On tennis August 30 2016
Not a fan. My parents met playing tennis, my mom even played at Wimbledon, my earliest memories are of being shipped off to camp to practise at age 7. It's such a lonely game, and winning is so far away from reaching perfection...
Reading David Foster Wallace's essay today did make me think however. Because I like DFW and especially his musings on tennis and 'the plateau' and many other things in the masterpiece of Infinite Jest. Twoodie has been in a little plateau recently and (I think) handled things reasonably well, considering. No throwing in the towel and only a bruised ego or two in terms of injuries. But there is still a problem and this seems to be the serve. We cannot seem to get the ball into play.
The serve is a metaphor for touching the customer. For that first interaction that lets people know that you exist. We have a really good game with ground strokes and a killer forehand we call Transparency. But none of this matters if you're unknown and insignificant. Without the serve no one wants to practise the ground shots with you, no one knows you can volley, no one cares that you're fitter and healthier and hungrier to win.
At the moment we've conceded to serving underarm, i.e just doing what we can that will give us some option of getting the ball in play, even if its feeble. What we need is to learn to 'place' the serve and target it very specifically and very niche into just the right corner at the right time. Then later we can work on the power.
I don't know how to do this. I think we need to find a coach or something. The mechanics of a serve are very complex. There is no formula.
Back to work.