Learning Technical Skills is Just a Hindrance
By Tom Veneziano
I do not believe in technical
skills as a major factor in the
process of learning tennis. In
fact, most of the time they are a
hindrance! Yes, for some simple
procedures some guidance is
necessary, like swing your racket
low to high for topspin and high
to low for slice. Practicing the
use of the body shoulder rotation
whenever you hit the ball is
acceptable. That is if you have
the discipline to spend time
practicing these simple procedures
again and again and again. Beyond
that, there is not much to the
technical skills! Repetition will
mold most of the ground-stroke
skills without overdoing the
If you do not have much time to
practice, just go with what you've
got! Apply the mental skills that
I've taught you over the years.
Not everyone has time to dedicate
hours toward learning the game of
tennis. The game that you own
right now is your style of play.
Most players learn techniques to
resolve symptoms of a problem, not
causes! This seems to be a hard
pill to swallow. Coaches and
players want concrete black-and-
white information. It's more
comforting to think that you
missed because you took your eye
off the ball, you didn't take the
racket back, you were not
balanced, your weight wasn't
forward, etc. The players want to
blame some technique to ease the
pain of failure.
Let's examine two necessary
technical skills that are being
taught as techniques: "Be
balanced" and "get your racket
Continued on page 4
- See Technical Skills a Hindrance
Saying Goodbye .... For Now
By Rob Rosenblum
Court Times Charleston has just reached it's first anniversary. We published our first issue in September of 2015.
The goal of CSA Tennis is to facilitate the large variety of tennis clubs and organizations working together. It's not something that happens easily around here.
Everywhere I go I hear about the distrust that each club has for every other club. There seems to be a fear that every other club is
out to "steal" players and students. The result has been an insular environment where each facility has its own events and programs
and ignores the remainder of the population.
One execption to that rule is the USTA and Low Country Tennis Association. They have managed to cross boundaries and run leagues in almost every club in the area.
While we salute the success of LCTA and USTA, it's not enough. The policy of isolation is leaving most potential tennis players out
in the cold. You can go by public tennis courts almost any evening and see beginning level players, sometimes even kids, playing tennis.
They know nothing about the USTA or LCTA. And for the most part, with the exception of a couple friends, they have no one to play tennis with.
I make it a habit to ask people if they have ever played tennis. A large percentage of those I ask say yes. When I ask them if they still play, they invariably say no.
When I ask them why, they say they have no one to play with. These are all potential tennis players. They all enjoyed the game. They have no idea that
they would be welcomed back with a plethora of leagues and socials and round robins and ladders. They don't know what is out there because there is very little,
if any, outreach on the public courts.
True, the local clubs have overcome this by offering a variety of fun, social programs for their members. But not everyone can afford to join a club,
nor would someone just toying with the idea of tennis be a likely candidate for club membershp or even a USTA league.
One of the core elements of USTA leagues is that it brings people together from all over the Charleston area. CSA Tennis has tried to supplement those
efforts by offering a junior tennis ladder and trying to set up World TeamTennis events around the area. Unfortunately, the response from local pros
have been half hearted at best, despite the fact that these are low cost or no cost programs that would serve their constituency
We are not yet willing to waive the white flag of surrender, but we will be taking a short hiatus. Court Times Charleston
will now become a quarterly
rather than monthly pulication. Hopefully, that will allow us more time to further develop stories of interest to the community and increase awareness
of what is going on at both our public and private tennis courts.
Meanwhile, we are still looking for more writers and other contributors. Even if it is just a matter of letting us know about your club
tournament or pictures of a local event - get in touch with us.
We expect to be back in January. Until then, have a nice fall tennis season!