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How To Improve Sashka’s Service (watching Youtube)

Improving Sashka's Service is a Big Task

Sashka’s performance in Santa Croce showed us many of her weaknesses. Besides of mental issues – this is probably the most complicated thing, as it is far more than tennis & includes the consequences of her “common life” difficulties – one of the biggest problems is her service.

Bad thing is that service is “a separate science of tennis”. This shot is a non-typical technical element comparing to other tennis technics as main action happens (mostly) vertically – not horizontally like in case of forehand & backhand.

Good thing that you do not need a hitting partner to practice your serve. It is only a matter of your REAL devotion to make a progress as a player.

Even if you do not have an experienced coach nearby (who will teach you how to make the serve better), there is a solution just a click away: you can find a lot of really useful video on Youtube on the matter. This is exactly what Sashka & me decided to do. Why ask a local pro if we can use a wisdom of the Web, completely for free?
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How we met our – calm & reliable – hitting partner (part 1)

Lobster Elite Grand 5 LE

The most expensive part of rising a competitive junior tennis player is NOT a travelling.  Racquets, strings & shoes can cost quite a lot, but it is just a tiny percentage of a total budget. It can be challenging to pay for a court time, but if you are a member of community tennis club, it is much easier to access tennis courts for reasonable yearly membership fee…

But you almost always need to pay A LOT for a coaching (except if a family member is a coach himself/herself) or hitting assistance. Furthermore, it is also the most unstable part of common “practice construction”. A hitting partner can be sick, tired, demotivated, on the go with other job… or just decide to quite because he does not like you! Usually it happens at the time you need him/her most of all, so you get unexpected & unnecessary trouble!

That’s why we decided to use a tennis ball machine in Sashka’s everyday practice – as an addition to a “live” coach-hitter, not a replacement. In this post I will describe how this idea was born & became reality, and also tell about our first steps to buy & deliver the machine.

NOTE/DISCLAIMER: this is NOT a promotional post. We did have a (modest) discount from the tennis ball machine vendor, but Sashka does not have a sponsorshir or endorsement contract with it. So it is a honest end user’s review (the first of a few) with all “pros and cons” of the gadget.
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4 Youtube channels we use every day for Sashka’s tennis practices

Total Tennis Domination (TTD) - one of the best tennis channels on Youtube

The challenging circumstances of our life sometimes require non-typical moves & solutions. One of those solutions is an active usage of “how to play tennis” Youtube channels in our player’s preparation process.

We selected several of them (just four at the moment to be precise). We subscribed the channels & regularly scan them both for new updates & pre-recorded lessons for the matters we currently interested in. We try to apply best recommendations to Sashka’s game.

You might be sceptical on whether a virtual coach can efficiently teach tennis. Well, I I can say two things about it. First, a virtual coach is NOT a replacement for the real one… but can be a useful “add-on”, especially if you are VERY limited on your budget. We hardly can allow a single live coach, so we have to maximize a usage of “cheap-to-free” tools.  Second, I can honestly say that in Sashka’s win of National Champion U16 title there is a meaningful role of those Youtube-inspired practices, methods & ideas. So it works… at least on the national level!

I would like to share with you those channels – just in case you need some “remote help” to fix this or that in your own game. Also, if you know some of those guys who make the channels – please say thanks to them from Sashka & the team.
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Working inside the court


This is just a small part of the morning practice a week ago. Sashka & Juraj are working on Phase 3 shots (finishing the point).

Now Sashka is sick (as well as Nazar, our younger son). There is no heating in our house, and it is -2C outside in the night, so both kids got cold. Nothing serious though.

Later today I’ll write a separate post on the situation. Hope to hear your ideas & advices.



Tennis drilling – how we make it


Drrilling is an essential part of any tennis practice. It is extremely important for competitive girls/women to be stable & consistent. Watch this short video to see how Sashka works on this element.



Boys do this better!

Roger`s beautiful forehand

Watch this stunning video explaining the (huge) difference between ATP and WTA forehands. Do NOT call me a sexist – this video also shows that some girls DO can play ATP-style shots if coached properly.
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How to play (and win) like Angelique Kerber: just use… mathematics!?

Angelique Kerber, the smartest player on WTA tour

I strongly believe that Angelique Kerber’s time like a tennis queen is at its very beginning. Everybody knows her perfect record of 2016: two Grand Slams titles, silver medal of Olympic Games 2016, Singapore WTA Tour Championships final & some more… In my opinion, Queen Angelique’s biggest secret is that she stopped to rely on clear power only (like Serena & Maria Sharapova did) and implemented her own way of playing – based on consistency, fast ball return and full court geometry usage. We are trying to input the same style into Sashka as it allows a female player to constantly win vs. equal or even moderately higher-class opponents.
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