(dramatic electronic music) – Welcome to our first ever podcast and there’ll be many of
these coming down the road. I’m Jim McLennan and I believe
that tennis instruction has to be basic, and
lucid, and accessible, and so we call it Essential
Tennis Instruction. And, I also believe that
many times tennis teachers will give 10, 12, 14 tips in a lesson, not always even related to one another, and the student thinks
it’s been a good lesson because of all the information, and I think it’s a bad lesson because there’s no way
that they can assimilate and use all that. So, I want to do this in
very small, accessible bites, and don’t be thrown by how brief this is, but rather use this in a
way because it’s accessible. I think there’s three keys
to playing winning tennis, three keys to playing winning tennis, and, certainly, there could be 100 keys, but I like to present three. First, and foremost, you’ve got to learn to keep the ball in play, but I want to embellish this. Winners have to know why they’re winning. Losers have to know why they’re losing. Losers have to be able
to change their game. Winners have to be able
to impose their game, and first, and foremost,
if you’re determined to keep the ball in play, you then can see if that’s,
in fact, a winning strategy. If your opponent’s making errors, you’ve solved the problem. If you’re keeping the ball in play and your opponent is winning, now you’ve solved the problem in the sense that you know you have to change tactics. But, first and foremost,
to play winning tennis, at any level, this game’s about errors. Point number two. Always value the first impression, and that’s the case in life, but it’s also the case in tennis. As much as you can, you have
to try to win the first point of every single game. You have to try as hard as
you can to win the first game of every single set. And, many times, if
you have an easy match, where it seemed like it was close but you win one in two or two in three, if you go back, you would actually see, if someone scored it, you were almost always ahead in the game. It’s so much easier to serve
when you’re ahead 15-love, then when you’re serving at love-15. It’s so much easier to return serve, when it’s love-15, then if it’s 15-love, and I think, too often, players overlook the importance of the first point, and number three, always listen. They make the joke in tennis that you have to be a watchmaker
when hitting the ball, and you have to be a policeman
when they’re hitting it. You have to see everything
on the other side of the net. And, too often, I think
people are too focused on their own game to ever
see what’s happening. So, here’s an example of listening. If you pay very close attention, you can often find the opponent’s weakness when they say, “Geez, I missed it again. “God, how’d I do that!?!” And I think that advertisement tells you how to play them. And so, winning tennis is
about making a commitment to monitor and minimize your errors. It’s about knowing the
importance of the first point of every game, and it’s the ability
to look across that net and size somebody up and
listen for that advertisement. Once, many years ago, at
a match at the Circus Club on a no Ad point, I threw up a high lob and the guy bungled it. We got to another game point. I threw up another high
lob, bungled it again. On the third one, he took
and threw his racket, and broke it. And what was interesting was
there was a time in my life I never would have known how to see what weaknesses are, but players play well if
we play to their strength, and players play poorly if
we play to their weakness. So, if you become the policeman and can see everything on
the other side of the net, you learn how to play somebody, especially by listening
to their advertisements. And, if you want a fourth tip, it’s this. Always be silent when you’re playing. Arthur Ashe was a model of this. You could never tell if
he was winning or losing, and if you’re the one who goes,
“God, I missed a backhand,” and you play somebody who
has seen this podcast, they may actually use that against you. Jim McLellan’s Essential
Tennis Instruction Podcast. We have many more of these. We have a blog. We have a full product stream. If you’re looking for
stuff that’s accessible, if you’re looking for something lucid, and if you’re looking for
something that’s time tested and proven, I hope you join me. We’ve got a lot more coming down the road. (dramatic electronic music)

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Dennis Veasley

22 thoughts on “3 Keys to Winning Tennis”

  1. Thank you for these good advisements that enables me to improve my tennis.
    Less error to keep tha ball playing,
    Try to win first point at every time,
    Keep silent myself and watch closely opponent.

  2. I've been playing tennis for many months, starting from scratch and learning the fundementals through watching many many youtube videos. The points this coach has made always listening(2:35) only occured to me while playing a couple of days ago and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. How ironic that I catch this video now, I'm a 100% sure I would of been playing much better had i seen this one earlier. Great video!

  3. jim excellent videos i am learning so much from your videos -balance rythem pronation -corkscrew -spit step -my game has improved alot

  4. Great advice. I lose my temper way too often and it doesn't help. I was looking on here for any advice for middle aged players playing singles (I'm 45). I regularly play with a guy who is 23 years old. Maybe I shouldn't play a guy who is way younger and faster than me, but here in UK most middle aged club guys only want to play doubles

  5. Solid tips. However I've found the first point of a game doesn't mean a whole lot by the time you get to 15-15 or 30-30 or so on (least more times than not). Sure you may build momentum but many a time I've been up 30-0 against a worthy foe to then lose the next 4 or in deuce. Think it's more important to treat every point like an opportunity & not a gimme, i.e. don't assume you're going to lose the game because it's 15-40. Fed & Nadal win so much because they win so many games when they look down & out but keep it together mentally to pull one out (more than winning the first point of a game imo)

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