The Joel Ross Philosophy is: “Consistency Wins!”

First things first:

 Phase 1: Beginner

Play ‘not to lose’
(get every ball back; hit 100 balls in a row )

 Phase 2: Intermediate

Hit past the service line
(play consistently & go a little deeper)

 Phase 3: Advanced

Shot selection
(percentage tennis and the ‘V Attack’)

 

  • How can one hit deeper?
    Aim higher over the net.
  • Play ‘I dare you’ tennis.
    Translation: Get the ball back & dare your opponent to hit a winner. He will more than likely miss.
  • Most points are won by unforced errors…
    just keep the ball in & the odds are in your favor.
  • What is your rallying ‘threshold’?
    Translation: How many balls can you hit in a row during one rally until you crack. Is it one, two, four, eight, thirty-six?
    Increase your rallying threshold & get inside your opponent’s head.
  • Be happy to get into a long point.
    Let your opponent know early that you aren’t going to miss.
    Give your opponent enough opportunities to make a mistake & he eventually will.
  • Stay in shape!
    All of the above takes speed & stamina.
  • Groundstrokes & the serve are the foundation of the
    game.
  • Rearrange these in order of importance: power,
    consistency, depth (answer below)
    1. consistency
    2. depth
    3. power
  • Cross court is the favored baseline groundstroke. Why?
    1. The net is 6″ lower in the middle
    2. The cross-court shot has nearly 5′ more distance from
    corner to corner than the down-the-line shot
    3. A cross court shot leaves the hitter in better court position
    4. Down the line is exceedingly risky from near the side line
  • The ‘V Attack’ is for advanced players who can hit 100
    balls in a row from baseline to baseline & 25 in a row past
    the service line.
  • The inside-out forehand is essential in angling one’s
    opponent of the court & trapping him in his backhand
    corner.
  • Take the ball at the top of the bounce to create more leverage & angles.
  • Play the ‘Inner Game of Tennis’
    …Concentrate on your breathing between points!

 

Conversation With A Master

Dr. Alex Mayer, a Hungarian Davis Cup player in the 40’s, has two sons, Sandy & Gene, both of whom made it to the top 10 in the world in men’s tennis. I competed with Sandy in the juniors and this is where I got to know Dr. Mayer. A few years ago, in Syracuse at a Grand Prix junior event, I had a conversation with him about junior tennis. Since then, Dr. Mayer died. However, his philosophy & mine endures. Read on…

THE ULTIMATE PLAN IN TENNIS IS SIMPLE… keep the balls deep; wait for your opponent to make an error or hit short; if he hits short, attack.

 

PROGRESSIVE STEPS IN MASTERING THIS PLAN

  • The first phase in competition is to play ‘not to lose’. Don’t attack, don’t hit hard, don’t even hit deep; just return every ball and hope that your opponent makes errors. This strategy will give the beginning player initial success in tournaments which will make him like tennis.
  • Practice: hit 100 balls in a row with your instructor.
  • Keep the ball past the service line.
  • Practice: hit 10, 15, 20,…in a row past the service line with your instructor.
  • Draw a line between the service line and baseline. Keep the ball between this line and the base line.
  • Practice: hit 10, 15, 20,…in a row past this line with your instructor.
  • Juniors 14 & under should hug the baseline. High balls landing near the baseline which will bounce over your head are trouble. Step up and volley them in the air. These successful baseline volleys are ‘MONEY BALLS’.
  • Most juniors 14 & under cannot adequately cover the net because of their size. They should not be rushing to the net at every possible opportunity. The best shot to approach on is the very high bouncing ball to the opponent’s backhand.