should be enjoying the social aspects of the game.
Whether you are a casual player, play in leagues or tournaments, or play tennis for a living, youíre going to be miserable if you donít have a love of playing the game for its own sake. The greatest pro players in the world can play a gritty, exhausting and tempestuous match and embrace at the end, having enjoyed the playing of the game. That happens too rarely on our level.
Donít put your worth as a person on the same level as your won-lost record. Go home from the tennis court happy you played.
I try to teach tennis the same way I play it: with passion and a sense of humor. Donít come to take a class or lesson from me if you canít laugh at yourself, or if youíre concerned about laughing at the other players or even at me. Everyone is fair game on my court, and I want a good time to be had by one and all.
I will make every endeavor to show you the proper technique for each shot, but the most important thing is that you enjoy the experience. If your strokes arenít perfect, but you enjoy your style of play and arenít going to compete at the highest levels, who am I to argue? As long as your swing isnít physically hurting you, feel free to tell me to buzz off. Imperfect strokes with good strategy will be more fun than mindless technique, anyway.
I do feel, however, that too little emphasis is placed on properly teaching the serve, and will work very hard to show you the right way to hit it. Most players use the wrong grip, which severely limits flexibility and variety of shot, and places stress on muscles ill-equipped to deal with it. In every class and private lesson, I try to work on this most important shot. Remember: if you canít serve, you canít play.
I also want you to play shorter points and enjoy hitting forcing shots (tennis is lots of fun until the two-hour mark; then it starts to feel like work for most of us). So, my philosophy emphasizes moving forward and taking the ball in the air.
Where I Teach
I began teaching at Magnolia in March 2008, and the program has progressed nicely. The class schedule for Magnolia residents is as follows:
Mondays: After many years of working every day of the week, I have finally decided to schedule myself a day off. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Tuesdays: 4:30-5pm: Beginner 5-7 years old , 5-5:30pm: Beginner 3-5 years old
Wednesdays: 3:30-4:30pm: Intermediate 8-12 years old , 5-6pm: Advanced 8 & up (pro approval required for enrollment)
Thursdays: 4-5pm: Beginner 9-12 years old, 5-6pm: Intermediate 8-12 years old
Fridays: 4-5pm: Intermediate 5-7 years old, 5-6pm: Advanced 8 & up (pro approval required for enrollment)
All Ĺ hour classes are $5 each; 1 hour sessions are $9 each. Please contact me to check on availability, as classes have a 3 player minimum, and an 8 player max.
Important Note: Itís summertime now, and itís quite hot and humid no mater what the hour. Please make sure your kids come prepared: hats, sunglasses, towels, and more than enough to drink.
All Magnolia Residents: Please reserve your courts, as I will have one taken up every afternoon.
I also offer private lessons for residents of Magnolia Plantation ($25 per half-hour; $45 per hour).
Contact me with any questions about the Magnolia program.
Maitland Community Park
The folks at Maitland have provided a beautiful facility with old-time friendliness in the air. From the natural surroundings to the friendly staff, itís a great place to work and play.
My schedule at Maitland is rather limited, but is as follows:
Wednesdays: 7-8pm: Adult Doubles Strategy 8-9pm: Adult Drills
Saturdays: 8:30-9:15am: Beginner 5-7 years old 9:30-10:30am: Beginner 8-10 years old
I also offer private lessons at the park ($25 per half-hour; $50 per hour).
Contact me to make arrangements.
Matt's Tennis, LLC 510 Douglas Ave, Suite 1013 Altamonte Springs, FL 32714 407.701.9351 firstname.lastname@example.org