Professional tennis coach Cootsona offers cuttingly humorous, brightly intelligent advice on how enthusiastic players can improve their games.
This debut guide is a seriously enjoyable work of tennis wisdom. Cootsona, who has spent the past 29 years on the court as an instructor, has somehow managed to keep his sense of play and a twinkle in his eye. But as he cracks wise, with quotes from Gandhi, Goethe, Nietzsche, Churchill, Yogi Berra, Huey Lewis and the News, and, of course, William of Ockham, his advice simply shines. He’s not a man with a system; instead, he advises readers to tailor their games to their own physical abilities, learning styles and playing personalities. Despite the sport’s “pervasive subtlety and illusive proficiency,” he points out that tennis comes down to core elements: Hit the ball in the court, seek simplicity, and use your head as well as your ground strokes. He urges readers to follow the “Three Commandments”: Get your first serve in, close on the short ball, and hit the ball back three or more times. Tennis isn’t complicated, Cootsona reminds readers, but it is difficult, so one word guides all of his pointers: practice. He has no qualms about dishing out his beliefs—what tools are best to have in one’s playing arsenal, why control is key, and why it’s important to have a positive disposition and play to one’s abilities and limits. He focuses on helping readers to learn how to play a good game and conduct oneself with grace on the court and in the world. Overall, he shows how it’s important to square the face of the racquet but also to square one’s mind.
A fine tennis advice book about having fun while making a better you.