These are Oscar Wegner's official Tennis Tips and tennis tips archive. These tennis tips can help anyone with any level of game and help them learn modern tennis in a whole new way. If you want to improve your tennis game fast - these tennis tips are a great place to start.
Tennis has been thought to be, for more than a century, a difficult sport to learn.
The main reason for this idea has been the complicated teaching style, aggravated by the idea that you have to move and position yourself in very peculiar, unnatural ways.
Only now, with the advent of Modern Tennis and higher ball speeds and spins, it is becoming increasingly known that it is imperative to act as natural and efficiently as possible.
Once you master the easier fundamentals of modern tennis this beautiful sport becomes easier and easier.
The complications go overboard and you are left with the simplicity and realities of a new state, in which you have more time than you ever had and it is increasingly easier to play the game.
Unfortunately, as you’ll see in the blog and NY Times article referred to in this Newsletter, change is shunned in favor of the conventional, trite ideas of old.
Why? Most likely to protect business, to protect reputations, status, position, prestige. Never mind that the sport suffers, that the public is mislead. Why not copy the old world, which enjoys progress and needed change? Europeans are now dominating the sport. With over 5 million youngsters playing tennis in the USA and another more than 20 million adults, the USA should have a much bigger show in the Grand Slams. But it is still losing ground.
Spain modified the top level coaching system in 1973 and by the late 1980s they showed up excellent players en masse. Russia and Eastern Europe modified their coaching systems starting in the early 1990s, starting children with the new techniques. Why? Because they wanted to improve.
By the 2000s there were 5 Russian women in the top ten in the world, and a few years later the area around Belgrade, where they had access to my first book in 1991, showed up with several players at the top ranks, some that had learnt inside an empty swimming pool to avoid the bullets of war.
Some of these players, as well as the Williams sisters, have been affected in later years by coaches instilling them some conventional ideas, but those players still excel in the sport. Tennis is a game of emergencies, and in emergencies these players act with the instinct that was built as a kid.
You already learned your strokes according to MTM (Modern Tennis Methodology).
Your forehand and backhand strokes are very good. So is your serve. Really great strokes. Pure MTM.
Now comes the next step in development: how to turn yourself into a great athlete, including separating the operation of the hands and arms from the rest of the body. In other words, making the arms independent.
First of all, competitive tennis is a game of emergencies. You are on the run, or in difficulty most of the time.
So the legs are doing their own thing, while the arms are doing their own thing independently.
This ability can be created with cone drills. If you don’t have the 1989 or 1992 books, go to
and to the Chapter Drills for Development and the drills around the cone are there.
The cone drills will help to turn anyone into a real athlete. In a child ten and under it is best to create this before the age where the mind takes over many things (as a result of intensive school study which unfortunately magnifies thought and constrains feel and instinct).
Additionally, the drills around the cone (or a can of balls), emulating what players go through in match play, help create a player of high level, really good in competitive emergencies.
NO SIDE-STEPS DURING DRILLS.
Side-Steps impair athletic ability at this level. Pivot, turn, turn and turn. That’s why I designed the drills around the can. To get rid of the misconceptions that impair an athlete’s development. Of course players sidestep during the course of a match. But that should not be taught at all as a modus operandi.
Turning the way I prescribe also develops the stroke itself, for example loading on the outside foot. But all this needs to be worked out in a very instinctive way, drilling over and over, so the player observes and chooses that which is creating maximum result with most efficiency, eliminating from experience gained wasted effort. Further, the muscles will develop into these patterns over time, but it should come from the player’s feel and instinctive levels. These should not be developed with authoritarianism, which would turn an otherwise personal viewpoint into other-determined crutches.
Gradiently, that is, starting very easy and increasing the difficulty slowly, the coach/parent/ball feeder should make the player run more and more, faster and faster. But the student needs to exhibit full confidence, full accomplishment at each step of the way before going into more difficulty. To do otherwise is to invite failure at the higher levels. Guaranteed.
It may take a year, maybe more, with these drills to develop a real good athlete. Be patient. Follow the procedure, insist in finding the ball and finishing the stroke as usual, and you’ll improve.
Meanwhile, on the serve, do the drill over the fence, also in the 1989 and 1992 books, emphasizing spinning the ball and going across up and to the right more and more. Then come back onto the court and practice some more serves.
Many players have a tendency to overreact and extend or prepare the arm first before starting the move towards the ball.
You lose valuable time.
It is far better to extend after your initial move, making it a combined action to get to the ball.
There is plenty of time in tennis to take a swing. The ball, from baseline to baseline, loses 60% of the speed on hard courts, and more on Har-Tru and red clay.
Therefore, whenever possible, get to the ball first, then execute your swing, so no extension will be necessary.
Look at the ball dreamily when it leaves your opponent racquet, moving towards the direction you need to intercept and find the ball.
Then, after the bounce, really focus on it with all your concentration and intention. The eyes take time to focus close to you, so don’t focus so hard at the distant ball, reserve that for when the ball is close.
A lot of people think that the position of the body or the feet determine the direction of your shot.
In fact, that does not matter at all. What matters is the angle of your racquet.
If the racquet is a bit more angled to the right, the ball goes there. If the racquet is angled a bit more to the left, the ball goes there.
If the racquet is a bit more open upwards, the ball goes higher. If it is more closed, the balls goes lower.
In modern tennis, players close the racquet markedly in their forehand backswing, and it opens naturally and gradually as you swing without any special effort.
Still slightly closed at the impact, the upward windshield-wiper and movement lift the ball while at the same time imparting forward rotation, that is, topspin.
Topspin generates a downward force on the ball, and thus it curves downward more pronouncedly as when only brought down by its own weight.
It has been stated that if you could put a scale under a ball spinning heavily with topspin, it would register a weight 4 or 5 times as much.
The great advantage is that hitting hard with topspin the ball drops in more than usual.
A great drill is to put a string about 3 ft. above the net and practice topspin over the string. You’ll see how well the ball goes down inside the baseline on the other side.
That is the drill that I put in Spain’s National Tennis School in Barcelona in 1973 and that paid dividends for years to come.
Again, think about the angle of the racquet, and don’t worry about your feet at all.
Conventionally, you are taught to track the tennis ball with the racquet.
That puts the ball at a certain distance from your body and results in having to swing through mostly forward.
In Modern Tennis the ball is tracked with the hand, as if you were going to catch it.
It seems that it would result in being too close to the ball, but in reality this allows you to meet the ball more in front and to swing across more markedly.
It also allows you to hit more topspin, increasing your windshield-wiper speed.
That is because you pull from the racquet, rather than pushing forward. The circular speed of the racquet has been helped.
Try it standing near a fence, facing it, and do a fast windshield wiper brushing the windscreen, without touching it.
Increasingly, you can start pulling back, away from the screen.
You can test it also by dropping a ball in front, putting your hand near the ball, and swinging up, across and back, all at the same time, pulling your hand so that at the end of the swing the butt of the racquet points to where the ball has gone and the back of your hand is near your cheek, your arm fully bent (be careful not to hit yourself on the shoulder or face).
The body, turning and pulling away, can definitely help you in achieving this type of hit.
You’ll notice a lot of spin on the ball, not only topspin but also sideways spin.
Modern Tennis is more like Martial Arts, where you deflect the ball, using its incoming speed to power it towards your opponent.
It is a concept very different from conventional coaching, and perhaps quite advanced and foreign for this time and place.
But, if you test it properly, with the hand starting close to the ball, you may find aspects of this technique that you may appreciate and like.