Monday morning started off at a cool 59 degrees and the temperature warmed up to the low 70s for our morning of training, team positioning, and drills. A stated goal for the morning is “don’t work too hard” (save yourself for the afternoon doubles match and two-a-day matches that start on Tuesday).
After breakfast, we had a clinic on the volley from Roy Emerson and Danie Visser:
- Too many players stand too close to he net, leaving themselves vulnerable to the lob. The best place to position yourself is in the middle of the service box (and if you still have trouble going back for the lob, start a little further back).
- The grip should always be the Continental on both the forehand and backhand; but if you have time, you can flatten out your grip (on both sides) to hit a harder volley.
- Turn your upper body and keep a SHORT stroke.
- Keep the wrist firm; but still have “soft hands.” Seems contradictory, but both are important.
- Make sure you keep a constant face on your racquet and constant contact point.
- Make sure you volley level or hitting up (on low balls) … not hitting down.
- A great drill to end every practice session with is to volley against your practice partner from service line to service line. And try to drive the volley so that you are both hitting waist high volleys.
Then all the teams went off to play some doubles for about two hours, with different pairings to see how we match up together. I was on our third court … which means there are at least eight doubles players above me – a pretty solid Wanker team.
Following lunch, we had our pictures taken and then gathered for more doubles practice and pairings. I think I will be playing either #5 or 6 in the afternoon team matches tomorrow – and higher in the morning (with others playing singles). We hit for another two hours … and I am taking Aleve “just in case.”
After Tennis Tennis
At the end of the day, Roy Emerson and Rod Laver gave a clinic right below our balcony; but after a full day of morning and afternoon tennis, Willy and I shared some beer, nuts, and relaxing time watching the two legends from on high. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Then we went to Happy Hour and dinner of barbeque chicken and ribs. After dinner, I presented the first planned “Senior Moment” award of giving away a copy of my “Senior Tennis” book (which is available in Newk’s pro shop).
It was awarded to Andy Hallock who … listened to advice from his doctor, my blog, and a friend and went from a chubby 215 pounds to an incredible 148 pounds! And then read about good friend Willy’s fight with bladder cancer and decided that “life is too short” to miss another Fantasy Camp and was a last-minute signup.
The evening’s entertainment was an “AUSSIE panel” of Davo, Emmo, Laver, Charlie Pasarell and Fred Stolle, who talked about current and classic tennis.
Afterwards, while others went to the bar for more drink and talk, I went off to my room to try to get a decent night’s sleep before the Tuesday team competition, with doubles for me in the morning and in the afternoon.
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