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April 30, 2008

Davis Cup Classic

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Lee Couillard, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School interviews Jim Osborne Jr., '69 Grad, Punahou School and his father Jim Osborne Sr. Jim was a former Davis Cup Player.

Hawaii's greatest tennis player was a late-bloomer, Punahou graduate Jim Osborne Jr. had many interests in high school, but once he made up his mind to pursue tennis, success was his. The U.S. Tennis Association from 1968 to 1970 ranked him among America's top ten singles players. In doubles competition he was ranked in the top ten eight times. He was Hawaii's first player to compete at Wimbledon, and the first to be named to the U.S. Davis Cup team. He defeated the world's best players during his career, including Arthur Ashe, John Newcombe, Roy Emerson, and Stan Smith. Him made eight appearances at the U.S. Open. In 1966 he also became the first Hawaii athlete to compete in any sport at the Madison Square Garden in New York. But despite all of titles, Jim was not the winningest player in Island history. That title goes to his mother Muriel, who by 1971 had over two hundred trophies!

April 25, 2008

Trophy Position

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Lori LaFevre, USPTA shows an excellent way to get your students to get into the "Trophy Position" on the serve. Put a ball on a cone and have your student lean over to grab the ball and it creates the proper throwing motion for the serve.

April 23, 2008

Secret Weapon

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Bruce Nagel, USPTA, Tennis Director, Kailua Racket Club, Hawaii, demonstrates why and how to execute the defensive lob.

April 20, 2008


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Laura Gilbert, USPTA, conducts one of the "Top Ten Games" everyone should know called "Triples." This video is from the RCW held in Austin, TX.

Laura is from the USTA Texas section.

Role with the USTA: Advisor/Consultant.

CTA Experience: Founded a CTA, CTA BoardMember, CTA Volunteer/Member, Advisor/Consultant to a CTA_Areas of Expertise: Strategic Planning, Strategic Communication, Personnel Management, Community and Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising and Promotion, Parks and Recreation, Special Events, Meeting Planning, Development, USTA Programming, Other Tennis Programming
A USPTA Professional 1, Laura Gilbert has over 25 years of coaching experience including middle school, high school and college.

Currently, Laura is the director and administrator for the Texas 76ers and the USTA High Performance Competative Training Center at a facility that works with 50-75 of the highest ranked juniors in the nation. Laura is also the director of tennis at Arlington Tennis Center, a 20-court public facility, where she manages a staff of 23.

From 2000-2004, Laura helped develop and strengthen 27 community tennis associations for USTA Texas as the community coordinator for North Texas.
In the 1990s, Laura was the director of tennis at Solana Club and became the founder and president of the North East Tarrant Tennis Association (NETT).

In college, Laura played on a scholarship for the University of Texas-Austin. She also competed on the professional tour in the mid-1970s. Laura is also a member of the Head Advisory Staff, a USTA Certified Official, a USTA Recreational Coach Trainer, and was named the 2004 USPTA Texas Section Facility Manager of the Year.

April 16, 2008

Kick-Flat serve comparison

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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii shows an aerial view of a kick and flat serve, courtesy of fuzzyyellowballs.com. Reading your opponents toss and body posture are important clues for getting in the correct position to return.

April 12, 2008

Wrist-watch follow through

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Will Hamilton, USPTR, Coach and Co-Founder of Fuzzy Yellow Balls shows a tip on the follow through for the forehand groundstroke. In this video, he shows how you should "Check the Time" on your watch at the end of the follow through.
Will started playing tennis at the age of 5. He was a member of the Davidson College tennis team (Division One) and, after graduation, coached at the Tennis Center at College Park outside Washington, DC. For more information visit Fuzzyyellowballs.com.

April 10, 2008

Pre-stretch forehand

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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii shows an aerial view of the pre-stretch forehand. Pre-stretching the wrist on forehand has an enormous effect on the impact of the ball. The faster your racket head is going at the contact point, the greater the amount of kinetic energy that will be transformed from the racket head to the ball. A typical way some people try to hit the ball harder is to snap their wrist at the contact point, however, this action actually slows down the racket head speed and actually ends up injuring the player. Professional tennis players can generally achieve racket head speeds in excess of 50 mph using the pre-stretch. It is important that the pre-stretch begins at the backswing phase and not at the end phase of the stroke.

April 9, 2008

Vectors and Swing Speed

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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii explains the myth of hitting through a horizontal line during the contact point. A vector is formed on every shot in tennis, therefore, it is not impossible to calculate all the vectors on every point, however, it would be very labor intensive to do so. Due to the changing heights at every contact point, the vectors will need to change to adjust to these ever changing heights.

Also, in this video, with the help of Mike Gearen, Physics Teacher at Punahou School, we calculate the warm-up swing speed of a professional player.