The Tennis Schema

The Tennis Schema

by Andreas Meyer


Publisher Andreas Meyer

Published in Sports/Individual Sports, Sports/Coaching, Sports, Nonfiction

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Special Pricing

4.99 from Dec. 1 until Dec. 4;

5.99 from Dec. 5 until Dec 7 (including).

Book Description

The Tennis Schema clarifies how the tennis forehand and one-handed backhand work. It gives you the necessary information and instructions to break through tennis jargon and play consistently by finding control. Finally, you will understand what the pros do differently. With some effort and committment, it will help you change your tennis as never before. The Tennis Schema is especially useful for adult players, as its content is unique, and as its approach is holistic. It explains the fundamentals of tennis in a way that makes them replicable as (slow motion) videos never are.

Sample Chapter

1.1 How Events on a Topspin Forehand Connect and Intertwine

Let us start with one aspect of the stroke, and then have a look how it spreads. Let's do this by assuming a topspin forehand.

One of the major mistakes is to mentally follow a circular line in your swing. When at first, you observe round motions, and then you swing in a circle or ellipse, you end up mishitting.

It is advantageous to think in lines. The two important lines in the stroke are the ones bordering the hit with one leading up to impact and one starting with impact. Obviously, in between these lines something changes, fundamentally so. When you pull toward the ball, on the first of these two lines on a forehand stroke, you pull downward, slowly at first, forward, and out. You smooth out the downward path in your swing toward the ball by successively straightening your arm. This straightening of your arm is worked into the stroke and makes it lithe.

Now, somehow, one line must connect to the next and the transition must be smooth, too. For this reason, you have to first prepare an event in your stroke, then fire it off. As it must happen at the end of the line leading up to the hit, I attribute it to the first line downward toward the ball.

When the downward line toward the ball levels out at its end, you support that by letting your elbow-tip recede slightly, which, of course, starts to bend your arm. Imperceptibly, this changes down to up; it feels like starting to haul your racket back in. As soon as you accomplished the change to up, you thrust upward by abruptly retracting your elbow-tip. The thrust is short and has a stopping notion because your forearm angle catches.

This brings us to another big topic of this book: forearm angles. Without understanding them, you won't get anything out of this book. Very shortly: when you press out from the inner side of your upper forearm, as you do on a forehand when you pull out toward the ball, your wrist extends, as your overhand closes in towards your forearm; this lifts your racket toward the rear and off the ground. Forearm angles are as important as they are unrecognized in tennis; you must grasp how forearm angles operate underneath all tennis-strokes to evolve your tennis game. If you are tired of wandering about, of admiring better players or teachers, without ever learning to play consistently yourself, this book disentangles tennis for you. Demystifying tennis was a very frustrating process.

Anyway, the short preparation of the thrust followed by the thrust itself marks a dividing line in your stroke. Here pulling with your arm changes to pushing from your elbow, which prepares your stroke to come around and end backward.

Let's keep clear that the downward line toward the ball goes along with a straightening of your arm. It ends with a preparation of a short upward thrust and the thrust itself. As the upward thrust is a short affair, I attribute or at least attach it to the downward line. I do speak of lines because if you have images of round motions in your mind, you will guide your arm deliberately in a round fashion rather than creating round motions by correct technique. By thinking "circular" you will certainly do it incorrectly, as a circle in general understanding is an upside down affair. The seesawing technique, which I describe often in this book, is of a linear nature even though, when you apply it, it takes your stroke around. By reading this book, at the end, you will know and understand; then the technique will be second nature to you. You will meet it everywhere, in all strokes coming.

Receding your elbow-tip is short in time as it is in space; it just serves an almost imperceptible transition from down to up. Just after the direction changed to upward, you attach an equally short upward thrust, by abruptly retracting your elbow-tip. As the upward thrust stops, it is short. The thrust is a dividing line and acts as a connection kit. For this reason, I still ascribe it to the first line toward the ball, which for the most part is downward.

As you need to end the first line with a thrust, you must start slowly. Thrusting means you need to change speed to build your stroke correctly. Thrusting also means that it suddenly stops, when the thrust finishes. With the hit follows the second line, which goes up, out, and then around.

A deceleration, when you let the racket down, is a prerequisite for connecting two lines in your swing because the thrust gives you resistance that your elbow needs, to push your racket up and around, in a seesaw fashion. Throughout the book, I talk a lot about this seesaw type motion, as it is important to understand it.

The thrust accelerates your swing over proportionately, and then stops. When it stops, your forearm angle catches and the momentum runs down your forearm and deflects to your elbow, which now pushes from behind. This happens in a seesaw motion that continuously adjusts your wrist as your racket comes around. The wrist adjustment rests on forearm angles, which changes as your forearm turns toward the net. By snapping or flipping your wrist you would inevitably mishit. By dabbling with your wrist you forsake all control in tennis.

Whenever I mention "grip" I denote your hand as it holds your racket's handle. To me your hand around your handle is a unit. Its antagonist is your elbow(-tip).

By the seesaw motion, your forearm successively turns within itself – elbow against grip– instead of swinging around your elbow. By seesaw motions, you bring your racket-head around the ball, and invert directions in your swing from forward to backward. You may have observed, that, in a groundstroke, the pros' rackets comes through to the rear; their strokes never end in front, close to the net.

Seesaw motions on the forehand require that you shorten your swing, which means that your arm automatically and successively bends more as your racket comes through. By shortening the swing, you increase your racket's distance to the net.

This gives you an inkling of what I explain in detail in this book. The beauty is, that the backhand follows the same schema, which will give you a much easier time to understand it. You will encounter the same schema over and over again; you will see how it unfolds in all strokes. The strokes will unravel before your inner eye. You need not learn a ton of details for every different technique, and especially not different ones.

The ideas for this new tennis schema evolved over time; I judiciously chose the terms that I use, and I tested them carefully before now I explain them thoroughly in this book.

The subtlety in tennis surfaces when you want to try something new that is either incorrect or you semantically misunderstood. Then you practice on the court with wrong images about stroke production, which will spoil the current hitting session. Trying something according to observations and descriptions does not necessarily work either. Finally, you scramble back to your previous state by playing from your gut feeling again, from the level fixed in your subconsciousness. After an idle loop, all is back to normal. Thus, you stagnate. I refused to accept this, and yet, for a long time, there seemed no way out.

Finally, I managed to devise a working construct of images that hold. I am convinced that our inner vision on tennis must be correct if we want to learn to play tennis as an adult.

Therefore, I believe what I wrote will prove highly valuable for anyone who wants to learn the tennis groundstrokes properly. I preferred to write a book as reading spurs your imagination and thus enhances comprehension. It makes you more active from inside out, which is necessary if you want to learn something – anything. Videos do the opposite. While it is more difficult to write a good book, after all it is more efficient and therefore more affordable. Perhaps I also needed a challenge.

For someone who loves tennis, this book is an adventure into the truth of this sport.


Excerpted from "The Tennis Schema" by Andreas Meyer. Copyright © 2017 by Andreas Meyer. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Andreas Meyer

Andreas Meyer

Hello, of course, you can also read through my author's page on Amazon. But here, they preferred to have some new content, not available on my author's site. Let's see what this leaves us with at the end, as writing should have a surprising note. Only then, it is interesting. I live in Germany, near Munich. I have three children. With the oldest daughter, we were a patchwork family. I am in my mid-fifties. For many years, I work in the IT field.

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