Do NOT Copy the Pros!!

playing tennis


It was 2003… the year I earned my tennis teaching certificate.

Despite my playing experience and theoretical understanding of teaching tennis, there were still so many gaps in my knowledge about how to actually coach people.

My students were all unique individuals – each with their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.

As a young coach, it took me a while to learn that I had to adapt to every single student I encountered.

Once I became a certified tennis coach, I assumed that the methodology I learned from this esteemed tennis teaching organization would provide me with a “one-size-fits-all” formula that would suit every student that entered my tennis court.

I was wrong!!

Only when I learned that people are unique and they each had to be approached according to their personality, did I begin improving as a tennis coach.

Tennis is not a one-size-fits-all sport.

You were born with certain personality traits which are reflected in the way you strike the ball, the way you move, and the way you make decisions on the court.

skilled coach can help you discover the basics of how to play tennis in a way that complements your own unique playing style.

Don’t try to be like the pros!

Be yourself and play tennis in your own way…

The way that feels right to you.

Cosmin Miholca

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Coach

Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.

Four Tennis Pros That Went All-In on a Different Career

Tennis is one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet.
It requires stamina, focus, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to make split-second decisions and commit to them completely.
Succumbing to fatigue or losing focus even for a moment can cost players the match, even when they go on for days at a time like the famous John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut match at Wimbledon.

It might not seem obvious, but these are many of the same traits needed to be a world-class poker player as well.
The absolute focus, mental stamina, and ability to make quick choices about whether to fold or call someone’s bluff are all ones that can be gained on the tennis court.
That is probably why many tennis players turn to games like poker when the season is done, trading the clay and grass for the felt and a chair.
Some take up the game when they’ve retired from competitive tennis while others fit it in between training sessions and tournaments.
We’ve discussed our ‘Top 10 Tips to Being a Better Tennis Coach’ before, so it might be worth including other games like poker into your players’ training.

Who has made the transition between sports most successfully? Here are a few of our favorite tennis pros who found a second home at the poker table.

 

David Benyamine

This French tennis star has always had a competitive streak.
Before he became a tennis pro, David Benyamine was a competitive skier and soccer player in France.
He found his biggest success on the tennis court until, at the age of 25, he was forced to hang up his racket due to shoulder injuries.
However, he soon found another calling in poker.
His lifetime earnings in poker are nearly $8m and have included major tournament wins.
He even appeared at the 2021 World Series of Poker.
Benyamine has since become one of the most popular players in poker, drawing big crowds whenever he is in the running during a tournament.
A pretty good showing for what is his second career, really.

 

Boris Becker

This former number one tennis player is one of the most famous players to come out of Germany.
With six major titles to his name, it looks like he isn’t quite done on the competitive side of sports.
Now in his fifties, Becker can often be seen on the European Poker Tour, playing against some of the best the continent has to offer.
He certainly hasn’t left the world of tennis behind completely, regularly providing color commentary during major tournaments like Wimbledon where he continues to cause a stir at times, but it is clear that his retirement from one sport was largely a transition into another.

 

Patrik Antonius

This Finnish former tennis star certainly turns heads when he steps out onto the poker floor.
As a former model and professional athlete, he is one of the best-looking men to ever sit at the poker table.
But don’t underestimate him just because he is good-looking.
He has an astonishing $12m in poker winnings over his career, despite not competing in 2020 and 2021.
At this point, he has become far more famous as a poker player than he was as a tennis star or as a model.

 

Gus Hansen

Though he started out as a youth tennis champion in his native Denmark, Gus Hansen has gone on to become one of the countries most successful poker players.
With over $11m in winnings and three World Poker Tour titles to his name, Hansen has certainly earned his nickname of “The Great Dane.”
But poker isn’t the only game that he is a regular competitor of.
He has won backgammon tournaments over the years as well.

 

 

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Capture Yourself on Camera: Why You Should Film Your Tennis Practice

tennis racket and ballsNowadays, it’s normal for athletes to film themselves while training.
While it may make you feel self-conscious, it’s a good way to observe one’s performance and spot areas of improvement.
You just need to get over the possible uneasiness of watching yourself in action.
That being said, here are some ways filming yourself helps you become a better tennis player.


Why You Should Film Your Tennis Training

See your form in action
When you’re training by yourself, it’s hard to check your form to see if you’re doing things right. For a more accurate view, videos can definitely help. This way, you can see yourself from different angles and examine your shots and court placement. You get to avoid injuries from improper form too.

Spot areas of improvement
Videos allow you to see where you can do better — whether it’s how you serve or how you receive the ball. Of course, you can always ask someone to watch one of your games, but it may not be consistent since you don’t always play the same way. Having footage is a much better reference, and you can keep going back to it as needed.

Track your progress
The players we’re used to seeing on TV are professionals, and that is our main reference point. This means that you might end up disappointed when you see yourself play on the video for the first time. Don’t be discouraged and instead remind yourself that you’ll also be able to watch your improvement over time. Recording yourself broadens your experience for learning, and it’s definitely a boost of self-confidence and motivation when you see tangible progress.


What You Need

A good quality camera
You can opt to use your smartphone to record, but it may not be able to catch all the important details and provide you with the best resolution. Fortunately, there are cameras that can take high-definition videos with multiple filming settings. GoPro camcorders, in particular, are great since they’re compact enough to easily be set up anywhere on the court to get the best shots of your game. They shoot in 240FPS, making them perfect for super slow-motion shots if you want to study in detail your forehand and backhand form.

Tripod
You can always ask someone to take your videos for you, but a sturdy tripod ensures that you get stable footage all the time. A high viewpoint is preferred to make it possible to see the action from both sides of the court. The 3 Legged Thing Bucky has a maximum height of 191cm — and with a solid construction, you don’t have to worry about it being knocked off-balance during outdoor matches.

Editing apps or software
If you’re planning on sharing your videos, it’s good to equip yourself with editing apps or software. These will allow you to adjust brightness, sharpness, color, and more. Basic video editing apps such as Lightworks and PowerDirector are free but are still good for editing basic videos. At the end of the day, you’re shooting for yourself so don’t stress about it so much and focus more on your training.

Serve Problem – This Is How I Fixed It…

Here’s how I fixed the serve problem of one of my students.

This particular lady used to take lessons with me a couple of years ago.
She called me on a Wednesday afternoon saying that she was lacking consistency and did not know what was the problem with her serve.

We met the next morning after my usual 8:30-9:30 am class, and after she warmed up, I made a few steps away and looked at her while she was delivering most of her serves long, just a foot beyond the service line. Over and over…

I soon noticed the problem:
She was releasing the ball very early and then lowering the tossing arm right away.
This caused a loss in balance and low contact with the ball.

So here’s what I did to fix her serve consistency within a few minutes…

I asked her to continue serving focusing on one thing only: keeping the tossing arm up and extended towards the sky after releasing the ball until she sees it coming down.
She got her balance back and made contact a lot higher.
The result: more power and… more serves landing inside the service box.

There are a few technical elements that players need to be aware of in order to deliver the serve with consistency and power. These elements can make a big difference in someone’s game.

If you want more information about tennis technique, or drills for consistency and accuracy, as well as tactics and strategies for winning against different tennis opponents, you’ll find all this in the WebTennis24 Training section.

If you are a tennis coach or a parent of a child who wants to learn how to play tennis, you should definitely check out the WebTennis24 Kids and the new 10 Lesson Plans program.

Cosmin Miholca

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Coach

Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.

The No. 1 Reason Children *Quit* Tennis

(This message is intended for professionals who teach tennis to children or beginning players. If you are not interested in this topic, please share it with a coach or tennis parent who might find it useful – thank you!)
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children playing tennis
The year was 2004 when I got a job working as an assistant tennis coach for a city program.
The pay was just awful but I considered it an opportunity for me to learn and grow as a coach.
At that time I was in my twenties, barely spoke English, and was trying to learn as much as I could to improve my teaching skills.

The “city” was organizing beginner classes and my boss and I were greeting these big crowds of enthusiastic kids who were coming with their parents to learn how to play tennis.
My boss, at that time, was an elderly lady who was kind to kids but did not have too much knowledge about helping beginning players fall in love with the sport.
She would stress the discipline and technique way too much to the point that most players were staying in lines waiting for their turn to hit a ball once in a while…

As a result, we could see that even though those parents were paying for the lessons 6 weeks in advance, many children quit their classes after the first couple of lessons.
By the end of the 6-week session, we were left with barely 30% of the kids who signed up for the classes!

Those 2 years that I’d been working for the “city” taught me a VALUABLE lesson:

PEOPLE PLAY TENNIS BECAUSE THEY ENJOY IT.

And they quit if they don’t.

It’s just that simple…

Now, I have to say that during those 2 years of working for the “city” I did not let things continue as they initially were. Here’s what I did:

  1. I talked to my “boss” and convinced her to “rotate” the children so that they learn from both of us (with respect to the other’s methodology). In this way, the kids would get to learn and improve with tips from both of us.
  2. We agreed that we should find ways to limit waiting in line by introducing fast-paced drills.
  3. The technical aspects were discussed and practiced at the beginning and reminded throughout the lessons to make sure that while we were teaching those who struggled, we kept the others busy so that nobody was left wandering on the court.
  4. Every lesson should have at least two periods of fun activities that kids would enjoy:
    – one in the middle of the class to take their minds away from the technical and repetitive tasks, also to bring some excitement after all previous work;
    – another one at the end of the class (last 10 minutes) to allow the kids to leave their classes happy and “loud” so that they have something to look forward to after all the work they put in during the class; their parents would see that kids were having fun at tennis practice before picking them up.

This statement has been my motto for the rest of my tennis teaching career:
MAKE TENNIS LESSONS FUN AND THEY WILL KEEP COMING TO PRACTICE.

You might be wondering how can you find drills and games that keep kids interested and excited about practicing their skills?
Well, there are two main ways:

  1. You can search YouTube or the internet and eventually you’ll make a list of drills and games that you can apply with your students.
    But that takes time which you probably would be the best spending with your family or working on more exciting projects.
  2. You can sign up for programs such as Best Tennis Drills and Games for Kids which is a collection of drills and games that I’ve applied with my students during my many years of teaching thousands of beginning tennis players, kids and adults.

I’ve learned what works and what not, what gets beginning players excited, what kind of drills improve their speed, body control, shot accuracy, and consistency.

You can do your own research or just keep things simple and take what others have worked for and know it works.

This is why I created this program for you – to take my proven drills and games that are guaranteed to be loved by your beginning players.

Get access to Best Tennis Drills and Games for KIDS today and make tennis lessons fun for your beginning students.

Be Inspired,

Cosmin Miholca

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Coach

Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.