Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed your Winter Break as much as we did! With the kids off of school, it was a great opportunity for extra time on court. We ran Orange and Green Ball mini camps nearly every day during the break. The players worked hard, and we had a blast.
Kel has been working with our Orange Ballers, and has the players focusing on ball recognition, split-step timing, the preparation/set-up ("unit turn"), and racquet head speed. Kel has made it a part of his warm-up to have the players use a continental grip—which we consider to be the most important grip in tennis!
I have been working with our Green Ballers, and have been having the players start every class as if they were walking onto the court to begin a match. It's easy to call the players onto the court and just start basket-feeding, but it really doesn't prepare players for tournaments. I find the biggest struggle for young junior players is their focus at the start of matches. That's why it's critical to model for the player how to warm up and begin matches with intensity!
Both Kel and I take pride in the effort we make to develop our players' serves. In the past few weeks, we have seen some amazing improvements in the players' serves, in each stage of serve development. Kel has been working on wrist control and racquet positioning with the Orange Ballers, while I have been coaching the Green Ballers on developing power for the serve from the ground, up. The power comes from the legs, rather than forcing the serve from the arm, which can lead to serious shoulder injuries.
If you couldn’t already tell from watching us on court, it's been an absolute pleasure for me to be working with Kel again. He is a great coach, with great ideas on how develop our players. IJP Tennis is creating an awesome environment, not only for the players, but also for me, by forming a healthy coaching environment, working with someone I trust.
On behalf of everyone at IJP Tennis, I wish you all the best in 2017.
Matt's Point (get it? Match Point!) is Matt's blog covering all the goings-on at IJP Tennis.