I have long read about and listened to certain great coaches of the game of tennis. Legends of the coaching world like Tom Stow, Jack Barnaby, George Basco, Eleanor ‘Teach’ Tenant are just a few I can name. All of these aforementioned have long passed away. I was lucky enough to have taken from one of the great legends of tennis coaching growing up–Jim Leighton.
But listen! One of the true great coaches of my time has to be Bill Tym. And at 72 he is still very much alive and kicking and teaching up in Nashville, TN. Here is a great email he recently sent to some of his students. It says it all and it is the way it should be. I asked him if I could reprint it and he gave me permission.
Subject: Sunday morning…..
Good session this morning. I feel very strongly that if you all continue to:
1. Identify the weak areas of your stroke production, and you will:
2. conscientiously apply the “1,000 RULE” of VISUALIZING/SHADOWING……then you will make a HUGE IMPROVEMENT this summer in laying a solid and dependable foundation in all of your technical skills.
If you are going to continue to improve …….YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST GET MORE REPETITION!
If you REALLY CARE….and SERIOUSLY WANT to have the BEST SERVES IN THE SOUTH, then you can achieve it through the MAGIC OF REPETITION AND The POWER OF VISUALIZATION and SHADOWING AND HITTING AT LEAST 100 SERVES EACH DAY ON COURT WITH TARGETS.
Remember, we are talking about PERFECTING THE MOST IMPORTANT SHOT IN THE GAME.(40%). So quit wasting time and join the “1100 SERVICE CLUB”……
In order to be an active member you must VISUALIZE/SHADOW 1,000 serves a day. (100 serves….10 times a day)…..
PLUS hit 100 serves on court per day at the targets…..and READ THE OUTLINE ON “THE ULTIMATE SECOND SERVE” not once…not twice …but THREE TIMES A DAY!
And, PLEASE DON’T OFFEND ME…….by telling me you do not have time……
or you are not feeling well……
or you don’t have the energy……
or you don’t have anyone to practice with…..
Because the only thing you do not have is:
DEVELOP THE BEST SERVE (the most CONSISTENT, ACCURATE, DEPENDABLE SERVE IN COUNTRY!
For the next 10 weeks you have been given a gift….TIME (School is OUT)….
during the school year you were Pre-occupied with School…..
about 40 hours a week…..
plus additional time for homework.
How about dedicating just half that time to developing the TACTICAL and TECHNICAL SKILLS necessary to become a WINNING TENNIS PLAYER? Someone who is capable of WINNING TOURNAMENTS……not just matches!
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO POWER or PERSON ON EARTH THAT CAN PREVENT YOU FROM DEVELOPING THE BEST SERVE IN THE COUNTRY!!! EXCEPT YOU!!!
You do not need a court….
or partner to Develop THE ULTIMATE SERVE…..
All you need is GUMPTION…..
Yes, GUMPTION…….is a special mix and combination of:
Get Up ‘n Go..
Don’t bother to waste my time and tell me why you cannot Develop The Best Serve…..
Just TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO ….TO DEVELOP THE BEST SERVE…AND DO IT!
I believe that you play tennis without an exceptional serve….but I firmly believe YOU CANNOT WIN TOURNAMENTS AT A HIGHER LEVEL WITHOUT AN EXCEPTIONAL SERVE.
In my opinion the SERVE IS THE CORNERSTONE OF YOUR CONFIDENCE….
AND YOUR KEY TO VICTORY!!! DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!!!
Let’s meet at Granny White Park at 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning and work on it.0
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