Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Solarwinds- Thwack.com

Spread the Word
Are you a fan of SolarWinds' affordable, user-friendly network management products? If so, we’d like to enlist your help to spread the word about SolarWinds… we'll even give you a free Thwack t-shirt to thank you for your time.
There are lots of ways to spread the SolarWinds word. Here are just a few ideas.
Blog about SolarWinds
Review a SolarWinds product on your favorite download site, like Download.com or Tucows
Comment on network management news articles and other blogs
Tell us your SolarWinds story on the "Spread the Word" Forum
Spread the Word through Wikipedia!
As part of an ongoing effort to provide the network engineering community with the best tools possible to meet every day challenges, we’d like to give you one more way to claim your free t-shirt.
Recently, SolarWinds joined the Wikipedia movement by posting a listing for the company – one that we feel tells the facts about our company and products in the best way possible. But, now we need your help.
If you or your company has a Wikipedia entry, feel free to link back to the SolarWinds entry so all of your networking buddies can learn “just the facts” about SolarWinds without all that marketing hoo ha wrapped around it.
Post a link on another Wikipedia page highlighting network management technologies. For example, network management, configuration management, bandwidth management, performance management or any other page you think is relevant.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

UFTA going bigger....

With United Filipino Tennis Association going bigger and bigger according to the founding members as per Manny's message last night. We encourage every member to invite tennis players including enthusiast and beginners who are not members yet to join our group (free tennis clinic will be provided for beginners and for those who want to learn the sports). Ladies are encouraged too, so we could start a mixed doubles tournament for them.

We stand "United" as the name implies, I personally promote and would like to invite Filipino Tennis Players (non-UFTA members) in Edmonton to join us for an "open tournament" this coming late spring or early summer on a long weekend. I would like to accomplish this before my term ends as your President.

Please spread the word and this may be a sort of a survey so we could determine the number of participants including fees. The earlier we could hear from them the better we could plan and get organized. Group representatives could contact the following persons:

Name Phone Email
Manny Cerin 468-6152 epcerin@shaw.ca
Louie Monsod 486-2665 louiemonsod@msn.com
Joon Abana 490-7052 aabanajr@gmail.com

Maraming salamat po.

Joon Abana
UFTA President 2005

Ho..Ho..Ho.. Enjoyed the 1st X'mas Party of UFTA Kapamilya

The first ever X'mas party of UFTA since its birth in 2001 was held last night at Rolymie Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta. Tennis player's kids got some X'mas presents from Santa and enjoyed claiming for their prizes out of their games . A few lucky wives received some prize money (Cash from fund) from 1 cent to $100.00 with Manny's game like "Pera o Bayong".
The first eight original founding members attended the party and were presented by Manny with his "Founding of UFTA" story. (watch out for the picture soon to be published on this site). On our raffle draw, yong "Ulo ng Lechon" was taken home by a lucky new member ( Ben Natividad) who helped us a lot on trophy discounts and logo design last summer tournaments.

Di lang pala malakas mag-serve at marunong mag-back hand ang mga tennis partners natin kundi magagaling din kumanta, mag-karaoke at mag-jamming with Louie Monsod breaking the ice.

(Photos and pictures soon to be Published on this site. Please visit us again)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Recently Concluded Free Tennis Clinic

Hi Folks!

Do you recognize on the pictures above who are really interested and stay focused on this tennis exercise? Nobody cares?

Have you been improving with your forehand and backhand strokes?

If you have more pictures that you want to be posted in here, please email it to me.

WATCH OUT for the Team of Three Tennis Tournament on September 2 -5 2005. Register your team now with Manny Tel No.: 468-6152 (home) 951-6152 (cell)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

2005 World Masters Games at Saville Sports Center

It's FREE .... Few more days left before the championship for tennis takes place at the Saville Sports Center. Call 492-2222 to check for matches or see www.2005worldmasters.com

Monday, July 25, 2005

United Filipino Tennis Association - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

United Filipino Tennis Association - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


To those who want to continue the free tennis lessons being conducted by UFTA members to our kids, teens & adults as well, we have decided to extend the tennis clinic for another week, it will be on Tuesday (July 26) 6:30pm, Wed (July 27) 6:30pm, Thurs (July 28) 6:30pm and on Sunday (July 31) at 8:00am. Same venue as before at Grandview Tennis Courts except on Sunday which will be at Confederation Tennis Courts.

Since Joon will be leaving on Tuesday and will be away for another 35 days, Medel Navalta, Julius Ursua, Charlie Villanueva and other available UFTA members willing to offer their time, skills & efforts will take turns in training the participants.

As always, we are expecting the suppport from parents in looking after their young ones while in the tennis court.

Thanks & God bless...


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Free Tennis Clinic

About 25 enthusiastic kids and teens participated in a 5 day Tennis Clinic held at Grandview Tennis Courts. This is another milestone for UFTA officers in promoting sports and physical fitness to its members and the community.

Many thanks to those who offered their free service, time and efforts. Could we continue with these endeavors guys? The teens and kids are requesting for another week extension.

Anyone who's got pictires that we can publish on this blog site?

2005 Summer Singles Tournament

The recently concluded summer tournament held at Confederation Park was a successful one.

Winners are the following:

Group A
Champion - Julius Ursua
1st Runner-up - Joon Abana
2nd Runner-up - Andrew Aurestila

Group B
Champion - Chris Mendoza
1st Runner-up - Third Abana
2nd Runner-up - Henry Gutierrez

Tennis Tips

by Tom Veneziano tom@tenniswarrior.com Subscribe to free monthly Tennis Lesson from tennis pro Tom Veneziano
The long and the short of it! Improving your weaknesses Get Ready - Now! Don't go for your shots! Learning to play badly well! Protect thy partner An emotional moment Possible solutions to tennis elbow. The Vision Straddle, by George I think he's got it! To do or not to do, that is the question! Five different ways you can execute repetition to improve your game Are you blasting your way through the warm up? The key to concentration Applying my own technique! Grips? Nutrition for extra stamina Train your thinking for aggressive net play Is your approach shot is deep trouble? Keeping your perspective Get a grip on yourself!
To order Tom Veneziano's book, The Truth About Winning! click here
In Tom Veneziano's book "The Truth about Winning!", tennis players learn in a step-by-step fashion the thinking the pros have mastered to win! Tom takes you Step-by-step from basic mental toughness to advanced mental toughness. All skill levels can learn from this unique book from beginner to professional. No need to change your strokes just your thinking.
The long and the short of it!
One of your highest percentage shots in doubles or singles is to hit cross court. Why? The net is lower in the middle and the court is longer cross court.
The center of the net is six inches lower than on the sides of the net. If you hit the ball down the line and it hits four inches below the top of the net, that same shot would have been in cross court!
The court in doubles is approximately eight feet longer (five feet in singles) cross court than down the line. Eight feet in doubles! I measured it. I was shocked! If you hit a ball down the line and it lands out by four feet, that same ball would have been in if you hit it cross court!
A simple tip that is often ignored.
Get Ready - Now!
You hit a shot, then stand there to watch as your ball travels to your opponent's court. I wonder what's going through your mind as you just stand there? How about something like, "gee what a nice shot," or "that shot's going out," or "hey, I got it over the net," or "that's not where I intended the ball to go!"
I have done numerous drills, articles, and even a tape on the art of getting ready IMMEDIATELY after hitting a shot. Guess what? It's tough!!! Not many players do it correctly with any consistency. So, here is another quick tip on the subject.
What you should be thinking the instant the ball hits your strings is not what you have done with the ball, but what your opponent is going to do with the ball. As soon as the ball hits your strings you should be moving back into ready position BEFORE you know whether your ball is in or out, up or down, or wherever, and you should begin thinking about your opponent's shot. You must shift your mind off YOU (I know how difficult this is :) and your side of the court and onto your opponent's side of the court.
If you are still having trouble getting ready INSTANTLY, try this and see if it helps. The next time you hit a ball IMMEDIATELY focus outwardly to your opponent's court. Most players hit the ball and stay focused inwardly. Even when the ball is in their opponents court they are still thinking inwardly about what they have done! You must learn to focus outwardly on what your opponent is going to do. When the ball hits your strings your shot is OVER and your priority must shift to your opponent's shot IMMEDIATELY.
It's not over until it's over!

Learning to play badly well!
Strange title isn't it? It will all make sense in a moment. When you are in a match you will always experience cycles from good to bad, bad to good, back to bad again. This is the nature of sports and it's your responsibility to be mentally prepared for these cycles. Once you learn to adapt effectively to these cycles life on the tennis court can become wonderful. For 15 minutes you are playing well then all of a sudden you begin playing poorly (and you thought it only happened to you!). Maybe you are a little tired or maybe your opponent is playing spectacular tennis. What ever the reason you are definitely in a down cycle fighting to stay in the match. When this scenario occurs here is a mental tip that your top pros have mastered. YOU MUST LEARN TO PLAY BADLY WELL WHEN YOU'RE IN A DOWN CYCLE!
For example, on a scale of one to ten (ten being the up cycle and one being the down cycle) you're playing poorly at level four. When you are in a bad cycle the trick is to understand that this is normal and part of the winning process. You must fight to stay at that level until momentum begins shifting back in your direction. In other words you learn to play poorly better than most. How? By mental toughness! What happens to most players in their down cycles is they lose their mental fight, become frustrated, develop a negative mindset, and plummet into the three, two, or one level. Instead of fluctuating between ten and four in their match play they are now fluctuating between ten and one!
Now you tell me, if everything is equal and one player is fluctuating between ten and one and the other is fluctuating between ten and four who will win?
Everyone fluctuates in match play, but it should be obvious that your mentally tough competitors MINIMIZE their down time by MAXIMIZING their mental skills. The top pros are well aware that part of winning is an inner desire to own that extra intangible inch that catapults their game onto victory.
The only question that remains is when you are confronted with this predicament will you posses the mental skills necessary to play badly better than most? Since reading this quick tip, you should!

An emotional moment
One of the main problems players have when attempting to maintain the correct mental attitude is the inability to make correct decisions in the face of failures and mistakes. Intellectually they know they should forget their mistakes and move on, but when confronted with the emotional reality they lose it! With this quick tip I want to challenge you to separate yourself from the pack by making two crucial decisions.
First, in your next match when you begin making mistakes and feel your emotions looming up. Stop, look and listen - THIS IS AN EMOTIONAL MOMENT! Don't justify your angry, frustrated feelings, just recognize you are going AWOL from objectivity.
Second, you must retreat from THAT EMOTIONAL MOMENT. Let go of your mistakes and move on! The next shot is more important that the last mistake!
The key to advancing toward mental toughness is to make objective, rational decisions when you are ACTUALLY IN THE EMOTIONAL SITUATION. Despite your emotional quagmire you must instantly recognize your predicament and override your feelings with a quick reaction mental solution. The next shot is more important than the last mistake! The Tennis Warrior understands it's not just about KNOWING THE PATH, but WALKING THE PATH.
I have so enjoyed spending these few emotional moments with you. :)

The Vision Straddle, by George I think he's got it!
The Vision Straddle is the name I use for the correct recovery technique after you have hit a ball. Most players just stand there and watch their shot go over the net. If you execute the Vision Straddle correctly you will recover back into position at the same time you are watching the ball go over the net. You continue to watch the ball you hit as you straddle back into position. Thus, the name Vision Straddle. Sounds simple, doesn't it? From experience I can guarantee you do not do it correctly. It literally takes me months to get players out of the bad habit of watching their ball without getting ready for their opponents return. It becomes such an ingrained bad habit players don't even know they are hesitating to see where their ball is going. I have to convince them they are NOT getting ready. This is one of the reasons I produced a tape on speed in tennis. Players need to learn how, why, and what they are doing to break themselves of this speed robbing habit! of standing there gawking at the ‘magnificence' of their shot.
One of my readers that purchased my books and tapes tried the Vision Straddle. In an email to me he explained an interesting way to help players learn the technique. His name is Tony Pinero. He also seems to understand the application of the Vision Straddle and added an interesting concept on how it works. I asked Tony if I could use his email testimony and comments for one of my lessons. He said sure. Below is his email with my comments to follow.
Subject: Vision Straddle
Hey Tom!
"I haven't written to you in a while, I hope you're doing well. I have to Thank You once again on opening my mind and adding another tool in the toolbox. I have been making an asserted effort with this problem and I think I am experiencing the right progress. For years I have had the worst habit of executing a beautiful shot with an incredible follow through, laser like direction, blitzing speed, just to find myself sitting there admiring it coming back to me, down my throat. Tom I have been focusing on initiating the stroke and at the 95 % point of the stroke...moving back into position. Forgetting about the destination of the ball. I have found a great way to practice this and make it work... I had my wife sit there armed with a video camera, it does not need to be an extravagant one, in fact the one I use for my tennis training cost me less $400.00. Tom after you watch yourself time after time sitting there watching your shot and have your opponents shot pass you, you ! get an idea how easy this problem is to fix. My motto is, if you want to see your shot... play it back at dinner time on the TV, not during the match!"
I hope you can pass this along, it works for me.
Good Luck Tony Pinero
A video of yourself to watch yourself watching...that's great! I love his phrase, "Tom I have been focusing on initiating the stroke and at the 95 % point of the stroke...moving back into position." In other words, recovering is preset in your mind and begins before you complete the shot and before you know exactly where your ball is going. A principle I work on extensively when I teach the Vision Straddle. Thanks Tony!

To do or not to do, that is the question!
1. Do not think that one piece of technical information is going to magically make your stroke work.
2. Do not think repetition means hitting one hundred balls in a row.
3. Do not take tennis lessons, and never practice.
4. Do not quit practicing because you're a little tired and not playing well.
5. Do not run to the net when practicing doubles in a lesson, have a lob hit over your head, then turn to the pro and say, "see, coming to the net doesn't work!
6. Do not hit a low percentage shot, make it, and then think this is the way to win.
7. Do not hit a great shot, then stand there and admire it.
8. Do not ‘go for your shot,' fail, and never do it again.
9. Do not think mental toughness means you never fail.
1. Do think that repetition and practice will make a stroke work properly.
2. Do think repetition means hitting one hundred balls in a row, one hundred times.
3. Do take tennis lessons and practice too!
4. Do continue practicing, even when you are a little tired and not playing well. This is when you will make your greatest improvement.
5. Do run to the net in a doubles lesson, get lobbed over, than turn to the pro and say, "I'm going to keep coming to the net, this is practice, eventually I will learn how to handle the lob."
6. Do hit a low percentage shot, make it, and think to yourself "nice shot, but this is not the way to win consistently."
7. Do hit a great shot, than get ready for a greater shot to come back.
8. Do continue to ‘go for your shot,' even if you fail.
9. Do think that mental toughness means if you fail you get up and keep moving.

Improving your weaknesses
"In golf your strengths and weaknesses will always be there. If you could improve your weakness, you could improve your game. The irony is that people prefer to practice their strengths." Harvey Penick
This was a quote from one of my favorite coaches from the world of golf. His book has many pearls of wisdom that certainly apply to tennis. The name of the book is "And If You Play Golf, You're My Friend."
Every tennis player understands if they would improve their weaknesses they would improve their game. Do they do it? No! Why not? When practicing they would much rather practice what they do best. It's easier and it feels good. Not exactly a formula for success. And that's the point! How do you ever expect to be a notch or two above the next player if you are doing the same thing he is - practicing your strengths. You must be different to separate yourself from the other players. And different, oddly enough, is practicing to improve your weaknesses.
Tennis lessons can help improve your weaknesses, but the problem is most players consider the lesson to be their practice. In-between lessons they go right back to practicing their strengths.
Let me challenge you to begin practicing your weaknesses and separate yourself from the rest of the players. How about this? Let's do a little test. For one month go out and practice any weakness you have for 15 minutes a week. That's right, just 15 minutes a week! Watch what happens at the end of a month. You may be thinking, "that's not much time at all." My answer to that is, you're right, it's not much time, but it's a lot more than your doing right now! :)
You will be shocked at the improvement you will see. Remember, most players will not even spend that much time. If they would, Harvey Penick's quote would not be necessary. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!
Don't go for your shots!
How is that for confusion? Last lesson I said ‘go for your shots.' This Quick Tip I am telling you to not ‘go for your shots!'
Sorting out the confusion
‘Going for shots' is a mental attitude. It's the freedom to not worry about failing when you're hitting. In a sense it is not caring when you are in the process of hitting your shots. In other words, you're relaxed. A good example of this attitude would be when your opponent's serve is long and you yell "out" as you hit one of the best returns of the match. Since the ball was served long you did not care one whit if you made it or not. As a result, you automatically melted into the ideal mental performance state. You were relaxed and simply went for the shot.
Do not confuse this mental attitude of ‘going for your shots' with physically hitting every ball with power. That is not what I mean by ‘going for your shots.' It is no more than a relaxed mental attitude that takes confidence and months of practice. Pounding the ball into oblivion is NOT ‘going for your shots.' You can be hitting a slow, medium, or hard shot and be ‘going for your shots.' It's a MENTAL ATTITUDE not any particular way of hitting.
If you have the ability to hit hard and keep a high percentage of balls in play, by all means go for it. Notice I said HIGH PERCENTAGE. Do NOT ‘go for your shots' if you are selecting low percentage shots that you can only make a small percentage of the time. To keep trying the same low percentage shot over and over and over again and calling it ‘going for your shots' is incorrect. You must continue to play within the boundaries of the game you possess. ‘Going for your shots' does not mean to play with RECKLESS ABANDONMENT. It's playing with CONTROLLED ABANDONMENT.
The CONTROL part is playing within your boundaries and the ABANDONMENT part is adapting a relaxed care free mental attitude when hitting. Sometimes slow, sometimes medium pace, and sometimes hitting hard but always with a relaxed, automatic mental attitude that is the signature of a champion.
1. Don't ‘go for your shots' if it means hitting with uncontrolled power. 2. Don't ‘go for your shots' if it means attempting to consistently try for low percentage shots.
Let's see if you've got it. Put the last lesson together with this one and what do you have? That's right, you have ‘go for your shots' but don't ‘go for your shots.' Good luck!
Protect thy partner
What can you do to help your partner when they stay back on the baseline and you stay up at the net? Presuming that the other team is also playing in a one up, one back formation there are some procedures you can execute. First, you can poach which means to run across and cut the ball off that has been hit crosscourt by your opponent. But a word of caution, there are two types of poaches:
1. When you see the ball your opponent hit is going to your partner you run across and cut it off. 2. When your opponent is about to hit you take off anticipating the ball being hit to your partner.
The former is the way most players poach, but the latter is more effective if you can practice the timing and movement. With the first method the ball has to be hit slow enough and close enough to you to be successful. The second method you add the element of surprise and you can reach balls that are farther away. If you would like to learn this second method you must practice the timing over and over and over and over and over...get my point? Repetition! You must run when your opponent is about to hit the ball, not after they hit the ball. There is a risk involved, but the reward in the long run is worth it. Even if you run across and miss your opponents will always be on the lookout for you to move again. This is a good way to keep them mentally off balance.
Another technique that makes sense is to protect a weak partner glued back on the baseline by putting their strength in a position to hit most of the balls. What do I mean? Let's say your partner is right handed and has a weak backhand. Let them serve in the normal formation from the deuce side and play Australian from the ad side. If you are not familiar with the Australian formation purchase a good doubles book and brush up on this technique. In the Australian formation their forehand will be exposed to all the action. On both the deuce side and the ad side their backhand will be protected and their forehand will be hitting most of the shots. Also if you're right handed and do not have a strong backhand volley you will be at the net with your forehand volley exposed to most of the action.
Use the Australian formation on either side depending on whether your partner is left handed or right handed and depending on what shot you are trying to protect. This is a simple solution that is rarely used. Of course in the long run the best solution is to get your partner up at the net where you are, but that's another story.
Possible solutions to tennis elbow.
1. Medical treatment and physical therapy
2. Rest with no playing for a couple of weeks
3. Arm or elbow bands
4. Tennis elbow is not always caused by tennis. Check out other activities: Gardening, typing, etc.
5. Changing rackets. Find one that helps your tennis elbow and is compatible with your game.
6. Learning correct procedures from a tennis pro.
7. This is the one I tell people to try immediately. Stop holding on to the racket so tight! When most players feel the racket spin in their hand they assume they have not held on tight enough. As a result they grip the racket tighter. When they miss hit the next time the racket is held so tightly it makes the whole arm and elbow twist causing a strain on the elbow. The true answer to stop the racket from moving in the hand is judgment of the ball which helps in hitting the sweet spot of the racket. Do not squeeze the racket tighter until you are about to hit the ball. Too many players squeeze the racket tightly the entire point!!!

Five different ways you can execute repetition to improve your game
1. Backboard - This is a great way to execute repetition of the different shots, but you must have some control of the ball for consistent repetition.
2. Ball machine - Using a ball machine week after week to practice your different shots can do wonders for your game.
3. Ball feeder - Find a friend who is interested in really improving his game and willing to alternate feeding you the balls. This is great practice and you have the camaraderie of another player. Also, being the ball feeder is excellent practice, but it is not as easy as it looks! Pretend you are a pro giving a lesson. You must make it as easy as possible for your student to hit the shot by bouncing the ball in the correct spot CONSISTENTLY. Good luck!
4. Rallying - Hitting back and forth with a practice partner is also a way to execute repetition and is an important part of the learning process.
5. Match play - Even when you are playing a match you are doing some repetition!
There are five ways you can practice repetition to improve your game. All of these methods are necessary and can bring your game to another level. However, if you wish to speed up the learning process, the ball machine and a ball feeder are the best methods. Why? Because you will be able to hit ten times the amount of balls in a given time frame with repetition on a ball machine or with a feeder than in rallying or in match play. The backboard can also be an superb tool, but it does have limitations, especially if you are a beginner or intermediate player with poor ball control.
At the club I have been working with one of the pros named Todd who would like to improve his game for competitive play. What do you think we are doing? The same thing you would do to improve your game...repetition! We began with a ball machine to tidy up his backhand with massive repetition. He is at 1500 backhands already. Keep in mind, Todd is an excellent player and has mastered all the shots, but we are still focus on repetition to reach the next level. Todd is capable of hitting elegant topspin backhands deep to the corner, but not with the consistency of the next level. He may hit only two out of five deep while the other shots come up short, whereas the next level hits three out of five deep!
The key is to understand that the principles of learning are the same for all levels! You should practice learning the game similar to the pros, but relative to your level.
Repetition is not everything...it’s the only thing!
Are you blasting your way through the warm up?
When preparing to play tennis WARM UP SLOWLY! Sounds simple doesn't it? Yet, most club players warm up too fast and consistently attempt to blast winners by their opponent. All good athletes, ballet dancers, and even race horses warm up slowly, but club players go out and beat on the ball in the warm up!

Below are three simple stages you can go through when warming up.
1. For a few minutes warm up your eyes. Do not worry if the balls you hit go in or out, just keep following the ball with your eyes and WARM UP YOUR EYE TRACKING SYSTEM.
2. Next, try to consciously aim the ball at your opponent with increased accuracy. WARM UP YOUR BALL PLACEMENT.
3. And last begin moving a little faster to run down a few more balls. WARM UP YOUR MUSCLES.
These three stages can all be accomplished within 10 minutes.
Too many players immediately begin running fast, hit the ball much too hard, and even attempt to hit winners consistently in the warm up. Nothing is more frustrating than having an opponent hit a winner every time you hit a ball to them in the warm up. When I confront players about hitting hard and hitting winners they usually tell me, "Well that is the way I am going to play." I quickly tell them they are not playing a match, they are WARMING UP! Probably the truth is they have trouble slowing down their strokes because it throws off their timing. Can you slow down your strokes and still maintain your timing? If you cannot it will be great practice to try. Why? Because in a match, depending on the circumstances you must learn to play at different speeds. The warm up is a perfect opportunity to see if you can control the ball at slower speeds.
It always amazes me to watch A, B, and C players pulverize the ball in the warm up, but when you turn on the television and watch the pros they warm up slowly.
The next time you play WARM UP SLOWLY giving your eyes, mind, and body a chance to work itself into improved timing and rhythm. You will be surprised the difference it will make in your match play.
The WARM UP is to WARM UP! I am not quite sure why many players have trouble understanding that, but it seems to be a universal malady. Do not be guilty of attempting to win the warm up. Save it for match play!
The key to concentration
Would you like to improve your concentration? Well, don't look at me, look to yourself! I have been asked this next question many times. "What can I do to help my concentration in a match?" To be honest, this question always befuddles me. It's like concentration is some fleeting mental state they have no control over. Concentration is lost somewhere outside their thinking and they don't know how to find it or where to find it! I always feel like it warrants an answer from me like, "It's over there on the shelf next to the soup! Go get it, prepare yourself a cup of concentration, drink it and than play your match."
My short answer is, "to help your concentration in a match try concentrating."
Frankly I don't know how players lose concentration in a match so easily. In my matches I was always thinking about the mental balance of the match, the score, how to play my opponent on a given point, what my opponent was trying to do to win, what I could do to counter his strategy, how could I surprise him, keep him off balance, should I add extra pressure now, should I back off a little, what weakness can I exploit, where will he hit the ball next, does he change his pattern under pressure, is he predictable under pressure, etc, etc, etc.
I was so preoccupied with all of these match play situations I didn't have time not to concentrate! I suggest you learn to do the same. You may be whining, "but that takes a lot of energy and discipline." Bingo you have the true answer to learning concentration - IT DOES TAKE MENTAL ENERGY TO BE SELF-DISCIPLINED!
Remember? The key to tennis is consistency, the key to consistency is concentration, and the key to concentration is SELF-DISCIPLINE. Concentration is not on a shelf somewhere, it's in your mind. YOU control it! Use SELF-DISCIPLINE to train yourself to concentrate every time you step on the tennis court and you will add a dimension to your game few players have seemed to master. Why shouldn't YOU be one of them!
Applying my own technique!
Many of you have told me that the information and techniques you have learned from my tennis books, tapes, and email lessons can be applied to life situations. I agree! I use these techniques often.
There have been questions about the Wimbledon interview I did this past year. Questions like how did it come about? Did you travel to England? Have you done this before? Etc. I would like to answer some of those questions, explain how I used one of my own technique to get through the interview, and how you should do the same in your matches.
It all began when I was contacted by email from Neil Henderson of TeamTalk252 radio asking me if I would be interested in doing a tennis interview for their radio program during Wimbledon. The program would air on the internet and on the radio in Ireland and Scotland. Apparently they were looking for a pro from the states and ran into my website, liked what they read and contacted me.
Since I have never before done a radio interview I had to think about it. The first thing I wanted to know was would it be live or taped. He said either way. I could not turn down this opportunity so I said yes, but I would like to tape it. I figured if I goofed at least we could correct it. Wrong! As I now know you just go right through the interview like it's live...no corrections...you just go!
The interview was done at my home over the phone from Ireland. Neil Henderson, the talk show host, called me at 9:00 am and gave me a quick prep. Explaining that the questions would be about teaching tennis. He then called me back about 30 minutes later (while I sweated it out). Since this was all new to me I did not know what to expect. I was very nervous! The phone rings, I picked it up and heard the voice of Rick Henderson saying, "Are you ready?" I wanted to say ‘no,' but ‘yes' came out of my mouth, so we were on. In the next few moments I heard, "We would like to welcome tennis pro Tom Veneziano to our show." Gulp!
I was on a portable phone so I got up and began pacing as I was talking. Figuring that this was my home, I should be relaxed and let it happen - go for my shots! Well I did let it happen, but I was not relaxed. There was something eerie about being on the telephone in the comfort of your home while being interviewed over the radio in front of thousands of listeners.
I knew I had to use one of my own tennis techniques to make it through. All I could think of was do not overthink, just let go and let it happen. Sound familiar? Many of you overthink on the tennis court and mentally stand in your own way. I gave myself the freedom to go for my shots! From all the repetition in speaking and writing on tennis I trusted my automatic and instinctive side to come up with the best answers at the time. It worked! It was not perfect, I did make mistakes, but I got through my first interview. To be honest, after it was over, I did not know myself what I had said! I had to listen to the show later to find out what came out of my mouth. :)
I hope you all are experimenting with not overthinking and letting it happen. You may not succeed at first, but if you continue to practice eventually you will learn to trust your automatic and instinctive side. All it takes is repetition and practice. Although they tell me I did not sound nervous during the interview...I was! But I realize with time and more repetition I will become more comfortable, be relaxed, let it happen and go for my shots! There is absolutely no reason why you cannot do the same on the tennis court.
Repetition is the chariot of genius!

Here is a quick outline of the five different grips and what each one can be used for. All explanations are for right handed players.

1. EASTERN BACKHAND - With the face of the racket perpendicular to the ground, the first knuckle of the index finger is on the center of the top plate of the racket grip. And the V formed by the thumb and index finger is on the top left bevel of the grip.
This grip is used for one handed backhands, some two handed backhands and advanced serving.

2. EASTERN FOREHAND - With the face of the racket perpendicular to the ground the V formed by the thumb and index finger is on the top plate of the racket grip with the first knuckle of the index finger on top right bevel.
This grip is used for the forehand ground stroke, some two handed backhands, and beginner serves and volleys.

3. SEMI - WESTERN FOREHAND - With the face of the racket perpendicular to the ground the V formed by the thumb and index finger is on the top right bevel of the racket grip and the first knuckle of the index finger is on the side plate of the racket grip.
This grip is used for the forehand ground stroke.

4. WESTERN - With the face of the racket perpendicular to the ground the V formed by the thumb and index finger is on the side right plate racket grip and the first knuckle of the index finger is on the bottom right bevel of the racket grip.
This grip is also used on the forehand ground stroke.

5. CONTINENTAL - This grip is found by moving the hand half way between the eastern forehand grip and eastern backhand grip.
This grip can be used for all shots and is considered an advanced volley grip.

1. Western grips are considered to be a difficult forehand grip for low balls because of the position of the racket face when held with this grip.
2. The continental grip is considered to be weak on high balls because of the natural open racket face with this grip.
3. The two handed backhand grip can be achieved with the right hand using either an eastern backhand, continental or eastern forehand grip. The left hand can use either the semi-western, western, or eastern forehand grip.
4. The advanced server uses a continental or eastern backhand grip for added spin and power. The beginner can use the eastern forehand grip.
5. The semi-western and western forehand grips are used to produce heavy topspin forehand groundstrokes.
All pros use a variety of different grips, so do not get hung up on any particular grip as a cure all for playing perfect tennis. Francoise Durr the great French star in the 60's and 70's had an eastern forehand grip when she hit her one handed backhand! She won the French Open and was in the top ten in the world.
REPETITION can just about make anything begin feeling comfortable!
NOTE: If you are going to make any grip changes allow yourself 6 to 7 months to adapt to this new grip.

Nutrition for extra stamina
In this quick tip I will give you a tennis tip about closing out a match. And since I have received questions regarding the nutrition supplements I offer at my site, I will briefly cover why I believe in these products. If you are going to close out a match properly, good conditioning and good nutrition for extra energy and stamina can be the difference between winning and losing.
How can increased stamina and energy help your tennis? When you close out a match the ENERGY MUST be there to make the proper decisions and then physically execute the strategy or all the strokes and mental techniques will not help. Not only do you need physical energy but also mental energy. This is no time to be losing your concentration.

When most players are leading in a match and are on the verge of victory they unknowingly do the opposite of what is necessary to close out a match. They become more conservative, tentative and play not to lose. Making these incorrect decisions take very little mental energy.

In Paul Fein's book "Tennis Confidential" page 30 Serena Williams explains how she learned from her sister Venus's struggle to close out matches. Here is what she said. "Venus had a little problem closing out matches, which she has mastered now," says Serena. "She'd win the first set, lose the second, and barely pull it out in the third. And I was able to learn how to close it out without struggling. I think the secret is keeping up your aggressive game and not letting your concentration go."
To play aggressive and to keep concentrating are the keys!
As a pro you quickly learn you must put yourself on the line and take the match. At this point your opponent will be going for his shots with little fear because he has nothing to lose. This means you must learn to play aggressive, keep concentrating, and take the match. This in turn requires a great deal of mental and physical energy at this point in the match. It's up to you! If you have not conquered this aspect of the game yet, be of good cheer, the pros have to learn the same thing and often it takes them many, many matches to master this mindset. But, as a Tennis Warrior you have learned to fail and keep moving, so learning to master this mindset over time should not be a problem... right?
There is no question that eating well and getting the proper nutrients into your body can increase your energy, stamina, and ultimately improve your tennis. If you are out of shape and out of gas when you attempt to close out a match, as I have mentioned earlier, the greatest strokes or mental techniques will not help. Besides developing your strokes and strategy, good conditioning and a nutritional program are all pieces of the tennis puzzle.

Train your thinking for aggressive net play
Here is an excellent drill for singles or doubles to help you think aggressively at the net. I use this drill often in my doubles clinic. When you advance to the net, either from serve and volley or return serve and take the net, you or your partner are not allowed to let the ball bounce. If you let it bounce you lose the point! Only three exceptions that are okay to let the ball bounce:
1. The ball hits the net and drops over 2. The ball is lobbed over your head 3. Your opponent has an overhead and is about to smash it at you.
Other than these three situations you cannot let the ball bounce once you and your partner advance to the net. The best way to do this drill is under controlled conditions with 5 players. One team stays in a one-up, one-back formation while the other team takes the net. Either by serve-and-volley or return serve and take the net. Play the first to12 points wins, with the serving team switching servers when one team reaches 6 points. After that game is over, let the other team become the aggressive net team for a 12 point game. The fifth player watches to call any ball that bounces on the net teams side. You do not need a fifth person, but from experience I have found that most players do not know when they have hit a ball on a bounce up at the net. The observer on the sideline can help. You can alternate the fifth person in after every 12 point game, letting one of the other players make the calls from the sideline.
How will this help your game?
1. You will begin thinking in terms of going to the ball, instead of waiting for the ball to come to you. Good athletes learn to play the ball, instead of letting the ball play them.
2. Since you will be hitting the ball sooner it will travel back to your opponent sooner giving them less reaction time. If you rush them they will not lob as well.
3. You will begin to move closer to the net (about halfway between the net and service line). If you do not move closer and stay to far away from the net like most players, you will be vulnerable to the ball bouncing in front of you and losing the point.
4. When you are closer to the net you can hit more dynamic angles.
5. You and your partner will be up at the net side by side, instead of one up close and the other back on the service line. Side by side you both will gain confidence from each other. You're a team!
Try this drill many times in your practice and you will be surprised how fast your thinking changes and your volleys improve. You must replace the old habit of letting the ball come to you with the new habit of moving to the ball.
Is your approach shot is deep trouble?
Hitting an approach shot means to take a short ball, attempt to hit it deep, and come to the net. Whether in singles or doubles you must be aware of EXACTLY where your approach shot lands. Did it really land deep or was it short? Sounds easy enough, but you will be surprised how many players do not know whether their ball was deep or short. I spend months training players to keep track of their shots. Often they will say, "I did hit it deep." Unfortunately, If they could see an instant replay they would be surprised. You must learn to mentally observe EXACTLY where your approach shot lands in the court.
The next time you are playing and you hit an approach shot make a mental note whether your shot really did land deep. If it did not land deep, make a conscious effort to change it. I say this because I have watched players over and over and over again hit approach shots short (but think they are hitting deep) come to the net, lose the point, and have no clue what happened!
Consistently noting where your approach shot lands will be an effective mental tool to begin monitoring the quality of your approach shot.
Keeping your perspective
Okay, it's time to have a heart to heart chat!
Players often confuse the amount of time that has passed with the amount of time they practice. For instance, a student may become frustrated at their progress and I'll say, " you are making great progress. What's the problem?" Their response is, "I have been practicing for a year, I should be much better. How long is this going to take?" I explained that actual practice time is what counts not just the duration of time that passes.
To illustrate I add up their yearly play and practice time. Let's see you take a one hour lesson a week and play another hour and a half in that week. That's two and a half hours a week. And much of that time is not intensive practice. Two and a half hours a week times four equals ten hours a month. Multiply ten hours times twelve months and you have one hundred and twenty hours a year of practice and play.
In contrast when a pro was learning he/she played a minimum of three and a half hours a day six days a week. That's twenty one hours a week, eighty four hours a month. In a month and a half the pro has practiced one hundred twenty six hours. That's more than you have practiced in a year! In reality you have only practiced a month and a half. Hey, you're doing great!
I'm not telling you to practice three or four hours a day (unless you have the time). But you must keep your perspective as you're learning. Do not confuse time passing with time practiced. For the amount of time you have played and practiced your progress is suburb.
Now, get back out there and log in more quality practice time. I don't want to have this discussion with you again!
Get a grip on yourself!
Here is a simple tip that you should remember and apply immediately. When you miss hit and the racket turns in your hand it's not because you were not holding on tight enough, the racket turns in your hand because you have not hit the sweet spot of your racket. Do not hold the racket tighter to solve this problem.
Players begin holding on so tightly they place a strain on the elbow. Especially when miss hitting! I believe that tightening of the grip is one cause of tennis elbow. Hold the racket like you are holding on to a parakeet. If you hold on too loosely the bird will fly away. If you hold on too tightly you will injure the bird.
The true answer to stop the racket from turning in your hand, as I have pointed out before, is to improve your judgment of the ball thru repetition. Keeping your eye on the ball to hit the sweet spot is a process, not a function of just watching the ball. After recently beating Pete Sampras in the US Open Lleyton Hewitt said, "I kept seeing the ball better and better and better throughout the tournament." Hewitt improved his ability to see the ball through repetition.
Watching the ball to hit the sweet spot is a repetitive process not just the one act of watching the ball. If you improve your judgment by continuous focus on the ball you will hit the sweet spot of your racket more often which will stop the racket from turning in your hand.