In this second instructional with accomplished tennis player Phil Whitesell, we continue on going over advanced tennis strategy and technique, including proper tennis serve grip. Phil Whitesell graduated from the University of Southern California where he helped his team to three NCAA tennis championships in 1991, 1993 and 1994. Some of his teammates included Byron and Wayne Black, both of whom held a top 50 singles ranking in the world and who held the number one ranking in in the world in doubles. Whitesell is no stranger to the game of tennis, having played in the main draw satellite, challenger, and qualifications for the ATP tour events, where he maintained a world ranking. Whitesell coached on the women’s professional tennis tournament from 1995-98 and worked with Brenda Shultz-McCarthy, who was a top 10 player of the world. Whitesell coached division one college tennis at College of Charleston for over 6 years. Two as an assistant and then six years as the head coach. He also is nationally recognize for his success in beach tennis. Whitesell coached Meredith McGrath, who made it to the semi-finals at Wimbledon. Phil discusses the mindset that is needed along with how to read and play opponents with specific strengths and weaknesses.
Phil also discusses the proper strategy and technique, using the tennis serve grip and footwork for successfully executing an offensive attack towards the net.
Tennis Video Transcription: Well, I'm not really sure how well this would work with the outside world, but with tennis, when you're up, if you play, kind of like the Shark to Greg Norman when he's up so many shots in the last round of the Masters. But if you play not to lose, you play not to lose. OK. Then your opponent, they're just like a little scared animal backed up against the... they're backed into the corner. So, what are they going to do? They are going to come out swinging like crazy, because they've got nothing to lose, they've got no fear. But you've got fear, because you've got something to lose.
So, in Asheville, it's actually better for you to take more risks, to step your game up. Then, even if you lose the point, at least, you're not playing not to lose, and you're getting tired on top of that. Maybe, that gets rid of some of your nerves, but it makes you exhausted. It's better off if you're going to beat that better player. And this is like in any sport. If you're the underdog, at the end you've got to play with a little bit more risk because the better player is going to think, "There's no way I'm going to lose to this sap", and they're going to step their game up.
That's the time, nail in the coffin, and you've got to go for it. If you miss the shot, that's OK, you're still releasing all of that anxiety, all of that pressure you might have. That's probably my biggest tip. Now, we can talk about all different angles on the court. You can talk about going two to the backhand, one to the forehand. Hurting them on their strength and coming in on their weakness, and all that stuff, but really it comes down to that mentally that when you get up, you've got to be a front runner.
And that's the difference between Agassi and Sampras and some of the greats, is that when they didn't see anybody behind them, they stepped on the gas a little bit more. They didn't decrease it, and get bored, and look around. This one person, certain mentality, they have trouble with that, but when they got up, they stepped on them.
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