Tonight was a funny night. I went to the courts to work on my serve, and as soon as I open the door someone says to me, "Do you know how to keep the ball in the court?" At first it sounded like a joke, but this guy was serious. He came out to the courts for the first time and couldn't feed a ball in the court consistently. I had to warm my arm up anyway, so I decided to give him some help. I have helped people learn to serve with a shake hands grip, and improve already competent strokes, but I have never helped a player who would frame the ball off his own feed before. I truly felt like I was on Candid camera most of the time. I started him off with the grip, and I figured the SW would be the way to go. Well, I was off to a positive start, I thought. Most people notice an instant improvement when they use the proper grip, but not this guy, it had virtually no impact. To give you all a comparative mental picture of how this looked, think back to the scene in the Italian Job where the woman was trying to teach Skinny Pete how to putt. That was it, except this guy looked nothing like Pete. I realized that I was going to have to show him from A-Z what a forehand should feel like. I started off with teaching him how to pull the butt cap toward the ball, and he did that pretty well. However, he never squared the racquet up, and instead of a natural pronation, he had a forced supination. Even after showing him the correct impact position he still framed the ball. Teaching him in steps just didn't add up to success, so I had to switch up the approach. I was almost stumped about how I was going to get him hitting the ball in the court. Then I decided to just teach him the forehand all at once. I had him swing the racquet as I instructed until I felt it would produce a topspin groundstroke. The principals were simple. The technique would feature a SW grip, a turn of the shoulders, a pulling of the butt cap on a low to high path with a slightly closed racquet face, impact out in front, and a natural extension after impact. When he finally repeated the technique five times I told him now try to reproduce that with the ball in the way. The first ball he cuts off the followthrough and it dives into the net. Then it finally clicked, the second ball flew a foot and a half over the net and dived into the middle of the court. I couldn't believe it, I had this guy hitting topspin inside of his first 30 min. on a tennis court. I even hit him a few balls, and he was able to hit a majority of them back with some topspin on them. I was willing to teach him more, but we unfortunately ran out of time. I am really happy for this young guy, because most people just quit out of frustration. I hope this will give him inspiration to continue his participation in tennis, and maybe spread the same feeling to other potential players.