Are you a 'upper' or a 'backer' (when it comes to foot placement on the serve!)

Wish life choices were so simple but on the serve we've got two choices as what to do with the feet!

What are you?  An upper or a backer??

In case you're undecided I explore reasons for each in this post that might help.

Using the legs....

'Use the legs more!'

A fair bit of advice often heard in many a coaching session, but using the legs can mean a number of different things. 

Here, I look at how you can use the legs (specifically the back leg) on your groundstrokes to release the kinetic chain (body segments) through the shot.

What happens when you turn too late?

Too early?

Not at all?

and bang on time?!


Sometimes when things are taken away, it's only then that we truly appreciate them

That's what they say isn't it?

When things are taken away, it's only then that we truly appreciate them.

The last couple of days I have felt this keenly.

I have been playing tennis for over 45 years and coaching for 30 odd, so naturally it can be taken for granted.  

But it is a sport that has given and taught me so much, and one that has enabled me to earn a living and provide for my family.  The feeling of appreciation I have for it and for all those who have helped and supported me along the way, and for those who are loyally coming back to coaching after lockdown is immense, so thank you tennis and thank you to all our customers at Halton Tennis Centre and Everyball Tennis who are back supporting our sport and profession.

The LTA has also been a superb support to clubs and coaches during this time.  Important to recognise this, so thank you governing body.

I managed a little volley work-out on the ball machine yesterday which was fun.  Same reception (ball sent in by the machine) but different projections (volleys) by me based on my changing court position and shot intention.

I'm currently offering some one-off 'back to tennis' video analysis sessions to get players back quickly and safely to their games.  Contact me for further info if you'd like at

Overcoming the angle of I & R - tennis is back in action today!


Yep, the Angle of Incidence & Reflection is the posh way of saying the ball wants to rebound off the racket at the angle it approaches the racket.

When changing direction (ie: going down-the-line off a cross-court ball) off a slower ball, angling the racket face appropriately is enough - ie: direct the strings down the line and the ball will go down the line assuming a good contact.

If however the ball is faster we have to overcome the A of I & R by:

  1. adding more speed in the racket and/or
  2. over-compensating with the contact point and racket face angle

Could be one to practice today if you get a chance to get on court!!!

Give the non-dominant side of your body a little care and attention

Tennis is very much a one-side dominant sport - especially so for those one-handers out there but with the serve and forehand hit as they are the same applies to two handers as well.  So to prevent problems arising from this imbalance, make sure you give the non-dominant side of your body some care and attention!

Make up a little circuit with your non-dominant side today.  Here was my effort.

Shot direction is determined by the angle of the racket face which is influenced by.....

The deciding or determining factor in achieving a certain direction to your shots (and therefore accuracy) as you look to move your opponent is the angle of the racket face at contact.

This can be influenced by 3 elements:

  1. Impact point
  2. Body position
  3. Wrist position

Fix 2/3 of these and it is the third that will required adjusting to change the angle of the racket face.

I demonstrate this here in today's video (51 daily tips since the 22/3/20 and still going!)...

The definition of insanity and the rules of results

Doing the same things over and over again expecting different results - that's insanity.

The rules of results state:

1.  The results you are getting are the results you should be getting (no excuses!)

2.  You can't control your results but you can influence them (good to know that not everything is in our control!)

3.  If you want to change your results, you'd better do something differently!

So important for all areas of our life to take responsibility for these rules, and of course, no more so than on the tennis court where making the same error twice in a row without looking to adjust/change something is just...lazy!

The P.A.S principles (as outlined yesterday) are a great in the moment problem solving tool that all players regardless of ability can apply to their games.  See how I use them today add more length to my rally forehand in the following video.


Fix the path and angle (of the racket at contact) and it's the speed that will change ball outcome

Fix the path and speed and it's the angle that will change ball outcome.

Fix the speed and the angle and it's the path that will change ball outcome.

Important note: it's always the path, angle, speed of the racket at contact.

The determining getting back to tennis? In controlling the ball?

There are influencing factors - things that contribute towards a certain outcome.

And there are determining factors - things that govern a certain outcome.

What will influence and ultimately determine our Government's decision-making on lockdown come the PM's announcement on Sunday evening is no doubt on everybody's mind.  For the tennis community, we wonder when we'll be able to safely get back to playing in some form or other.  We can only still speculate but hold out hope that we are beginning to come through this very challenging period and that there is light at the end of the tunnel, for all of us, in all walks of life.

At a simpler level, in tennis we can measure ball outcome through 5 ball controls - height, direction, distance, speed and spin - and these controls are ultimately determined by the racket at impact - and specifically the:

Path of the racket at impact

  • low to high
  • level 
  • high to low

The angle of racket (face) at impact

  • horizontal (right to left)
  • vertical (how open or closed to the sky)

The speed of the racket at impact

  • acceleration
  • deceleration
  • constant

Over the next few days I'll be exploring how we can manipulate the P.A.S principles to determine the outcome of the ball as measured by the 5 ball controls above.

Here's a little introduction:

Non-dominant arm role in the backhand volley is today's lockdown topic

Good morning.

Set to be nice weather to enjoy the bank holiday today and VE day, so whether it's a walk, run, bike, or just a lounge around in the sun make the most of it!

You might get a chance for a little practice on the backhand volley as well?!