Q. I am recreational player and I have a tough problem with a flat serve - I use a so-called waitress swing. How can I overcome that weakness? Can you advise me on some exercises? You have to know that I make wrong swing a lot of years. Thank you very much for your advice!
A. What is a “so-called waitress swing”? Not quite sure that I have ever heard that one before. You might just watch some of your favorite players on television and imitate they way they serve instead of the way waitresses serve beer in your local pub.
Q. Some 24 years ago a former wife received my forehand in the divorce settlement. I haven't hit a decent forehand since that august occasion. Psychiatrists, lessons, new racquets, old racquets, tennis camps, meditation, nothing works. Can you help with this cruel and unusual malady?
A. Sorry, Hap. Every time I re-read your question I just can’t stop laughing. There MUST be a joke in there somewhere. You may have lost a forehand, but I suspect that your movement improved.
Q. How do I get rid of nerves when starting a match? Is there a pill or something?
A. Go ask Alice. I’ll think she’ll know. (That was for all the Jefferson Airplane fans out there). Actually, I would urge you to avoid narcotics prior to competing in tennis. Instead, take some deep breaths and concentrate on the task at hand. Most nervousness stems from when players become overly concerned about the outcome. Instead, focus entirely on execution.
Q. For serving practice, is it better to practice first and second serves at the same time, or one in the morning and another in the afternoon?
A. Probably better to practice them both during the same session. I would hate to learn that you became expert at first serves in the morning, second serves in the afternoon, and were totally useless during evening matches.
Q. What could a 2.0 player do and a 10.0 player do? How do I know what kind of player I am? What's the difference between them?
A. It sounds like you are referring to the Dynamic NTRP rating system. Visit this page for General Characteristics of Various NTRP Playing Levels.
The NTRP only goes up to 7.0, which is identified as a world-class touring professional. The difference between a 2.0 player and a 7.0 is, ahhhh, pretty dramatic. It is like comparing apples with… space ships.
Q. I play in the 12 and under division and I still am experiencing many pushers. It is getting extremely annoying. What should I do?
A. Start beatin’ ‘em, Zac. It is only annoying when you lose.
Q. My opponents always call me a hacker or pusher after I defeat them. How can I get them to quit and or to respect my game?
A. Keep beatin’ ‘em, Carlos. It only annoys them when you win
Q. How do you stop from getting a bad attitude on the court whenever you're losing?
A. You simply stop and try to be positive. As adults would tell a child: “take a time out.”
Or, you could try to win. When players win, they tend to have a good attitude.
Q. Is there any kind of special shot that you can teach me?
A. Once you have mastered the forehand, backhand, serve, volleys, etc., then you might work on the following five shots:
1. The Fackhand.
2. The Schwerve.
3. The Tweenie.
4. The Shank.
5. The Moonshot Lob (which allows you to answer you cell phone and then maintain a conversation during the point).
Q. Are you allowed to use two racquets, one in each hand, to play tennis?
A. Ahhh, no you are not allowed to use two racquets simultaneously- one in each hand- while you play tennis. You need to have one hand free at all times to waive to your fans.