For the recreational tennis player the game’s great technological revolution is not the rackets and strings with which they play the game. The truly extraordinary technological change that most benefits the ordinary player is in the realm of instruction. With the World-Wide Web as their home, online instruction sites are revolutionizing the way we can learn to play tennis or to improve the game we already play.
The number of instructional sites has grown markedly in recent years. There are so many that it is almost impossible to name, much less follow, them all. I will be posting links to the best materials that I find on various instruction sites, but you may want to pick one or more sites to explore more thoroughly. Towards that end I will also post reviews of entire sites. But first, let’s take a look at what to expect when you visit tennis instruction websites.
First and foremost, these sites have a lot to offer. Their creators are almost always experienced teaching pros and/or former top-notch players adept at transmitting their knowledge. I haven’t found a single site that I don’t trust.
One of the best things the sites offer is free instruction—a lot of it. If you’re like me, you’ll love this aspect of the sites. What’s not to love about free, high-quality instruction? But make no mistake, many of the sites are intended to be moneymaking enterprises. So don’t be surprised when you realize that a site’s free offerings, though numerous and helpful (sometimes very helpful) are teasers, the ultimate object being to sell you the sites’ more comprehensive materials for a fee. And don’t be surprised if the sell is a hard one, characterized by lengthy online promotional messages and videos and by annoyingly numerous emails, all of which shamelessly hype the sites’ offerings as the cure you have sought all your playing days. Still, I urge you to overlook these inconveniences. These sites’ offerings, whether they come free or with a price tag, are almost always helpful. Sometimes they are superb.
Most of the sites rely on video instruction. The videos are usually short, five to ten minutes. Some are longer. The format is ideal for teaching tennis, and the sites are evidencing a growing sophistication in filming technique. Some of the sites’ creators even have considerable stage presence. Their personalities add appeal to their videos.
A few sites offer podcasts. These can often be downloaded to your smart phone. They make for great listening at odd moments when, for example, you’re working out.
So, don’t hesitate to dive in and sample various sites. If you take what they offer seriously, your game will benefit. And even if you’re not intent on changing your game, but are just interested in tennis, you will enjoy these sites.