May 29, 2012

Recovery Position

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About Allen Fox - Author, Speaker, Consultant:

Allen Fox, Ph.D. earned a B.A. degree in physics and a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA where he won the NCAA Singles and Doubles titles and where he was named UCLA Athlete of the Year and All University of California Athlete of the Year. With the same competitive zeal that propelled him to the number four ranking in the United States, to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and a 3-time member of the US Davis Cup Team, he coached and built the Pepperdine University tennis team into a national power, mentoring, among others, renowned coach, Brad Gilbert. Dr Fox's Pepperdine teams were ranked among the nation's Top 5 for 10 consecutive years and reached 2 NCAA Team Finals.

Dr. Fox wrote the tennis best sellers, "If I'm the Better Player, Why Can't I Win?" and "Think to Win," and most recently, "Tennis: Winning the Mental Match." He is an editor of and contributor to Tennis Magazine, writes for various web sites, and is well-known for his 1-Minute Clinics on the Tennis Channel. These have been showing for the last three years. He also lectures around the world on tennis psychology, including at the national conferences of the USTA, USPTA, and the PTR. In addition, Dr. Fox consults on the mental issues of tennis with players of all levels, from recreational players to pros and is the Mental Fitness Director at the Weil Tennis Academy in Ojai, CA.

A regular on the Tennis Channel, Dr. Allen Fox is the author of three previous books, "IF I'M THE BETTER PLAYER, WHY CAN'T I WIN?", "THINK TO WIN," and "THE WINNER'S MIND, a Competitor's Guide to Sports and Business Success." Dr. Fox is an editor and writer for Tennis Magazine and for his web site,

WHAT'S IN HIS NEW BOOK, Tennis: Winning the Mental Match?

CHAPTER 1: WHY DO WE WANT TO WIN? Winning a tennis match feels more important than it is because players are genetically wired to compete for position on the social hierarchy. The emotions of a tennis match resemble those of a fight. Players may realize that winning a match doesn't really matter, but they will always want to win anyway.

CHAPTER 2: THE EMOTIONAL ISSUES OF COMPETITION: Tennis is inherently an emotional game. Because match outcomes feel important but are ultimately uncontrollable, matches can become stressful. There is often an unconscious urge to escape this stress, which leads to counterproductive behaviors, among which are anger, tanking, and excuse-making. These can be overpowered by the conscious mind, but it requires understanding, high motivation, and constant effort.

CHAPTER 3: USING EMOTION TO HELP YOU WIN: Your emotions will dramatically affect your tennis performance. We discuss how to keep counterproductive emotions in check and how to create productive ones that will help you win. Topics include the use of adrenalin, profiting from the time between points, and maintaining an optimal excitation level.

CHAPTER 4: REDUCING THE STRESS: Matches can become overly stressful, and this hinders performance. Stress can be reduced by developing a more realistic perspective of the game. Included are accepting outcomes that can't be controlled; resisting a narrow focus on winning; avoiding excessive perfectionism; getting over losses quickly; and using goals for hope and motivation rather than allowing them to become expectations and cause stress.

CHAPTER 5: THE PROBLEMS OF FINISHING: Most players become nervous and stressed when they are ahead and face the hurdle of finishing the match against a dangerous opponent. The unique tennis scoring system intensifies this problem. The closer players get to winning, the greater the stress. Trying to reduce it gives rise to counterproductive behaviors such as procrastinating the finish or becoming "overconfident" and easing up with a lead.

CHAPTER 6: CHOKING - ITS CAUSES AND HOW TO MINIMIZE ITS EFFECTS: Choking is most frequent at the finish of games, sets, and matches due to the uncertainty of outcome. You can limit choking damage by immediate acceptance of this uncertainty. Avoid stressful thoughts of winning by using rituals, focusing, and relaxation techniques. Rid yourself of the idea that choking will make you lose, and recognize that there are usually multiple opportunities to win, not just one.

CHAPTER 7: CONFIDENCE AND HOW TO GET IT IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT: Confidence, aka self-belief, comes mostly from winning. Though it's more difficult, you can win without it by replacing it with sufficient emotional discipline. Slumps and hot streaks occur in cycles and both end naturally with time. Stressing over a slump prolongs it. You can speed its ending by several methods which we discuss.

CHAPTER 8: GAME PLANS: Game plans give your efforts direction and structure. They can rely primarily on offence or defense but should be consistent with your personality. With Plan A you are looking for a match-up where you have a relative advantage, most commonly pitting your strengths against your opponent's weaknesses. With Plan B, which you always employ simultaneously with Plan A, you attempt to tire your opponent mentally.

CHAPTER 9: BREAKING DOWN YOUR OPPONENT MENTALLY: You can weaken your opponent mentally by using dominance techniques. Be aware of momentum development - maintain it when you're winning and break it when you aren't. Take advantage of the let-downs that occur in transitional situations: at the end of sets, after long points, after service breaks, and after long games. Learn to resist becoming psyched out by opponents.

CHAPTER 10: MAINTAINING MENTAL EFFECTIVENESS IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE: Remember the Golden Rule of tennis: Never do anything on court that doesn't help you win. Decide beforehand how you will handle the frustrations and errors that are likely to occur during match play. Understand the value of intensity and its role in playing percentage tennis. Players who have beaten you too frequently get into your head. Beating them requires exceptional emotional discipline and focus. Learn to deal with injuries, both yours and those of your opponents.

CHAPTER 11: THE VALUE OF OPTIMISM: Being optimistic is always helpful during competition. If it does not occur naturally you can become more optimistic by deliberately focusing on the real positives that exist in every situation. Monitor your thoughts and be alert to negative ones. When one occurs replace it immediately with a positive one. A bad attitude is difficult to change in mid-match, so make sure to start out with a good one. When you are behind, hope is your most crucial asset, and it is always realistic.

CHAPTER 12: DEVELOPING YOUR GAME AND THE ROLE OF PARENTS: Tennis is a difficult game and not enjoyable until you can control the ball with some level of consistency. The "middle game" is the heart of any player's game, and is learned by intelligent, repetitious practice, Tennis should generally be made fun for beginning youngsters, but some little push may occasionally be necessary. Tournaments can be motivating for kids, but they are stressful for parents and can impel even a good parent to act improperly.

CHAPTER 13: COURAGE AND HIGHER VALUES: Competing successfully in tennis is helped by focusing on character development rather than on winning. Everybody wants to win anyway. Working to develop higher values such as courage, unselfishness, consideration for others, appreciation, and morality is good for your character and will, as a by-product, reduce your stress and help you win.

CHAPTER 14: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DOUBLES: An important doubles skill is the ability to make your partner play better. You affect your partner's emotional state and level of play with your gestures and words. Champions are not concerned with parceling out blame for a loss; rather they are focused on doing what it takes to win. You can also disrupt the opposing team by attacking the weaker player and by intimidation.

January 13, 2011

Is Serve and Volley Dead?

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Ah, angled and shoe-string volleys, short points and pressure tennis. Not anymore. Don McCormick, former Canadian Davis Cup player talks about playing on the ATP tour in the early 70's. Don played in an era when serve-and-volley dominated the game of mens tennis. Don has played tennis greats such as Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe and Tony Roche.

June 7, 2010

Nadal's Defense

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In this video, Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii shows the distance that Federer vs Nadal run in each point. Even though Nadal runs more each point he is still able to win the majority of points by having superior defense.

November 23, 2009

Singles Insight

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By the time he was 17, Teltscher was ranked in the top 10 nationally in junior rankings.

He was an All-American in his only year at UCLA (1978), which he attended on a tennis scholarship.

That same year he defeated Onny Parun to capture the Benson & Hedges New Zealand Open at Stanley Street, Auckland, in a match best remembered for a controversial overrule midway through the third set.
[edit] Pro career

In 1979, Teltscher turned pro. A worldwide top 10 player from 1980-82, he was ranked no lower than #15 from through 1984. He reached his highest singles ATP-ranking on May 7, 1982, when he became ranked #6 in the world.

He reached the French Open doubles final with partner Terry Moor in 1981, and won the French Open mixed doubles title with Barbara Jordan two years later. He also reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open three times (1980, 1981, and 1983 -- losing to Jimmy Connors all three years), and the quarterfinals at the 1983 Australian Open. In March 1987 he beat Connors, ranked # 8 in the world, in Chicago 6-3, 6-1. He won 10 singles titles during his professional career, which ended in 1988.

Looking back at his career, Teltscher expressed pride at the time his honesty took over from his competitive nature. During a match at the Masters Tournament against Vitas Gerulaitis, his racket grazed the net while it was match point. No one, including Gerulitis, was aware of the rule violation except for Teltscher. Rather than let it pass, however, he informed the judges of the infraction and lost the point, and maybe the match, because of his honesty. His parents are most proud of him for that action.
[edit] Davis Cup

Teltscher was on the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1982, 1983, and 1985. He had a combined record of 5-4 in singles play, and helped the U.S. win the Davis Cup in 1982 over France.

May 4, 2009

Inside OUT

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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii shows how and when to use the "Inside OUT" forehand.

April 27, 2009

Inside IN

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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii shows how and when to use the "Inside IN" shot on the forehand side. Too many players try this shot when not positioned correctly on the court. In this video we explain the correct body position to hit the "Inside IN."

March 24, 2009

Paul Wardlawʻs Directionals

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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii shows a concept using rules from Paul Wardlawʻs Directionals. There is no one "cookie-cutter" strategy that works for all players, however, cutting down your unforced errors and playing "smarter" tennis will help. Here in this video we show a simple strategy of keeping the ball crosscourt when you are pulled wide and never changing direction unless you can hurt your opponent. Paul Wardlawʻs Directionals are a must for all tennis coaches.

October 16, 2008

Sneak Attack

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Brian Gottfried demonstrates the "Sneak attack" at the 2008 USPTA Hawaii Convention.

Brian Gottfried: Junior & College

Gottfried was born in Baltimore, Maryland. When he was five years old, some Japanese players stayed with his family while competing in a local tournament. Before leaving, they gave him a tennis racket as a present, thus launching his tennis career. In all, Gottfried won 14 national junior titles. He won the 1962 National 12-and-under singles title, and the doubles title with Jimmy Connors. Gottfried repeated the victory in 1963 with Dick Stockton. In 1964 he won the 12-and-under singles crown.

In 1970, as a freshman at Trinity University in Texas, he won the USTA Boys 18s singles championship, as well as the doubles championship with Alexander Mayer. He was an All-American in 1971 and 1972. He was the runner-up in NCAA singles and doubles in 1972.

Professional career

Gottfried turned professional in 1972, and the following year he won his first career singles title in Las Vegas. In 1976 he reached 15 singles finals, winning 5, and was runner-up at the French Open. In April 1977, Newsweek said he was "simply the best male tennis player in the world at the moment." He won the Italian Open doubles championship for four consecutive years (1974-77). He won the men's doubles at the French Open in 1975 and 1977. In 1976 he won the men's doubles at Wimbledon. He finished his career ranked tied for 22nd in the 50 all-time open era singles titles leaders (16), and tied for 12th in the doubles leaders.

His game was viewed as workman-like and solid with a particularly strong forehand volley, considered one of the best in the game, at the time. He honed his game to perfection with dedication and an addiction to practice. The story about his penchant for practice that is most often heard came from Arthur Ashe, who recalled how Gottfried missed a scheduled practice in Miami one afternoon in order to get married, but atoned by putting in a double session the next day.

February 16, 2008

Speed and Balance

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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School shows examples of players off balance. All tennis players have limitations on balance, therefore, getting your opponent "out of balance" should be the main goal on every point. Tactics such as hitting behind your opponent, volleying, serve and volley, dropshots and taking the ball early will help disrupt balance.

May 9, 2006

Taking the "Bait"

Lee Couillard, Wilson TEAM Member, USPTA Honolulu, HI. Singles strategy on keeping the ball crosscourt and let the point develop. Stepanak "baits" Berdych on a down the line shot that Berdych misses.

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