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Excerpted from "High Percentage Tennis"
(All Rights Reserved, Pros Inc. 1991 ©)

TENNIS LESSON   Chapter #2 - Friends with the Net

TENNIS INSTRUCTIONThe first idea of High Percentage Tennis is that you must become friends with the net.  It's better to hit the ball six feet too high than one inch too low. 

The Pros, the best tennis players in the world, make deep errors in a 2 to 1 ratio to net errors.  They go nuts when they miss into the net.  If they hit one out, they don't particularly like it, but they know that it only takes a very slight technical adjustment of their stroke to bring the next shot into the court.  A netted error takes a much more difficult, technical correction to bring the next shot over the net.

I get tennis students all the time who will hit three, four, five balls into the net and think nothing of it. Then when they hit one out they moan about how terrible they are.  These people need an attitude adjustment, a "goal" reversal. They should be moaning at the netted balls and not worrying about the out balls.

When I practice I don't care about any shot I've missed within three feet of the baseline.  I don't care if it's a groundstroke, a volley, or smash, because I know that on match day it's normal and natural to be a little tight.  If my muscles are 10% tight on match day, the same shot that was three feet out on practice day will be in the court.  Players who don't understand High Percentage Tennis tend to hit the ball too low and too short on practice day, so when match day rolls around and they are naturally 10% tight, their shots end up in the net or falling shallow in the court.

Nobody wants to make errors, but those players who understand High Percentage Tennis understand that it's always better to hit out than into the net.  Make friends with the net.  If you don't beat the net, the net won't beat you. The net is the major obstacle on the tennis court ... a much bigger obstacle than the lines. 

The lines are a minor detail compared to the net.  If you hit the net you lose the point 100% of the time.  If you clear the net, even with a shot that's going out, there are many different ways you can still win the point.  If you don't believe me, listen to this: if you clear the net, your out shot might hit your opponent, your opponent may hit the ball either by accident or because they don't realize it's going out, and your shot may suddenly be blown in by the wind.  In all of these cases you extend or win the point!

It's just like in baseball, there are many more ways to score from third base than from second base.  In tennis there are many more ways to succeed by clearing the net than by not. Sounds simple and obvious, but most players underestimate the net in relation to the lines.

TENNIS TIP   Chapter #3 - The Three Priorities of Tennis

Your tennis "goals" in order of importance should be firstly a deep shot, no matter what speed it's been hit (lob, medium speed drive, or sizzling smash), if it's deep it will be effective. Secondly, ...

There are 18 other chapters in "Rising Through The Ranks," loaded with valuable, winning, tennis tips.  Buy Tennis Instruction CDs Now!

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