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    Heart Rate Recovery takes longer

    Eight years ago I took a cardio-tennis course. The instructor would briefly work us to exhaustion so that we would get our heart rate up to 200 minus our age. Then we would check it after two minutes of rest to see the recovery rate. I did fine. However, now at age 63 I have noticed that...
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    Tighten Up at Contact?

    When I was young the importance of keeping a firm wrist was always emphasized. Nowadays teachers emphasize keeping the arm and hand relaxed to be used as a whip. My question: Is there now, or has there ever been, the notion that one should tighten up one's hand and wrist immediately prior to...
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    Why do orthopedists treat inflammation?

    If I have an overuse injury and want advice on how to recover from it, how do I find a doctor who isn't going to assume that my problem is caused by inflammation? Undesired inflammation is an immune system disorder and I just don't see any reason to believe that bad technique has set my immune...
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    All Good Players are Pushers

    When new tennis players start to develop the ability to rally, they seem to separate into two mentalities. One type accepts his limited tennis skills and being somewhat athletic, relies on his legs and eyes to win. He holds the racket gently throughout and his shots are sufficiently...
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    What is the Modern Technique vs. Old School crossover age?

    Looking at some matches at national level age-65-and-over tournaments I see mostly "old school" strokes. That makes sense for two reasons: Older players learned the game the old way. The modern technique was designed to make better use of youthful energy, but puts more stress on the body...
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    Need More Satisfaction from Playing Smart

    I'm a supremely untalented athlete (always last picked for the team in school phys. ed.), but after 43 years dedicated to tennis I feel I am finally starting to approach the 3.5 level. I have been viewing online videos and applying them, and in the last couple of weeks I suddenly began...
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    No good books for older tennis players :-(

    I am frustrated by the lack of good instructional material aimed at older tennis players. I have read a number of books with titles like "How to Play Tennis after 50" and every one of them has been a severe disappointment. The typical book of this kind is a mix of: Generic information about...
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    What Makes a Racket vibrate?

    I have two rackets -- same brand, same model. As one might expect, they play similarly. When I hit the ball with one of them, it goes "THWOK" and then silence. When I hit the ball with the other racket, it hums and vibrates for a half-second. Why does it do that? I don't hear or feel...
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    Why do I play better without a backswing?

    I've been playing for over 40 years, and I've never more than a low intermediate. If I had my best version of each stroke, all together on the same day for an entire match, I'd be a high intermediate. One thing that messes up my ground strokes, I've come to realize, it trying to imitate the...
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    Andy Murray destroyed a perfectly good Monte Python episode

    There was a Monte Python episode in which space aliens had landed and were shooting people with a high-tech ray gun that "turns human beings into Scotsmen." (They would immediately become bearded, kilt-wearing bagpipe players.) I suppose it was a take-off on the "Night of the Living Dead" type...
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    Recommend Racket for Beginner?

    My 23 year old daughter is learning tennis and asked my advice on a racket. But I haven't paid much attention to what's out there -- they change the models and prices every season, it seems. I'm thinking maybe something in the $60 to $100 price range, 100-115 sq inches, NOT head-heavy, and...
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    "Pain Free" by Pete Egoscue

    I have the book now and am reading it. He teaches that the mis-alignments which cause wear and pain are cost by improper or inadequate movement, which leads to inadequate muscles, which leads to misuse of the body. My only complaint is that there doesn't seem to be any recognition that some...
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    Reading the opponent's shot

    I read somewhere that the only reason pros can return 140mph serves is that receivers can detect its direction even before the server makes contact with the ball. Servers, of course, try to delay giving away their plan as long as possible. Recreational players are not so good either at...
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    I've hit a short, weak crosscourt. How do I position myself?

    Assume two right-handers. If I hit my forehand cross-court, I am normally told that I should then position myself right of the center mark, because that bisects the angle of return. What if my shot went lower than intended, giving my opponents a mid-to-low short ball to his forehand side...
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    Two new ones from NaturalTennis

    NaturalTennis has just updated and improved their basic two-handled racket; the new version is called the "Battistone FreeStyle" (see bottom of page: It is about half an inch shorter than the 28" model I'd already been using and I haven't fully gotten used...
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    Ambidextrous player seeks strategy advice

    I've been playing tennis for 39 years. About 29 years ago I replaced my right-handed backhand with a left-handed forehand. Two years ago I got one of those double-handled rackets to make switching faster. I don't claim to be very good. My serve (now left-handed) has a lot of spin but not...
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    There have been a half-dozen threads over the past five years debating what makes for a "heavy ball." The mob here keeps insisting that heaviness = speed + spin, and ignore my comment that a heavy ball is one that comes in harder than you _expect_. Thus, Don Budge, Jack Kramer and Ken...
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    Effect of fatigue on vision

    Several times, after a good set, I find my play deteriorating even though I don't feel that tired. I could still get to the ball without too much difficulty, but suddenly I'd find myself mixing my usual decent shots with random wildness. I'm not pretending to any good in general. I was...
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    Arguments against orthotics?

    There are a number of foot conditions for which orthotic shoe inserts are said to help. Potential bad fit aside, are there any arguments _against_ wearing orthotics? I am thinking along the lines of the "barefoot running" movement, who argue that it is safer and healthier to run barefoot...
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    Sprained trigger finger?

    While rallying yesterday I received a very hard hit shot that was headed to land a few feet out. Hugging the baseline, I tried to drive-volley it back with my right-side forehand but apparently I made contact way off-center. The impact caused a stinging pain to the big knuckle of my index...
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    Movement at net versus at baseline

    What are some of the differences between movement at the net versus movement at the baseline? For example, are smaller steps used when at the net?
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    Preventing meniscus tears (a knee injury)

    Three years ago I suffered a small meniscus tear in my left knee, and the pain increased over the weeks until I was on crutches. However, the MRI showed that the torn parts were not separated, and the tear was in the outer third where there is still some blood circulation, so the doctor thought...
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    What makes a stroke "clean"?

    What does a teaching pro mean when he says that so-and-so "has a very clean backhand / forehand"?
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    So, what's a good drill for watching the ball?

    At Fuzzy Yellow Balls they talk about how the windshield-wiper technique can give you incredible steadiness via heavy topspin, And it does seem to be true that, when hitting the ball well, I have more steadiness when I use lots of topspin. However, I find that adding topspin does nothing...
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    Which pros have the best drop shots?

    Which professionals today have the most dangerous drop shots -- disguise, control, etc.?
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    Ed Krass B.E.S.T. (Biomechanically Efficient Service Technique)

    About twenty years ago I had a video by Ed Krass about his "Biomechanically Efficient Service Technique." Basically, he taught a serve that was very compact, completely eliminating the circular backswing. He believed this serve was both easier to learn (less complicated coordination of two...
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    Disadvantages of trunk rotation?

    I've heard lots of advice to stay down on ball until I've finished the shot, and not to look early at where my ball is going. I wasn't able to follow that advice today, and no, I wasn't trying to see where my shot was going to go. Every shot I missed, it was as if someone standing behind me...
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    How to make a racket longer?

    I've seen many discussions about making a grip thicker, but what are some ways of lengthening a 27" in racket to, say, 28"?
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    Grass court tennis in the 1950s

    I found a rare color video that shows grass court tennis in the 1950s. Not much topspin, but many very powerful flat backhands. There were many power shots that, with the tiny sweet spots in wooden rackets, required much more defensive responses than you see today. Strategy was different...
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    Back brace for tennis?

    For a person recovering from low back pain, would it make sense to wear a back brace while playing? My physical therapist says it sounds like a good idea -- she says it would be very bad to wear a back brace all the time because I would grow dependent on it, but she says they're good to wear...